“Kryptonite” by 3 Doors Down 

Vocalist Brad Arnold, the primary writer of this song, wrote it in his mid-teens. Moreover he did so during a math class which, as described by the musician, must have been boring as hell as far as he was concerned. So that would perhaps explain why his mind engages in a bit of globetrotting during the first two verses. 

And whereas his related sentiments may not be relayed in a manner that is unanimously discernible, more to the point would be his mind harping back on a particular loved one nevertheless – an individuals whom he apparently is wondering if he or she will be there through thick and thin.


The above brings us to the chorus which, as explained by Arnold, is meant to be interpreted exactly as described above. It starts off by implying that the vocalist is someone whom the addressee looks up to. So the former is basically asking that even if he went through a bad spell, would this person still regard him the same. 

And then conversely, he is also inquiring as to what if he blew up rather. Or further elaborated by Brad, we expect friends to be there when things are going bad. But what about when the reverse is transpiring, and you’re prospering instead? Still, we would want our bestie to ‘be there and hold our hand’. Or put differently, success doesn’t minimize the need for genuine and trusted companionship.

3 Doors Down, “Kryptonite” Lyrics

Relationship between Narrator and Addressee

The nature of the third verse further implies the notion that the relationship between the two parts is a friendship. But either way, this time around the vocalist goes about reminding the addressee of how, when the latter went through some type of harrowing ordeal, he was there for him or her. And the logical implication would perhaps be that he’s making such an assertion not to brag but rather that to buttress the argument that he has already earned the addressee’s unfaltering attention and affection. And by the time all is said and done such would be the thesis sentiment, i.e. the singer desiring whoever the addressee may be, to be in his life from now to henceforth.

Title (“Kryptonite”)

Meanwhile concerning the title, honestly the chorus, as noted earlier, isn’t really that clear. Therein, going back to how the addressee perceives the vocalist, the latter compares himself to Superman of comic book fame. 

And of course Superman’s main weakness is a fictional substance known as “kryptonite”. It has been argued that why Arnold proceeds to utter said word within this context is to point to the idea of the addressee being his only (emotional) weakness. And if interpreted in that regard, then yes, this would be more along the lines of a traditional, albeit oddly-worded, love song. But more to the general point, as put forth above, is that the addressee is someone who the vocalist always wants to be around.

When was “Kryptonite” released?

3 Doors Down’s “Kryptonite” was released as a single on January, 11 of 2000. It is listed as the first track on the rock band’s debut studio album (“The Better Life”).

Song’s Success

The song peaked at No.3 in the US, No.1 in Canada and No.8 in Australia.

A number of films and television shows including the following had “Kryptonite” featured on them:       

  • “Dancing with the Stars”
  • “Unsolved”
  • “Cold Case”
  • “Corky Romano”

Video games, “SingStar Pop” and “Guitar Hero” of 2007 and 2009 respectively had the song featured on them.


Brad Arnold began working on this song as a teenager. However, he isn’t the song’s sole composer. Two of his former bandmates (Matt Roberts and Todd Harrell) also receive writing credits for “Kryptonite”.

It was produced by the renowned record producer, Paul Ebersold.

“The Better Life” Album

“The Better Life” was released on 8th of February, 2000. It was produced by the Grammy Award winning record producer, Paul Ebersold and released through the following record labels:

  • Republic Records
  • Universal Records

Four other singles were released in addition to “Kryptonite” to assist in the album’s promotion.

With sales in the US exceeding 5,600,000 copies by the second quarter of 2014, “The Better Life” can be described as the rock band’s best selling album. As of 2021, it had been certified 7x Platinum in the US, 2x Platinum in Canada and Gold in Australia.

It peaked at an impressive No. 7 in the US and No.6 in Canada.


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