Sheryl Crow – If It Makes You Happy

I was an instant fan when I first heard Sheryl Crow. During the nineties, there were many pop-oriented females that I listened to (Sarah Mclaughlin is one)…and ones that I didn’t at all (her last name rhymes with “tears” “beers” “fears”) but Sheryl was different. She was more in the rock and roll genre. I saw her open up for the Rolling Stones at Vanderbilt’s Stadium and she sounded great.

I have always liked her lyrics…she has fun with them and always kept them interesting. I’ll be posting more Sheryl songs this weekend.

This song peaked at #10 on the Billboard 100, #9 in the UK, #1 in Canada, and #12 in New Zealand in 1997.

It was on her self titled second studio album.

From Songfacts

This song describes a person who seems depressed or upset no matter what happens. According to Crow, the inspiration for the song was her feelings after the massive success of her first album, as her record label and the media put pressure on her to follow it up.

This won the Grammy award for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance. 

On her VH1 Storytellers appearance in 1998, Sheryl Crow said this was initially a country song, but she turned it into a rock song so she could get more exposure. 

The Australian lensman Keir McFarlane directed the video, which portrays Crow as an angry museum exhibit (10 years before the movie Night at the Museum). McFarlane also did the video for Tom Petty’s “Mary Jane’s Last Dance.”

In 2011 Crow teamed up with chef Chuck White to write a cookbook called If It Makes You Healthy.

Crow was a huge fan of Tom Petty and said that this song was in some ways inspired by the way he played.

If It Makes You Happy

I belong, a long way from here
I put on a poncho and played for mosquitoes
And drank ’till I was thirsty again
We went searching, through thrift store jungles

Found Geronimo’s rifle, Marilyn’s shampoo
And Benny Goodman’s cursive pen
Well, okay, I made this up
I promise you I’d never give up

If it makes you happy
It can’t be that bad
If it makes you happy
Then why the hell are you so sad?

Get down, real low down
You listen to Coltrane, derail your own train
Well, who hasn’t been there before?

I come ’round, around the hard way
Bring you comics in bed
Scrape the mold off the bread
And serve you french toast again
Okay, I still get stoned
I’m not the kind of girl you’d take home

If it makes you happy
It can’t be that bad
If it makes you happy
Then why the hell are you so sad?

If it makes you happy
It can’t be that bad
If it makes you happy
Then why the hell are you so sad?

We’ve been far, far away from here
I put on a poncho and played for mosquitoes
And everywhere in between
Well, okay, we get along
So what if right now, everything’s wrong?

If it makes you happy
It can’t be that bad
If it makes you happy
Then why the hell are you so sad?

If it makes you happy
It can’t be that bad
If it makes you happy
Then why the hell are you so sad?

Author: badfinger20

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

26 thoughts on “Sheryl Crow – If It Makes You Happy”

  1. I had forgotten about this song. I like it’s rhythm and groove. Good song. She wrote that Bob Dylan once said to her, “you record a song and then spend the rest of your life trying to find the perfect version of it”. Unless I’m mistaken, she’s covered a few of his songs.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. LOVE this song! Interesting little guitar break. Great rhythm as mentioned.

    Lyrically this song reminds me of Strawberry Fields Forever or Hey Jude. It’s abstract, but you get the message anyway.

    “No one I think is in my tree”,
    “The movement you need is on your shoulder”, etc.

    In my mind, it’s about doing what you want and being ok with it. My two cents.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I agree with the meaning you gave.

      Her lyrics are just really cool. That is what got me into her with All I Wanna Do…not your June moon rhyming scheme.

      The guitar breaks and some of her intros…like My Favorite Mistake are just cool.

      Like

    1. Thank you for not naming! I would hate someone to google that name in the future and my post comes up.
      I think Sheryl would have worked in many different eras.

      Like

      1. I also presented a song (“Run Baby Run”) by Sheryl Crow this spring. Unfortunately, she has become primarily known as the singer of the dumb radio hit “All I Wanna Do”. In fact, she is much more than just a pretty singer with nice songs. But to find out you have to hear the first albums. The later albums of her, however, no longer reach the emotional depth of the former things for me. Nevertheless, a great woman!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. One of my favorite artists to appear in the 90s. Love this song and most of her singles. Never thought of the comparison to Tom Petty but she is a bit like a female version of him musically, which ain’t bad!

    Liked by 1 person

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