Meant to Live

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"Meant to Live"
Single by Switchfoot
from the album The Beautiful Letdown and Music from and Inspired by Spider-Man 2
ReleasedJuly 28, 2003
Producer(s)John Fields
Switchfoot singles chronology
"You Already Take Me There"
"Meant to Live"
"More Than Fine"
"Meant to Live" on YouTube

"Meant to Live" is a single by alternative rock band Switchfoot. "Meant to Live" was released to radio on June 17, 2003.[1] It peaked at number five on the US Modern Rock chart and U.S. Adult Top 40 chart, number six on U.S. Top 40 radio, and number 18 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. It is the first track on the group's 2003 major-label debut album The Beautiful Letdown, and was also featured in a UK version of a Spider-Man 2 "inspired by" album. In April 2005, the song was certified gold in the United States.[2] The single is generally regarded as the song that helped the band achieve mainstream success.


Lyrically this song was inspired by T. S. Eliot's poem "The Hollow Men." About the song, singer/writer Jon Foreman has said, "Maybe the kid in the song is me, hoping that I'm meant for more than arguments and failed attempts to fly. Something deep inside of me yearns for the beautiful, the true. I want more than what I've been sold; I want to live life."[3] According to Foreman, this song was also inspired by U2's "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For."[4]

This track refers to C.S. Lewis's novel "Out of the Silent Planet" with the lyric "Maybe we're bent and broken."

It also refers to John Steinbeck's novel Of Mice and Men, in the lyric "Dreaming about Providence and whether mice or men have second tries." And, 'of mice and men'the title refers to the poem 'a mouse' by Scottish poet Robert Burns

The song is well known for its main guitar riff and positive lyrics.[citation needed][by whom?]

Music videos[edit]

There were three music videos made for this song. The first video features live performance footage, the second is a concept video depicting the band playing inside a house while the walls and insides are slowly being torn down showing a resemblance to Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" music video which the "Meant to Live" video has been compared to, and a third video is mixed into clips from Spider-Man 2, and was released exclusively in the UK.

The first two videos featured audio mixed a key higher than the album version.

Track listing[edit]

UK CD single
  1. "Meant to Live" (album version)
  2. "On Fire" (live)
  3. "The Beautiful Letdown" (live)
  4. "Meant to Live" (video)


This song was also released on a 7" vinyl record. On the B-side is the song "Monday Comes Around," which was cut from The Beautiful Letdown and is otherwise an unreleased song.

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (2003) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[5] 52
Chart (2004) Peak
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[6] 92
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[7] 29
UK Singles (The Official Charts Company)[8] 29
US Billboard Hot 100 18
US Billboard Modern Rock Tracks 5
US Billboard Adult Top 40 Tracks 5
US Billboard Top 40 Mainstream 6
US Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks 36
US Billboard Pop 100 5


In 2005, the song was nominated for a Dove Awards for Song of the Year at the 36th GMA Dove Awards.[9]


  1. ^ "FMQB Airplay Archive: Modern Rock". Friday Morning Quarterback Album Report, Incorporated. Archived from the original on April 24, 2013. Retrieved October 30, 2016.
  2. ^ RIAA Gold & Platinum Searchable Database - Switchfoot singles[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ Kim Jones. "Switchfoot - Behind the Songs - The Beautiful Letdown". Entertainment.
  4. ^ Ken Phillips Publicity Group - Switchfoot Archived 2007-10-21 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ " – Switchfoot – Meant to Live". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  6. ^ " – Switchfoot – Meant to Live" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  7. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  8. ^ "ChartArchive - Switchfoot". Archived from the original on 29 July 2012.
  9. ^ 2005 Dove Awards - 36th Annual Dove Awards on; Jones, Kim

External links[edit]