Lead Goo Johnny Rzeznik wrote this song for the movie City Of Angels
, where it is sung from the perspective of Nicolas Cage's character. In the film, Cage plays an angel sent to help humans make their transition to the afterlife. When he falls in love with a human (played by Meg Ryan), he must choose between love and eternal life.
In our 2013 interview with Rzeznik
, he explained how the film influenced the song. "I was thinking about the situation of the Nicholas Cage character in the movie," he said. "This guy is completely willing to give up his own immortality, just to be able to feel something very human. And I think, 'Wow! What an amazing thing it must be like to love someone so much that you give up everything to be with them.' That's a pretty heavy thought."
This is about a person with an invisible identity who no one understands. Then, he finds true love. He wants his true love to know that he exists and that she is the only person in the world who can understand and love him - hence the last line, "I just want you to know who I am." The title means this is how I see you and me and everyone. (thanks, Britney - Calabasas, CA)
The name "Iris" was inspired by a Country singer named Iris DeMent, whose name Rzeznik came across while reading a magazine. This was confirmed in a 1999 interview with Goo's bass player Robbie Takac in Addicted To Noise. (thanks, Kayla - Trenton, NJ)
This was nominated for Grammys in the categories Song Of The Year, Record Of The Near, and Best Pop Performance By Duo Or Group. It didn't win any of them.
This is one of the most popular songs to feature a mandolin. The instrument was played by a session guitarist named Tim Pierce.
Goo Goo Dolls play this at most of their shows. When we asked Johnny Rzeznik what he thinks about when he sings it, he replied: "I try to get back into the moment of the original intention of that song. Like, what was I thinking and feeling when I was writing that song? And sort of go back into it in that way. That helps. That puts me right back in the mood to play it, over and over and over again."
In Greek mythology, Iris was the god messenger who left her messages in a rainbow. (thanks, Rebecca - Clayton, GA)
This has become a popular wedding song; Avril Lavigne picked it for the first dance at her wedding to Sum 41 frontman Deryck Whibley in 2006 (the couple divorced in 2010).
The song became a top ten hit in the UK for the first time in October 2011 after X Factor contestants Frankie Cocozza and Joe Cox both performed it on the show. Its highest charting previously in the UK was #26 in 1999.
This returned to the UK top 20 after bricklayer Robbie Kennedy auditioned for Britain's Got Talent with the song on the April 27, 2013 edition of the show.
The Goo Goo Dolls performed this in Madison Square Garden as part of the "Concert For New York" to raise money for victims of the 2001 terrorist attacks.
Boyzone singer Ronan Keating covered this for a solo single in 2006, reaching #15 in the UK.