About the Song
Track: Square One
Album: Highway Companion (2006)
Artist: Tom Petty
Songwriter: Tom Petty
“It was a dark victory / You won and you are so lost”
“Square one, my slate is clear
Rest your head on me, my dear
It took a world of trouble, took a world of tears
It took a long time to get back here”
℗ © Abstract Recordings and Warner Records Inc.
Here’s Why I Love It
For starters, in my eyes, Tom Petty is such an underappreciated songwriter. Sure, he was a superstar musician, but he’s most known for his pop and rock hits (which I also love) like American Girl, Free Fallin’, etc. But for me, that overshadows the Petty I love. The Petty I’m always enamored by. Petty the songwriter. I can always feel the pain and emotion bursting through his lyrics, and this makes his music very real to me.
Square One flies under the radar as one of his later-life 2000-era songs. It was actually originally recorded for the motion picture Elizabethtown (2005.) The song has a true coming-of-age feel to it. A man on a journey. A long and arduous journey. He had to be stubborn, overcome fear, and even try playing different roles. Maybe at a point or two he felt satisfied, only to realize something was missing. Something I think we can all relate to. I know I can. You get the sense that maybe it was the girl he should have been with all along. You feel the pain he went through just to get right back to where he started. Ultimately, it reminds me that answers about life can’t be outsourced. We all must come to our own conclusions.
*This article is part of the ongoing Lyrics I Love series: short interpretations of the meaning and story behind one song with lyrics that move me.