A song about love? Death? Jesus?
Stevens himself explains:
“Let me do a song really quick about a small town up here called Paradise. Michigan has Paradise as well as Hell Michigan. It’s kind of interesting. And, Um Paradise is a place…I noticed when we went up there to play a football tournament in high school, I noticed that there was all these single mothers and women and grandmothers but there weren’t any men, and so I had sort of devised a story in my mind that they had all died in the war and that they were all widows. But they were really a very happy and optimistic community and they all seemed to be working together, and it was, like, women of the world take over.”
The entirety of the song was played towards the end of the 2018 film Ideal Home about a gay couple (played by Paul Rudd and Steve Coogan) that finds suddenly finds themselves in the custody of a grandson.
The song was also played in an episode of the Fox television drama The O.C., specifically in season 3, episode 15, titled The Heavy Lifting.