Matchbox Twenty’s “Bent” Lyrics Meaning

If there’s one sentiment that comes off from the onset of “Bent”, it’s the narrator perceiving himself as being a vulnerable individual. He seems to acknowledge that there is the strong likelihood of unfavorable occurrences transpiring in his life. Indeed in a way, you can say that he understands such as an inevitability. In fact this is what the singer is referring to when he says he’s “bent”, as in being in some type of extremely-unfavorable condition. So in realizing such, he is questioning the commitment of the addressee, i.e. his romantic interest, to their relationship. Or stated alternatively, will she remain by his side and assist him once such a calamity transpires?

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Matchbox Twenty's Bent at

Rob Thomas’ Explanation of “Bent” Lyrics

Now according to Rob Thomas’ explanation of this track, what appears to actually be doing down is that the narrator is acknowledging his own personal flaws. So again, he wants to make sure his partner is committed in spite of such. In fact we can say, based on the second verse for instance, that he is the emotionally-needy type of lover.

Moreover according to Thomas this song is based on a scenario where, in actuality, both the singer and his partner have their fair share of issues. This is likely the notion he is alluding to the in the bridge and especially in the second pre-chorus.

But that being said, it is pretty clear, at least from the singer’s perspective, that he is more emotionally dependent on his lover than vice versa.  Moreover it can be said that he is looking to her to compensate for his own personal shortcomings. And by putting such a heavy burden on her, he understands that they can both come out of the situation being “bent”.  However, his general fear of being along if you will, without anyone to help him with his issues, has him willing to take such a risk.

Lyrics of "Bent"

Quick Facts about “Bent”

“Bent” was released on 23 May 2000. It is one of the songs on Matchbox Twenty’s sophomore album, “Mad Season”. And shortly thereafter Atlantic Records also issued it as the lead single from that project.

The band’s hit tune “If You’re Gone” was also another notable single from “Mad Season”.

Some 20 years later this remains the only Matchbox Twenty song to have actually topped the Billboard Hot 100. It also topped RPM Top Singles in Canada and three other Billboard charts in America. And outside of those two countries, it charted in Australia, New Zealand and Poland.

“Bent” was written by the leader of Matchbox Twenty, Rob Thomas. In fact it is noted as being the first love song he had ever written. And the track was produced by a musician who he worked with regularly throughout his career, Matt Serletic.

The music video to this tune had Pedro Romhanyi as its director.

4 Responses

  1. Meep says:

    Thank you! 🙂

  2. Anonymous says:

    You know, in Scotland, “bent” is slang for “gay”.

  3. Scott says:

    Did anybody get the read that he’s depressed? Like he has chronic depression. “Wait around, I’ll smile again.” Though I knew this song from childhood, I cried listening to the first half of the song as an adult in the midst of the worst depression in my life. People are commenting that he’s needy, but the thing is he says “I know you think I need a lot,” but also “it shouldn’t be so complicated, just hold me.” My wife also has a major depressive disorder and it can be difficult on a number of levels, and the guilt you feel for asking for help is rough, and frankly being in a relationship with someone who is depressed is not the easiest, but if someone care for you, they’ll go through what they’re feeling, too, while trying to support you the best they can. That’s the difference between dating while wanting to have fun or get something from someone else and having a committed relationship where you two can lean on each other in good times and bad times. This to me just sounds like someone who is afraid he’ll be too much for someone to love (which, if you’re depressed, makes perfect sense you’d feel that way) but ultimately which way that relationship goes is up to the other person which is why he’s pleading and worried about breaking up. Might sound needy and selfish, but ultimately human, and we all deserve love.

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