Tom Petty Countdown #91: “It’s Good To Be King”

Petty indulges his sly sense of humor here, with lyrics that put him in the shoes of some Everyman dreaming of grandeur. I would argue that a lot of rock stars would have trouble pulling that stance off, but Petty’s humility throughout his career allows him to get away with it.

As such you can believe this ultra-successful rock and roller when he sings “Yeah I’ll be king when dogs get wings.” The protagonist then reveals his ulterior motive for his regal obsession:  “A sweet little queen that won’t run away.” It’s a nice little twist that gives the song a touch of emotional heft.

The music is a bit all over the place, some stinging guitar mashing up against orchestral flourishes which come courtesy of the go-to guy for rock-classical alchemy, Michael Kamen. Then again, I guess if you want to be a king, you have to have a little fanfare.

(For the full e-book of this list, Breakdown: Tom Petty’s 100 Best Songs, check out the Amazon links below.)



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