"I Can't Make You Love Me" as written by and Allen Shamblin Mike Reid....
Turn down the lights
Turn down the bed
Turn down these voices inside my head
Lay down with me
Tell me no lies
Just hold me close, don't patronize
Don't patronize me

'Cause I can't make you love me if you don't
You can't make your heart feel something it won't
Here in the dark, in these final hours
I will lay down my heart and I'll feel the power
But you won't, no you won't
'Cause I can't make you love me, if you don't

I'll close my eyes, then I won't see
The love you don't feel when you're holding me
Morning will come and I'll do what's right
Just give me till then to give up this fight
And I will give up this fight

'Cause I can't make you love me if you don't
You can't make your heart feel something it won't
Here in the dark, in these final hours
I will lay down my heart and I'll feel the power
But you won't, no you won't
'Cause I can't make you love me, if you don't


Lyrics submitted by jatkins679

"I Can't Make You Love Me" as written by Michael Reid Allen Shamblin

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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I Can't Make You Love Me song meanings
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  • +4
    General CommentThe most touching part of the song to me is :

    I'll close my eyes, then I won't see
    The love you don't feel when you're holding me
    Morning will come and I'll do what's right
    Just give me till then to give up this fight
    And I will give up this fight

    In such a short and simple stanza, so much is said. I know this feeling and it's amazing to me that it could be put so accurately into words.

    To me, this is (obviously) a song about unrequited love, but it also conveys very realistically the pain and hesitation in trying to move on from it. It's sad because it's so simple and to the point. She wants to be close to him in whatever capacity he will accept her because she loves him, but she knows he doesn't feel that way toward her. It's a hard truth and this song is very honest about it.
    ssquishyon January 16, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General CommentAbsolutely and completely heartbreaking...
    donexileon February 02, 2009   Link
  • +2
    My OpinionAbsolutely and completely heartbreaking...
    donexileon February 02, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI think it's about 2 people who are already in a romantic relationship, but then Bonnie's character realized just how much the man is unable to return the love that she's giving to him, so she decides that she has to move on (she may also have been thinking about how much she love's the man so much to the point where she just wants him to be happy & she knows that he will never be truly happy with her).

    This song describes the moment before she leaves him. It is truly heart wrenching & touching. I love the fact that Bonnie never specified the gender of the character, making listeners relate to the character more easily. It's so sad how pretty much everyone can relate to this song (which is so beautiful).
    wheeon June 13, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commentmy heart aches every time I hear this song, because I realise how I still love him, and how I will never get over him, I will only learn to live with the pain
    Chamigaon May 16, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis song is so true. there is nothing worse than loveing, wanting careing for someone so deeply and not being able to understand why they cant feel the same. im in this situation right now, i can imagine as i hear this song exactly how it feels to lay next to him, sleeping peacefully while i lye awake hoping he feels that power between us, but he doesnt and you cant make it happen, its so terrible and painful
    brec1985on October 11, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song was inspired by a news article about a man who got drunk and shot up his girlfriend's car. When the judge asked him if had learned anything from the experience he replied, "I learned, Your Honor, that you can't make a woman love you if she don't."

    He doesn't love me, and I can't make him if he don't.
    GeorginaMansleyon July 28, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe song is about 2 people. One who knows its over but still loves the person. And just wants them to be honest and dont feed them lines. If its over its over. And the other person wants it to be over but wont say it.
    xPsychoKill3rxon June 22, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI don't believe the song is only past tense, I believe it could be present tense. To me, the song is about a boy and girl in a very caring relationship, but the girl is hopelessly in love with him and she clearly knows he doesn't love her, he hasn't reached that understanding yet. To break it down:

    "Turn down the lights, turn down the bed, turn down these voices inside my head, lay down with me. Tell me no lies, just hold me close, don't patronize, don't patronize me."

    - Right here, in the girls aspect, she's saying let's just lay here together, in each others arms. Be completely open and honest with me. The voices in her head are doubt or worry and she is turning them down because she hates the worry of him never loving her or feeling the same way. She just wants to endure him and he to her.

    "Cause I can't make you love me if you don't, you can't make your heart feel something it won't. Here in the dark, in these final hours I will lay down my heart and I will feel the power. But you won't, no you won't cause I can't make you love me."

    - However, she knows no matter what she does she can't force him to love her, and you can't make herself have feelings or love for another, they just are. The part about being in the dark, I feel, in complete and total vulnerability. By laying down her heart, she is completely letting her emotions take over her and let him feel the fullest extent of her love and she will embrace it. However, she knows he won't do the same because he doesn't love her that way and she can't make him.

    "I'll close my eyes, then I won't see the love you don't feel when you're holding me. Morning will come and I'll do what's right. Just give me till then to give up this fight and I will give up this fight."

    - By closing her eyes, it could mean physically closing her eyes or shutting away her intense feelings for the time being. I believe it's physical and she might rest her head on his chest because she doesn't want to see for herself that even though he is holding her so lovingly and warm, he doesn't love her. He cares and adores her but he doesn't love her yet and yet she holds him with everything she has. However, when the next day comes and she wakes up she knows what she has to do. The fight is her feelings battling his own. She knows she has to stop trying to force his love in even the smallest ways. That the only true love is his decision to love her back. She will still love him but knows that the fighting and battling of her emotions and even trying to manipulate his are wrong and untrue.
    rabbit2utwoon January 17, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt's about two people in a very caring relationship. one is in love and the other wont ever be. But each are having problems letting go, because they do mean a lot to each other- even if one isn't IN love with the other they still love them- are still meaningful in each others lives. and they keep going back for just one more good bye, or to try to be something in each others lives.
    004gpmon September 30, 2012   Link

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