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Under the Bridge

by

Red Hot Chili Peppers



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

Lead singer Anthony Kiedis wrote this about his days as a heroin addict and the loneliness that went with it. The bridge mentioned in the song is a place where he sometimes went to buy drugs and get high. (thanks, Laura - Newport, Wales)
This was the biggest hit for The Red Hot Chili Peppers, but it was not typical of their sound. This was a ballad, but most of their songs to that point were hard Rock or Funk. This was particularly challenging for Kiedis to sing during the Blood Sugar Sex Magik tour, but the Chili Peppers became comfortable with the sound and followed this up with more slower singles like "Soul To Squeeze" and "Breaking The Girl." (thanks, Hillary - Seattle, WA)
This song was originally just a poem that Kiedis wrote. He didn't write it for the Chili Peppers - it was a very personal poem that he thought he might use somewhere else. Producer Rick Rubin found it in one of his notebooks and told Anthony that it could be a great song. At first, he didn't want to sing it or share it with anyone, but he eventually came around.

Rubin recalled to Newsweek in a 2013 interview: "My thinking was that the Chili Peppers were not limited to being a funk band with rapping. And I remember Anthony was embarrassed to show the song to the other guys in the band. But he sang it to John [Frusciante, guitarist] and John came up with his part. Then he played it for Flea [bassist] and Flea came up with his part. And it ended up being a really good song—even though they didn’t realize how good it was until people starting responding to it." (thanks, Derek - Raleigh, NC)
The band got a headlining slot on the 1992 Lollapalooza Tour when this became a hit. The gig greatly expanded their fan base and showcased their skills as a very energetic live band.
In 1990, after the death of his best friend and Hillel Slovak, Kiedis suddenly became afraid. He was sitting behind the wheel of his car and just began singing "sometimes I feel like I don't have a partner..." Slovak, who played guitar in the band, died of a drug overdose in 1988. (thanks, Jenni - Bilbao, Spain)
The "City of Angels" Anthony Kiedis sings about here is Los Angeles, where he lived since he was 12 years old. Much of the song deals with his relationship with the city. "It really repulses me these days," he told Goldmine in 1996. "Just sucking in that toxic cloud of hellish smog every day that I live... not a pleasant thought. But I do have a strong family tie to that city that I'll probably never be able to sever."
Guitarist John Frusciante's mother sang backup on this along with two of her friends from church.
In his book Scar Tissue, Kiedis explained that he thought up the lyrics while he was driving from a session with the Red Hot Chili Peppers. He was kind of sad because John Frusciante and Flea were getting closer as friends and Anthony was set apart from that, due to the fact that he was deeply involved with drugs. That's why he wrote, "Sometimes I feel like I don't have a partner."

Kiedis also wrote of the song: "Under The Bridge... I started freestyling some poetry in my car and putting the words to a melody and sang all the way down the freeway. When I got home, I got out my notebook and wrote the whole thing down in a song structure, even though it was meant to be a poem to deal with my own anguish." (thanks, Tiago - Santos, Brazil)
Before he left the band in May, 1992, John Frusciante sometimes improvise intros and exaggerate his background vocals when performing this song live, as he was getting fed up with the song and with Kiedis. This is evident on their February 22, 1992 Saturday Night Live performance when he clearly throws Kiedis off at the beginning of the song, then screams his backup vocals later in the song.
The music video was directed by Gus Van Sant, who went on to direct the movies Good Will Hunting and Finding Forester. The bridge in the video also appears in the "By The Way" video. (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France)
The song was covered in 1998 by UK girl band All Saints, where it was arguably changed to a run-of-the-mill love song. Notable changes were the line "City of Angels" to "City of cities," "I walk through her hills" to "I walk through his field" and a complete deletion of the last verse due to the drug references. It was released as a double A side with another cover, "Lady Marmalade," and reached #1 on the UK singles charts. The Yorkshire singer-songwriter Richard Hawley played guitar on the All Saints version. (thanks, nicky - london, England)
In Weird Al Yankovic's "Bedrock Anthem" this song and music video is parodied in the beginning. It then switches to a parody of "Give It Away." (thanks, Matthew - Concord, NH)
Guitarist John Frusciante's intro drew heavily on the 1971 David Bowie song "Andy Warhol." His guitar playing becomes more rapid until it reaches an E major seventh chord that halts the song. He borrowed the E major seventh chord technique from T. Rex's "Rip Off," a track from the British group's 1971 album Electric Warrior.
Blood Sugar Sex Magik was the first album the band released for Warners Records. They were previously with EMI.
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Red Hot Chili Peppers Artistfacts
More Red Hot Chili Peppers songs
More songs inspired by places
More songs about drugs
More songs produced by Rick Rubin
More songs performed on Saturday Night Live

Comments (110):

This song was the theme song of "92" ..It actually took the attention from the "The use your illusion tour" Guns n roses ..Whom i saw in Slane along with 60,000..........Thats how good this song is..............Need I say more!
- pj, dublin, Ireland
This song saved my life, no, I didn't have a drug problem, I related it to other problems in my life. It's very special to me, every time I hear it's rhythm it reminds me not to give up and that everything is going to be ok.
- BranDee, Santa Clara, NM
BSSM will always be the top Chili's album IMO. It just captures the band's sound so well. It's got their classic funk/punk/rap sound with the crazy bass slapping, but also the more melodic numbers like this song and I could have lied. Now days they've matured beyond the punk/funk thing, even when they try to emulate it on songs like Hump de Bump. Don't get me wrong, I'm still a fan of their new stuff but for me BSSM was the perfect mix of all the things that make this band great.
- Kyle, Calgary, AB
anthony himself put to rest all our interpretations of this song in his autobiography, "scar tissue." in the book he says that after he got clean for the first time, a lot of things changed in the band dynamic. He began to feel like a bit of an outsider, especially when the others were doing drugs. One day John and flea were smoking pot in the studio, and he looked into john's eyes and he knew he had lost him as a friend. On the bus back to his apartment, he began humming and wrote a few lyrics to suit his mood, "I don't ever want to feel/like I did that day" he shows the comfort his home city (la "the city of angels") gave him in the line, "at least I have her now/the city she loves me"
the bridge in the title is the one anthony went to to shoot up with mexican dealers and gang members this is one of the most beautiful, melodic and tragic songs about addiction, and it is consumated beautifully by the church choir at the end (not John f's mother!)
in their singing with kiedis, (kiedis's part in brackets)
- jonathan, Yuma, AZ
this is a beautiful song, it makes me feel so at home in my city, and i didn't know it was about heroin at first..it was (is still just) a song about Los Angeles and its interesting kind of beauty,and I can relate to how he feels at home in the city and all that..
- Lily, los angeles, CA
Some people call them the Chili Peppers. If your cool you call them the "Peppers". But if your Really cool you call them "The Peps" Heard a D J say that years ago. I always think of it when I hear a "Peps" song.
- Joe, Santa Maria, CA
1981 L.A. Tony. murder, marijuana, mexico homeless, hippies, children, playing with syringes, under the bridge we temporarily called home.These are a few of my favourite things.
- naomi, toowoomba, Australia
1981 under the bridge in L.A. homeless living with my family in a rented pontiac. Thank you for the song that helped me deal with the fear and repressed memories. It took a while but it all finally all came back, note by note, word by word. I know who I am now. The little blonde girl scared of nothing, now a woman fears no none.
- naomi, stanthorpe, Australia
Anthony Kledis WAS NOT on drugs when he wrote this song. He was before and after the song and has benn in and out of rehab, but he was not on drugs when he wrote this song. It says in his book Scar Tissue.
- Zach, G, OH
This song was written as a poem when Anthony was feeling left out of The Red Hot Chili Peppers. Flea the bassist and John the guitarist where both extremely high and just ignored him. He also was having memory flashes about his ex girlfriend Ione who had loved him with all of her heart. He felt like he had the strongest bond with the city. Although he often went under a bridge to where he had to cover as a Mexican to do many of his drugs, he knew he was bonded to the city. the city is the "She" in the song.

He had wanted the song to be for himself but his manager Rick pushed him to show the band, in the end he did. After he presented it different ways they went to their interments to find the beat without saying a word. Singing the song was always difficult to Anthony because it was emotional. When he recorded it his friend Brenden talked to him in his headphones to keep him going with the song.
- Spencer, Gig Harbor, WA
****he wrote this song...****
- Eddie, Oradell, NJ
Tiago was very close, but he wasn't on drugs when he wrote this, actually. I wrote the song after leaving the recording studio and he was feeling isolated from the rest of the band because john frusciante and flea became much closer together. he was reflecting on all of the horrible things he had done in LA. he was more thinking about how much he had lost through his lifestyle, not just his drug use.
- Eddie, Oradell, NJ
Gym class Hero's covered this song.
- Austin, Smallsville,New England, --
Robert Hansell, from london that's a real good point IMO. I doubt he felt compelled to bare his emtional soul. More likely he felt a parial explanation would keep the questions at bay.
- mark, worcester, MI
Ben from Wisconsin lied...this song was not at all inspired by desperado.
- Tyler, Traverse City, MI
I like the RHCP and this song is one of my favorites, but they're kind of weird like how they put socks on their genitals. All in all a great song.
- Dan, Lee, NH

How can you not appreciate sockman?
- jack, Claremont, MN
I did this song at my school talent show. My friend played the guitar, and i sang. Very hard for me. I have a deep voice. Great song,though!!
- Wayne, Las Vegas, NV
Is there anybody who hasn't quoted from scar tissue the book?

I think we get a good idea what this is about but the great thing i find is that it is fairly mysterious and this enhances us to want to understand it better, when really we probably wont as its a personal song for anthony, who i dont think is going to sell all of his secrets... do you?
- Robert Hansell, london,
So many great Chili Peppers songs, but I think this has to be my favourite
- olivia, Perth, Australia
This is a great song. Unfortunately some people who are writing here do not know the full meaning of it. Yes, it is talking about Anthony's heroin addiction but what people do not know is that at the time he was not using. This is when John and Flea were becoming great friends because they were both using drugs and they were becoming more distant from Anthony. He states all of this in Scar Tissue.
- John, Plainfield, NE
It's ironic that a gentle ballad became the breakthrough hit for a band best known for blending classic uptempo funk with alternative rock. The song emerged out of lead vocalist Anthony Kiedis' struggles to overcome heroin addiction. After the addiction destroyed a number of his personal relationships, Kiedis' reflected on his relationship with the city of Los Angeles itself. "Under the Bridge" made it all the way to #2 on the pop singles chart."
- Bertrand, Paris, France
Read 'Scar Tissue'. Tiago explained it exactly as the book did. For whoever said Anthony never took drugs, think again. He's been in and out of rehab several times over the past decade. He's since cleaned up.
- Adam, Columbia, MD
i think that iin the begging city of angels=los angelos and he is talking about how much he loves there (Sometimes I feel like my only friend
Is the city I live in, the city of angels &
I drive on her streets cause she's my companion
I walk through her hills cause she knows who I am
She sees my good deeds and she kisses me windy)

then later at the end when he says :
under the bridge downtown;is where I drew some blood
under the bridge downtown;i could not get enough
under the bridge downtown;forgot about my love
under the bridge downtown;i gave my live away

i think he is talking about his addiction and how that effected him possibly losing the people he loves and giving his life away to drugs! possibly getting into fights also (where i drew some blood?)
- emma, San Deigo, CA
See this song could have a meaning for anyone really, because it practicly explains why he wrote this song and its about his buddy who died in 1990, and he came up with lyrics to this song because he was confused with what really happened with him. It kinda relates to me and my cousin Joey. I felt i lost everything after he left, but i continued on my ways. Just like anthony did. Its a message in life that means you shouldn't give up life because another is lost, you should keep on living life at the fullest because you might end up missing something or someone valuable in life.
- Lester, Ontario, CA
I LOVE THIS SONG!! it gives me goosebumps just listening to it... and anyone with ANY addiction problem knows..
- Renee, New York, NY
The intro of this song is not played by John Frusciante, who is by the way a very good artist....check his solo work, but by Richard Hawley.
- jelle, ghent, Belgium
many of you may have noticed links to Nirvana's songs and that is because kurt and anthony were friends infact 'Tearjerker' on 'One Hot Minute' was actually about kurt's death.
Also yes, it was a poem originally, but he also didnt really like the song much to begin with, but he grew to like it and he also couldn't even sing it sometimes because it was too hard for his vocal abilities.
I loved this song from the moment i heard it. i can't remember how old i was [very young] and i heard it playing on the radio in my brothers room.

and a many people have said, you realy should read scar tissue [his biography] it's an amazing insight into his past adn how his mind works and you will almost feel you know him after reading it.

Awesome song. awesome band.
- ben, northampton, England
Great song, there are obvious references to heroin abuse though:'under the bridge downtown...is where i drew some blood...i could not get enough..forgot about my love...gave my life away'
- jonc, wolverhampton, England
Look man he WAS on drugs get over it. at least he isnt anymore!! so get brush up on your chili peppers knowledge
- V, None of Your Business, GA
he admitted he was on drugs so oviously he was
- stephen, Claymont, DE
Anthony was never on drugs, YOU GUYS ARE GAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- jak, Columbus, OH
i luv this song so much..i luv the feeling that they use in this song...rhcp is simply the best band that was ever formed
- Desiree, West Hempstead, United States
A great song by the chili peppers, when i was young and the song first came out i thought it was a very different song from there other songs but when i got older i found out that the song is about anthony's drug problems and that the bridge mentioned in the song is where he use to go and shoot up on heroin. Even though it about drugs it still is a very good chili pepper song.
- inge, melbourne, Australia
One of my favorite RHCP songs
- Jimmy, Oakdale, CT
The choir part at the end really brings the whole song together...it's awesome.
- Emmie, Long Island, NY
this song is actually about feeling lonely when john and flea became close friends and anthony was feeling left out and alone
- max, boston, MA
Lyrically, this is their best song. Definitely the best to that point, at least.
- Spencer, Equinunk, PA
I love when Kiedis and Frusciante did this in 1991 in Amsterdam, with just Frusciante on acoustic
- Jeremy, Downingtown, PA
I really hate this song. One of the most overplayed songs ever, and it's not even that good of a song. Probably their worst song ever.
- amay, edison, NJ
-B from Philly, you dont know that its about drugs. it could not mean that at all, you didnt write the song
- Magnolia, San Francisco, CA
this is just such a pretty song!
- Magnolia, San Francisco, CA
Jamie, New York...

This song is good but to say it's the best song ever means you havent heard many other songs.
- Luke, Manchester, England
Under the Bridge is the most amazing song i have ever heard. hearing it live live was such an experience that i believe it could make anyone fall in love with the chili peppers for life
- mitch, St. Louis, MO
Under the bridge is a song which i feel like i was talking woth anthony when he wrote it or i wrote it by my self....every single lyric is dedicated to me and how i feel ....The song is THE BEST SONG EVER and the chilis rule....AND WILL ALWAYS RULE NO MATTER WAT>>>>anthony , flea,john ,chad >>they rock!
- Jamie, New York, NY
This is my fav song ever!!The Red Hot Chili Peppers always gave a lot of soul in every song and every phrase its perfect!!
- Jennifer Caldwell, San Jose, Other
I find it really interesting how Under the Bridge, and Something in the Way (by Nirvana) both have references to a bridge, and they're both loosely related to overcoming an extreme hardship in life.
- Max, Austin, TX
The bridge in the song is about where anthony spent many days doing drugs ...He spent alot of time under the bridge shooting heroin, its all in "scar tissue"..Read it, it is very interesting
- Mark, Johnstown, CO
I really love this song. It's beautifully simple. Maybe it's just me being perverted, but I thought this song was about sex. Didn't anyone else think that?
- Grace, Fairfax Station, VA
Mash Melbourne I don't know how you could be more wrong. Firstly Anthony Kieldis wrote it. Secondly John Frusciante was even in the band when they made One Hot Minute and thirdly One Hot Minute was released after Blood Sugar Sex Majik which Under the Bridge was on. So in conclusion you lose at this and everything in life.

- Steve Mitchell, Where the viaduct looms like a bird of doom
- Chris, Wellington, New Zealand
I like the RHCP and this song is one of my favorites, but they're kind of weird like how they put socks on their genitals. All in all a great song.
- Dan, Lee, NH
Great song. Great band.
- Stefanie, Rock Hill, SC
I don't feel like reading through all these posts, so this may have been said, but Mos Def (a very good rapper) used a variation of the first four lines on his song "Brooklyn."
- Jackey, Detroit, MI
I know this may not be "right", but whenever I hear it I think about homeless people because not only do they sometimes live under bridges, many are alone in the world, so it kind of makes sense.
- Moi, Mountain View, CA
The song that All Saints did is not even comparable to RHCP's version.
- Dan, New York, NY
All saints' also sang it equally well....
- sum sum, New Delhi, India
Anthony wrote this song about his drug use prior to 1991. However, he started to use drugs again and became an addict. He broke a 5 and a half year promise to his former best friend Hillel Slovak who died of a drug overdose. Shame on you Anthony Kiedis.
- Joseph, Sydney, United States
Kiks, the city of angels is Los Angeles.
Los Angeles is spanish for 'The Angels'
- e, vancouver, Canada
this song is a slow ballad that kiedis in his car about his heroin addiction and how it was driving him and his bandmates apart. The lines "sometimes i feel like my only friend is the city i live in the city of angels lonely as i am together we cry" refer to LA being his only friend because his bandmates were pissed off with him and considering giving him the boot
- Josh, Palmerston North, New Zealand
This is one of those songs that everybody (with the exception of Lloyd) can enjoy... theres just nothing unpleasing about it... exept i just wish it were a bit longer and had a longer guitar solo.
- e, vancouver, Canada
Dan in London: LOL!! Excellent use of a South Park reference.
- Ash, Charleston, WV
The city of angels is Los Angeles, when he talks about under the bridge he means just that, under the bridge shooting heroin. This song brought me mtowards the peppers, i never knew it was them and one day i found out and started listening to them, now i have 9 albums on my mp3 player and im just waiting for the day that they release the new album. Because they have already released their "Greatest Hits" so to bring out another album afterwards is a pretty big statement and the peppers themselves must know it's going to be a big success, and maybe even make up for the half assed effort of "By The Way" in 2002. And one last thing, for all of yous out there that say they dont like the chili peppers because they refer to drugs, they are not just referring to the drugs but the problems thta lie within, it means so much more that just heroin. If they had never been addicted in the first place then they wouldve had absolutely nothing to write about, so technically heroin and the death of hillel MADE chili peppers into what they have become today. RHCP Rule!!!
- Jarred, Narre Warren, Victoria, Australia
i really like this song but im not rele sure EXACTLY what he means. is he talking about is addiction? under the bridge? whats the city of angles?
- Kiks, new york, NY
Whenever I listen to this song, i can just visualise pages from 'Scar Tissue' and the processes involved and personal events that shaped the future possiblity of the song.. the herion addiction and death of Hillel Slovak in a way a large part of the subconsciously premature conception of the song.. Ive learnt the song on bass and guitar just so I can attempt to reproduce it whenever I can, the intro alone is so full of meaning and imagery that I could sit and play it forever. It really does give a sense of unrivalled fulfillment to replicate a song like that in front of a crowd, to spread the chili's music to as many fresh ears as possible.
BloodSugarSexMagik is one of the best albums of all time, the Red Hot CHili Peppers are one of the best bands of all time, and they deserve all the appreciation this world can muster.

And the All Saints cover IS naff btw...
- Danno, Sussex, England
Amazing Chili peppers song, one of my all-time favourites
- Ashley, Moncton, Canada
I'm learning this song on my guitar the the moment.
Originally i did this because i thought it was a cool sounding track, but now i know the meaning behind it, this song means much more to me.
i like the way Anthony puts:
"under the bridge downtown, i gave my life away"
this, and:
"i dont ever want to feel, like i did that day"
sums what heroin addiction can do to you. the second quote i think relates to how Anthony felt after his friend and fellow bandmate died from an overdose, though it doesnt tie in with the lyrics

drugs are bad. . . MmmmKay

Dan Mason
- dan, London`, England
I once read a great quote regarding the All Saints cover. It was something like: 'When the Chili Peppers sung it [Under the Bridge], it was about pain, addiction and loneliness, when All Saints sung it, it was about a bridge. They obviously didn't understand the personal feeling, and depth of the song.
- Graeme, Hampshire, England
Has anyone read the book "Scar Tissue", written by Anthony Keidis? He devotes about a page of it to explaining what the lyrics are about, when he wrote them, and why he wrote them. Great song, great writer, great band.
- Ashley, Winnipeg, Canada
I first heard the all saints version of this when i was younger and all though i didn't understand it i loved the melody.
It eventually faded off the radio stations after about six months when all saints released their new single. However a few years later i was a new fan of the red hots and heard it again on their greatest hits album and fell in love with it once more, this time for the lyrics.
I heard the all saints version a few days ago and all though i still like it, it doesn't have the same feeling as the origional. The girls have never been through this and don't know the pain and lonliness Kiedis felt and so can't put the exprssion and feeling into the song. Plus nothing is ever as good as the origional
- Indie, Birmingham, United States
Who sings the part where it goes UNDER THE BRIDGE DOWNTOWN i am really interested who is singing it with detail plz
- James, somwhere in canada, Canada
I just joined becuase i couldn't help myself. This song is deep and really painful.. everytime i liten to it, it brings a whole load of pain, but you feel sort of cleased after listening to it, i'm learning how to play the song right now and its beautiful melodically, i've loved this song for ages and yes.. the Chili's are what made me stop liking crap music. I have never heard of the All Saitns cover.. but i'm a die hard fan so i'd probably hate it and bag it out.. their that brit girl band right? never really liked their music, and most likely if i heard their cover i won't like it. did you notice in "Funky monks" that AK mixed the lyrics up a bit.. it was pretty new to him then. I agree John (he's my favourite guitarist) shaped their sound quite a bit and had an influence on what they were playing but John had mentioned once that when he found out flea was into other stuff that he was into too, it just felt right to try out new things (which led to the shift in creativity and sound). I will have to listen to that all saints cover.. mind you, i doubt i'll enjoy it. Under The Bridge is INTENSE
- Mistik, Sydney, Australia
It is weird, when my band played this song for my school, around 30 people came to me after the show and told me they thought it was a R.E.M. song. I find that hard to believe. Does anyone else think or no people who think that it is a R.E.M. song?
- Elliot, St. Louis, MO
you all should read the anthony kiedis autobiography "scar tissue", it is very good. it talks alot about his heroin and cocaine addictions over the years. very interesting and eye-opening read. great band. awesome song.
- Murray, Shellharbour, Australia
This song rocks. Whoever this Loyd guy is who wrote right below me should not listen to "bad music" is he's going to complain. Half the songs now of days are impossible to understand anyways so why complain about that you can't understand them. This song rocks... This band rocks...even with the bad (sarcasm) lyrics.
- Michael, Buenos Aires, Argentina
I really do think this song is awful, and I don't like the refrences regarding heroin. The music is not that good.
- Lloyd, LA, CA
I see many of you have no idea about this song. 1º:the guitar track is a huge influence from the Hendix´s style,as John said.2º: Obviously speaks about the feeling of emptiness you have while you´re addicted,and need to shoot up (experience that I had to experience myself!).It was wrote by john and Kiedis for the lyrics.And really lovely song to play in the guitar,now I´m gonna keep playing RHCP songs!! Ouch!! And was wrote 1991,with blood sugar!!
- fer, valencia, Spain
I like this song alot. It reminds me of the time I really started getting into rock music...Kind of a turning point in music interest...I see that turn point happening in my younger brother, and its do to rhcp. two things.
Obviously the songs about heroin.
I used to think the song was about a vampire. Like Lestat.
- chad, Arvada, CO
I love this song, but i have to disagree with the people who hate the All Saint's cover version. It was brave to redo such a classic & they did it in a different but sexy way & i love it. The chili peppers version is that edgy one that makes you contemplate stuff, but the Saints is perfect for chilling out to and I do all my art homework with it on repeat. Sorry all you diehard RHCP fans, I just wanted to stand up for the song you lot are slagging off. I'm not saying All Saint's is better - just good, in a different way.
- Soph, Bangeldesh, England
Well Im in the process of reading the book and pretty much its a safe place to shoot up and where he could get it. Its about the darkness and the feeling of doing heroin. Continuing to do it after his best friend died of an OD. Just a darker side of his life.
- Aaron, Sheboygan, WI
Under the Bridge is an excellent song and even though the Red Hot Chili Peppers were together long before i was born, my mates and myself think they're music is fab. Under the Bridge is really good and has alot of meaning to it. All Saints version was alrite but i do prefer the Red Hot Chili's as it has a deep and personal meaing to them. So Under the Bridge.... Fabulous!
- Sarah, Aberdeen, Scotland
Torrance....the song is not souly about John...in fact it was about his girlfriend at the time who he truely loved, Ione. This song was originally just a poem Anthony had written, however, his friend, I think his name was Bill or Bob looked through his book and told him it should be a song...so next thing..it was a hit song...and definitely a great one!
- trueRHCPfan, Hamilton, AL
This was written by Anthony Kiedis, and although it is influenced by his drug addiction, it was written mainly about how he felt he was growing apart from John Frusciante and he was feeling lonely because of it. I totally agree with Tom, the All Saints version is absolutely horrific. If you guys like this site, please go to songmeanings.net, coz no offence to the guys n girls here, but that has so much more on it, and is way easier to use.
- Torrance, London, England
I am loving this site. Under the Bridge definately impacted me, I mean personally it was like a bolt of lightning, this song and the Chili Peppers sound completely changed my perception of music and defined my taste. Whatever, you think Anthony meant in the song matters, but what I think is truly awesome is how so many people get their own spin off on the song. It's great.
- Kelly, Brisbane, Australia
I like RHCP and all but every1 listen to "achilles Last Stand" by Led Zeppelin the guitar parts are very similar. It annoys me to think they ripped of LZ.
- Tom, K-town, NJ
Along with the previous comments, "Soul to Squeeze" is also on an lp that was released along with "blood sugar sex magiik" as a double cd/tape pack, the second cd being called "the plasma shaft" and as far as i know is as rare as hens teeth. It also contains an inprogress take of give it away, radio edit of if you have to ask, radio edit of breaking the girl, instrumental called "fela's cock", remix of "if you have to ask, and soul to squeeze, my fav rhcp track
- Drew, Sydney, Australia
Under The Bridge is about Anthony Kiedis's battle with heroin addiction.
When Anthony retreated to mexico to recover from Hillels death, he made a friend that had contacts with a mexican gang.
He took him to a bridge where the gang reguarly did heroin. His friend knew that they would'nt allow Anthony to go under as they did not know him, so his friend told the gang that Anthony was dating his sister. They let Anthony under the bridge to do heroin.
Im not sure if this is what the song is souly about but i heard Anthony say this in reference to it.
I think the song is about the loneliness that leads people to drugs.
- john, LA, CA
Its written by Anthony Kiedis, and it was written a long time before "One Hot Minute", the song is on the album "Blood Sugar Sex Magic".. i don't understand why everybody says it was when "One Hot Minute" came out. :).. Its about he's own drug use, and the text "sometimes I feel like I don't have a partner.", he begun singing that when he drove he's car through L.A, the song with first was a poetry text its about he's friend Hillel Slovak who diead to, and he's drug use under the bridge in the city of angels.
- Fabian, Stockgolm, Sweden
soul to squeeze appears on the greatest hits album and the coneheads soundtrack - the video is about a freak show run by chris farley who also starred in the movie.
- gavin, sydney, Australia
I liked the All Saints version of it. But, now that I think about it, I think they ruined the song. The only way you can get the full effect of the song is to have RHCP playing it, and have Anthony sing it. I don't think they wrote it to have someone redo it or try and make it better.
- DJ, Peoria, IL
ok mash... we need to sort things out about this:
1) Like Louis said, Anthony wrote the lyrics.
2) I believe this song was released on 'BloodSugarSexMagik' which was both before John's (major) drug abuse and before the 'One Hot Minute Album'
3) It was written about Anthony's own drug addiction and that hurt him when Hillel Slovak (former guitarist) died of drug abuse.
- bob, Antrim, Ireland
tom........ those lyrics you mentioned is all refernces to shooting up, drawing blood is when you pull the plunger back on a syringe to check to see if the needle is in your vein. could not get enough, you never can when your an addict. forgot about my love, well nothing else matters when your an addict. i gave my life away. my soul controlled for the need of a fix!
- marlow, perth, Australia
I think this part:

Under the bridge downtown
Is were I drew some blood
Under the bridge downtown
I could not get enough
Under the bridge downtown
Forgot about my love
Under the bridge downtown
I gave my life away (yeah yeah)
Ooh no (no no yeah yeah)
Love me I say yeah yeah

Is about suicide, because when you commit suicide you draw blood and you give your life away. "I could not get enough" may be a drug reference.
- Tom, Jefferson Township, NJ
This song is about heroin hun sorry to break it to ya...however, this is my favorite RHCP song and i can really relate to it
- George, Altoona, PA
The only album that "Soul to Squeeze" is on is on their latest 'Greatest Hits'
- Cheryl, melbourne, Australia
Anthony first realised how famous they had become when some guy next to him by the urinals started singing Under The Bridge...
- Meryl, Somewhere, England
I actually found the All Saints version a bit worrying! In my town, there were 7 year old kids singing this because they thought it was a love song! Trust me, there is nothing more disturbing than hearing a 7 year old sing "Under the bridge downtown, is where I drew some blood"!!!
- Jenny, Bedford, UK, England
This song is a great ballad. The words are great and I just love the music.
- Lou, New York, NY
Kind of off topic, sorry, but where can the song "Soul to Squeeze" be found, just curious.
- Nick, Paramus, NJ
this song is explained on the VH1 show "true spin"
- Eric, Park Forest, IL
and it was on blood sugar sex magic which came out years before one hot minute and had a different guitarist, so i dread to think where your information is coming from
- Louis, London, England
mash, the words were written by anthony kiedis, the rest of the band made their parts up themselves.
- Louis, London, England
The bridge mentioned is where he wrote the song, which is located in the yard of the ceo of immortal records.
- Josh, Los Angeles, CA
fantastic song. i heard it was written by john frusciante(the guitarist) about the time when the chili peppers did 'one hot minute' and he was on drugs.
- mash, melbourne, Australia
the best chili peppers song ever. so simple and lovely...moving too: i cried the first time i heard it.
- alatriel, lothlorien, Other
many say that the chili peppers' songs sound the same. Even if they do sound the same that sound kicks ass. angie is right when she says this is a beautiful song. RHCP 4ever
- travis, sacramento, CA
originally a poem written my kiedis and kind of put to the side. but one of the band mates read it and they decided to put it to music.
- Jessy, Kettering, OH
Frusiante's mom's church choir sing on it
- austin, Holly, MI
I saw a pretty cool cover band do this song. They were all kinds of messed up. But when he sang, "Under the bridge downtown, is where i drew some blood" ...Sorry, angie it really is about drugs... (for the simple minded folks, he drew blood from the heroine needle on his arm.)
- B, Philadelphia, PA
I know this has nothing to do with it, i'm just pointing it out. kurt cobain wrote a song called "something in the way" about when he lived under a bridge during his youth..its kinda ironic.
- i duno, nowhere, United States
I think that the Chili Peppers music got a lot better after John Frusciante joined and helped write the music, because you can see a huge difference between their earliest stuff and albums that Frusciante had a hand in (blood sugar sex magic, Californication, By the way)
- scott, Bismarck, ND
B E A U T I F U L SONG.. just simple.
its not about this or that. its about how when one feels lonely and thinks that no1 else is loving them.. therefore they start realizing how much they're worth. and think to drive themselves down to the point where you control and mak eyour own love.. hence, love will come.
- angie, rockville, MD
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