Album: Deluxe (1995)
Charted: 30

Songfacts®:

  • In this song, the signer comes home to find a "Dear John" letter that says "It was good living with you." He finds himself in an empty house, wondering what to do next as he watches the sun trace shadows on the floor.

    Better Than Ezra frontman Kevin Griffin wrote the song. In our interview with Griffin, he said: "Lyrically, that was a song where I wasn't drawing from personal experience. I've told people for years that I was, but I was happily living with my first girlfriend - well, we were dating, anyways.

    I wanted to talk about the positive things that come from the end of a relationship. There's always the hurt feelings and everyone's guarded and it can be traumatic, but when the dust settles, it was about looking at the good things - no pun intended - that you got from that relationship. How did you grow? What did you learn emotionally? And to experience some stuff. And in this case it was just kind of reflecting on how this person changed.

    I think I may have been projecting, because I ended up breaking up with this girl shortly after. But this girl I was dating at the time kind of pushed me out of my southern mindset and my tendency to take a known path as opposed to setting out on an unknown path, but something that would be ultimately more satisfying and rewarding."
  • There are shades of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" in this track, but Better Than Ezra frontman Kevin Griffin says he wrote the song in 1990 before Nirvana released that song. He does cop to being influenced by the Pixies, which helps explain the similarity, as Nirvana also drew from the Pixies sound.
  • This was Better Than Ezra's first single. The band had been playing it for years when they got their record deal with Elektra Records, which issued it as a single in 1995 along with a new version of their album Deluxe, which the group first released on their own label in 1993. The song made a splash on rock, pop, and alternative radio stations, mostly east of the Mississippi. The song had just a modest placing on the Hot 100 (#30), but topped the Alternative Songs chart, which was then known as the Hot Modern Rock Tracks chart.

    The band followed with several minor hits, including "Desperately Wanting" and "Rosealia." They never filled arenas, but they built a loyal fan base and enjoyed decades of success, playing smaller venues and releasing a steady stream of material. Griffin became a top songwriter for other acts, co-writing hits for Howie Day ("Collide"), Sugarland ("Stuck Like Glue") and James Blunt ("I'll Be Your Man").

Comments: 4

  • Brian from Boston, MaThis song has the same chord progression as When I come around by Green day G D Em and C
  • Ron from Mcallen, TxThought I had heard that this song was partly about a letter Kevin received from a stalker/fan who had broke into his home.
  • Cory from Morden, CanadaThis song was featured in the movie "Angus" circa 1994.
  • Anonnymous from Nashville, TxThis song is so good. Kevin Griffin is so good at writing, he does write every song on Deluxe, except for Heaven. He also cowrites Collide and Perfect Time of Day, both with Howie Day.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Van Dyke ParksSongwriter Interviews

U2, Carly Simon, Joanna Newsom, Brian Wilson and Fiona Apple have all gone to Van Dyke Parks to make their songs exceptional.

Wedding Bell BluesSong Writing

When a song describes a wedding, it's rarely something to celebrate - with one big exception.

Dwight TwilleySongwriter Interviews

Since his debut single "I'm On Fire" in 1975, Dwight has been providing Spinal-Tap moments and misadventure.

Judas PriestSongwriter Interviews

Rob Halford, Richie Faulkner and Glenn Tipton talk twin guitar harmonies and explain how they create songs in Judas Priest.

Joe JacksonSongwriter Interviews

Joe talks about the challenges of of making a Duke Ellington tribute album, and tells the stories behind some of his hits.

They Might Be GiantsSongwriter Interviews

Who writes a song about a name they found in a phone book? That's just one of the everyday things these guys find to sing about. Anything in their field of vision or general scope of knowledge is fair game. If you cross paths with them, so are you.