"Can't Not" as written by Alanis Nadine Morissette and Glen Ballard....
I'd be lying if I said I was completely unscathed
I might be proving you right
With my silence or my retaliation
Would I letting you win in my non reaction? yeah!
How would I explain?
How would I explain this to my children
If I had them?

Because I can't not
Because I can't not
Because I can't afford
To be misread one more time

Would I be whining if I said I needed a hug?
Would you feel slighted
If I said your love's not enough?
How can I complain?
How can I complain
When I'm the one who reaches for it?

Because I can't not
Because I can't not
Because I cannot walk without my crutches
Because I can't not
Because I can't not
Because I can't help wonder why you ask me

To all the unheard wisdom in the schoolyard
You think you're the right ones
You think you're the charmed ones I'm sure
How can you go on with such conviction?
And who do you think you are
Why do you question me?

Because we can't not
Because we can't not
Because we can't help
Laugh at our underestimations
Because we can't not
Because we can't not
Because we can't afford
To be misled one more time
Because we can't not
Because we can't not
Because we cannot help
Without your willingness

Why do you affect me? why do you affect me still?
Why do you hinder me? why do you hinder me still?
Why do you unnerve me? why do you unnerve me still?
Why do you trigger me? why do you trigger me still?

Lyrics submitted by Lamia

"Can't Not" as written by Alanis Nadine Morissette Glen Ballard

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Can't Not song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentIMHO, this song is about the media and addresses journalists and/or critics. She simply explains how the way the media is treating her affects her.
    I think that once you take this point of view you'll see that it fits the lyrics perfectly, but still, several comments:
    "how can I complain when I'm the one that reaches for this" - she feels that she can't complain about the media's attitude towards her because as a pop star she has no choice but to expose herself to the public.
    "because I cannot walk without my crutches" - the crutches could be a symbol for her music which she can't give up.
    The school yard probably reflects the way Alanis sees the smartass critics.
    cookiemanon July 10, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti really like this song.. the words alone dont put across the complete meaning though, i dont think.... u need to hear the music too
    butterfly_shadow_xxon May 28, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentur right.. you do need to hear the music, in the second verse, it's sounds so dark when she says "would it be whining if I said I needed a hug?", and sounds amazing with the bass up.
    -completely underated song on a VERY underated album
    aclassiccaseon March 20, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentActually my favorite Alanis album of them all, definitely underrated. I guess because everyone was expecting another JLP... but anyway....

    Such a darkly beautiful song, just like many on Supposed Former.
    Buddha of Suburbiaon April 12, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentdef. one of my favorites, there are so many ways to interpret it to, so every time I hear it I instantly can apply whatever situation I'm in to it. of course, some of her songs are better for some things than others, but still.. .truly magnificent.

    I too, think her second album is underrated. it's so passionate, and dark, but that makes the lighter songs all the more appreciated. its more approchable, I think, than JLP. don't know why that is... but I like it!!!!
    corriebirdon May 25, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree with Buddah Of Suburbia (loving the name by the way) Supposed Former has so much culture and meaning behind it, as her others do but this is somewhat rich in it.
    This song to me makes me picture Alanis (like quite a few of the songs do) and she's defensive "would I be letting you in" and then worrying "how would I explain" leading to sneering (only in my vision, mind) at the unknowing children. Because they ask so many questions, and don't know what others have been through. That's what I see anyway :)
    WunderEnigmaon January 02, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti like the meaning cookieman put forward, i think you could easily attribute it to that, but i also think there are other interpretations referring to a particularly volitile relationship that she feels she cannot handle, and as for SFIJ by far her best album
    forbiddensnowflakeon November 05, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI effing LOVE SFIJ
    Shmeemeron July 28, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentRidiculously good song off a gem of an album, the lyrics arguably evoke the songwriter's personal thoughts from a variety of situations: a falling out between friends, the recognition of a dependency, shame over an embarrassing moment.
    richard022on December 26, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentsuch a great great great song!!!!!!!! cookieman said it best. nothing to add. just wanna say, this is one of those songs you can relate to just about anything in your life. i love screaming along to this song, especially the last verse. it's so comforting.
    sopurejunkieon January 22, 2009   Link

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