Something’s Missing – Puzzling Through the Void in Modern Life

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for John Mayer's Something's Missing at
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning
  4. The Dizzying Heights of Materialism
  5. Chasing Seasons: The Transience of Time
  6. A Hidden Message in the Checklist of Life
  7. The Profound Echo of Loneliness
  8. Quotable Contemplations – Mayer’s Memorable Musings


I’m not alone
I wish I was
Cause then I’d know I was down because
I couldn’t find a friend around
To love me like they do right now
They do right now

I’m dizzy from the shopping mall
I searched for joy but I bought it all
It doesn’t help the hunger pain
An a thirst I’d have to drown first to
Ever satiate

Something’s missing
And I don’t know how to fix it
Something’s missing
And I don’t know what it is
No I don’t know what it is
At all

When autumn comes
It doesn’t ask
It just walks in where it left you last
You never know when it starts
Until there’s fog inside the glass around
Your summer heart


I can’t be sure that this state of mind
Is not of my own design
I wish there was an over-the-counter test
For loneliness
For loneliness like this


Something’s different
And I don’t know what it is
No I don’t know what it is

A well slept
Opposite sex
Messages waiting on me when
I come home

Full Lyrics

John Mayer’s ‘Something’s Missing’ from his 2003 album ‘Heavier Things’ resonates as an introspective anthem that reflects the paradox of having it all yet feeling empty. Delicate guitar strums accompany Mayer’s raw vocals, which express a profound sense of incompleteness that permeates the human experience.

With the ability to tap into the collective consciousness, Mayer weaves a tapestry of the modern soul’s malaise. By examining the chasm between material success and emotional fulfillment, ‘Something’s Missing’ transcends the personal and captures the universal ache of contemporary life.

The Dizzying Heights of Materialism

Mayer paints a picture of spiritual disorientation in the line, ‘I’m dizzy from the shopping mall.’ This metaphor for consumer culture exposes an endless quest for satisfaction through material possessions. The song hits a nerve, offering a stark portrayal of how retail therapy often leaves individuals with a fleeting sense of joy yet a persistent ‘hunger pain.’

The clever twist of ‘I searched for joy but I bought it all’ juxtaposes the earnest pursuit of happiness with the hollow victory of consuming goods. Mayer’s lyrics suggest that the abundance of objects can never truly quell the existential hunger that gnaws at the soul.

Chasing Seasons: The Transience of Time

Mayer uses the change of seasons to mirror the shifting tides of emotion in his personal journey. The autumn’s unannounced arrival symbolizes the unexpected onset of desolation that can raid the warmth of one’s summer heart—metaphoric for happiness.

The poetic nature of Mayer’s verse is an ode to life’s unpredictable nature and the seasonal ebb and flow of contentment, suggesting that the feeling of loss is as natural and recurring as the passage of time itself.

A Hidden Message in the Checklist of Life

The song crescendos with a litany of life’s supposed components for satisfaction—friends, money, sleep, love, creative outlets—all ‘checked’ off as if on a grocery list. Mayer’s checklist serves as a societal commentary on the reduction of life’s richness to a series of attainable items and experiences.

This sardonic inventory suggests that even as we accumulate everything we’ve been told should make us happy, the mere acquisition doesn’t fill the void within. The subtext here is powerful: What is missing is not something that can be checked off a list, but rather something intangible and intrinsically human.

The Profound Echo of Loneliness

The recurring theme of isolation despite surrounding oneself with people and things strikes at the heart of ‘Something’s Missing.’ Mayer’s contemplation over loneliness, even in the presence of everything he could ask for, reveals a sobering truth that loneliness is not alleviated by mere company.

When Mayer expresses a desire for ‘an over-the-counter test for loneliness,’ he’s highlighting the difficulty in diagnosing and treating this deeply personal and often overlooked emotional state. The song thus becomes a plea for understanding the complexities of human connection.

Quotable Contemplations – Mayer’s Memorable Musings

Certain lines in ‘Something’s Missing’ linger long after the song ends, such as ‘I wish there was an over-the-counter test for loneliness.’ These lyrics resonate with listeners, offering a candid glimpse into Mayer’s soul-searching.

The track’s haunting chorus, ‘Something’s missing and I don’t know how to fix it,’ encapsulates the essence of the song—a recognition of an internal void that defies explanation and resists resolution, capturing the enigmatic struggle of seeking purpose in the modern age.

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