What does Can't Get It Out of My Head mean?

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Electric Light Orchestra: Can't Get It Out of My Head Meaning


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Song Released: 1974

Can't Get It Out of My Head Lyrics

Midnight on the water.
I saw the ocean's daughter.
Walking on a wave she came,
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 old world is gone for dead
Cause I can't get it...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
    click a star to vote
    Sep 26th 2013 report

    As in everything in life there are several interpretations.
    I thought the song meant "I can't get you out of my head" in the same way it's so hard to get that "tune" of "Can't Get It Out of My Head".
    Sorry Please forgive me!?..
    I'll give you "another" meaning that I feel say's a lot..!!

    For 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.

  2. anonymous
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    May 29th 2020 report

    It’s about pollution and how we’ve ruined the ocean with plastics. One can’t get the filth and disgust of the pollution out of their heads.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  3. anonymous
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    Sep 9th 2019 report

    Isn't it wonderful how a song like this inspires so many varied interpretations?

    For me, it's not symbolic at all. It's just what it sounds like. At midnight on the water he sees on the waves an otherworldly figure of unimaginable beauty, and hears her calling out to him. His whole view of the world is destroyed in an instant. His heart is broken with joy, terror, love, desire and despair over this apparition he cannot possess. But still he goes back again and again because he can't get it out of his head.

  4. anonymous
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    Dec 11th 2016 report

    This is an awesome song.However,I believe the song is about contemplating suicide because the writer can't have what he wants ,which is a girl.The line "walking on a waves chicane,staring as she called my name" to me implies that the ocean is calling him in so he can drowned himself and not worry about thinking about "it" any longer.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  5. anonymous
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    Nov 24th 2015 report

    We've managed to ignore the line, "Bank job in the city." ~40 years later, it hit me the day before yesterday. He has gone to a lovely place at the ocean and has fallen in love with the beauty of nature, and he can't get it out of his head. Back at home, (his old world that has gone for dead) he has a bank job in the city. Robin Hood and William Tell and Ivanhoe and Lancelot lived much more adventurous lives, and would not envy his mundane, urban, 9-5 existence, no. His old world has gone for dead, because he longs for the natural world he saw perhaps on this vacation or a retreat, etc.

  6. anonymous
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    Oct 11th 2014 report

    It is about a guy who after accidentally seeing the Ocean's daughter, he becomes hypnotized by the beauty of her (as it is an unearthly beauty) and tragically spends the rest of his days trying to recapture that feeling.

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