This accept-yourself-as-you-are anthem is the second single from Contemporary Christian singer-songwriter Francesca Battistelli's debut album, My Paper Heart.
"Perfection is my enemy" she sings. When we spoke with Francesca in 2011, she told us that she always has been a perfectionist, and "that's something I'm working hard not to be, because it's not a very healthful trait. I mean, there's pros and cons to it. But that's the idea in that line of the song; that I'm trying to overcome this idea of perfectionism and trying to do things with excellence but not hold myself to impossible standards. You tend to not get anything done when you have do it perfectly, because we're not perfect."
The song shattered records in becoming the most added song by a female artist in Christian radio history and holding the #1 slot for ten consecutive weeks.
Francesca told us that she hears from many young girls who are vulnerable to the idealized images they see on TV, and hopes that this song will help free them from those comparisons. Said Battistelli: "I'm grateful that I can give some sort of reminder to them that nobody's perfect, including me, including the singer that you're listening to, and just be an inspiration in that way that celebrates the person that you are, and the person that God made you to be."
Battistelli told NewReleaseTuesday the story behind the song: "I wrote 'Free To Be Me' after I backed into a lawyer's car in her driveway. It was a crazy moment. I started writing and singing the song to myself to cheer myself up and I felt that God was telling me that it's okay, that He knows me and made me who I am. I dwell on these little mistakes and I let them eat me up. I let perfectionism take over, but it's not so much about being perfect. It's not about what we do, but He loves me just that way I am and tells me don't beat yourself up. It's very freeing. It's not about what we do but about the fact that God's grace extends to us and He loves us. We try to be live good lives and be like Him but our mistakes don't separate us from Him. The clumsy line refers to the truth about myself."
During an interview with American Songwriter, Battistelli was asked if God had ever helped her to write a song. She replied: "As a songwriter there are rare moments when you feel like you picked a song out of thin air - like you didn't even write it, it just appeared. I've had that happen to me a few times, and I have to give the credit to God for those songs. Writing 'Free To Be Me,' which was on my debut album was like that for me."