"Can't Keep" as written by and Jeff Tweedy....
I want to shake
I want to wind out
I want to leave
(this) mind and shout

I've lived
all this life
like an ocean
in disguise
I don't live for
ever
you can't keep me here

I want to race
with the sundwon
I want a last breath
I don't let out

Forgive
every being
the bad feelings
it's just me
I won't wait
for answers
you can't keep
me here

I want to rise
and say goodnight
want to take
a look on the other side

I've lived
all these lives
it's been wonder
full at night
I will live for
ever
you can't keep
me here.


Lyrics submitted by Stephen_Flow

"Can't Keep" as written by Eddie Vedder

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Universal Music Publishing Group

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Can't Keep song meanings
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25 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentSomeone contemplating suicide, or maybe just musing over the inevitablility of death.

    The person hints that he has been living life for the benefit of others but isn't particularly happy himself. He's realised this and no longer feels obligated to continue this way, but instead of now looking out for #1 he decides that it may be easier to just not live at all. Maybe the prospect of going on bores him so he figures he will just take the plunge to get it over with and see what (if anything) happens next: "i won't wait for answers" + "i wanna take a look on the other side".

    I'm probably way off here, but it's a good song regardless.
    SKFCon May 09, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think the song is about not wanting to live forever, although he's not actually thinking about suicide. It seems like a statement that the spirit is bigger than the body, and that when he dies he will have the answers he wants now.

    Just one problem (with the whole album, but this song in particular): some of the stuff he says makes me think that the band could break up soon. They've always had songs about death and endings but this seems more personal, and LBC almost seems like a reflection on their life as a band. I really hope I'm wrong.
    Regos the Saneon May 27, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song's about suicide. Either thinking or acting on it. I noticed if you listen to the Benaroya show, Ed dedicates the song to the late Elliott Smith which if you don't already know, supposedly committed suicide (case pending). The Benaroya version is really something to hear also. It's done by ukulele and it sounds incredible
    planetearthon October 05, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis songs about leaving one thing for another but if your loves strong you'll stay, "i wanna rise and say goodnite" referrs to the beauty of sleeping beside someone u love, you could argue the songs about sucide but i dont think so
    i_hanged_myselfon November 24, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song's about just wanting to get away from a place you're at. A place you hate. A place where the people are trying to hold you back from what you want to do. Holding you back from life.
    Unknowingon January 26, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentit actually makes my mind not think as much about death. ive tried to kill myself a lot and have scars in all diffrent places from it but when i hear tis song it is telling me about death but its holding me back in a way like whoever tis song is for or about their spirit is ther holding me longer onto life.
    its a really weird song and some day i'll remeber i sent this and figure out the meaning to it once and for all
    i love JFon August 26, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI don't think this songs about suicide but it is about wanting to die (eventually). I agree with Regos the sane, its about not wanting to live forever.
    Humankind is so obsessed and scared over the concept of death. People often talk about how great it would be to live forever and science is constantly extending the average human life expectancy. This song is Eds way of saying that he can't identify with humanities fear of death and that when his time comes no one will be able to keep him here.
    Many of the lyrics are about all the things he looks forward to experiencing in death (things that he wouldn't get to experience if he lived forever). He wants to leave his mortal cares behind some day and find out what its like to die. Death is after all one of the great mysteries, whether you're religous, agnostic, or an atheist no one really KNOWS what happens when you die and I think Ed's saying he wants to find out.

    Also I think in that second to last line where he replaces "I DON'T live forever" with "I WILL live forever", hes expressing the idea that you don't have to look at death as an end, its only the recycling of energy and matter so that life can continue in other forms.
    NoCode51on September 26, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentpersonally, I dont think its about death at all.
    I agree with Unknowing that it is about leaving a place u hate.
    When I was in the Israeli Navi, just wanting to get out and go home, this song was kind of a quiet rebbelion for me..
    I really love the music too
    tami4on January 26, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti like the idea of nocede51

    i used to thik of death as a new form of life i still do. i believ im gonna be a great spirit who will help a few people out in this world who have trouble with how they feel about death. i feel that this is what the song is tryign to say to my spsirit.
    its very inspiring to me.
    i love JFon January 28, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWell, when I said "so that life can continue in other forms" all I meant was that when you die, all the biological material that was formerly trapped in your body will be used as food for insects, plants and eventually other animals so that they may live. So, the energy that was in you still exists, it doesn't just disappear. I wasn't actually meaning that a persons conciousness continues to exist after they die.
    I'm just clarifying what I was talking about though, not knocking your own beliefs. I did also say that no one really knows what happens when we die and I stand by that.
    NoCode51on March 17, 2006   Link

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