"3 AM" as written by Brian Yale, Rob Thomas, John Goff and John Joseph Stanley....
She says it's cold outside and she hands me my raincoat
She's always worried about things like that
She says it's all gonna end and it might as well be my fault
And she only sleeps when it's raining
And she screams, and her voice is straining

And she says baby
It's three a.m. I must be lonely
When she says baby
Well I can't help but be scared of it all sometimes
And the rain's gonna wash away I believe it

She's got a little bit of something, god it's better than nothing
And in her color portrait world she believes that she's got it all
She swears the moon don't hang quite as high as it used to
And she only sleeps when it's raining
And she screams, and her voice is straining

And she says baby
It's three a.m. I must be lonely
Oh, when she says baby
Well I can't help but be scared of it all sometimes
And the rain's gonna wash away I believe this

She believes that life isn't made up of all that you're used to
And the clock on the wall has been stuck at 3 for days, and days
She thinks that happiness is the mat that sits on her doorway
But outside it stopped raining

And she says baby
It's three a.m. I must be lonely
When she says baby
Well I can't help but be scared of it all sometimes
And the rain's gonna wash away I believe this

Well it's three a.m. I must be lonely
Well hell, when she says baby
Well I can't help but be scared of it all sometimes


Lyrics submitted by punkmebabygal

"3 AM" as written by Brian Yale Robert Thomas

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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3 AM song meanings
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  • +5
    General CommentSo I heard today on tv that he wrote it when his mom had cancer and then once that was over it was just his mom's theme song and wow that just meant so much to me.
    My mom has breast cancer right now, I wish I had the talent to write such a meaningful beautiful song. I love them!
    ajkdanceq92on December 09, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI could never quite understand this song, now I have read what people have said about it, makes sense that it is about someone (his mum) who has seen pain and death and gone beyond that and so is a bit mixed up, and his having to deal with her erratic behaviour. It is about how life is so quick to leave us, how a future can suddenly seem impermenant, she seems to have reacted to its impermenance by becoming erratic and almost irresponsible, like nothing matters because it is all going to be taken away again so soon, and even though she has survived it doesnt mean that they wont still all die some time in the future, so nothing really makes sense or matters any more, there is no permenance but in our ultimate isolation and loss, we have nothing and we have everything, because it is irrelavent what we have or what we lose, it all ends anyway.
    but before i read these explanations it made me think about myself and my boyfriend. I'm pretty mixed up and erratic in my behaviour, getting depressed and flippant about life in that way, anxiety or whatever. This song sounds like it is written from my boyfriends point of view observing me. there is a lonliness even when you are with those that you love, when something isnt right with your mental health - it makes us both alone in our love.
    sherbert lemonon November 25, 2007   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThis song always has, and always will make me bawl.

    As a child, my mother was an alcoholic and I only lived with her until I was nine. She always played this song when she was drinking. And the sentimental value of it is endless.

    I remember watching MTV when I was young, and Rob said this song was about his mom coming home drunk. So as a child, I could really relate.

    My mom used to get drunk in the summer, stuff me in the car, and drive around the river at night listening to this. When I hear this song, I can still smell dirt and rust.

    'She says it's cold outside and she hands me my raincoat; she's always worried about things like that.'
    My mom was always worried and focused on the small things, never her addiction.

    'She says it's all gonna end and it might as well be my fault.'
    My mom often blamed me for her addiction.

    'It's 3 A.M., I must be lonely'
    It was around 3 A.M. that she made me go on these drives. I was in second grade, and it was often on school nights. But God, would I try so hard to stay up for her...
    s4v4nn4h1on July 10, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General Commentthis song is written and dedicated to the songwriter's mom, who had cancer.
    mimi_lynnon April 01, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis song is AMAZING. Yes, it is about his mom when she was battling cancer.
    It's means something else to me though. I went through a phase in my life where I was going absolutely INSANE. I had post pardom depression, never left the house and lost all my friends. I began to have cabin fever but I didn't even want to leave the house because I was afraid of the world. This lasted almost a year and thank GOD I'm outta that phase in my life! Everything is wonderful now but this song reminds me of myself back then.
    "The clock on the wall has been stuck at 3 for days and days/She thinks that happiness is a mat that sits on her dooryway"
    Genius.

    When I was younger I hated every single Matchbox 20 song but now that I'm older & understand the meanings..I love almost every one of their songs! So deep...
    babyloveon October 08, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe acoustic version is so moving. It made me cry when I first heard it. You can concentrate on the lyrics without worrying about anything else. It's absolutely beautiful, and so sad at the same time.

    sloantorreson November 18, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGreat song...Meaning eludes me. Could someone help me out please?
    Linogeon January 06, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI saw Rob do this as a piano acoustic on Storytellers and told the story of his mother fighting cancer when he was like 14 years old and this is the story of it
    ok4u2buon February 14, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI always liked this song, I dunno why, it's my favourite of theirs. I never knew wut it was about though... Now I know :) My favourite line is: she thinks that happiness is a mat that sits on her doorway. Poor Rob though, I'm 14 & I'd hate for my mom to have cancer. That's about all I have to say.
    walking-catastropheon February 27, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI always assumed it was about someone dying and having hope.. then when Rob was on storytellers I got a better picture of what it was about..
    social casualtyon March 29, 2002   Link

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