Here’s a little blast from the past! I remember listening to this song in high school, and even then I LOVED the chorus:
If it makes you happy, it can’t be that bad/If it makes you happy, then why the hell are you so sad?
I love how the chorus rockets up an octave for the first half of the chorus, and then comes down for “why the hell are you so sad”. It’s makes perfect melodic sense for happy at a high melodic point, have “can’t be that bad” waiver a bit, and then to have “sad” be significantly lower.
One commentator made a comparison with the ironic lyric “and drank till I was thirst again”, to the “surreal logic” in a line from the Beatles “Come Together”, “Got to be good looking cause he’s so hard to see” (2:50 in this recording).
While I agree that both songs create a sort of atmosphere – they paint a picture, but they don’t really have a definitive meaning, one difference with the Sheryl Crow song is that the chorus makes PERFECT sense. And it’s something we’ve all thought about. The only other thing I have to say about Sheryl Crow is that I think her music videos are terrible! But this chorus is good enough to suffer through the video.