You can shine your shoes and wear a suit
You can comb your hair and look quite cute
You can hide your face behind a smile
One thing you can't hide
Is when you're crippled inside

You can wear a mask and paint your face
You can call yourself the human race
You can wear a collar and a tie
One thing you can't hide
Is when you're crippled inside

Well now you know that your
Cat has nine lives
Nine lives to itself
But you only got one
And a dog's life ain't fun
Momma take a look outside

You can go to church and sing a hymn
You can judge me by the color of my skin
You can live a lie until you die
One thing you can't hide
Is when you're crippled inside

Well now you know that your
Cat has nine lives
Nine lives to itself
But you only got one
And a dog's life ain't fun
Momma take a look outside

You can go to church and sing a hymn
Judge me by the color of my skin
You can live a lie until you die
One thing you can't hide
Is when you're crippled inside

One thing you can't hide
Is when you're crippled inside
One thing you can't hide
Is when you're crippled inside


Lyrics submitted by magicnudiesuit, edited by Bellaaaaa

Crippled Inside Lyrics as written by John Winston Lennon

Lyrics © Downtown Music Publishing

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Crippled Inside song meanings
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13 Comments

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  • +6
    General Comment

    John is definitely homing in on the fact that most people tend to hide many aspects of their lives and personalities behind false, pretentious appearances. On the surfance, you can call yourself this and that, and say you aren't' this and that, but when it really comes down to it, no one can hide those truly real feelings deep down that come from having been crippled, metaphorically, inside emotionally and mentally.

    My favorite stanza in this song:

    You can go to church and sing a hymn You can judge me by the color of my skin You can live a lie until you die One thing you can't hide Is when you're crippled inside

    This is definitely a very powerful grouping of statements about humans. You can go to church and sing a hymm to try to make yourself "think" you're okay, or make others "think" you're okay. You can also pretentiously find reason for bias in the fact that someone is different--whether it be skin, thought, or nationality, etc., etc. You can also live a lie that you may or may not have created until the day you die, and think everything is dandy, but, again, you cannot hide those real emotional aspects of human existence.

    John was a Genius; hence, my name.

    LennonGenius!on March 30, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    Lennon was a genius indeed

    Direon November 24, 2006   Link
  • +2
    My Interpretation

    Geez, can't believe such a great song generated only a handful comments.

    I think the song is about hypocrisy, like many other Lennon's songs. In particular, politicians (but also other Lennon's "enemies" like businessmen) may appear fun, normal, lively people but inside they're rotten, and they can't hide that. After the hype of the election, there are just too many characters to mention who fit the bill.

    an2000on September 21, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    Certainly a song about the corrupt people in society, who may dress smartly and smile, but underneath they are "crippled", lying and deceiving. Not real people at all. John always liked to attack these "people" (Gimme Some Truth), but the catchy melody and up beat tempo doesn't make the song too vitriolic. More of a piss-take. We all meet people who are "Crippled Inside." The song can act on a personal level, and you can easily spot the people John has targeted here..... Like my ex-boss!

    BruceGoodmanon October 23, 2014   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    One thing John Lennon does in alot of his songs is sing about a particular person he knows but then makes it ambigous by refering to the person as he/she or you. I think this song is sort of on the same line. He must have met a person who was "crippled inside" so to speak.

    I love the entire working of the song. The tone of the lyrics sounds pretty preachy and in the part where he refers to the cats having nine lives but the dog only having one is the shit!!

    GrungyBeatleon April 28, 2006   Link
  • +1
    My Opinion

    I remember hearing this album as a kid. It was in the 90s and I didn't know all of the details then, but I quickly learned after becoming a Beatles fanatic that all of the angrier songs on it were him basically giving Paul a lashing. "Crippled Inside" and, especially, "How do you sleep" were directed straight at Paul, amongst other songs.

    Paul also came out with an album with direct messages to John that were just as spiteful. Even though these songs were extremely raw and anger-driven toward each other, they were still able to cross-over to mainstream audiences who have similar feelings about people in their own lives.

    That's the magic of great songwriting. Conveying one's own feelings into a piece of work that people can relate to on a personal level-which has nothing at all to do with the writer's initial intent or direction in their own mind(s) of what the song's meaning is-is what good songwriting is all about. Lennon is a master of this. He's also great at conveying direct messages that are completely straightforward without any question as to what the song's meaning is.

    bijoupalion April 07, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    "You can live a lie until you die" I wish people were not like this song lyric John wrote. Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see. Poor John..

    friendofDorothyon May 12, 2012   Link
  • +1
    My Opinion

    I like what John says about being "crippled inside". But I think the song applies to people differently (it's a song not a miracle or a panacea, after all).
    I have pretty bad depression, but if I always looked the way I felt, I would usually (about 85%) look like shit. I thinks there's something to be said about showering, grooming, putting on a brave face when you are hurting, "crippled" inside.

    Don't get me wrong, I love this song by John Lennon......both the melody and the lyrics.

    vinces81on June 23, 2017   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    he was so good at making simple fun songs about despair. i.e. yer blues.

    i love this song, i dance to it, yet the lyrics are like. Hi I'm gonna off myself in about five seconds.

    ieatseedson March 29, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    This song appeared on John's 'Imagine' album and was a sharp contrast to 'Imagine', (the track that sat just before 'Crippled Inside' on the album). It followed in a suit that matched the rest of the album. John commented on the success of 'Imagine', "In order to get your message across, you just have to sugarcoat it, I know that now."

    He re-channeled the darker emotions that his primal therapy had stirred up, (that had riddled his first solo album, 'Plastic Ono Band'), and sweetened them with Billy Preston's saloon-style piano and a light-hearted tune, masking them just as he did his more political feelings on the previous track, 'Imagine.'

    MrDorianGrayon January 27, 2007   Link

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