There aren’t many songs that have done what Tom Petty’s Free Fallin’ has. The lyrics have managed to imprint themselves into the minds of American teenagers for decades.
There has also been an abundant number of covers, most notably by John Mayer, who made the song even more popular with the newer generations.
He wants to achieve The American Dream even though it requires sacrifices and risk-taking. He knows that his past life won’t stop him from becoming successful.
So, he breaks up with his girlfriend and leaves the Valley behind. He could not care less about the girl and the life he is abandoning - he has transformed into a bad boy.
He is free to do whatever he desires. Then the first chorus kicks in. In the first chorus, the bad boy expresses that he feels free. He is free falling’ and soaring through the sky.
Moving into the next verse, the bad boy realises that he is not the only one. He sees a lot of other young men walking down Ventura Boulevard, who have done the same.