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Charlie by Red Hot Chili Peppers

Album: Stadium ArcadiumReleased: 2006
  • Lead singer Anthony Kiedis (from Rolling Stone, June 15, 2006): "That has a lot of stuff going on. The third part is straight love song: 'My heart, your skin, this love I'm in.' It's also about the power of not having to be right all the time. If you want to get along with somebody, let them be right, and it will last longer."
  • This one of the band's favorite songs on the album. When the song was not released as a single, the Chilis took matters into their own hands. They held a contest on Youtube in which they asked their fans to produce their very own music video for the song and the winning video would be made the official video. The winning video was directed by Omar Minya. It shows child versions of the band members driving in a van, picking up a Native American, and ending up at Venice Beach. (thanks, Alec Thorp - Yorktown Heights, NY)
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Comments: 16

holy crap as soon as i started looking at this page the song played on my music playerJunior - Dallas, Tx
when i hear this i think of charlie bit me video on youtubeScotty - Tokyo, Japan
CHARLIE was the name of one of his ex-girlfriends when he was using drugs. He was really into her and she was really into dope and he was trying to get clean. He used to shoot coke and then use heroin, one to up him the other to bring him down. Then he got clean and when he started using again he smoked crack cause he couldn't get coke. He's clean now. He's into "ozone" Read his book Scar Tissue, please because it explains all of his bizarre lyrics.Bobbilyn - Jacksonville, Fl
Everyone keeps referencing Cocaine, despite Anthony Kiedis denying it, and saying the song's about inspiration and creativity. But if you notice, he says "When I pick up on that smell, I double up and run like hell," as in, he could be running away from cocaine because it hinders his creativity.Nicole - Chicago, Il
Some great comments but I still think of Charlie Manson whenever I hear it.Davy - Hammonton, Nj
This is realy a great song. For people who might be wondering what its about...it could realy be anything. Anthony intened "charlie" to be your imagination, your muse, something that gets ideas going in your head. Charlie could be refering to drugs if you think about it. I dont think that the actualy name "Charlie" is drugs...but like i said...its something that gets ideas going in your head. And that could lead to so many different things. When he was batteling his addiction...there would always be this little voice in the back of his head telling him to go get high. So that could very well be "charlie" whos "making me smile"
The great thing about this song though, is that charlie could be anything to anyone...its up to you to find out what it is to you.
Mariah - Colorado Springs, Co
i think the meaning is clear...but i think music, lies in the eye of the beholder...so we should make it what we want...a memorie...a story...whatever...all the while tring to figure out what he meant by itMadalyn - Greensburg, Pa
"Charlie" is in fact a reference to cocaine, but Anthony Kiedis has stated in interviews that the song is about a person's imaginative spark or inspiration.Dylan - Charlotte, Vt
Charlie is also a slang term for cocaine ,Charlie was also a slang term toward Vietcong soldiers in the Vietnam war, being over 40 both I understand but I think coke is the correct oneTricia - Edinburgh, Scotland
Also mentioned in the Rolling Stone article was John Frusciante explaining that he wanted every song on the Stadium Arcadium to feel like it was "constantly evolving". This concept is particularly evident on this song. (And really, with that in mind, you can pick that out on the rest of the album, too.)Angela - Naples, Fl
love the song a lot. it reminds me on our last summer when we smoked pot every day. we were listening to Stadium, and that's when our 'dealer' got a nickname-Charlie :)
you know, 'Charlie's making me smile...'
Sanja - Zabok, Croatia
i love the third 'love' bit in this song
its one of my fav songs
and the meaning is so right
love red hot chili peppers
u guys rock
Handah Jane - Grafton, United States
I love this song. It's quite bittersweet and reminds me of swimming in my pool in the summertime.Krysten - Odessa, Tx
Charlie is also a slang term for cocaine which would make sense for the chorus:

So much more than
Charlie's wakin' me
To my core and
Charlie's shakin' me
And tell my story
And Charlie's makin' me
And Charlie's makin' me smile
Chris - Ithaca, Ny
Charlie was also a slang term toward Vietcong soldiers in the Vietnam war.
e.g "Look, there's Charlie in the bushes!"
Brian - Winchester, Ma
love this song.its reall clever of him to still keep that old bi rumour going by calling it charlie.but cmon we all know his notShelly - Loserville, Nc