I Could Have Lied

Album: Blood Sugar Sex Magik (1991)

Songfacts®:

  • Anthony Kiedis wrote this song after he had been dumped by Sinead O'Connor, his girlfriend at that time. The song is about lying about cheating, which is what he thought he could have done to avoid getting dumped.
  • The music of this song was inspired by Jimi Hendrix' "All Along The Watchtower." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Spencer - Equinunk, PA, for above 2
  • In an interview with Q magazine May 2009, Sinead O'Connor denied she had a relationship with Anthony Kiedis. She said: "I hung out with him a few times and the row we had was cos he suggested we might become involved." O'Connor also stated that she doesn't "give a s--te about" this song, adding" "I'm not a Red Hot Chili Peppers fan. I can't bear them, I don't get it."
  • In his autobiography, Scar Tissue, Anthony Kiedis explained how a combination of the breakup and Jimi Hendrix inspired the song: "I was shattered. It had gone overnight from 'Can't wait to see you again' to 'Don't call and don't come by.' I didn't know who to turn to, so I called up John [Frusciante, RHCP's guitarist]. He was irate that she could treat me like that, and he suggested that I write about it and we'd get together later that night and create a song. It had been raining for two days straight when I sat down at my dining room table, put Jimi Hendrix's version of 'All Along the Watchtower' on continual rotation for inspiration, and started writing some lyrics about what had just happened to me." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France

Comments: 18

  • Grayson Smith from Vancouver Washington I remember when I was little and my dad was playing this in the car and told me it was about the guy cheating and saying he could have lied. It ironic that a few month later my mom found out my dad has been cheating. I love this song but it kills me every time I listen.
  • Hazel from UkIf you read Kiedis' autobiography you'll see he agrees with Sinead: they never had a relationship. Rather he believed he was in love with her and was gutted when he realised she didn't feel the same. The song is not about lying or cheating. It is about unrequited love.
  • Anna from Seattle, WaJohn's playing is beautiful as always, but I'm suprised at Kiedis. He almost sounds like a normal human and vulnerable in the arena of human relations. Didn't know he had it in him. Do we know for sure he wrote these lyrics? (just kidding)
  • Kyle from Calgary, AbKyle from Youngstown, read AK's biography and you'll see it has nothing to do with heroin.
    About the song, the guitar solo in it is one of Frusciante's best. There's something so gut-wrenchingly sad about it, I think it's the mark of a true artist when they can convey so much emotion through their instrument like John does on this song.
  • Max from Renno, Nvfirst of all, kyle from youngstown ohio, heroin? are you kidding? have you listened to the song? heroin has nothing to do with the song. hes saying that he tried to lie but his eyes always gave him away. and nick from thessaloniki greece, this is just my opinion, but during by the way, frusciante was really messed up on drugs and it really doesnt sound like he gave any of his song much effort. listen to how the guitar changes from californication to by the way. huge difference, not a whole lot special about any of the songs. i like a few of the songs on that album, they sound amazing, but it just sounds like he didnt even try while writing them. but its just my opinion
  • Kyle from Youngstown, OhIts not about cheating ots about doing heroin because of the lines she dont want me to bleed and my eyes coild never keep their cool bexaise your eyes change when you shoot up heroin
  • Clay from Henagar, AlOne of my favorite rhcp songs I just wish John would quit leaving the band. They are great together and they suck apart after all this time how does he not see this!?
  • Nick from Thessaloniki, GreeceDefinetely the most mature song of this album.I think that the Red Hots reached this level of maturity only in the 'By the Way' album
  • Olivia from Perth, AustraliaOne of the best Chili Peppers song! and probably my favourite solo from John
  • Alexandria from Louisville, KyI really LOVE this song. I think he just regrets telling his girlfriend stuff b/c nows its over and stuck with knowing he gave her the power to hurt him. We all feel this way sometimes.
  • Jeff from Austin, TxThe guitar solo on this one is out of this world. I've never been a huge Peppers fan, but I had this album and always loved this song.
  • Paige from Houston, TxWhen I first heard this song, I was struck by the honesty you could feel in the lyrics, and the tone of the artist's voice...

    I can definitely identify with Nikie -- this song strikes me as being about loving someone so much, but not having them feel the same way. It isn't about cheating... just an imbalance of feelings.
  • Jon from West Bend, IaDefinitely one of my favorite Frusciante solos.
  • Katerina from Thessaloniki, GreeceWhen I first heard that song I thought it was about cheating. But after thoroughly studying the lyrics and having heard it many many times I came to the same conclusion as you did.
  • Heather from Hopkinton, MaAnthony Kiedes wrote this song after being dumped by Sinead O'conner. There was no cheating involved, he just liked her alot morw then he liked her and she just ended up moving away and telling him to never call her again. He was very hurt so he wrote the song in one night with the guitarist John, he then left the cassette in her mailbox but he never got a chance to ask her if she heard it.
  • Nikie from Stockholm, SwedenThis is not about cheating.. My idea, pouring your heart out to someone, get dumped and you wished you'd never told her/him how you felt 'cause it hurts so much now.
  • Liz from The Town That Never Sleeps, NvI used to think this song was about cheating..
    but after some recent occurences in my life i now think its about being rejected by some one you really love. I guess the meaning changes with the mood huh.
    -Liz
  • Angelo from Las Vegas, NvI LOVE this song!!!

    Johns gotta GREAT solo in this song I think
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Petula Clark

Petula ClarkSongwriter Interviews

Petula talks about her hits "Downtown" and "Don't Sleep In The Subway," and explains her Michael Jackson connection.

Subversive Songs Used To Sell

Subversive Songs Used To SellSong Writing

Songs about drugs, revolution and greed that have been used in commercials for sneakers, jeans, fast food, cruises and cars.

David Bowie Leads the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Long-Haired Men

David Bowie Leads the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Long-Haired MenSong Writing

Bowie's "activist" days of 1964 led to Ziggy Stardust.

Tom Waits Lyrics Quiz

Tom Waits Lyrics QuizMusic Quiz

Pool balls, magpies and thorns without roses - how well do you know your Tom Waits lyrics?

Charlotte Caffey of The Go-Go's

Charlotte Caffey of The Go-Go'sSongwriter Interviews

Charlotte was established in the LA punk scene when a freaky girl named Belinda approached her wearing a garbage bag.

American Hits With Foreign Titles

American Hits With Foreign TitlesSong Writing

What are the biggest US hits with French, Spanish (not "Rico Suave"), Italian, Scottish, Greek, and Japanese titles?