"I Can't Decide" as written by and Scott Hoffman Jason Sellards....
It's not easy having yourself a good time
Greasing up those bets and betters
Watching out they don't four-letter
F**k and kiss you both at the same time
Smells like something I've forgotten
Curled up died and now it's rotten

I'm not a gangster tonight
Don't wanna be a bad guy
I'm just a loner baby
And now you've gotten in my way

I can't decide
Whether you should live or die
Oh, you'll probably go to heaven
Please don't hang your head and cry
No wonder why
My heart feels dead inside
It's cold and hard and petrified
Lock the doors and close the blinds
We're going for a ride

It's a b**ch convincing people to like you
If I stop now call me a quitter
If lies were cats you'd be a litter
Pleasing everyone isn't like you
Dancing jigs until I'm crippled
Slug ten drinks I won't get pickled

I've got to hand it to you
You've played by all the same rules
It takes the truth to fool me
And now you've made me angry

I can't decide
Whether you should live or die
Oh, you'll probably go to heaven
Please don't hang your head and cry
No wonder why
My heart feels dead inside
It's cold and hard and petrified
Lock the doors and close the blinds
We're going for a ride

Oh, I could throw you in the lake
Or feed you poisoned birthday cake
I won't deny I'm gonna miss you when you're gone
Oh, I could bury you alive
But you might crawl out with a knife
And kill me when I'm sleeping
That's why

I can't decide
Whether you should live or die
Oh, you'll probably go to heaven
Please don't hang your head and cry
No wonder why
My heart feels dead inside
It's cold and hard and petrified
Lock the doors and close the blinds
We're going for a ride


Lyrics submitted by GoldenGal_42, edited by Orpherous

"I Can't Decide" as written by Scott Hoffman Jason Sellards

Lyrics © Spirit Music Group

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I Can't Decide song meanings
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  • +3
    General CommentI like the idea that this is a song about love. It didn't occur to me until I saw it mentioned above but it makes perfect sense! The guy has a very jaded, pessimistic sort of view of the world and social interaction ("It's not easy having yourself a good time"/"It's a bitch convincing people to like you") and he's falling for someone and he resents them because of it because it challenges the way he sees things. (Also, he isn't LITERALLY saying he's gonna kill the person he loves.) I read "I'm just a loner, baby/And now you've gotten in my way" as him saying "you've gotten in the way of my loner lifestyle and if I keep this up I might have to open up and care about someone godDAMMIT!"

    At least, that's my interpretation and some things don't make perfect sense but I figure it's dance music not poetry and such songs typically go for impressions rather than tight lyrical coherence. So.
    ccbubblegumon June 01, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentIt's my impression that the singer is referring to a girlfriend, and is having trouble deciding whether or not to dump her. "Oh you'll probl'y go to heaven" might refer to her getting a better boyfriend after being dumped by the singer, so not to "Hang (her) head and cry".

    The last part before the ending chorus would be the singer contemplating /how/ he should dump the said girlfriend... "Burying her alive" would be brushing her off harshly, only to have her "Come back with a knife".

    And then the rest is pretty straight forward as why he wants to get rid of her...

    That's my opinion, in any case. The song's more fun with the lyrics thought as how they're put literally, though. C:
    Kanotyneson September 28, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI think this song is about (and sorry if it's already been said!) someone who finds someone so attractive (in maybe a creepy way) that they can't decide whether to, essentially, rape them, or to give in to psychotic urges and kill them, and then throw them into the back of their car.

    "I can't decide whether you should live or die" speaks for itself, as does "my heart is dead inside...and petrified" , when coupled with "i'm just a loner ,baby" - he's a lonely guy who's found someone he likes, and he wants release from either fucking them (because they're attractive) or killing them (because the fact that they're SO attractive and wouldn't get with him makes him crazy).

    "It's a bitch convincing people to like you" also implies that it's the kind of guy who has no friends and isn't terribly socially apt.

    i think the situation is at a party; something he hasn't done in awhile.He's one of those guys who has been let down by life and he's soured by the 'bets and betters' all around him; then he sees them across the room, goes over (probably looking creepy) and attempts to flirt with them, is VERY irritated by their (making fun?) rejection of him, and then decides "well if i can't have you, no-one can! aha!" I think the song sounds so upbeat so as to create irony with the lyrics, much like '97 Bonnie and Clyde' by Eminem.

    there we go. that's my two cents.

    (oh, and the lyrics are "If lies were cats you'd be A litter"...as in a litter of cats. not cat litter. lawl.)
    Rosemageon July 23, 2008   Link
  • +2
    Song MeaningThis Part:
    It's not easy having yourself a good time
    Greasing up those bets and betters
    Watching out they don't four-letters

    This part:
    It's a bitch convincing people to like you
    If I stop now call me a quitter

    This part:
    Pleasing everyone isn't like you
    Dancing jigs until I'm crippled
    Slug ten drinks I won't get pickled

    And this part:
    I've got to hand it to you
    You've played by all the same rules

    They call to mind two very...social people. The type of people who go to a party and know everyone there. They've probably slept with most of them, too. They hate each other. Usually because they're in competition.


    Fuck and kiss you both at the same time
    Smells like something I've forgotten
    Curled up died and now it's rotten

    I'm not a ganster tonight
    Don't want to be a bad guy.

    Most of the time, they're at each others throats. The only exception to this is when they're having sex. Their relationship may be a secret, but it may not be. "Fuck" here means "to screw over."


    It's takes the truth to fool me
    And now you've made me angry

    "The truth" is that the other person has confessed to having real feelings for the singer.


    If lies were cats you'd be litter

    Part of what attracted the singer to the other person, despite the hatred, is how similar they were. Now the singer is finding out they're more different than the singer originally thought.


    I'm just a loner, baby
    And now you've got in my way

    For the singer, the other person having genuine feelings for them sours the beauty of their relationship, which was supposedly based on their mutual hatred for each other. Now the other person's feelings are ruining the singer's self-image. The singer doesn't do "feelings" and "relationships."


    Oh, I could throw you in a lake
    Or feed you poisoned birthday cake
    I won't deny I'm gonna miss you when you're gone
    Oh, I could bury you alive
    But you might crawl out with a knife
    And kill me when I'm sleeping
    That's why

    "We're going to keep having sex. Partly because the sex is good, and partly because I am afraid of what will happen to me. I know what you are capable of if I were to break this off."


    I can't decide
    Whether you should live or die
    Oh, you'll prob'ly go to heaven
    Please don't hang your head and cry

    "If I were to ruin you, you'd probably come out better for it. Because your sole reason for existence is to frustrate me."


    No wonder why
    My heart feels dead inside
    It's cold and hard and petrified

    "Knowing you have feelings for me ruins what we had. But I have to keep doing it."



    Lock the doors and close the blinds
    We're going for a ride.

    "Now, take off your pants."
    seekmoreon March 28, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI don't think anyone's really nailed it - and unfortunately, I don't think I can either. But i know for certain this song is NOT about love or meeting the right girl. Its a perky, upbeat song complimented by murderous lyrics weighing the pros and cons of killing someone. I think the song's opening is the most confusing part - the singer was caught in the act of doing something, but i can't figure out what:
    "greasing up those bets and betters
    watching out they don't four-letters"
    possibly something involving prostitution or rape:
    "fuck you kiss you both at the same time"
    The singer is discovered by an intruder and then spends the rest of the song jokingly deciding whether to kill the person who interrupted him.
    He seems to be blaming the person who interrupts him for his emotionlessness - he drinks without getting drunk (or pickled) and dances without getting tired, and has no heart.
    By the final verse, it appears he is convinced he has to kill the intruder (simply for the reason that the intruder could kill him later).
    The song as a whole reminds me of the car ride scene from Blue Velvet - crazy, jovial murderers - or the scene from Clockwork Orange when Alex and his friends sing songs to each other while murdering the couple in their own home.
    Very interested to hear if anyone else has any insights.
    crazycnote99on April 01, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI believe this song is about a man who decides his relationship has persisted to long and wants to end it. His claims "My heart feels dead inside It's cold and hard and petrified" which may refer to a dead relationship. The relationship may have even been a one night stand, emphasized by the first line, presenting a character looking for a good time. The end of the first verse suppors this decision, he claims that the connection they had is rotten. He claims he isn't a loner but needs to get rid of the woman because "I'm just a loner, baby And now you've gotten in my way." He decides to kill her, possibly representing killing the relationship, but likely just meaning killing her.
    Freeholderon January 07, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commentcall me crazy, but i've always associated this song with hamlet.
    stumblenaon September 22, 2009   Link
  • +1
    My OpinionThis just makes me laugh. Completely insane and a little bit scary :L

    And it's got possibly the best middle 8 in the world.

    Having the Master sing on Doctor Who was inspired :L
    horrorshockon February 04, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt seems like this song is about a man who lives a life of hedenism, and he has a signifigant other who doesn't share in his indulgences. He is trying to decide whether he should kill her or just put up with her.
    Hazencruzon June 29, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is one of the most commented songs that the Scissor Sisters have on this site. The reason is of course that it is ambiguous (in places) and is pretty unpleasant!

    It is difficult to argue that the song is anything but someone who is going to kill someone else - likely to be a man only because most people who regularly kill are men. I do not believe that it can be about a break-up as there is nothing hinted at in the lyrics that can suggest this. However there are some tantalizing lyrics that make it hard to understand, and contradictory - hence the differences registered in interpretation.

    The lyrics have a strong structure: ABB in each verse. Hence it is informative to ask "who" is being addressed? It is tempting to think that it is to the victim, but I think it can be argued that the BB lines at least are an internal monologue. These lines are responses to the killers statements: Viz

    It's not easy having yourself a good time
    (Greasing up those bets and betters)
    (Watching out they don't four-letters)


    Note: Brackets included to make the point.
    In these lines the killer is admitting that it is not easy doing what he does. His internal monologue is telling him that he has to be nice to people who bet, and ensure that the don't swear (although I liked the craps version of four letters I could find no reference to this on the internet)

    If we apply this structure to each of the verses we have a clear statement as to what is going on. Take the next part of verse 1:

    Fuck and kiss you both at the same time
    (Smells like something I've forgotten)
    (Curled up died and now it's rotten)

    Seems pretty clear now that it is a lover that is being killed. What is interesting is that serial killers and sociopaths generally cannot form relationships easily with people. They are in essence missing the thing that makes a person a person, so they often study other people and copy their behaviors (this is mentioned in the books and TV series Dexter, but is also in other sources as well. E.g. Look at the case of the Son of Sam). So here the person is engaged in sexual relations with his partner, but actually his internal monologue is saying that he has never had feelings for the person.

    I'm not a ganster tonight
    Don't want to be a bad guy
    I'm just a loner, baby
    And now you've gotten in my way

    Seems pretty clear to me. This is not of the structure ABB, and hence is not an internal monologue. This is him - a gangster. Does he want to be bad guy? Difficult to tell. He could be just lying to himself- - actually he does want to be the bad guy. Either way not much meaning there. Interesting that he says he is a loner, and that the other person has got in the way. What form of being in the way does not matter. It could be that they are just "there" and he can't continue with the way things are. Some people think that being dumped by a text message is bad. This is much worse!

    So onto the chorus. I think again pretty obvious . The Lock the doors and close the blinds/We are going for a ride is a great piece of symbolism. Locking a door and closing the blind conjures an image of a room and building. Going for a ride therefore does not mean that there are going to get into a car. The "ride" is a metaphor for the journey of him killing/torturing the other person.

    Back into the verse now ABB structure again:

    It's a bitch convincing people to like you
    (If I stop now call me a quitter)
    (If lies were cats you'd be litter)

    Well we know that he will find it difficult to convince people to like him, as per all sociopaths. He has a problem though - he is conflicted between killing, and not going through with it - which means he is a quitter. But the next line is very telling: he knows that he is a pathological liar - the "you" in this case is the killer NOT the victim.

    Please everyone isn't like you
    (Dancing jigs until I'm crippled)
    (Slug ten drinks - I won't get pickled)

    This is the only piece that works better if the whole song is an internal monologue. Pleasing everyone - is this the killer or the victim? Dancing jigs - this is surely to fit in. Similar the Slug ten drinks line is showing that he will do anything to fit in, and he always ensures is is control.


    I've got to hand it to you
    You've played by all the same rules
    It's takes the truth to fool me
    And now you've made me angry

    These lines suggest that perhaps the victim is a competitor. Is the fuck and kiss in the verse 1 a metaphor?

    The last piece of the song is perfect in its comedy:

    Oh, I could throw you in a lake
    Or feed you poisoned birthday cake
    I won't deny I'm gonna miss you when you're gone
    Oh, I could bury you alive
    But you might crawl out with a knife
    And kill me when I'm sleeping

    This sets the scene for the killer to be a psychopath. It is him thinking through what he can do, and the downsides! Not much to it, but a great set of lyrics.

    The song's jaunty carnival tune is at opposites to the lyrics. When I first heard the song, I did not listen hard to the lyrics and just liked the happy tune. It was only listening to it closely that I realised what is about! This gives a degree of credence to the deception/internal monologue argument. Also it makes it clear that the killer is a psychopath - the music is deceptive, and so is what he says to what he is thinking!
    rmaxon November 19, 2012   Link

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