Disease

Album: More Than You Think You Are (2002)
Charted: 50 29

Songfacts®:

  • Disease in this song is a metaphor. The girl herself, or at least the feelings he has for her, is the real disease. She's bad for him, and he's trying to cure himself of her, and hopes someday to be free of her destruction. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Morgan - Fort Oglethorpe, GA
  • The entire album is a timeline of a relationship. In the beginning the relationships is fine. "Disease" marks the time red flags start to show and it regresses from there, including a rebound documented in the last song. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Tox - SSI, GA
  • Matchbox Twenty frontman Rob Thomas wrote this with Mick Jagger. In a 2020 Songfacts interview, Thomas recalled: "I just knew that I was going to go into the studio with one of the greatest rock star/songwriters of all time and didn't want to show up empty handed so I wrote the first verse and chorus the night before. It felt so good that he liked it but I was really happy when he decided that one song we wrote together, 'Visions Of Paradise,' was going to be on his solo album [2002's Goddess In The Doorway] but that Matchbox should do 'Disease' because he liked my voice on it."
  • Although he was particularly anxious before his meeting with Jagger, Thomas told American Songwriter he always has the jitters before a co-writing session. "I'm always more comfortable by myself," he said. "It's kind of like going to the movies - you never want to get out of your house and drive down there, but once you get to the movies, you feel better about being there. You are glad you went. It's the same about writing with people. I'm nervous about whether they are going to like me and think I'm a good writer, and what if we don't hit if off. Then once I get in a room with someone, it's like 'Oh I could have never taken that avenue.' All writers should meet people outside their element if they can. It’s the only way to learn anything."

Comments: 10

  • Jarred from Dry Fork, VaI can definitely feel some Rolling Stones vibes in here. Great job with songwriting by Rob and Mick, and a great performance by the band as well.
  • Mike from Wareham, MaThis song hit #4 on the Adult Top 40
  • AnonymousI didn't realize any of the bands members were from the South until I heard this song. One simple, seemingly innocent phrase betrays "Bless your heart." I'm not Southern born and raised, but I have lived in the South, and this phrase is just one of their many 'multi-layered' pharses. Depending on how someone says this, this phrase can show concern, or disgust. Women, especially, are adept at making this phrase contain a whole spectrum of meaning. Sometimes, they mean 'bless your(or her or his) heart' genuinely, but most of the time, it's poison. They usually mean 'there's no hope for you (her/him)' and/or 'they'll never learn'. Sometimes, it's even code for 'I hate you.' (Don't get me wrong. Like I said, I have heard this phrase used in the South to mean exactly what it says, 'bless you' and/or 'I care about you'.) In this song, I think the phrase is being used ironically and facetiously, like what he's really saying is 'Curse you for being so beautiful.' [I hope this gives some perspective for those who may be unfamiliar with some of the South's subtle quirks and turns of phrase. I also think this helps support Megan, Yasmeen, Morgan and Bob's interpretations of the song. The HIV thing really doesn't make any sense when you look at the whole song. Especially since he becomes 'free' of his disease.]Oh, and one more thing, listen to Alice Cooper's 'Poison,' similar meaning of attraction versus commen sense, except a little darker and edgier.
  • Sara from Quinton, OkI love MB20, and I love this song. I think it's this girl that Rob really loves, truly, but she keeps hurting him or dragging him down adn so he ahs to end it. But at the same time, he really doesn't want to, because he loves her; he has to, though, and it's ripping him apart. "You taste like honey, honey/Tell me can I be your honey/Be, be strong/Keep telling myself it that won't take long till/I'm free of my disease"...yeah.
  • Bob from St. George, UtI agree with the charm thing. It could be more literal, and maybe it is about HIV, but we should keep in mind that a song can mean anything you want it to mean. I interpret it as being about that feeling that you get inside from an irresistably beautiful woman. It messes up your senses so bad that it is like your "world is coming down" on you. You get hooked, and like a disease, you cant get away from the feeling it gives you. You "cant live without" her. You know you can get burned, but you get step away from the fire.
  • Rachel from Bel Air, MdI just wanted to coment that the line "Every little thing you do is tragic, all my life before was magic" is an inversion of and a homage to a line from the Police song "Every Little Thing She Does is Magic"
  • Rachel from Waurika, OkRob Thomas and Mick Jagger wrote this song together and it is the second track on their latest cd.
  • Yasmeen from New York, NyIt sounds like he's complaining about a manipulative woman that he's trying to lose.
  • Anonymous from AlMB20 is one of those bands that I feel I shouldn't like, but I do. Rob Thomas has a knack for writing songs that stick in your head, or at least mine. The idea that this song is about HIV is totally crazy. Read the lyrics! I think Megan's the only one that's got it right here. I love the song...album's pretty good too. If you like the song, check it out.
  • Jared from Norwalk, OhThis is song is great. I never really knew what it was about until now that I have read it on this site. This is song is great because of it's rhyme and how it sounds (I hope that doesn't sound corny).
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