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Kryptonite

by

3 Doors Down



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

Picture this: 3 Doors Down lead singer/songwriter Brad Arnold at 15 years old, sitting in math class bored out of his skull, begins tapping on his desk. The tapping turns into drumming, and pretty soon he's unknowingly written the first monster hit for his future band.
He laughs at the memory: "Thank God for the little dude that sat in front of me, that dude deserves credit on the album! I was so bad in math. So bad. But my teacher knew I was not good, not paying attention, but he just kind of let me go. I believe I wrote the lyrics to some other songs in that same class. I wrote probably about half of that Better Life album sitting in that math class."

This song is also, according to Arnold, only the 3rd or 4th song he'd ever written, period. "The skippy little drumbeat in the song was just me beating on my desk. It's almost exactly the beat we played to, just kind of drumming, just skipping along with it."
Brad says this song is a question. As it turns out, it was a rather prophetic one. "Its question is kind of a strange one. It's not just asking, 'If I fall down, will you be there for me?' Because it's easy to be there for someone when they're down. But it's not always easy to be there for somebody when they're doing good. And that's the question it's asking. It's like, 'If I go crazy, will you still call me Superman?' It's asking, 'If I'm down, will you still be there for me?' But at the same time, 'If I'm alive and well, will you be there holding my hand?' That's kind of asking, 'If I'm doing good, will you be there for me? Will you not be jealous of me?' And maybe throughout the years of singing that song, I might have come up with more meanings for it than it actually might have originally had," he laughs.
The fact that he wrote this song when he was only 15 doesn't seem remarkable to Brad, because, he says, "every 15-year-old has those questions in their head. They might not know quite how to say it, or they might not feel like it's acceptable to say something. And the biggest thing that I've had as an honor to be able to do is to be able to say something, and after I say it, it's okay. After an artist says it, if a rock star says it, okay, it's fine. That really boils down to why rock and roll inspires pop culture so much, or just music in general, not just rock and roll. Because artists push the envelope, and they go out on a limb to say something else. But it also comes with responsibility; you gotta watch what you say, because kids listen. And I try to watch what I say, too."
Commonly thought to contain a shout out to the movie Superman ("Kryptonite" is the substance that rendered Superman powerless - it could only be found on his home planet of Krypton), and to Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, Brad says this song has neither. He explains how it all came together: "That line is just like a happenstance line. That song is so little about Superman. It's just really about that question. That's just something that everybody can identify with." He says that it was either Part I or II of the Superman movies that had Superman fighting an enemy in space, where they floated around to the dark side of the moon. He says, however, that he wrote this song before the movie came out. "And I was like, 'What?!' he laughs. "And it was after I wrote that song. That was weird." (Check out our full interview with Brad Arnold)
In an interview with askmen.com, bassist Todd Harrell explained that the band's name came from a sign in a building. It was saying about how some office was "doors down," and they added the number three to make it a catchy name. (thanks, Edward Pearce - Ashford, Kent, England)
3 Doors Down
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Comments (21):

Song fact: the guitar riff was a rip off of rockell-i fell in love
- ben, miami, fl, FL
"You stumbl'd in and bumped your head, if not for me then you'd be deaad"
This line flows really well and its so fun to mumble
- Jir, London, United Kingdom
I feel this song means that, some one is trying to be a hero, even though they've saved some one they love but in return, are being trashed by who they love [ who they've been saving]
- Natalie, Philadelphia, PA
I'll still be there for him...
- Mel!ssa, Pittsburgh, PA
Very good song, and the band are obviously huge fans of Pink Floyd, what with the referential tribute to their most celebrated album.
That part makes me like them more, of course.
- oldpink, New Castle, IN
i love this song. its got good music and good a good singer to back that up. this is one of thoses songs you can just relate to but without the kryptonite
- angela, cartersville, GA
Great and catchy rock song, keeps you jamming the whole time, one of my favorite songs to blast up on the car radio..
- Anthony, Cape May, NJ
i totally agree with Brandon, Des Moines, LA. i mean, if you think about it the lyrics are trying to tell you a story about a relationship going south. This 'superman' fellow wants this girl extremly bad, but there's something that is stoping them from being to together. but on the other hand it sounds like it is her. its like no matter what he does or doesnt do she still wont stay. its like he's helped her so MUCH untill the point he went crazy. and its all over a girl.
- raii, May , TX
This song is about a man who is completely in love with a girl, but something isn't right, and it's driving him crazy. He was her superman at one point, but the relationship went sour, and he's not the same anymore. The relationship could make him happy (therefore his reference to superman), but sometimes he got depressed about her (therefore, she's his kryptonite). In the end, he doesn't want to lose her, but if he does, he'll still love her, and he at least wants to have her as a friend.
- Robert, Montreal, Canada
He detatched his mind from his physical body/world to relax from all the stress. And he saw/suspects something that darkened his outlook on the world and discovers that person is responsible who made him feel like superman.(Since superman is from krypton he is strong on earth but also kryptonite weakens him.)Bittersweet. Eventhough the person lifts him up and beats him down no matter what he will not reveal what the other did. He saved this person and got them going right and will hold on to them to protect them. And if he looses his mind trying to hold what drives him crazy all he wants to know is will you see him as another crazy person and not who you saw as superman, since he blocked the secrets and went crazy to save that person.
- Demetrius, Cleveland, MS
Maybe the relationship itself is the 'Kryptonite' and all the things he does for her are just weakening everyone else's vision of him or even his own idea of himself. All the favors he's doing for her are weakening him because of this.
- Jailene, k-tOWN, WA
"I watched the world float to the darkside of the moon..."

That is NOT a reference to Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon.

The imagery is of Superman flying out of the Earth's atmosphere and sitting there during the night watching the moon orbit the Earth to the "dark" side of the moon. Or the side that isnt visible from Earth.
- DJ, Rockland, MA
I agree that this song is about friendship and whether or not your friends will stand by you not matter what, hence the lyrics "If I go crazy then will you STILL call me Superman" and "as long as you'll be my friend at the end."
- Bob, Maplewood, MN
In my opinion this is the sexiest song I've ever heard.The guitar line playing those low chords is very driving as is the drum beat.The lyrics aren't that outstanding they just hold it together,but overall it's a cracker.
- Gary, Brisbane, Australia
I LOVE the line:
"I really don't mind what happens now and then
As long as you'll be my friend at the end", because it's so true. It really doesn't matter what happens as long as we stay friends...
The entire song is just reeeeeally cool! I always listen to it on my way to school...
- Joelle, atlanta, GA
great song about superman and allowing to have the right to do whatever one's true dream in life is.
- Andrew, Downingtown, PA
This song is SO good...I love three doors down....The drumming rocks in this song
- Lacie, Whitefish, MT
To Johnny, Los Angelas,CA. I agree, I don't like this genre too much either (don't like too much of ANY of todays music); but this song is an exception.
- Jon, Oakridge, OR
Mainly, the song has no relation to the comic book hero Superman. It's a metaphor. A male often presents himself as a 'superman' to attract the members of the opposite sex.
- Arthur, Sydney, Australia
The video is pretty weird. I like the drumming on this song. That's what attracted me to it, in a genre I generally don't like.
- Johnny, Los Angeles, CA
I think this song is about this guy really likeing some girl but something is wrong and no matter what he does he can't keep her. He has this feeling that something is wrong,"I watched the world float to the dark side of the moon, after all I knew it had to be something to do with you". He feels that he's helpless even though he's 'superman', but she's slipping away just like his powers when he's arround kryptonite. He's not able to,"keep you by my side with my superhuman might" cause something has happened that is acting like kryptonite in their relationship.
- Brandon, Des Moines, IA
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