“Long Day” by Matchbox Twenty

“Long Day” seems to be premised on the age-old adage that ‘you can escape from anyone except yourself’. The narrator is someone whom we can define as being regularly depressed. Indeed the term “long day”, as you probably already know, alludes to the idea of a day not only being frustration but also adding to the displeasure seemingly endless. And what the singer is saying is that he feels like this “always”. Moreover in the first verse, hints are dropped which can be interpreted as the source of his depression being an experience akin to getting dumped by the woman he loves.

But whatever the reason, he now apparently finds himself in a situation in which he is so negative-minded that virtually no one can really tolerate being around him. He even goes as far as to state that he is “so terrified” of himself.  But the addressee is the one individual who can actually put up with him.

Now who this addressee is exactly is not specified. But considering that the singer seems to refer to him as a “man” in the third verse, we can presume he is someone like a male friend. In fact according to the second verse, this person would actually be the narrator’s closest friend, as in the one he vents to when he’s feeling down. And going back to what was discussed earlier, he does feel downtrodden quite often.


So conclusively, this song can easily be classified as being based primarily on the vocalist’s depression. But perhaps more accurately, it can be considered to be an ode to friendship. For even though the singer never really goes as far as to say anything positive, he still makes it pretty clear that the addressee, i.e. his close friend, plays an invaluable role in his life.

Lyrics of "Long Day"

Facts about “Long Day”

This is the first single which Matchbox Twenty ever released. And accordingly it is featured on their maiden album, “Yourself or Someone Like You”.  The song itself was released via Atlantic Records on 1 January 1996.

Matchbox Twenty’s Rob Thomas wrote “Long Day”. And the track was produced by someone he went on to develop a close working relationship with, Matt Serletic.

The director behind the music video to this song is Roger Pistole.

“Long Day” charted in Australia, Canada and the US. And in terms of the latter it peaked at number eight on Billboard’s Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks.

3 Responses

  1. Ron says:

    This song hits home , I love it !! One of my
    Favorite artists

  2. ED says:

    Yeah, pretty close interpretation, but no, I’m pretty sure that ain’t it. I’ve come to this conclusion after hitting replay all afternoon, and no, I’ve been an MB20 fan for years, today it just says hey buddy, listen up, this is you.

    You could overlay a man and woman in a marital, if not long seasoned monogamous, relationship.

    The man (i.e. me) is impossible to live with. He’s got a shit load of issues but ultimately does the “right” thing. The “right” thing is the daily necessities that sustains life for all in the “circle of life” on which depends on he, them, she.

    “Reach yourself for no one else but you. You won’t turn away when someone else is gone.”

    She acknowledges his problem for the last time. This isn’t the first time they’ve clashed over this, obviously. He’s been reaching for everything in life that makes her and everyone else dependent on him, and it’s been sufficient to keep all together, everyone trapped in the bond of mutual life necessities that he was providing, but she says screw this, I need more besides the necessities of life, of which you provide.

    Verse two is the background which led to verse 1. “I’ is the same as the author in verse 1. It is an explanation of what led to V1, albeit, assumed too late. Too late, as in an apology after the inevitable which isn’t going to restore her back to him. He’s sorry about the attitude that has to project his place of honor, the man throne to be provider first and foremost above all else. The man needs to be first provider for all, and concern about himself is secondary, and for someone who doesn’t have any love for self, it is his only role in life. Self be damned, if I have people who depend on me, that gives me purpose. The “shit from me” is his best apology, and expression of self-reality, whereby he knows the life she endures is mostly shit by societal standards, falling short in all social norms besides the well taken care of needs.

    “I’m so terrified of no one else but me” – this is where my thoughts break down a bit. I would write it a bit different, but maybe this comes from she’s already gone. Just doesn’t make sense to me with the apology of V2. On timeline 0, I’d say terrified of her, by her leaving he has no self purpose. Only when she’s gone is he terrified of self first. Maybe then, he’s terrified because without purpose, there’s no need to live, and that’s a problem in and of itself.

    I think the follow on thoughts complete my thesis. “I’m here all the time”. “I won’t go away.” “I can’t get myself to go away.” “It’s me, I can’t get myself to go away, Oh God, I shouldn’t feel this way.” “Pull out some hope for me” “ITS BEEN A LONG DAY”

    This is a person who has struggled his whole life with self hatred. The only meaning in his life was because a woman joined with him, in all his troubles. Was she duped? Or was she sufficiently prepped on what she was joining in to? My wife was prepped. However, that doesn’t mean she’s without blame if she finally decides the cross he carries is too great to bear. Which, In which case, my Long Day would continue, alone.

  3. ed says:

    It isn’t primarily about the POV of depression – it is self hatred. Self hatred is what has driven her from his life.

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