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Welcome!

My name's Clifford Stumme, and I explain the deeper meanings of popular songs. Let's have a conversation about what you think about the songs and go deeper together. Feel free to email me at clifford@popsongprofessor.com with questions or ideas!

What does "Perfect World" by Huey Lewis & the News mean?

What does "Perfect World" by Huey Lewis & the News mean?

What does "Perfect World" by Huey Lewis & the News mean?

I typically spend a lot of time listening to contemporary pop music, but for some reason I haven't been able to get enough of Huey Lewis & the News. The music is so dang catchy and a tiny bit philosophical at times.

I'd never heard the song before last night, but "Perfect World" is actually deep and fun to listen to. The up-beat in the verses is groovy and gives the whole song a feeling that's a lighthearted twist on normal rock'n'roll.

What does "Perfect World" mean?

It's pretty simple actually. Huey Lewis is singing that people have a tendency to dream up a "perfect world"--a place where nothing goes wrong and you can trust everyone around you.

The point of the song is to say that there's no such place out there. Lewis sings, "Nobody's perfect, not even a perfect fool." In the chorus he continues, "Ain't no livin' in a perfect world / There ain't no perfect world anyway."

Well what's the solution then? We need things to be better, and if they can't get better enough to be perfectly what we need, then how're we going to solve our problems?

Huey Lewis & the News solves that for us. Lewis sings, "If you'll have faith in me / I'll keep faith in you." Personal betterment isn't quantifiable. He's saying that the "level of perfect" in the world will never reach "100%" because we survive and live well based primarily on our relationships with others and how we stick together with our friends, not how well our situations meet our standards.

In addition, the line about there not even being "a perfect fool," is more good news for us. No matter how bad we feel we are, Lewis and the band are saying that there's always something positive about us. There's some good in everyone and every situation, no matter how bad things seem.

That's the positive message of "Perfect World," and I think it's relevant in 2016, in our daily lives, and even in this election cycle.

What does "Cleopatra" by The Lumineers mean?

What does "Cleopatra" by The Lumineers mean?

What does "Dust in the Wind" by Kansas mean?

What does "Dust in the Wind" by Kansas mean?