Midnight, on the water
I saw the ocean's daughter
Walking on a wave's chicane
Staring as she called my name

And I can't get it out of my head
No, I can't get it out of my head
Now my whole world is gone for dead
'Cause I can't get it out of my head

Breakdown on the shoreline
Can't move, it's an ebbtide
Morning, don't get here tonight
Searching for her silver light

And I can't get it out of my head
No, I can't get it out of my head
Now my whole world is gone for dead
'Cause I can't get it out of my head, no how?

Bank job in the city
Robin Hood and William Tell
And Ivanhoe and Lancelot
They don't envy me
Sitting 'til the sun goes down
In dreams the world keeps going 'round and 'round

And I can't get it out of my head
No, I can't get it out of my head
Now my whole world is gone for dead
'Cause I can't get it out of my head

And I can't get it out of my head
No, I can't get it out of my head
Now my whole world is gone for dead
'Cause I can't get it out of my head, no how, no now

Lyrics submitted by Kenobi65, edited by misstq, jody100003

Can't Get It Out of My Head Lyrics as written by Jeff Lynne

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Can't Get It Out Of My Head song meanings
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  • +6
    MemoryI just had to respond to this because of the interpretation/memory that I have with this song. This song is haunting and beautiful. My sons father, who had moved to Florida years ago, had always loved this song. For some reason, I never had forgotten that he had. Although we did not stay together, we had a son who is now 17. My son never really knew his Dad. His Father was a person with many struggles. He suffered from severe epilepsy, drug addiction and other social problems. He was always searching for a way to heal and be more stable in his life. He had recently lost a girlfriend, who had taken her own life. So much sadness. On the day after Christmas, we got a phone call that my sons Father had died in the middle of the night (midnight) and was found that morning. He had had a heart attack while having a seizure. I made a video tribute to him on Youtube using ELO's song. I think it symbolized all of his pain, my sons confusion and pain, and empty place inside of himself, where his Dad never was. It can also mean, looking for a relationship with a God, or a loved one, or a connection and sense of belonging to this world. My son Dad loved the water and I think found some peace living by the ocean. My son bought a guitar right after his Dad passed away and is playing as if he has played for years. On his 18th Birthday, in March...he is getting the first few lyrics of this song Tattooed down his side in memory of a Dad he never really knew. Life is bitter sweet.
    Libbyeralityon February 03, 2011   Link
  • +5
    General CommentFor many of us this song is special.

    Especially if you've ever been infatuated with someone in your life and experienced the terrible desperation of "can't to get it out of my head". The first line, "Midnight, on the water", describes the setting, place and mood when love can easily be inflicted. The "ocean's daughter" is Venus the goddess of love who was born from the waves. She is not the object of his infatuation but she is the cause of love occurring between people similar to cupid's role in causing people to fall in love. It's interesting how Jeff deliberately uses the word "chicane" instead of "she came", because he's not referring to the girl that he is in love with but rather this particular situation of love that makes one helpless. Chicane in this context means trickery, and the goddess of love, "walking on the wave", uses her powers and one is tricked and falls into this helpless condition. In the next line, the goddess had called his name, a kind of random act and he fell choicelessly in love. Now he can't get it out of his head. Jeff could have used the word "her" instead of "it", but he uses the word "it" because again he is making a deliberate distinction between this song being about a particular girl and particular situation of love that is desperate. This song is about love’s situation.

    This love is dire. It is so engrossing he can't think or do anything else. He can't move, he's breaking down, his old world the one he is familiar and comfortable with is no more. He's is struggling to get it out of his head and in to escape this miserable love condition, he is searching for her silver light. This means he's looking for a way to appease the goddess so she may release him from his love trap.

    Robin Hood and William Tell and Ivanhoe and Lancelot, they don't envy me. This line is quite poetic and the pace it is shouted adds dimension to the song. The song is wonderful in the beginning and middle but anticipation keeps building and I always look forward to this line. All these men are great and fearless heroes. Time and time again they faced every kind of danger and countless times they've risked their lives and concurred powerful adversaries. They walk this earth without fear. Except even they are powerless when it comes to love. Fight a dragon, no problem but face love's desperation willingly, that requires a real hero. And for that reason, they don't envy him.

    Listen to Livin’ Thing & Turn to stone which are also great song with similar meaning.
    junkkilliton July 24, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis song is from the Eldorado album, with much reference to the Wizard of Oz (eg, picture on the cover was of the Ruby Slippers).

    This song in particular has musical quotes from Over the Rainbow (here the strings at 2:10)

    Hence, the meaning of this song to me is about paradise (Oz) and the grip it has on our mind (Can't Get It Out...) . Even tho the lyrics don't specifically reference W of Oz, I can't get it our of my head that this song is about Oz.
    tsreybon August 07, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General Commentjunkkillit's review is right on the mark.

    Jeff Lynne is an amazing talent. The lyrics, the arrangement and his performance should be recognized. The song in timeless. IMHO, he can still perform these songs just as good if not better. Check out the ELO Zoom DVD.
    crf250on December 16, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General CommentJeff describes the meaning of this song during their storytellers performance, its on youtube. He said it has a bigger theme that only he knows about, but he does give some insight. He says its about a guy who's dreaming and sees a vision of loveliness and wakes up to find that he's actually a clerk working at a bank. He goes on to say that it was supposed to be part of a whole concept album.
    TheKHFCon August 10, 2014   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is very beautiful and its composed so that every other ELO song I hear brings me back to this, like it can't get out of my head! hahaha...this band rocks!!! I can't stop listening to them...three weeks straight of these songs...awesome....

    Song seems to be about this girl he can't can't out of his head, like she's just swallowed whole his entire world and he can't move and only thinks about her...because of this he can't make himself a better person or better the world as some past fictional/non fictional characters seem to have done, as he states "They don't envy me"...
    kewandnotuon June 23, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis song makes me cry! my dad LOVED elo!! :'(
    imgunnin4uon July 16, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commentits "She came" not "Chicane" Chicane isnt even a word, is it?
    GhostmanXon June 28, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentChicane is a word, GhostmanX. It means to resort to tricks.
    Cham Zordon August 11, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAwesome song. Definitely one of ELO's best slow songs. I love the part "Robin Hood and William Tell and Ivanhoe and Lancelot, they don't envy me". Awesome! The Eldorado album in general rocks too. The piano, voice, voice, all add to the great song factor.
    webmasterdeeon November 01, 2006   Link

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