Album: The Better Life (2000)
Charted: 3
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  • 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, 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. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Edward Pearce - Ashford, Kent, England

Comments: 27

  • BigcupcakesIn 1959 the guy who played Superman was killed by a gunshot to the head, guests said only one shot was heard but yet 3 bullets were found. Superman Actor had an affair with the producers wife, which more evidence lead to him, while more lead to Reeves wife
  • Winston Wier from Texaslove this song-i would love to sing a long with the lyrics.
  • Ale From The Early 00s from Earth This song means a lot to people going through different situation , for me it’s about a parent. An aging parent that can do what they used to. Provide for the family or be there like they used too.
    By parents are separated for whatever their reasons are and I feel like my world is falling apart
  • Steven Kachura from British Columbia Brad is so full of crap, he didn't write kryptonite, I wrote the lyrics and came up with the main rythm during a jam session at my buddy Kevin Tully's basement. Three doors down had absolutely nothing to do with the creation of the song. It was written around 1988,or 99.and recorded that same night. Yes I was in math class when the concept first came to me. I told him about the creation of the song and I am pissed that he talks about it like he actually wrote it. I guess if you tell yourself something long enough you actually begin to believe it.
  • Dominick Reynolds from UsaI think of Trump singing this to the American public as a test of our loyalty to him as he’s botching the whole COVID19 response.
  • Rod W.bruyere from Los Angeles,californiaThis is about a bad and trying relationship. A married couple with problems of infidelity.

    The husband is still holding it together - the whole family, children, school, job, helping other people, etc. If I go crazy from this will you still think I'm a great father, husband, member of community? That I'm still OK in spite of it all? And when I become strong and continue doing good things in life, will she still be there, taking credit for something she has subconsciously tried to sabotage?

    She is his krytonite and he still keeps her around even though he feels like he is going to go crazy from all of this.

    He always picked up the pieces of their broken marriage and put her back together and forgave her many times. The ridiculous thing of the world floating to the dark side of the moon - with all the bad luck she promotes, she probably had some thing to do with it.
    He felt like he walked around the world - he did many things to ease his troubled mind and was so consumed and obsessed that he left his body sometimes just to get away from it all, most times avoid dealing with her and not even knowing where he was at times with all the chaos and infidelities.
  • Ben from Miami, Fl, FlSong fact: the guitar riff was a rip off of rockell-i fell in love
  • Jir from London, United Kingdom"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
  • Natalie from Philadelphia, PaI 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]
  • Mel!ssa from Pittsburgh, PaI'll still be there for him...
  • Oldpink from New Castle, InVery 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.
  • Angela from Cartersville, Gai 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
  • Anthony from Cape May, NjGreat and catchy rock song, keeps you jamming the whole time, one of my favorite songs to blast up on the car radio..
  • Raii from May , Txi 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.
  • Robert from Montreal, CanadaThis 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.
  • Demetrius from Cleveland, MsHe 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.
  • Jailene from K-town, WaMaybe 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.
  • Dj from Rockland, Ma"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.
  • Bob from Maplewood, MnI 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."
  • Gary from Brisbane, AustraliaIn 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.
  • Joelle from Atlanta, GaI 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...
  • Andrew from Downingtown, Pagreat song about superman and allowing to have the right to do whatever one's true dream in life is.
  • Lacie from Whitefish, MtThis song is SO good...I love three doors down....The drumming rocks in this song
  • Jon from Oakridge, OrTo 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.
  • Arthur from Sydney, AustraliaMainly, 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.
  • Johnny from Los Angeles, CaThe 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.
  • Brandon from Des Moines, IaI 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.
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