"3 Speed" as written by and Mark O. Everett....
Got a 3 speed and banana seat
Sitting back on the sissy bar
Went to Sev and got a drink
Wish I was driving in Daddy's car

And I looked up at the sky last night
And I thought I saw a bomb
And why won't you just tell me what's going on?

Riding down on Springhill Road
Meeting Alfred out in the woods
Dogs bark and mosquitoes bite
Scratching the itch that makes it feel good

And I looked at into the mirror last night
All I saw was a pretty blonde
And why won't you tell me what's going on?

Life is funny
But not ha ha funny
Peculiar I guess
You think I got it all going my way
Then why am I such a fucking mess?

Want a pony and a birthday cake
Want a party with a scary clown
Kneel down and bow to the princess
Kneel down for the queen of the town

And I looked up at the sky last night
And I thought I saw a bomb
And why won't you tell me what's going on?
Tell me what's going on

Lyrics submitted by BlackSanta

"3 Speed" as written by Mark O. Everett

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

3 Speed song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentThis song is about E's sister, Elizabeth. Basically he's wrote/sung it from her point of view and shows how she feels and what she thinks about.
    zeeboion January 09, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis a qoute from E about the song...""After My Descent Into Madness it’s a kind of flashback to the time before things went wrong.To the innocence of the childhood, but there is a dark cloud waiting above. A 3 Speed is a bicykle from the sixties. It starts like that, she is riding on her 3 speed. It’s a symbol of the innocent time." refering to Elizabeth and her writings from a book he found while she was in the mental hospital.
    thatsplunkintalkon April 06, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think that this album is completely beautiful, and at the same time is really sad.

    I'm sure you're all aware of the pain E has suffered with his mum dying of cancer and his sister committing suicide. I just think he is an amazing person and I can imagine writing such songs about these 'events' may act as a release to him and possibly allow him to fully express his feelings.

    I am in no doubt that this song is about Elizabeth (his sister) and how he's reliving the past with her memories.

    "Want a pony and a birthday cake
    Want a party with a scary clown"
    I believe is about how he longs for things to be like they were as children, when everything seem fine.

    "And I looked up at the sky last night
    And I thought I saw a bomb"
    I think this is about how he could see this happening beforehand. When he life may have seemed so good (for him), his mother had cancer, and sister had mental issues. These lyrics convey how he can see this effecting his life in the future.

    "Life is funny
    But not ha ha funny"
    Such amazingly true lyrics. I believe E is trying to say, life throws a lot at people, including nasty suprises. How we deal with things makes us the people we are.

    I love this band

    p.s. I don't mind if you don't agree with me, because these are ONLY MY OPINIONS!!

    I do mind though, if you feel the need to post an abusive comment about my opinions.
    AuntieChavon March 19, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song refers to hopeless people who only turn away others who try to help them out of their situation
    Lobsteron March 15, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commentis Elizabeth the one who commited suicide?
    SuZaNnEaBeThon September 19, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is great you can really feel the mood, it is feels slighty happy but the cloud hangs over and u hear the sadness. My favourite eels song no contest.
    longliveconradon March 05, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is my favorite Eels song from my favorite Eels album. Like the best lyrics, it reveals as much by what is left out as what's included. You don't need to know the true story of E.'s sister to grasp the theme, or the fragile beauty lurking within. The song is suburbia, plastic surfaces, childhood awkwardness and the seeds of madness. The real turning point for me is when he arrives at the lines, "you think I got it all going my way/ then why am I such a fucking mess?" That shatters the illusion of charmed youth, if only for a moment. Paranoia peeks out with the perceived bomb in the sky, while the scary clown connotes a hint of danger in the dreamlike parade of girlhood fantasy. For me, this song serves as kind of a thematic bookend with "Climbing Up to the Moon," the two songs representing the beginning and end of his sister's life, and neither one as forcefully blunt as "Elizabeth on the Bathroom Floor" or "Driving to the Funeral." The true power of "3 Speed" is not just in its brilliant simplicity, but the tender empathy with which E relates the tale. It's too late to help her... but wasn't it always too late? Was her story already written during those seemingly idyllic suburban days? Somehow you can hear both regret and acceptance simultaneously, a very hard thing to pull off... but E achieves it in this song.
    stolenmomenton September 24, 2015   Link
  • 0
    TranslationStaggering beautiful, obviously!

    Possibly the following is really obvious to American audiences, but I'm English, and it's puzzled me for 20 years*:

    "Went to Sev and got a drink..."

    What or who is Sev, I have always wondered?

    Suddenly today, it hit me - 'Sev' must be short for "Seven-Eleven", i.e. American corner shop, convenience store!

    * 20 years?! Seems like this album came out yesterday - damn I'm old!
    samsalteron May 17, 2018   Link

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