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Iris

by

The Goo Goo Dolls



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

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 and Avril Lavigne picked it for the first dance at her wedding to Sum 41 frontman Deryck Whibley in 2006.
Boyzone singer Ronan Keating covered this for a solo single in 2006, reaching #15 in the UK.
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.
The Goo Goo Dolls
The Goo Goo Dolls Artistfacts
More The Goo Goo Dolls songs
More songs with body parts in the title
More songs with titles that are not part of the lyrics
More songs on the City Of Angels soundtrack
More songs used in movies
More songs written for a girl

Comments (140):

Butchered by every other contestant on every "signing" competition on TV.
Why can't the media leave good songs alone?
- Luke, Manchester, United Kingdom
I know it wasn't written for it, but it's amazing how well this song fits with being an LGBT teen in the closet and with "forbidden" love in general.

Iris is the Greek goddess of rainbows, often depicted as winged. She is one of the gods and goddesses in Greek mythology that were messengers - Greek ἄγγελος (angelos) from where the English term "angel" is derived. Rainbows also symbolize the LGBT community.

Now for the lyrics itself:
"And I'd give up forever to touch you ... you're the closest to heaven that I'll ever be..."
> He's supposed to go to hell anyway, so this is the only moment he can actually experience what it's like to be happy ("heaven").

"All I can taste is this moment ... and I don't want to miss you tonight."
> A single moment where he's throwing it all away to admit his feelings.

"And I don't want the world to see me, 'Cause I don't think that they'd understand ... I just want you to know who I am"
> He doesn't want to tell anyone else, but whatever happens he wants the guy he loves to know how he feels.

"... Or the moment of truth in your lies ... Yeah you bleed just to know you're alive."
> This describes what it really feels like to be in the closet. It's like hiding half of what you are. Always scared, always alone. Until it gets to the point that you simply can't take it anymore, you have to tell someone or else kill yourself. It's a very hard experience for teens to go through, to have no one to turn to and have almost everyone in the world hate you for something you didn't choose. One of the reasons why LGBT youths have higher suicide rates.

Yes I'm gay, most of these are from personal experiences. This song comforted me in my closeted years, heh. It's my own interpretation of course, but it works for me.
- E, Austin, TX
This is my favorite song ever... No matter how many times I listen to it it will alwaysbe m favorite song. Fan fact that it was released in the year I was born. I remember when I was 6 listening to this song somewhere and thinking 'wow that's the most beautiful song I've ever heard.' But it was a move or something and I had no way to know what song was it. When I was 13, some guy on idol sang it. I was petrefied. That's when I found out how this song was called... after trying to figure it out for god knows how many years. It was sill the best song I had ever heard.
- Laura, Lisbon, Portugal
I was thinking about sharing what this song means to me with everyone, but I don't think that they'd understand. It's a good and a bad place, but it's for my hound and my lamb.
- Charles, Bronxville, NY
Currently emailing back and forth long distance with a girl brings this son a different perspective.
- wendell, milton, PE
This song for me is about a relationship as when i lissen to it, it reminds me of me and my boyfriend I met him 2 years ago on holiday no one really agrees with it as he is 4 years older and I dont get to see him much.. We are still learning lots about each other as people and sometimes i feel like he doesnt know me and when im with him i jus dnt wanna go and i wud do anything to touch him again miss him soo much.
- ciara, belfast, Ireland
The proper interpretation of the song - (John wrote the song portraying himself as a fictional angel being the one singing the song.) (In the video, a fallen angel damned to the earth and becomes immortal by gods will is sitting at the top of a skyscraper spying on the lives of humans on the earth.) (The angel is verbally expressing his love towards another human he had met through this song.)(Here are the lyric interpretations.) (stanza 1: and i'd give up forever to touch you meaning that he is a divine being and the human can't see him because he is an angel.) (stanza 2: because i know that you feel me somehow: meaning the angel is confident that the human can sense his presence and affection.)

stanza 3: your the closest to heavan that ill ever be and i dont want to go home right now. meaning that he has been damned to the earth as a human but still experiences love which is an important aspect of salvation but that he does not want to go back to heavan

The next two stanzas dont really have a meaning so ill just skip to the main hook.

I dont want the world to see me. meaning that he is a frightened angel scared to be seen by the humans whom he believes is making it too difficult for him to try and be with this mortal women he loves.

I dont think that theyd understand. meaning that he believes that the humans wouldnt comprehend of the angels affection to the girl he likes but whom is human.

When everything is meant to be broken. meaning that everything that God made on this earth which is "everything" will all mean nothing when the fate of man comes on doomsday.

And lastly, i just want you to know who i am. meaning that the angel only wants his true love to know that he exists and that he wants to be with her
- william, Jacksonville, NC
Captain Mark Kelly inscribed on the inside of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords engagement ring "You're the closest to heaven that I'll ever be." He hasn't said publicly that it's from "Iris" (at least I haven't heard him say it), but it's got to be right? I know Mark personally and he is a very introspective person who shies away from publicity. Listen to this song and think about him sitting at her bedside. Song could have been written specifically for him in this situation. Devastating.
- David, League City, TX
This songs is bloody brilliant, there is however one problem. It copied another song. there was a song (name escapes me) with the exact same chord pattern, the exact same voice pitch for the chorus and the lyrics of both songs, even though completely different, they fit perfectly in time together. It says he had writers block and to get over it he used new lyrics, thats it. Taylor swift done the exact same with some of the 'Used' songs.
- jason, Denman, Australia
one of my best songs ever
- Majed, jeddah, Saudi Arabia
well the psychiatrist certainly worked. Great song. 8.4/10
- Ivy, Springfield, NE
this song is one of those many songs that makes me think of my girlfriend. sometimes i feel as if she's the only person who truly knows and understands who i am on the inside. she's literally the only thing keeping me alive right now.
- charlie, las vegas, NV
This song is about love, in any and every way, shape and form.
- Brian, Chesapeake Beach, MD
All i have to say about this song is that its a one-in-a-million song...my day starts and ends with "iris"...whenever i listen 2 this song i am transformed into an another world..Listening to "iris" helps me when i am depressed...sad..angry..happy..romantic and John has excellent vocals and guitar skills.Thanks John for creating a masterpiece for us to listen to it...
- deepak, dehradun, India
I love this song. I never knew where the title came from, but it made me think of "Irises" by Van Gogh, with the one white iris among a sea of purple ones. I think it applies in a way. I think this song moves anyone who has ever felt alone and just wanted one person to really know who they were- which is why this song is all over the place.
- Rosie, LA, CA
this song reminds me of when i was in highschool and i was helplessly in love with my best friends girl and i couldn't tell her how i felt still kills me to this day
- kc, boston, MA
A woman kept a journal. Late one evening she was writing in her notebook and was asked why she kept it. She said "Because no one can see me - not really. We are all invisible. People do not see one another, when they look upon another they see their own reflection. Maybe someday when I am dead someone will find this and read it, and then they will know who I am."
- Laurette, Buffalo, NY
This is simply one of the greatest songs of all time.

Seriously. :)
- Hayley, Somewhere, TN
This is my favourite song in the whole world.
The goo goo dolls get me through some hard times.
My favourite line is:

'You can't fight the tears that ain't comin'
or the moment of truth in your lies
When everything feels like the movies
yeah, you bleed just to know you're alive.'

You can't fight what's not there. Not without a reason. If you do then that would just be slaughter of your own sanity.

You can lie all you want, but you'll always know the truth. Can you live with that?

Movies are fake; they don't breathe or live or bleed..

Bleeding to know that you're alive.. If we don't bleed then what are we? Insensitive beings of misbelief? Artificial beasts? ..Fake?

I think the song means something different to everyone. There's no wright or wrong answer to it; it's how it makes you feel, how it makes you smile or cry, how it gives you goosebumps because you understand the very meaning, but you would never say so because you fear that people will laugh at you. Laugh at the way you feel. that's what the song is about.
x
- Yumi, Hartlepool, United Kingdom
this song is a classic in it's own sweet way....
- rahul, chennai, India
there is alot of speculation on why this song was written. The fact is the lead singer was to write a song for the city of angels soundtrack but had writers block. He called the producers and said that he could not write a song for them. Than his girlfriend was killed in a car wreck and he than in turn wrote this song.
- Jake, Konawa , OK
The line "when everything feels like the movies, yeah you bleed just to know you're alive" is exactly how I feel when I cut. I don't think it was the intended meaning but it's the perfect description for how I feel.
- Willow, Adelaide, Australia
I love this song it has soo much meaning
- Kirsten, Littleton, CO
This song is just amazing... I dont know if you already saw the duet with aril lavigne... waw
I think this song is about loving someone who is about to die or something like that. anyways this song is so emotional to me. thanks googoodolls
- Karine, Gatineau, QC
This song is about a man who thinks the whole world doesnt understand him but then he meets someone special and desperatley wants them to no who he really is.
- Marianna, Philadelphia, PA
omigosh, i L.O.V.E this song. it always, ALWAYS makes me feel something. its amazing. i will love this song forever
- Valerie, none of ur buisness!!, BC
i'm usually into more alternative bands, and scoff at bands like this (the fray for example...Ha!) but for some reason i cant help but love the goo goo dolls...especially this song. its surprisingly powerful. it always evokes feelings in me and causes me to think about certain aspects of my life that i usually try not to think about--which is a good thing...
- Rachel, Boston<3, MA
i stayed in the hospital for about 4 months and music helped me pull through i was in intensive care for 1 month and my dad had them play music in my room even though i was in a coma they knew i still heard it cause i would start to react to things when gthe googoodolls were on and this song means alot to me it really gives me hope in life to know people care
- joe, westville, IL
I was having an illicit, long-distance internet affair with a married woman. This song became "ours". She was considering getting a lower back tattoo. I suggested an Iris (flower), but she got a tribal one. I still think it would make a very sensual one.
- Darrell, Thomasville, GA
i had heard this song but not paid close attention to it until i found my true love and for some reason my mind told me to pay attention and so i did and this song is about the same thing i feel about my fiance (then boyfriend) i remebered how i wanted so badly to tell him i loved him and i wanted to be with him forever and i felt invisible because i couldn't i just wanted him to known who i am and what im about and so i said here listen to this song and put the headphones on him and he actually shed a tear and said is that how you feel and i said yes and she just hugged me and said i felt the same and i felt so scared to tell you and now we are getting married next spring after he gets back from Iraq. Please pray for him to come back !!!!

Mersaydiez I love you John !
- Mersaydiez, Jackson, MO
This song is very personal to me. There's this girl that I like a lot and we make eye contact a lot, but we never talk. I'm afraid no one would understand me, but I just want her to know who I am. This song describes my situation perfectly.
- Matt, Harlan, KY
i love this song its such a teenager song to me. like how every teenager wants to be left alone to do their own thing, but they want to be loved. it always reminded me of james dean, and more recently, heath ledger. like someone too ahead of their time, you know?
- caroline, happy, TX
I LOVE this song and I always will because it's a classicly great, innocent song.
- Krista, Carbondale, PA
"you bleed just to know you're alive" single best line i have ever heard
- lolo brown, gertrude, Bahamas
everyoen can relate to this song because everyone wants to be able to love in life. "and i'd give up forever to touch you cause i know that you feel me somehow" no one wants to give up the love theyv found.
- lolo brown, gertrude, Bahamas
I can't explain the meaning of this song but I can feel it... Somehow that's what it says.. I just want you to know who I am... as if we were asking them to accept the print we want to leave on that person, a true and an unforgettable one ... And I don't want the world to see me 'cause I don't think that they'd understand ... Because for any reason, this love is forbidden and forbidden things are not accepted by the world.. To me this song involves a mix of feelings, it's sad (when everything's made to be broken.. )and it's happy --- I just want you to know who I am, what I feel and how much I feel it .... don't you think?
- Daniela, Rehovot, Israel
The most meaningful song ever.. It's an all-time fav..
it's funny how everyone has their own interpretation of everything..
The way I feel about this song, is that it speaks of a forbidden love.. like in some conservative communities - like the one I come from- certain relationships are disapproved by the people who know you, and you just wish that they'd understand and realize that "everything is meant to be broken"..
and the lovers have a spiritual connection, since it's the only way they'd be together..
I cry sometimes when I listen to it
- Sara, Alexandria, VA
This was my first favorite by The Goo Goo Dolls
- INZAIN, Moultrie, GA
The Title And Some of The Lyrics Makes Me think Of "Taxi Driver" in which some crazy guy(played by Robert DeNiro) tries to save a teenage protitute named Iris(Jodie Foster) from her pimp great movie
- Marc, Montreal, QC
They wasted this song on an embarassing movie. I mean that movie didn't suck because the story was bad, it sucked because of the way they did it!

They should re-remake Wings of Desire, or just remake off of City of Angels, either way I want another angel movie. I like putting humans in perspective.
- Mitchell, Adelaide, Australia
I love this song and love the goos to death, but I don't really understand when people say its their favorite goos' song because I don't think it really meant anything to Johnny. They asked him to write the song for City of Angels and he wrote it, or so I heard, in like less than 10 minutes. Still a great song and the lyrics are unbelievable but I just don't think it meant all that much to him.
- sarah, Madison, WI
This song is my most favourite song of all time, its pretty good for being in the 90's as well, I mean most of that other stuff *blegh*.

Anyway I started listening to it about hmmm... 5ish years ago and I haven't got bored of it yet like every other song. I still listen to every word of it.

The reason why I started listening to it was I started remembering things from when I was younger and I remembered the song being connected to City of Angels which I saw when I was 8 I believe but I can't quite remember.

So I went on this large pursuit to find the movie to clink a couple of memories and I found this song and it just meant so much to me.

I eventually did watch City of Angels again. It is sad how with all the makings of a great movie, all the themes, symbols and quotes - they still managed to screw it up. I want to watch Wings of Desire now (Which City of Angels was 'Hollywooded' from).

Yeah Iris just means so much to me, because I am not afraid to admit, I'm a social reject and I do feel detached from being human sometimes, it just is on the same wavelength as me, the song is me in some ways (Minus the bleeding and any chance of finding anybody).

I just feel so much when I listen to this song. It makes me sad, but its good because it makes me feel, it makes me still want to find somebody I'm meant to be with no matter what, even if I haven't even had even just a kiss yet and am still 18.

Sorry, talking too much...
- Mitchell, Adelaide, Australia
I always thought this song was about someone who loved someone and whatever went bad they just wanted the person to remember who they were.
- Michelle, Brook Park, MN
Uh... No it's not. That's a symbolic line...
- Josh, Petaluma, CA
Has anyone considered this is a SONG ABOUT "CUTTING?" Call me stupid, but all of the lyrics identify a person who "cuts" themselves to "know they are alive." Am I the only one who "thinks" this? Am I the only one who "caught" this?
- Lenea, Glendale, CA
It reminds me of John Keats 'Ode To An Nighingale'
It's sooo beautiful, I want it to be played at my wedding :D And the meaning of Iris... When you look in to someones eyes and to see the colour the light has to reflect from the sun in to their eyes then in to yours. So when you looking to someones eyes your acutally seeing sunlight being reflected so you have a conntection. The more pigmintaion the more darker the eyes and vise versa. Also like a rainbow light is reflected..Iris is also the goddess of rainbows.
I also love the fact it can mean different things to everyone...Both happy and sad =)xx
- amy, Morecambe, United Kingdom
I love this song. I LOVE this song. Even though I know that Johnny Rzeznik didn't mean anything when he wrote it except to make money, I still think the lyrics are the most beautiful and touching I've ever heard and the melodies are turn-it-up-till-you-blow-out-your-eardrums good.
- Liz, Edmonton, AB
i have to say this has to be one of the most amazing songs ever i absolutley love it very very beautiful touching song ♥
- angela, mcallen, TX
This song was written for the movie "City of Angels". If you want to know what the lyrics mean, just watch the movie.

I've also heard that it's named Iris because John Rzeznik was at a bar and this woman was singing/performing and her name was Iris so he decided to call it that.

And supposedly he wrote this song in under 10 minutes.
- Gracie, Chicago, IL
i first heard this song when i was in school and always thought it was about someone who had few (if any) friends, who few people knew who he was, and someone who went throught life keeping himself to himself (i don't want the world to see me) and basically being invisible. But this person was in love with someone who was the equivalant to the most popular girl in school, someone who didn't know him and who he probably doesn't have a shot with but he just wanted her to know who he was (hence the line) even tho he knew she probably never would. Maybe she might have said a couple of words to him in the past or even just smiled at him as she walked past (all i can taste is this moment) but the liklihood is, nothing would ever happen between them.
- Hannah, Birmingham, England
i think this song is talked about somehow that is near death... "and i'd give up forever to touch you, cause i know that you'd feel me somehow" this relates to the unconscious or dying person in front of you" and then "you're the closest to heaven that i'll ever be, and i don't wanna go home right now" is a perfect description.. i think that the whole song is relatable to this theme... maybe it is personal experience that has led me to believe this. I think the whole refrain is relatable to a persons emotion at the time of such a loss
- jk, chicago, IL
Every time I hear this song I just want to cry because it's so beautiful and wonderful in so many ways. The message of the song is something that so many people can relate to. It's an incredible song.
- Lily, A place, Canada
The Goo Goo Dolls are my absolute favorite band of all time. This song is so special because it has so much conviction and is something I can relate to. What makes it even more amazing is that this song alone sky rocketed their career and brought johnny back from his writers block
- Arianna, Fresno, CA
This song means a lot to me. I liked a girl but never told her. I heard it at a High School dance and asked her to dance with me. 5 years later, we are happily married. Thanks Goo Goo Dolls!
- Russ, Kilkenny, Ireland
This is a great song. The lyrics are very deep. The lyrics are so strong, it is almost as if they were divinely inspired. Also strong vocal with great musical quality and instrumentation. Should have been song of the year. The Grammy's NEVER get it right.
- Brianlion, Columbus, OH
I'm only 14 years old, but this has been my favorite song for the past three years, and it will be always. I's the perfect song, from the perfect band. The movie wasn't amazing, but then again without the movie we wouldn't have the song so I love it. To anyone reading this who doesn't like this song, you're crazy. I could listen to it over and over again till my heart stopped. It's my one wish in life to have this song sang to me by Johnny R. It's the perfect combination of instruments and vocals, along with the amazing lyircs that can get to anyone. Everyone has someone who they wish knew them better, or wanted to love with all their heart but couldn't. This song rattles me at the core everytime I hear it, the regular or acustic version. So thank you Goo Goo Dolls for writing the best song in the world!
- Samantha, Fairfield, OH
One SI sports commentator stated that this song should replace "One Shining Moment" at the end of the NCAA Basketball Championship game, along with "Bittersweet Symphony".
- Chris, St, Mary's, MD
I saw the GGDs on a show where John was describing how they came up with the name"Iris" He said he was sitting there tryng to think of a name for the song and he glanced at the newspaper. There was an ad for a an artist named Iris and he said that he thought yeah thats what we'll name it it has nothing to do with the song but it fits. I think this is the best song of all time the lyrics are so deep. Not to mention the instrumental parts as well. It just take me to anohter place.
- Jodie, west palm beach, FL
iris has the most beautiful lyrics of all the songs ive ever listened to.
I think that when they say "when everything feels like the movies, yeah you bleed just to know youre alive", theyre relating the movies to the "perfect life"; where the sun is always shining and everything has a happy ending. But "you bleed just to know youre alive" refers to trying to break free of that perfect life and feel alive. i did a project on this song, and everyones comments really helped because its good to know what the song means from lots of points of view. i hoped i helped to someone.

:)
- Sarah, Montreal, Canada
I think this is one of the best written songs ever... What i believe the meaning of the line ...When everything feels like movies......You bled just to know you are alive!!!!
To me it means when you are living in the world which looks more like movies then something happens to your life which brings you back to real life apart from the real life.
- ricky, sjimla, India
and sara, it was Johnny, not Robby.
- Buddy, Barbourville, KY
i really love this song...at first I heard this played almost years ago, when i was only a first year high school. Well today I am a first College student..I just got to this song last saturday.. I usually listen to this song,,, got this in the mplayer.. Bbbbbuuuttt????
I met this guy and we've been together for an afternoon,although we are in the same college school we seem so far yet in that day we've bee close he brought with him his guitar and asked me 2 sing with him,, and then we both emjoyed the music... he had given me the chords,,, I hope he won't read this,, Pls oh mY!!!! i have a crush on him,,maybe... well thanks for the song!!!
- Kaikiyi Pacheco, Sagay City, United States
and this is one of the most beautiful songs i've ever heard. and it brings back nice memories.
- Buddy, Barbourville, KY
the title of this song has nothing to do with the song. i tried to post the real meaning of the name but as with every website where i post something thats right they deny it. so here's how they got the title of the song. so johnny rzeznik had wrote the song and he was trying to think of a title to it. so he was looking through the LA weekly one day and he saw that an artist named iris dement was playing a concert in town and he liked the name "Iris" so he named the song iris and that was the end of it. Don't say this is wrong because he said almost these exact words.
- Buddy, Barbourville, KY
This song is about knowing who Christ is and still rejecting him. Some people have to much pride in themselves to come to Christ. I challenge everyone to pray and ask "God, show me who you are!" Their you will find Jesus. Too many are to stubborn in New Age beleifs, I guarantee none of them have ever searched for God, just made up their own beleifs. GOD BLESS EVERYONE. THANK YOU
- Ryan, Pittsburgh, PA
by tha way. the point of songs is to be able to interpret them ur own way. i beleive "music videos" are the worst thing tht ever happened to music.
- brandon, guthrie, KY
dear Ricky, Peterborough-

i kno wut ur sayin...but ur takin the song way to literal. it's like poetry, you hav to look deep into the words.
- brandon, guthrie, KY
Alrite, John from Newcastle, we get it!
- Dave, Cardiff, Wales
i love this song because when i first herd it it reminded me of a girl how cuts herself {depressing but hold on getting to the point}. seeing how it says you bleed just to know your alive and can t fight the tears the are not coming allot people how cut them self normally cut to cry seeing how they can t let their emotions out like normal people. and the fact he talks about how much he loves her and shes close to heaven which you think of as perfection,beautiful and a depressed girl is far from that. two misfits how fall in love is a strong bond being misunderstood your whole life and finally relating to someone but then i watched the movie and it was nothing about my conclusion of the song previously. but it all made sense towards the end great movie by the way!
- danielle, palm coast, FL
best song ever! a real tear jerker!
- Ash, Griffith, Australia
Well most of people associate this with their one true love, but for me it's my grandmother. She passed away three days today ago. I can just really relate to it. "I'd give forever to touch you." You have no idea how much you can miss something until it's gone so just let that be a lesson to everyone. Thanks for letting me share.
- Allison, Athens, AL
This song helps me get through the day
- stacy, lake elsinore, CA
This song gave me a different perspective on life, i first heard it when i was in grammer school, i never took the time to really understand what it menat until college, when i found my first love. I dedicated this song to him. Were not together anymore, but this song proved to me that i can love and i will always love. This song, no matter how many times i hear it, sends chills up my spine.
- Nancy, Fort Lee, NJ
this song is truely amazing. it makes me cry everytime i hear it. personally, it makes me think when i'm in a relationship. if i'm uneasy about it, and think it migh be over, i think of this song. and i want the time i have left with someone to be lived to the fullest so when it's over, i wont be as regretful. or a time where i'm hanging out with someone i love, and i know that that time will be done soon, so i want it to be worth it. but i have also heard that this song is about transgendered people and transgendered america... idk if anyone else has heard this. but the lines "i dont want the world to see me, cause i dont think that they'd understand. when everything's made to be broken, i just want you to know who i am." make perfect sense...

either way, this song blows my mind. <333
- jade, madison, WI
I can't belive Rolling Stone magazine didn't include this as one of the 500 best songs of all time
- Victoria, Tucson, AZ
This song is so beautiful and moving. Last year when I was still struggling with cutting, I had the raido on. I was doing multiple things, including writing a letter to one of my friends, talking on the phone, and surfing the net. This song came on the raido, and even though I wasn't listening to the song at all, one song line stuck out in my head. The line, "Oh you bleed just to know you're alive" hit me so hard, and fit perfectly in my life at the time. I had been feeling numb to everything. All my emotions and injuries, weren't. And that song line moved me, and spoke to me so much.
- Camille, Oz, WA
A truly awesome song! I was with the love of my life. She just couldn't accept or recognise who I really was so we split. 'I just wanted you to know who I am' says it all for me. Everytime I see her and our son 'I would give up forever to touch her' again and there were times I recall when 'She was the closest to heaven I think I'll ever be'. Slightly cheesy I know, but it touches a nerve everytime I hear it. One of the greats.
- Ricky, Peterborough, United States
this song reminds me of edward scissorhands
- Brandon, Sterling, VA
If you really want to cry look up the song called 3 am by matchbox twenty on you tube then find the meaning
- Brandon, Sterling, VA
this has been my favorite song since i was a/b 9 i'm 16 now it's got such feeling behind it.... i cry when i hear it but if u listen to the lyrics u reeli can't help it
- brooke, silver creek, GA
I absolutely love this song so much. I was about 11 years old when it first came out in 1998 but I'm 19 now and still love hearing it. It's definitely my favorite song of all time. It gives me the chills whenever I listen to it since it has so much feeling to it. Goo Goo Dolls rock!
- Nathaniel, Ephrata, PA
In a previous comment, Tamar mentioned the connection with the movie "Meet Joe Black". I had been making that same connection myself. This song, that movie, and the movie "City of Angels" tell very similar stories that speak of the "broken but beautiful" human condition. In "Meet Joe Black", it is death personified who falls in love with a human. In "City of Angels", it is an angel. And in both of these, it is more than a lustful infatuation. It is a case of seeing the human's passion, emotion, brokenness, and beauty. My mind also make a strong connection with these stories and Christianity. Christians believe that God enters the world in human flesh and blood with all the limitations of a frail, weak baby Jesus. And that God experiences the depths of human's emotions, struggles, pain, and brokenness. All because of God's deep desire to enter into our lives in an deeply intimate way.
- Dave, Pingree Grove, IL
This is a great song. I'm not sure if this has anything to do with it, but would anyone consider that in the vid he's like watchin wats going on through a telescope, and like in the movie, it's the angel guy. That it's called Iris, because he can almost just watch wats going on?

Great song. Just plainly great.
- Al, Toledo, OH
I think it's a very simple interpretation. Nothing more than unrequited love. Wanting somebody to know you love them and could make them really happy if they'd just give you the chance and got to know the side of you that you don't know
- Chris, Bolton, England
"I don't want the world to see because I don't think that they'd understand, though everything's made to be broken. I just want you to know who I am." ...I interpret this as he wants no one on the outside world to see who he truly is and how in love he is with this other person because no one in the outside world understands. I feel that in relationships we as a couple allow only our significant other to see and understand us. He is expressing that here, he is saying that in reality a place where hearts are broken and worlds crumble he doesn't want anyone to take away, or see the one thing that is surreal to him...love.
- Chantal, Alexandria, VA
the guitar tuning for this song is exteremly odd...and if you try to tune it you will break ur strings..E to D, A to D (use a D string) D stays the same, G to D (use a B string) B to D (use an E string) E to D...its very complicated..and it makes me wonder how John came up with this tuning..it is truly genius
- Jeff, Sothington, CT
I loved this song when I first heard it and I played it continuosly for about a month. Then I got sick of it and suddenly it sounded very cheesy. It still is a wonderful song, but I find it difficult to listen to without thinking Cheese any more.

Don't overplay this record it will get old very fast.
- Pete, Leeds, England
This song is the most beautiful song i have ever heard. For all those who've been in love and ther other has not known. For all those who just want their love to know the real them. It makes me cry every time i hear it.
- Claire, London, England
This is the song that got me into the GGD's. I thought the studio version was great, then I heard the live version off the Buffalo Juky 4th Dvd-WOW!! So much more emotion and the all the crowd singing along is just amazing. I Live to Love Goo!
- Alice, York, England
awesome song, one of my very favorites...totally makes sense
- Samantha, Front Royal, VA
To Jade from London. If my memory serves me right (because i did a whole bunch of research on the Goo Goo Dolls a long time ago) but as the story goes to where 'Goo Goo Dolls' came from: They were offered a record deal but they had to change their name (it was like Sex Maggots or something) and they found an ad in a magazine selling "Goo Goo Dolls" which were practically dolls for children, so they chose that. Also...I heard that Johnny was offered the chance to write a song for "City of Angels". He couldn't think of anything so he sent them a letter to say to give the option to another band. Then his girlfriend died in a car crash and he wrote this song after he found out and took it to see if he could still get it into the movie or if they gave it to someone else. Turns out they didn't even get the letter. This may not be right, but it's what I heard.
- Seth, Canton, OH
This song is so beautiful. I believe its just about two people simply inlove and no matter what anyone else believes he wants her to know who he is in the end
- Alexia, Toledo, OH
this song seemed to be in the charts for ever a few years ago don here in oz it was every where which was great coz its a beautiful song
- stacey, Nowra, Australia
Call me crazy, but I always thought this song was about a guy who accidentally hurt Iris, the girl he loves, and now he's hoping she's not dying and doesn't want people to think he tried to kill her.
- Grace, Fairfax Station, VA
One of my all time favourite songs, it is unbelievably good. It's so sad, but in a fatastic way.
- Chrissy, Manchester
Does any1 actualy no wot Goo Goo mean's??? Does it mean like sum srta mad person???
- Jade, London
iris is a wonderfull song that just strongly relates with the movie city of angels. but it is a really good love song and can really express love strongly for a person
- Deuce, salt lake city, UT
On VH1 the band said that they had the song but no title and they were desperate because the movie needed the song. So somebody - think it was Robbie, not sure - was flipping through a paper and saw someone being honored and her first name was Iris. So they were like, heck, it's gotta be a sign, it's a pretty name, and it'll do. So they named it Iris. As for meaning, I think it's inextricably linked with the meaning of the movie, which is that love is its own heaven and we have to be willing to lose everything to have love. This was played at my cousin's wedding and also at a funeral for a teenage girl. It's odd that it is equally applied to both situations, but it really works.
- Sara, Quinton, OK
This is a beautiful song. i love it.
- Laryn, hattiesburg, MS
they played this at my graduation, and i couldnt stop crying, and thats a new one for me. this is my life, a story of a soul trying to break free, to be individual. Life is like that.
- thomas, burlington, VT
This song is about loving someone and taking a chance, its about carpe diem, sieze the day and when its over, it was still beautiful. This song makes me cry almost every time I hear it. It might be the only song that does that to me.
- Nikki, Vegas, NV
From the first time i listened to this song I couldn't stop listening to it. It's a great song. It makes me cry every time i listen to it!
- Cortney, Lakeland, FL
i dont know how many of you have been able to see goo goo dolls live but let me tell you it is AMAZING. i was in the front row at a concert they did in grand rapids, they love to play small arenas because it is more personal. people were crowd surfing and when they played this song i was in tears... watching john with all his emotion is incredible!
- Ashley, Grand Rapids, MI
"City of Angels" is a remake of the German film "Wings of Desire" which is counted by many to be one of the best films of the 1980's. An intensely challenging, but even more rewarding movie that is basically the same plot as City of Angels, with the difference that the original is good, and also intelligent. "Wings of Desire" is in at least 4 languages, goes back and forth between black & white and color, has trapeze artists, an appearance by Nick Cave, and Peter Falk shows up to play himself. It is visual poetry laid atop a philosophy-laden script set in a divided Berlin. Then someone in Hollywood thought it might be fun to do a remake and sap all the beauty out of it. The only upside is that the Goo Goo Dolls made a beautiful song to go alongside it. I'm not even a fan of theirs, but this song deserved an Oscar for best song from a movie.
- craig, madison, WI
I think this song is about something coming to an end and the person wants the other person to know how they feel about them before it's too late "cause sooner or later it's over"
- Elizabeth, new york, NY
the title- all flowers have meanings, iris means "message". even if this is unintentional, this is completely fitting because this song is full of messages (and all together is one pretty powerful message on its own).
- love, chicago, IL
i've always loved this song.. never watched the hole movie but always wanted to.. mm.. today i was searchin' 4 a soundrack in my dad's cds and i found this one and i went to study chemestry with it and that song started playing and i got really excited.. i didn't know i had it till now :D..it's just ama1zin' i'v listened 2 it like 15 times 2day and i'm going back 2 study with it.. it gets me in a really good mood.. bye
- ariana, lima, Peru
If i hear the intro for more than 10 seconds i burst into tears. Yeah, not very masculine but thats how i feel. Appart from that the line "youre the closest to heaven that ill ever be" is my favourite line, ever. I agree with Randy, its cheasy, but anyways its incredible.
- Peter, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Definitely one of my top 5 favorite Goo Goo Dolls songs. I remember thinking it was a little cheesy when I first heard it, but once I separated it from the lackluster Chick Flick (City of Angels) from which it got fame, I realized this was a great song. It's too bad that the movie cut the song so badly... it really should have been the movies main theme song. The lyrics are far more poignant to the story line than anything else in it. I think I like the "Live in Buffalo 2004" version the best. Do yourself a favor and avoid listening the the Avril Lavigne/John Rzeznick duet of Iris. Avril's cute, but she does this song a terrible injustice.
- Randy, Rock Hill, , SC
Its definetly the best song made, everytime i listen to it, it gives me a feeling idk what it is but i could listen to it 100 in a row without it getting old.
- brendan, brockton, MA
Iris is a sensual soothing song to listen to just before you drift off to sleep, lol! I love it, i just read your little message, Claire, Widnes, London, & i am sorry to read about your Nana, i know what you mean when you write you can relate to the song when people pass away! x x x
- Jade, London, England
My nana died about two weeks ago, and whenever I listen to this song now, it makes me think of her. It also reminds me of my friends at university, after we had six people crammed into a very small car, and this song came on, and for the five minutes the song played, being cramped up didn't matter at all.
- Claire, Widnes, England
when you love someone or care about them, you want them to know everything. as you get close to a friend you want to tell them your deepest desires and what you want in life. you want them to know these things. you cant explain why, but you will explode if they dont know these things. "and i dont want the world to see me, cuz i dont think that they'd understand but when everything's made to be broken, i just want you to know who i am". that one person is singled out in your mind. the world is full of dissapointment and judgement. but that one person brings you happiness you've never known. you dont want to deal with the world, but you want that person to know, because only then can you feel like you've truely lived
- Sarah, Quito, South America
loving this song, makes me cry, my best friend, i thought she knew me, but she doesnt. this song reminds me of this. i wanna tell her things, but she'd push me away. like always.
- Hannah, Adelaide, Australia
The song has nothing to do with cutting yourself. The meaning becomes totally clear after you know the story it was written to be played alongside.
It was written from the point of view of a fallen angel. If you think about the lives of "fallen angels" it makes sense. No part of their lives is physical. They are non-linear beings. "When everything feels like the movies, you bleed just to know you're alive." To them, watching our lives here on Earth must be similiar to what we experience when watching a movie. I think this song is a plea for sympathy from those beings.
The Bible talks about a time when the angels had the ability to make physical bodies for themselves and procreate with daughters of men. The angels who did this were considered rebellious angels. They gave up their good standing with God in order to satisfy their curiosity about life in the physical realm. "I'd give up forever to touch you, cause I know that you feel me somehow."
The more you consider the lyrics the more distubing they become. This angel has obviously become obsessed with a physical being. He knows that its weird and wrong and admits in the line "I don't the world to see me, cause I don't think that they'd understand."
He then refers to the state the Earth is in this stream of time "When everything's made to be broken, I just want you to know who I am."
To me, the being is admitting that what he feels and wants would be considered unacceptable but he still wants it... and he wants others to understand his point of view - "I just want you to know who I am". He wants others to sympathize. I think that was the point of the whole movie too. Around the same time, the movie Meet Joe Black was released. Another movie about what it must be like for a being that has never lived in the physical dimension.
I don't know if any of you will find the same meaning in these lyrics but I am greatly interested in your interpretation, so feel free to voice your opinion. The Goo Goo Dolls are pretty popular among the college crowd. Lets here your theories, fellow students.
- Tamar Elizabeth, Murrieta, CA
i love the goo goo dolls.
- jon-michael, augusta, georgia, GA
in the movie "city of angels" the guy becomes a fallen angel to be with the girl he loves..and when he lands he is amazed that he is bleeding because that means that he is alive..so the line "you bleed just to know you're alive" makes sense for the movie..but i think they wrote this before they saw the movie
- Brittany, waverly, NY
I realized for about the eighty millionth time just how good the Goo Goo Dolls were in my band class when our conductor let us play with the radio. So I ran and put Iris on and one of my bandmates looked up and asked, 'Is this your CD?' I was proud to say yes :D, and he told me, 'Man, that's the best song in the world.' Congratulations, Johnny. You have a guy fan.
.......I LOVE THIS SONG!!!
- Jonie, Alameda, CA
I love this song it is really deep if u r deppresed from love and like other stuff especilly the line And you bleed just to know your alive
- Ziv, Portland, OR
I don't know where you guys are getting of calling this the best song ever. But i like the goo goo dolls, its not just the greatest song by them.
- Jeremy, San Jose, CA
Interestingly enough, the song name was picked from the newspaper. Johnny Rzeznik, upon writing this love song, wanted to name if after a woman. He didn't have a good name, so he checked the paper and saw an ad for a nail salon, called Iris after its owner.
- anat, tel aviv, Israel
Every time I hear this song I cry so imagine how often I listen to it! Anyways, it doesn't refer to cutting with the quote "you bleed just to know you're alive". That quote just refers to how the world doesn't notice you and soon you begin to foregt that you exist until you bleed. In a way, it could be related to cutting because you would cut yourself often to remind yourself that you do in fact exist but on a whole, it has nothing to do with it.
- ashley, San Bernardino, CA
really good song...no one knows that u love this person but you...so good
- shong, wausau, WI
I have but 1 comment- Johnny Rzeznik wrote this during a cramp and that shows just how freaking good he is
- zach, Thousand Oaks, CA
When I first heard this song, I literally fell in love with it!! I listen to it all the time now. The meaning of this song is different to me, than what it was meant to say. But that is personal :)
- Fiona, Ayr, Scotland
The band told VH1 on behind the music that Iris was no one in particular but a name they saw in a magazine that caught there attention while looking for a title to this timeless song.
- Tox, SSI, GA
Theres a Madison in Altlanta? :eek:


Great song though....
- Jefferson, Nekoosa, WI
i saw a interveiw on VH1 with jonny rzeznik and he siad he had horrible writers block when the producers came to him and said they'd really like a GGD song in the movie. So he watched the movie. it just so happened that he was going through a painful breakup and he sat down with his acoustic and wrote the song in one night. I might have some things wrong, but i know he was going through a breakup and saw the movie before he wrote the song. The interview was so long ago... ayways that is what i remember!!
- Mara, Las Vegas, NV
in 1999 i decided that this has to be my wedding song. the one who you commit your whole life to, is the one person who you want to understand you. the one person who you feel so connected to, that you want them to know everythhing about you, but to all others, you dont want to exhist
- madison, atlanta, GA
ya isnt this song about the movie city of angels I mean really think about it. I'd give up forever to touch you-he's an angel he has forever and he says he would give it all up to be with her, cuz he knows she feels him. She's the closest to heaven that he'll ever be and he's an angel. All he can taste is this moment its played right after he falls, he doesnt want to miss her. So many references, and the movie is pretty good its very original I don't care what you say. And he bleeds thats a way he can tell hes human, another reference. Watch the movie it all connects.
- Kristen, Campbellville, Canada
"Iris" hit the top spot in the US for a formidable nine weeks in 1999, but failed to repeat the feat over the rest of the world, flopping all over Europe, and crawling to No.23 in the UK. Despite their huge cult follwing all over the world, critics outside of the US rarely give the Goo Goo Dolls' records good reviews - this was the exception, but it didn't help to break the band worldwide outside America despite massive media hype.

This is one of those songs that gets your attention instantly on first hearing, rivets you, then, when it's over, you feel that an age has passed you by in just five minutes - well worth a listen for those of you who've not yet heard it.
- Dave, Cardiff, Wales
well i think that it's a wonderful song , very beautiful, i mean the only thing that was good of "city of angels" was that song, but then the movie bombed big time!
- Virna, Santo domingo, Other
I love this song! It was 39 on the best songs of all time list and at least 5 on mine! It is so beautiful and I remember how it turned me on to the Goo Goo Dolls. Rock on!
- EarthElfa, N/A, MO
Normally, i don't get too emotional, but this song is possibly the greatest love song ever. Every time I hear it, i think of the first person i ever truly loved.. it's very stirring. In short, some of the best 5 minutes of my life was the first time I heard it.
- brian, Mayfield Heights, OH
This has been my most favorite song since I first heard it. I love Johnny Rzeznik's voice and the song is just perfect for the movie. Every time I watch the movie and this song plays--along with 'In the Arms of an Angel'(I think that's the correct title) --I cry every time and I'm not the world's biggest sap either. It's truely the most beautiful song I have ever heard.
- Tiffany, Covington, GA
great lyrics, and was a great addition to "city of angels", really set the mood.
- Terri Lynn, Heart's Desire, Canada
some refer this song to cutting with the quote "you bleed just to know you're alive"
- Iris, Nashua, NH
Best song EVER! Beautifully written, amazingly sung. This song is awesome!
- Britney, Calabasas, CA
I think this song is about loving someone and you don't want anyone even them knowing about it. That you just love them so much. I love song it's one of my most favorites.
- Courtney, Clifton Forge, VA
This song is...amazing. It's one of the few songs that, no matter how often I hear it, leaves me emotionally shaken (but in a wonderful way).
- Cassandra, Tacoma, WA
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