"I Can't Get Next To You" as written by Barrett Strong and Norman J. Whitfield....
I
Can turn the gray sky blue
I can make it rain, whenever I want it to, oh I
I can build a castle from a single grain of sand
I can make a ship sail, on dry land tell 'em yeah
But my life is incomplete and I'm so blue
'Cause I can't get next to you

I can't get next to you, babe (next to you)
I can't get next to you (I just can't get next you)
I can't get next to you, babe
I can't get next to you

I
Can fly like a bird in the sky
Hey, and I can buy anything that money can't buy
Oh, I
I can turn a river into a raging fire
I can live forever if I so desired

Unimportant are all the things I can do
'Cause I can't get next to you

I can't get next to you, babe (no matter what I do)
I can't get next to you
Uh-ya

Ooo-ooo
Ooo-ooo
Chica boom, chica boom
Chica boom, boom, boom

I can turn back the hands of time, you better believe I can
I can make the seasons change, just by waving my hand
Oh, I
I can change anything from old to new
The things I want to do the most, I'm unable to do

Unhappy am I with all the powers I possess
'Cause girl you're the key to my happiness
And I

Can't get next to you

Girl, you're blowing my mind 'cause I can't get (next to you)
Can't you see these tears I'm crying? I can't get (next to you)
Girl, it's you that I need, I gotta get (next to you)
Can't you see these tears I'm crying? I can't get (next to you)
I, I, I, I, I can't get (next to you)
I, I, I, I, I can't get (next to you)
Girl, you're blowing my mind


Lyrics submitted by x_nikole_x

"I Can't Get Next to You" as written by Norman Whitfield Barrett Strong

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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I Can't Get Next To You song meanings
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4 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentThis song is probably my favorite of all time. So much so that I became a member here to add comments about it. This song has all four of the elements necessary for a great song. For me, a truly great rock ‘n’ roll song must have the following:

    1) The “shake your booty” factor.
    2) A musical hook/grove that won’t let you go
    3) A lyrical edge that makes it interesting at another level. This edge can be anything, love, drugs, lust, sexual, social-political, or just a great story.
    4) Most importantly, it has to make you want to be the star. The song has to be fun to sing.

    I first heard this song as a ninth grader and have loved it for nearly 40 years. My friend Steve and I grooved out this 45 on his portable record player listening in the photo darkroom of our Junior High School.

    I have no idea if there is some other allegorical meaning to this song but for me, it will always be about unrequited love/lust (I ‘m sure someone will say this song is about drugs). The song tells the sad saga of someone who has infinite confidence and abilities but pales in comparison to the object of lust. The Temps sing with a passion and a frenzy that echoes my early crushes, knowing that I would never be able to approach the girl. Absolutely wonderful stuff. This is what rock ‘n’ roll is all about!
    grogleyon December 06, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentNice review, grogley!

    I just want to add that this songs brings to mind the literary technique known as "unreliable narrator." Obviously the narrator can not, for example, "build a castle from a single grain of sand."

    The listener understands that the narrator can't do ANY of the things he claims to be able to do; but the listener does believe that the narrator, with his fast talking, ladykiller spiel can and will "get next" to his target!
    moikon January 04, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI prefer when the lyrics are broken up by singer, because the juxtaposition of artists reveals more meaning - one that parallels a single man's love with many qualified bachelors who love the same girl and not one can "get next to her." The reason being, she can't decide between them and they're trying too hard to impress her. "Can't get next to you" probably implies sex, but it could also imply that they can't get next/close to her emotionally.

    I love that the lyrics are so real and tell a story about a common dilemma: the classic, we want what we can't have theme and the girl who can't decide between great guys because she has too many options.

    Most importantly though, the Temptations are awesome for expressing the emotions we feel and cherish in songs that we can play when ever we want!
    JimmyBoy1on February 16, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentEverything's perfect. Production, beat, vocals. Basically, it says that even if you can do amazing things, have great power, or influence, it's not enough to make someone love you. A sad song that makes you feel good.
    mrxb72on July 31, 2015   Link

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