You Can't Win
Kelly Clarkson Lyrics


Jump to: Overall Meaning ↴  Line by Line Meaning ↴

If you go, they'll say you're following
If you don't, then you're too good for them
If you smile, you must be ignorant
If you don't, what's your problem
If you're down, so ungrateful
And if you're happy, why so selfish?
You can't win no, you can't win no
The one who doesn't quite fit in
Under dressed under your skin
Oh a walking disaster
Every time you try to fly you end up fallin'
Out of line
Oh you can't, you can't win no

If you're thin, call it a walkin' disease
If you're not, they're all screamin' obese
If you're straight, why aren't you married yet?
If you're gay, why aren't you waving a flag?
If it's wrong, you'll never hit
If it's right, you'll always miss
You can't win, no you can't win no

The one who doesn't quite fit in
Under dressed under your skin
Oh a walking disaster
Every time you try to fly you end up fallin'
Out of line
Oh you can't, you can't win no

And you try you try so hard
But I swear it on your heart
And you play you play the game
But you pay you pay for it
You can't win no, you can't win no

If you speak, you'll only piss them off
If you don't, you're another robot
If you stop, they'll just say you quit
If you don't, you might lose your shh
You can't win no, you can't win no
You can't win no

The one who doesn't quite fit in
Under dressed under your skin
Oh a walking disaster
Every time you try to fly you end up fallin'
Out of line
Oh you can't, you can't win no

I can't win

The one who doesn't quite fit in
Under dressed under your skin
Oh a walking disaster
Every time you try to fly you end up fallin'




Out of line
Oh you can't, you can't win no

Overall Meaning

Kelly Clarkson's song You Can't Win is an anthem for anyone who has ever felt out of place or like they can't seem to please those around them no matter what they do. The lyrics speak to the impossibility of winning in a world where everything is a double-edged sword. If you go along with the crowd, you're seen as a follower, but if you don't, you're deemed too good for them. If you smile, people assume you're ignorant, but if you don't, then they question what your problem is. If you're down, you're ungrateful, but if you're happy, then you're selfish. The song suggests that no matter what choices you make, you can't please everyone, so you might as well be true to yourself.


The repeated phrase "you can't win no, you can't win no" adds to the feeling of hopelessness and frustration that many people feel when it seems like they can't do anything right. The lyrics also touch on issues of body image, sexual orientation, and societal expectations. If you're thin, you're labeled as having a "walking disease," but if you're not, then people are quick to call you obese. If you're straight, they wonder why you're not married yet, but if you're gay, they question why you're not waving a flag. No matter what you do, there's always someone criticizing you for it.


In the end, the song is a powerful message of self-acceptance and resilience. The line "every time you try to fly you end up falling out of line" suggests that it's not easy to be true to yourself, but it's worth it. The repeated line "I can't win" is a reflection of how many people feel - like they're constantly fighting a losing battle to please everyone else. However, by the end of the song, the singer seems to have found a sense of peace with who she is, imperfect as she may be.


Line by Line Meaning

If you go, they'll say you're following
People will judge you for anything you do, even for just following the crowd.


If you don't, then you're too good for them
If you choose not to follow the crowd, people will see you as arrogant or a snob.


If you smile, you must be ignorant
People judge you for being happy and carefree, thinking you don't understand the problems of the world.


If you don't, what's your problem
If you're not smiling, people will question why and assume you have problems.


If you're down, so ungrateful
If you're feeling sad or down, people will judge you as being ungrateful for all the good things in your life.


And if you're happy, why so selfish?
If you're happy, people will think you're only thinking of yourself and not others.


You can't win no, you can't win no
You cannot please everyone no matter what you do.


The one who doesn't quite fit in
People who don't conform to the norms of society are often judged or excluded.


Under dressed under your skin
Your true self, even if it's not visible on the surface, can still be judged by others.


Oh a walking disaster
Being different or not fitting in can sometimes make you feel like a disaster on legs, something to be avoided.


Every time you try to fly you end up fallin'
Attempting to be yourself or express your individuality can often result in negative consequences, discouraging you from trying again.


Out of line
Being different means being out of the lines society has drawn for you.


And you try you try so hard
People who are different often try hard to fit in, but still end up being judged or excluded.


But I swear it on your heart
It's a difficult and painful thing to be judged or excluded for being different from societal norms.


And you play you play the game
Even if you try to fit in, it often feels like a game or a mask you have to wear to be accepted.


But you pay you pay for it
Trying to fit in often comes at a cost to yourself, sacrificing your true self in the process.


If you speak, you'll only piss them off
Speaking up and being yourself can often lead to anger or disapproval from others.


If you don't, you're another robot
If you don't speak up or express your individuality, you can be seen as just going along with the crowd and not having any original thoughts.


If you stop, they'll just say you quit
If you give up trying to fit in or express yourself, you're seen as a quitter or as not having the courage to be yourself.


If you don't, you might lose your shh
If you do speak up and be yourself, there's a risk that you'll lose control or be seen as crazy or irrational.


I can't win
It's a losing battle trying to please everyone and fit in with societal norms all the time – it's impossible to win.




Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., CYPMP
Written by: Oliver Elliot Goldstein, Josh Abraham, Felix Bloxsom, Kelly Clarkson

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Most interesting comment from YouTube:

Jason Smalls

[Verse 1]
If you go, they'll say you're following
If you don't, then you're too good for them
If you smile, you must be ignorant
If you don't, what's your problem?
If you're down, so ungrateful
And if you're happy, why so selfish?
And, you can't win
No, you can't win, no

[Chorus]
The one who doesn't quite fit in
Underdressed under your skin
Oh, a walking disaster
Every time you try to fly, you end up falling out of line, oh
You can't, you can't win, no

[Verse 2]
If you're thin, poor little walking disease
If you're not, they're all screaming obese
If you're straight, why aren't you married yet?
If you're gay, why aren't you wavin' a flag?
If it's wrong, you're nailing it
If it's right, you always miss
You can't win, no
You can't win, no


[Chorus]
The one who doesn't quite fit in
Underdressed under your skin
Oh, a walking disaster
Every time you try to fly, you end up falling out of line, oh
You can't, you can't win, no

[Bridge]
And you try, you try so hard
But it's wearing on your heart
And you play, you play the game
But you pay, you pay for it
You can't win, no
You can't win no

[Verse 3]
If you speak, you'll only piss 'em off
If you don't, you're another robot
If you stop, they'll just say you quit
If you don't, you might lose your shh
You can't win, no
You can't win, no
You can't win, no

[Chorus]
The one who doesn't quite fit in
Underdressed under your skin
Oh, a walking disaster
Every time you try to fly, you end up falling out of line, oh
You can't, you can't win, no (Can't win)
The one who doesn't quite fit in
Underdressed under your skin
Oh, a walking disaster
Every time you try to fly, you end up falling out of line, oh
You can't, you can't win, no
You can't, you can't win
Oh you're not...



All comments from YouTube:

Lily r Brown

Love this song. You really CAN’T win in this world. No matter how hard you try.🙂

M1k3y Westley

Too many jealous/whiny/delicate 🌺s too willing to knock you down any chance their given.

Jason Smalls

[Verse 1]
If you go, they'll say you're following
If you don't, then you're too good for them
If you smile, you must be ignorant
If you don't, what's your problem?
If you're down, so ungrateful
And if you're happy, why so selfish?
And, you can't win
No, you can't win, no

[Chorus]
The one who doesn't quite fit in
Underdressed under your skin
Oh, a walking disaster
Every time you try to fly, you end up falling out of line, oh
You can't, you can't win, no

[Verse 2]
If you're thin, poor little walking disease
If you're not, they're all screaming obese
If you're straight, why aren't you married yet?
If you're gay, why aren't you wavin' a flag?
If it's wrong, you're nailing it
If it's right, you always miss
You can't win, no
You can't win, no


[Chorus]
The one who doesn't quite fit in
Underdressed under your skin
Oh, a walking disaster
Every time you try to fly, you end up falling out of line, oh
You can't, you can't win, no

[Bridge]
And you try, you try so hard
But it's wearing on your heart
And you play, you play the game
But you pay, you pay for it
You can't win, no
You can't win no

[Verse 3]
If you speak, you'll only piss 'em off
If you don't, you're another robot
If you stop, they'll just say you quit
If you don't, you might lose your shh
You can't win, no
You can't win, no
You can't win, no

[Chorus]
The one who doesn't quite fit in
Underdressed under your skin
Oh, a walking disaster
Every time you try to fly, you end up falling out of line, oh
You can't, you can't win, no (Can't win)
The one who doesn't quite fit in
Underdressed under your skin
Oh, a walking disaster
Every time you try to fly, you end up falling out of line, oh
You can't, you can't win, no
You can't, you can't win
Oh you're not...

Rodrigo Pereira

Kelly’s response to the haters: hold my glass of wine and enjoy “You Can’t Win”.

FawkesOnThe Roll

I love this song, it's so true about our society 💕💕💕💖

r2dcore

This is one of my favorites from the album!

cuphead and his bro mugman

Best female singer by Far!!!!!!!!!

Twundemic

Lol

Harmony Walters

You just can't win no matter what you do sometimes. It's not fair. But that's life. Love this song.❤️

Фен на Преслава

2 queens upload at the same time Kelly and Avril thanks you QUEENS.. 😍😍😍

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