I Did It

Album: Everyday (2001)
Charted: 71

Songfacts®:

  • Along with the rest of the Everyday album, "I Did It" was produced and co-written by Glen Ballard, who a few years earlier had the same role on Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill album. The song finds Matthews mixing up a bunch of magic stuff to make a bomb of love - he did it, guilty as charged.

    In a Songfacts interview with Ballard, he offered this interpretation: "I think it's a metaphor. The conceit is, I committed a love crime - the love bomb. I set off this thing called love and I'm gonna claim that, and if I have to do the time for trying to spread love - a love bomb - then I'll do my time. It's saying a negative thing to say something positive."
  • The rap in the middle is DMB violinist Boyd Tinsley.
  • This was the first single and first track on Everyday, the first album Matthews played electric guitar on. He was enamored with the instrument the minute Glen Ballard placed it in his hands. "He walked in my studio," Ballard told Rolling Stone, "and the first thing I handed him was a baritone guitar, which is tuned lower than a six-string electric and higher than a bass. It was love at first touch. You could see that he was having a visceral experience with this guitar. I could barely wrench it out of his hands."
  • Matthews surprised himself with the dirty opening riff while playing around on the electric one morning in the studio. "Boy, I loved playing that," he recalled to Rolling Stone. "I was like, 'Goddamn it, I did it. That's nasty.' It was almost a joke when I first did it. It's so ugly and so beautiful at the same time. It's so middle-finger-lifted 'F--k you.'"
  • "I Did It" remained in the band's setlist until 2004. The band performed it, along with "The Space Between," when they were musical guests on Saturday Night Live February 24, 2001.
  • The single debuted on Napster January 3, 2001, making DMB the first major artist to release a song on the controversial file-swapping platform.
  • Dave Meyers directed the video, which stars with Matthews in a dumpster and gets more weird from there; he eventually sets off the "love bomb" and at one point loses as leg. At the end of the video, he is woken from his reverie and we see he was dreaming - he's actually a garbage man at work picking up trash.

Comments: 22

  • Bo from EarthThe song was written as a slam against Steve Lillywhite, who had told the band that they'd never be able to make an album without him.
  • Mike from Libertyville, IlOkay first of all "marijawana" is not a word Dustin from PA, it is spelled "marijuana" or can also be deemed "cannabis" for those who know what they are talking about. Second, this song is absolutely not about having sex with a minor because...well are you kidding? Read the lyrics and watch the video. Dave has a lot of ambiguity in his songs but I believe this particular one is most likely about him pushing the boundaries of what society says is okay and, although he may do time for it, the positive attributes society attains from his actions make it all worth it. He says "nickel or dime" to refer to 5 or 10 years behind bars, but then says the crime is worth the time because it changed the ugly ways of the world. Overall the song may have some drug references but that is primarily because Dave, like many others including myself, uses drugs such as marijuana and "magic mushrooms" (mentioned in the beginning) in order to gain a different perspective on the world, so that said world's ugly ways are revealed and may be changed. Sorry for the long post but hope it shed some light on the mystery behind the meaning of "I Did It" haha :)

    Oh and by the way, hookahs are not used to smoke weed out of. In fact, they are a horrible way to smoke cannabis. Usually tobacco is smoked out of them, I believe you are thinking of a bong, bubbler, bowl, steamroller, etc. take your pick.
  • Krista from Medford, NjFOR THE PERSON WHO SAID A HOOKAH IS USED FOR SMOKING MARIJUANA: It's almost disrespectful to smoke marijuana out of a hookah. Although it can be done, and there are people that do it, usually shisha/tobacco is smoked out of it. I doubt Dave Matthews would be smoking marijuana out of a hookah, maybe a bong, not a hookah. It's probably tobacco. Not that this really has anything to do with the topic.
  • Megan from Baltimore, United StatesIt's definitely about drugs-
    "It's a nickel or a dime for what I've done
    The truth is that I don't really care
    For such a lovely crime I'll do the time
    You better lock me up I'll do it again"

    nickles and dimes are sizes of weed one can purchase.

    and as Jon from GA said, watch the video.
    it's all about drugs.
  • Claire from Kill Devil Hills, NcThis song is about Dave Matthews emptying the waste from his tour bus in a river and it ended up getting dumped on a boat. He is making fun the cops for making such a big deal out of it. He was most likely doing drugs when it happened though.
  • Jon from Athens, GaI really think its kinda funny that people listen to a few lines and decide on some bogus meaning of the song. Listen to the whole thing and watch the music video.. its pretty obvious that this is a song about drugs and a users skewed yet blissful view of the world.
  • Chuck from Cleveland, Oh"It's a nickel or a dime for what I've done" is his jail term (5 or 10 years) for a doing a drug offense.
  • Ren from Salem, MaAll I can think of when I hear this sone is people like Angelina Jolie & Madonna. Celebs who do good charities NOT because they care but because it makes them look good.
  • Andrew from Marco Island, FlWhere in th ehell do you get the idea that it's about sex with a minor.
    The song is about being a "Love Terrorist" and Drugs of course if you have ever seen the video.
    Carter looks like a pimp in tht purple top hat.

    Andrew, Marco Island
  • John from Cleveland, TnThis song is about selling out, and this was the first cd not produced with Steve Lillywhite, and according to other sources, Lillywhite asked the band where the "hit" was and so, this song was written for him. If you search for "The lillywhite sessions", it's pretty much "busted stuff" without a few songs.
  • Dustin from Etters, PaThis song is obiviousely about drugs....no dought about it. he makes all sorts of drug references and such. also if you have ever watched the music video for this song you can see near the end that they have a joint in there hand and that the one girl is useing a hooka which is what people use to smoke marijawana out of
  • Ash from Charleston, WvBen: you clearly know your DMB. I too am a big fan, but not nearly as big a fan as you, I feel sure. I may just have to travel up to the eastern panhandle some time to share smokes (I used to live in Martinsburg, actually).
  • Mogli from Mechanicsburg, Pathe song is obviously about drug use. the second line of the song talks about magic mushrooms. and, he says "it's a nickel or a dime for what i've done" - marijuana is frequently sold in nickelbags or dimebags. "I just did it for the buzz" couldn't be put more simply.
  • Joe from San Fransisco, CaI think this song is about a pyromaniac burning down a house.
  • Ben from Harpers Ferry, WvDave is right- this song is an inside joke about the band's supposed "selling out". The band was exploring new territory on this album and writing with a big pop producer. They wrote this song as a way of mocking the concept of selling out meaning writing songs that were poppy or radio friendly. They wanted to say that just because a song is not as complex as something like the Stone, doesnt mean that it is not an artistic effort.
  • Ashley from Laredo, TxI agree with matt, fort worth, TX.. It does seem like the song is about having sex w/ a minor, getting caught and having no remorse.
  • Melissa from Souderton, PaThis song is about doing drugs and love... you would think that since it is so obvious it wouldnt really be the meaning however its definitly about drugs and love and how you look at the world differently when you experience the two things.
  • Jason from Gibsonia, PaI thought this song had something to do with some sort of eco-terrorist. He blows up stuff and has no remores.
  • Ian from Urbana, IlDMB's first crazy deviation from his normal style...of course it's very weird to listen to at first, but if your mind is open and you can appreciate their need to break away from the norm, you can see that it's definitely a great song that had to be written. As you watch DMBs albums' progress, you will notice an increasing trend towards the unique. Compare 'Crash' with 'Before These Crowded Streets', the transformation is undeniable...and from 'BTCS' to 'Everyday', all we can observe is Dave's transition from traditional to edgy, as all good bands seem to do. ..like the BEATLES
  • Dave from St.john's, CanadaThis songs is all about selling out.
  • Matt from Fort Worth, TxI think this song is about having sex with a minor, getting caught and having no remorse. There are hints of it all over the song.
  • Zach from Memphis, TnThis song is about making a "bomb of love", put in place of a bomb of destruction, and blowing it up on the world. It is a "lovely crime" that shows the irony of mankind.
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