Lyrics I Love #1: Square One

About the Song

Track: Square One 

Length: 3:36

Album: Highway Companion (2006)

Artist: Tom Petty

Songwriter: Tom Petty

Favorite line: 

“It was a dark victory / You won and you are so lost”

Favorite verse: 

“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. 

Listen to song and read the lyrics for full effect.

*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.