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Third Eye Blind - Semi Charmed Life - Lyrics Meaning

"Semi-Charmed Life" was the first single from Third Eye Blind's self-titled debut in 1997. The song was a massive hit in both the United States and the U.K. It has been featured on countless soundtracks to movies; commercials, sports video packages, and 90's pop culture remembrances. A VH1 special counting down the "Best Songs of the 90's" ranked "Semi-Charmed Life" as the 34th best song of the decade.

One thing intriguing about the commercial success of "Semi-Charmed Life" is the fact that the lyrics are much darker than the poppy bouncy upbeat tune suggests. The sound of the song makes people happy. The story within the words is lost on people who are only hearing a song that they can bop along to.

The explicit references to sex and drugs are lost on the casual listener thanks to Stephan Jenkins' rapid spoken word delivery. And many people are simply naive to drug culture and don't understand the references. They don't understand that a "bump" is a reference to a small line of cocaine. The sexual overtones also slip through the cracks. The final result is a cleverly written song with lyrics about drug induced behavior, crystal meth addiction, sexual thrills and finding "something else" to get through the repetitiveness of life, that has found its way to Top 40 pop radio, Kids Bop compilations, and previews for the Tigger movie.

Stephan Jenkins has stated that "Semi-Charmed Life" was penned as San Francisco's response to the Lou Reed song "Walk on the Wild Side. 3EB even took Reed's "doot doot doot doots" and Jenkins' vocal delivery was an acknowledgment of the growing interest in hip-hop within the San Francisco music scene. Also prevalent in the San Francisco music scene was the dependency on speed, namely crystal meth, as depicted in the song.

Jenkins has confirmed that the lyrics are in no way autobiographical or about any member of Third Eye Blind. He did have acquaintances and friends whose experiences he was able to draw upon when composing the lyrics.

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