"Desperately Wanting" as written by and Kevin Griffin....
Past the road to your house
That you never called home
Where they turned out the lights
Though they say you'll never know

I remember running through the wet grass
Falling a step behind
Both of us never tiring
Desperately wanting

When they pumped out your guts
Filled you full of those pills
You were never quite right
Deserving all the chills
They say the worst is over
Kicked it over and ran
Then they ask what went wrong
When they turn you on again
They turn you on again.

I remember running through the wet grass
Falling a step behind
Both of us never tiring
Desperately wanting

Kick them right in the face
Make them wish they weren't born
And if they bring up your name
Well they'll say you won the war.
Baby burst in the world
Never given a chance
Then they ask what went wrong
When you never had it right

Oh, the letters have dropped off
Though they say you got them all
I finally figured out some things you'll never know.
Take back your life and let me inside
We'll find the door if you care to anymore.

I remember running through the wet grass
Falling a step behind
Both of us never tiring
Desperately wanting.


Lyrics submitted by oofus

"Desperately Wanting" as written by Kevin Griffin

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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Desperately Wanting song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentI love this song. The lyrics just kind of burn into your soul.
    angeleyeson March 06, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General Commenti agree with 'malachiconstant' also for the most part...it's definately not about frats. or vietnam...

    it is about someone he loved, i'm guessing a girl. possibly a girlfriend or a best friend..altho i do differ with the whole death thing. he just said she was never quite right again. that doesnt mean she died, she could just be turned into a vegetable now so he can't do all the things he used to do with her. and he now misses all the small things - like running through the grass, just chasing each other around and giggling. - being carefree. i think he lost the person some how because of the "Oh the letters have dropped off
    Though they say you got them all
    I finally figured out some things you'll never know.
    Take back your life and let me inside
    We'll find the door if you care to anymore." i think she's still alive...maybe she's shut him out because of all that and she's distanced herself from everyone and everything...or she lost the battle and even after all that she still struggles with a drug addiction...
    NothingIsPermanenton May 15, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI agree with nothingis permanent. I have been a fan of bte for years. On the cd jacket of friction baby that this song is on. There is a picture of a perscription pill bottle turn over and pills going into a sink. Beneath the picture is a lyrics from desperatley wanting. I think its about drug addiction, succide, and a girl being confused. Its just about a girl who was born without any answers, answers that everyone else was born with. He trys to help her with her addictions, and the answers but she doesnt want to help herself.
    southernchick82on May 17, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General CommentKevin Griffin himself has finally cleared up the issue of whether the song is related to Kappa Sigma: it isn't.

    Several people on here asserted that Kevin had explicitly stated the song was about pledging, along with nice comments like "do some freaking research." As I assumed, since no one actually included a link, research turned up nothing. However, in an LSU article yesterday Kevin is quoted dismissing the myth:

    "For some reason it got out that ‘Desperately Wanting’ was about being a pledge, but the reality is it had nothing to do with that."
    lsu.edu/departments/gold/2011/02/…
    vastblueskyon February 26, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis song has nothing to do with any fraternity. It's about two friends, one who has his life together (the one narrating if you will), and his friend who has screwed up his or her life with drugs due to a poor upbringing. Just read the lyrics and you can clearly see that.
    esmjlm080507on November 08, 2012   Link
  • +2
    General CommentMaybe it's just me, but I tend to take the words in the song and use them to form a context for a song. I do the same with books, comic books, films, TV. etc. I don't care what the writers say about a song outside the song.

    I don't see any indication in this song that it has anything to do with a fraternity or pledging a fraternity. To state that this song has to do with a silly frat initiation is dumb.

    It's clear in the lyrics what the song is about:

    Two friends -- one raised well with good parents, the other, after he/she "burst in the world, never given a chance," raised poorly by awful parents.

    The friend raised well is trying to save his/her friend raised poorly and who messed up their life.

    "They" are the physicians trying to help the second kid after a suicide attempt.

    There's more to it, but it has absolutely nothing to do with pledging a frat or the initiation.
    HellBlazerRaiseron May 07, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General CommentActually, this song is about something else entirely, something a little darker. Kevin Griffen was a Kappa Sigma at Louisiana State University (I've seen his composite pic at the house. Weeiiird...) and this song is about Kappa Sigma (or any fraternity, really, but specific to the LSU Kappa Sigs) pledgeship. I don't want to spend an hour disecting the song line-by-line, but it all adds up in the end if you know certain aspects of Kappa Sig (especially Southern KS) pledgeship. For instance: "Pass the house, that you never call home" (pledges, seen as practically sub-human were (are) constantly reminded that the frat house is the ACTIVE's house and NOT the pledges). The chorus ("I remember running through the wet grass...") comes from a tradition of pledges, on their bid day, running from a certain central place to their respective houses. They wanted to join the fraternity so badly that they never tired, we're always "desperately wanting." You can read the rest of the lyrics with the ample stereotypes of hellish fraternity pledging ("filled you full of those pills", "kick'em right in the face", "make'em wish they weren't born," etc) and it pretty much spells itself out. The part about "the letters have dropped off" is a reference to another LSU tradition that I don't fully understand (tho I have heard brothers from the chapter mention it), but the "letters" are clearly the Greek ones. Asking what went wrong when u never had it right.. is a reference to the fact that pledges are never right and, most fittingly, "finally figured ouy some things you'll never know" refers to initiation and finally learning the Ritual, which, of course, no one outside of the fraternity will ever know. Much of the rest of the lyrics are symbolic references ("the door", etc) to other pledging things. Damn, looks like i did take and hour. Oh well. OF COURSE you must recognize that I am slightly biased (as are all Kappa Sigs) in this reading of the song, but it has been reported that Kevin himself has admitted that the song is about just this. However, as Dennis Miller says: "That's just my opinion. I could be wrong." Thanks for listening.
    diggit18on July 09, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentUmm... I think some people are missing the point here, and leave it to the Frat boys to make everything about Frat life.

    If there was ever a song about a friend who died from a drug overdose, this is the song. He's talking about a girl who was out a lot like him, and drugs are what killed her.

    She wasn't welcome at her house due to her life choices. How could anyone miss the part about pumping out guts? Desperately Wanting... drug addiction. Someone has died, and the friend is remembering them, while having to defend accusations from outsiders... read the chorus.
    malachiconstanton May 07, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWHAT??

    A lot of people think this song has a lot of different meanings. I guess art is whatever the listener thinks it is. If you're in a frat, you think it's about frat life. If you have an eating disorder, you think it's about you. The song can mean whatever you want it to-but it was written about a girl in a mental hospital. That is the house that you never call home. Sorry brothers.
    sandpebbleon February 15, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Comment this is my interpretation of the song.

    Passed the road to your house
    That you never called home

    (To me this is the place the 'person' grew up,
    but it was a house, not a home for whatever reason)

    Where they turned out your lights
    Though they say you'll never know

    (to me the 'they turned out your lights' part could be reference to the
    pills and drugs mentioned later, some of those drugs can really
    change a person.. so to say they turned out your lights could be reference to that,
    losing spark or life.

    and i believe the 'they say you'll never know' is their denial that anything changed for the negative)

    I remember running through the wet grass
    Falling a step behind
    Both of us never tiring
    Desperately wanting

    (i don't know- possible attempted escape or maybe a throw back to a time in youth
    when they were happy)

    When they pumped out your guts
    And filled you full of those pills
    You were never quite right
    Deserving all the chills

    (i think this is self explanatory but the 'deserving all the chills' part not so much...)

    They say the worst is over
    Kicked it over and ran
    Then they ask what went wrong
    When they turn you on again
    They turn you on again

    (people around (who? family?) believe its all fixed, the drugs are administered and all SHOULD be ok
    but it isn't and they wonder why?)

    I remember running through the wet grass
    Falling a step behind
    Both of us never tiring
    Desperately wanting

    Kick them right in the face
    Make them wish they weren't born
    And if they bring up your name
    Well they'll say you won the war

    (blame shifting? maybe they let themselves believe that they tried to do everything for the best
    but the person fought them every step of he way and in the end WON in that they gave up trying")

    Baby burst in the world
    Never given a chance
    Then they ask what went wrong
    When you never had it right
    Well, you never had it right

    (i liked an above theory of how can anything go wrong when it never started out right?)

    Oh the letters have dropped off
    Though they say you got them all
    I finally figured out some things you'll never know

    (i get the impression that they are talking about actual letters perhaps he?she wrote again and again for a long time
    but over time the responding letters dropped off and the suspicion is they were being withheld from the person,

    and the narrator seems to have gained some insight to the whole situation).

    Take back your life
    Let me inside
    We'll find the door
    If you care, if you care to anymore

    (a last ditch attempt at getting away and healing)

    I remember running through the wet grass
    and falling a step behind
    Both of us never tiring
    Desperately wanting

    Great song no matter what :)
    jupiter001on February 15, 2011   Link

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