“Disease” by Matchbox Twenty

This song is based on a romantic relationship the narrator (Rob Thomas) is in. And it is pretty clear from the onset that, from his perspective, this association has run its course.

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Matchbox Twenty's Disease at Lyrics.org.

Now what the titular “disease” represents is a matter of outlook. On one hand, it can be said to be representative of the overall distress his relationship with the addressee, his romantic interest, is causing him.  However, another way of looking at it is that the “disease” is actually a synonym for his love for the addressee, as he views his affection for her as being negative. 

Indeed at the heart of the matter isn’t so much how this lady treats him or the negative effect she is having on his life as much as it is the fact that despite such he loves her too much to let her go. Or as the narrator himself comprehensively puts it, he ‘can’t live without her’.

A Dilemma

He is faced with a serious dilemma. For example, it is made evident from the second verse going that, presumably from an emotional standpoint, being with this lady is having a devastating effect on his wellbeing. Yet he also describes her as a “beautiful girl” who happens to “taste like honey”. 

And at the conclusion of the first and second verses especially, it seems as if he may finally be the one to actually give her the boot she deserves. But at the end of the day who knows. For even onto the end of the song, he is crying about his inability to actually part ways with her. In fact at certain points the song reads as if what is actually at the heart of his discontent is something like the addressee failing to fully commit to him.

Lyrics of "Disease"

Facts about “Disease”

As usual Rob Thomas had his hand in writing this song for Matchbox Twenty. But in this case he was joined by none other than Mick Jagger, the legendary frontman of The Rolling Stones.

And the producer of “Disease” is Matt Serletic.

Atlantic Records released this song on 30 September 2002 as the lead single from Matchbox Twenty’s third-studio album, “More Than You Think You Are”. The following are other notable singles from said album:

The music video to this song had Phil Harder as its director.

“Disease” made it onto both the UK Singles Chart and Billboard Hot 100.  Where it fared best was on Billboard’s Adult Top 40, where it peaked at number 4.  The track also charted in a handful of other countries, including the Netherlands and Brazil.

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