Fan Theories

Name: Monalisa

Basically, I don't have an analysis on the lyrics. but I just wanted to say that the song has the feel of the movie "Trainspotting" if anyone has ever seen it. It's actually about heroin addicts trying to get rid of the addiction (starring Ewan McGregor). It's this movie about the twisted experiences these people go through during their addiction and in the process of getting over it, but the people just keep wanting something else and they keep going back to heroin. They just become these crazy, different people. They're just incredibly jaded and oblivious to what else is happening outside of their closed drug-sphere. They are just living what they feel a great life wanting more and more of something, some sort of joy or satisfaction, but never getting it. I'm not saying SCL came from that movie, because I know Stephan said it's about speed addicts he knew, but whenever I watch that movie, I just think of this song, it just gives me that feeling like the rhythm of the song, very fast paced and just jumping from one moment to the next with this sense craziness and disorder mingled in.

Name: Sarah

I think that this song is simply about trying to get away from that life of crystal method.  "doing crystal will lift you up until you break" "do do doo, doo do do do" etc...  i think that symbolizes how life is on crystal meth, everything is just wonderful, that's what it's like. "i want something else" that simply means that he's got to get another way besides the drugs to get beyond whatever he's going through. but he still wants to be happy and all that like he was, how everything was just fulfilling. "how do i get back there" there is little to do about relationships in this, other than i think he's trying to get off all the drugs, but someone close to him, is just getting into them, and he feels pressured to fall with him/her. "i won't stop, i won't come down.." it's simply about his wanting of something more than this life, but he's still hooked on it.. they want out, but can't bring themselves to do it, not yet.

Name: Julie

from the perspective of a drugs relationship with a girl. the drug is in love with her and is talking about how good it feels to be inside her. It's wooing her. Like an evil spirit she takes into her body.

Name: kate

i think it's basically about someone on drugs or whatever, and somehow, it changes his life, like, he isn't experiencing what he had wanted to, as if his life has become someone else's. it's as if his life isn't what he had wanted it to be, and he wants to be rid of that "thing" that holds him to the life he has now.

Name: Liz

i think this song is about a girl overdosing on crystal meth because the song says "when the plane came in she said she was crashing" so i think that refers to the girl overdosing. i think the girl dies because stephan is sayin goodbye at the end of every chorus.

Name: Becky

This song has touched me so deeply. I used to live in this surreal world full of speed and immorality. Nothing was ever enough. The drugs didn't even feel good anymore, but nothing else would match that initial high from the speed. Crystal Meth is very alluring and exciting in the beginning, but then it takes on a different force altogether. This song is like a chapter of my life. Not to mention, all you want to do is have oral sex while you're on speed, which I believe he also references in this song. I would love to have the opportunity to speak with Stephan in person one day to see what his real perspective on this song as well as his other writings are all about. I sincerely believe him to be a fascinating and incredibly talented poet.

Semi-Charmed Life

I'm packed and I'm holding
I'm smiling, she's living, she's golden
And she lives for me
She says she lives for me
She's got her own motivation
She comes round and she goes down on me
And I make her smile like a drug for you
Do ever what you want to do
Coming over you
Keep on smiling,
What we go through
One stop to the rhythm that divides you
And I speak to you like the chorus to the verse
Chop another line like a coda with a curse
And I come on like a freak show takes the stage
We give them the games we play,

She said
I want something else
To get me through this
Semi-charmed kind of life
I want something else
I'm not listening when you say

doot doot doot...

The sky it was gold, it was rose
I was taking sips of it through my nose
And I wish I could get back there
Some place back there
Smiling in the pictures you would take
Doing crystal meth
Will lift you up until you break
It won't stop
I won't come down,
I keep stock
With a tick-tock rhythm
And a bump for the drop
And then I bumped up
I took the hit that I was given
Then I bumped again
And then I bumped again
I said..
How do I get back there to
The place where I fell asleep inside you?
How do I get myself back to
The place where you said

I want something else
To get me through this
Semi-charmed kind of life
I want something else
I'm not listening when you say

I believe in the sand beneath my toes
The beach gives a feeling
An earthy feeling
I believe in the faith that grows
And the four right chords can make me cry
When I'm with you I feel like I could die
And that would be all right
All right

When the plane came in
She said she was crashing
The velvet it rips
In the city
We tripped
On the urge to feel alive
But now I'm struggling to survive
The days you were wearing that velvet dress
You're the priestess, I must confess
Those little red panties They pass the test
Slide up around the belly
Face down on the mattress
Now you hold me
And we're broken
Still its all that I want to do

Feel myself
With a head made of the ground
I'm scared
But I'm not coming down, no no
And I won't run for my life
She's got her jaws just locked now in smile
But nothing is all right
All right

I want something else
To get me through this
Semi-charmed kind of life
I want something else
I'm not listening when you say

Song Info


Kevin Cadogan: Guitar, Vocals
Brad Hargreaves: Drums
Stephan Jenkins: Songwriter, Vocals, Guitars, Brushes, Programming
Arion Salazar: Bass
Eric Valentine: Programming

Can Be Found On:

Third Eye Blind, 1997
Semi-Charmed Life US Single, 1997
Semi-Charmed Life Japanese Single, 1997
Semi-Charmed Life UK Single, 1997
Graduate Japanese Single, 1997 How's It Going to Be UK Single, 1997

Alternative Versions
  • Semi-Charmed Life (Clean Version)
  • Semi-Charmed Life (Radio Edit)

Third Eye Blind, 1997

Band Comments:

"I think people are initially drawn to that song because of the sound of it. And then they come to realize that there's a deeper meaning to the story. But I don't think it's really like they identify with it because not that many people have had any dealings with speed addicts. And I hope that you don't, because they're really fucking lame. I think it's a song about always wanting something. It's about never being satisfied, and reaching backwards to things that you've lost and towards things that you can never get. I think everybody has some identification with that. The story line between the people, the demise of this relationship, is just an extreme example of that condition. I think that's what makes people really relate to 'Semi-Charmed Life.' Also we ripped off Lou Reed--[singing] doot doot doot doot doot... " - Brad Hargreaves