Goodbye To You

Album: The Spirit Room (2001)
Charted: 21
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Songfacts®:

  • In "Goodbye To You," Michelle Branch is finally pulling the plug on a toxic relationship. She sings it rather convincingly, but she wrote the song when she was only 15 and hadn't experienced anything like the breakup she describes in the lyric. Branch, though, could articulate the feelings of love and loss quite well long before she had been through it herself. With this song, she said she channeled it in a way, like someone whispered it in her ear.

    "When I first started writing songs, I was just emulating what I had heard in love songs, read in books, and seen in movies," she said in a 2021 Songfacts interview. "I used a lot of teenage daydream stuff to find inspiration for song lyrics. It's been interesting as I've gotten older actually being able to relate to certain parts of certain songs or being able to look back and say, 'Oh, that's weirdly relevant now," although maybe it wasn't at the time.'"
  • Branch included this song on Broken Bracelet, an album she made in 2000 when she was 16 to sell at her shows and on her website. The song was also part of a demo that got the attention of Maverick Records, which signed her and teamed her with producer John Shanks, who had recently worked with Stevie Nicks and Melissa Etheridge. They reworked the song for her Maverick debut The Spirit Room, released in 2001. It was the third single from the set, following "Everywhere" and "All You Wanted."
  • The music video was directed by Francis Lawrence, who went on to direct The Hunger Games movies. His cinematic sensibility is on display in the "Goodbye To You" video, which is shot out-of-sequence with various devices to help us sort out the timeline. For instance, it starts with Branch releasing a goldfish into the water, but the fish shows up in a jar in scenes later on. Branch says it was inspired by one of her favorite movies, Memento, and that no goldfish were harmed during the shoot.
  • This was featured on an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which took a novel approach to integrating music. A fictional club on the show called The Bronze featured real performers like Third Eye Blind and Lisa Loeb, whose songs often integrated into the storylines. When Branch sang "Goodbye To You" on the 2001 season 6 episode "Tabula Rasa," it portended a shift in relationships, with Buffy and Spike sparking up a romance while Willow and Tara were calling it quits.

    Branch made a similar appearance on the series Charmed (the episode "Centennial Charmed" in 2003), where the club is called P3.

    Exposure on these shows gave the song a huge boost and was quite a rush for Branch, who grew up watching them.

Comments: 11

  • Theresa from Murfreesboro, TnThe video travels backward, when I first watched it I thought what the hell is this?
  • Sarah from Las Vegas, NvI always felt this song was about coming out of a really bad relationship. I have always related to it in the way that when you love someone so much it is so hard to say goodbye...even if they are no good for you. You have to compromise yourself to be with them, and this song always felt like finally realizing the compromise wasn't worth it.
  • George from Calumet City, IlTruly fantastic song!
  • Anna from Walla Walla, WaThis song is most likely about saying goodbye to emotional attachments...whether its a boyfriend or a house
  • Whitney from Little Rock, ArGreat song 4 my situation.**
  • Amanda from Sdovuhsd, MiWhen I was moving, I heard this song for the first time and I was amazed by how much it fit in with my situation. I've been a big fan of Michelle Branch, mainly because the dull and miserable tone in her voice. That's how I've been feeling ever since I moved and so she is one of my fav artists.
  • Busta Juss from Sopo, NjThe music video is kinda confusing, but I love it...On Making the Video on MTV, they tricked Michelle and made her think that they broke her beautiful Blue Taylor Acoustic Guitar. It was a dummy guitar they broke instead, and she started to cry. I felt so bad, if anyone every touched my guitar, I'd FLIP!! But she had good humor bout it , she laughed...and got pooped on by birds. That was a good episode, Meech ROX!
  • Casie from Denver, CoThis song was in Buffy the Vampire Slayer,yea i was a big fan and even recorded the episode to hear the song over and over again! Lol Well yea that was a part where at the end she was doing a show in the hottest club in town and then u see Spike and Buffy making out! Well Michelle Branche is really talented but this song means that you fall in love and u get so confused because its so hard when you find the right person that u love so much that u just give up because ur feelings are so strong that u try to ignore it and its so hard to hold on.
  • Julynette from Manila, OtherThe saddest song ever...the time I heard it I just find myself drowned in tears...I love the line"it hurts to want everything and nothing at the same time"She's right...
  • Darlene from Sunnyside, NyFrom the video, it looks like it would be about her life and how she's missing out on a "normal" life.
  • Kathleen from Berthierville, CanadaI think that the song is about a girl finally getting over a relationship... She still likes the guy, but doesn't want to come back... -- I want you but I'm not giving in this time--
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