You Can't Always Get What You Want
The Rolling Stones Lyrics


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I saw her today at the reception
A glass of wine in her hand
I knew she would meet her connection
At her feet was her footloose man

No, you can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometime you'll find
You get what you need

I saw her today at the reception
A glass of wine in her hand
I knew she was gonna meet her connection
At her feet was her footloose man

You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes, well, you might find
You get what you need
Ah, yeah
Oh

And I went down to the demonstration
To get my fair share of abuse
Singing, "We're gonna vent our frustration
If we don't we're gonna blow a fifty-amp fuse"
Sing it to me, honey

You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes, well, you just might find
You get what you need
Ah baby, yeah
Ah

I went down to the Chelsea drugstore
To get your prescription filled
I was standing in line with Mr. Jimmy
And, man, did he look pretty ill
We decided that we would have a soda
My favorite flavor, cherry red
I sung my song to Mr. Jimmy
Yeah, and he said one word to me, and that was "dead"
I said to him

You can't always get what you want, well no
You can't always get what you want. I tell you, baby
You can't always get what you want, no
But if you try sometimes you just might find, uh, mm
You get what you need, oh yeah, woo!

Ah, woo!

You get what you need, yeah, oh baby
Ah yeah

I saw her today at the reception
In her glass was a bleeding man
She was practiced at the art of deception
Well, I could tell by her blood-stained hands, sing it

You can't always get what you want, yeah
You can't always get what you want, ooh yeah, child
You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you just might find
You just might find
You get what you need, ah yeah
Ah baby, woo!

Ah, you can't always get what you want, no, no, baby
You can't always get what you want, you can't now, now
You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you just might find
You just might find that you




You get what you need, oh yeah
Ah yeah, do that

Overall Meaning

The Rolling Stones' "You Can't Always Get What You Want" is one of the most iconic songs of all time, and its lyrics are filled with powerful insights about life, love, and the pursuit of meaning. The song is essentially about the tension between desire and reality, and the fact that no matter how much we want something, we can't always have it. The verses describe encounters with various people, each of whom is seeking something that they ultimately can't have. The singer sees a woman at a reception, holding a glass of wine, who he knows is looking for her "connection," but at her feet is her "footloose man," who she can't control. The chorus of the song is a declaration that "you can't always get what you want," but if you try hard enough, you'll find that you get what you need. The final verse of the song tells the story of the singer encountering another man who is trying to get his "prescription filled," only to discover that the person he's with is dying.


The song's message is clear: life is full of disappointment and setbacks, and we can't always get everything we want. However, if we're willing to stay the course and keep trying, we can often discover that what we need is right in front of us. The lyrics are filled with vivid imagery and poetic language, making the song a timeless classic that has resonated with audiences for decades.


Line by Line Meaning

I saw her today at the reception
The singer saw the girl he likes at a gathering.


A glass of wine in her hand
She was holding a glass of wine.


I knew she would meet her connection
The singer understood that she would meet someone she was interested in.


At her feet was her footloose man
Her current partner was with her.


No, you can't always get what you want
The artist acknowledges that life does not always give us what we desire.


But if you try sometime you'll find
By putting in effort, we can still achieve our goals.


You get what you need
Sometimes, what we truly require is different from what we think we want.


And I went down to the demonstration
The artist attended a protest.


To get my fair share of abuse
The artist expected to endure some mistreatment.


Singing, 'We're gonna vent our frustration
The protestors planned to express their anger.


If we don't we're gonna blow a fifty-amp fuse'
If they didn't release their anger, they might explode.


We decided that we would have a soda
The artist and his friend chose to have a drink.


My favorite flavor, cherry red
The singer liked the flavor cherry red.


I sung my song to Mr. Jimmy
The singer sang a tune to his friend.


And that was 'dead'
Mr. Jimmy gave a pessimistic response.


But if you try sometimes, well, you just might find
Making an effort can yield unexpected results.


I saw her today at the reception
The artist saw the girl he likes at a gathering.


In her glass was a bleeding man
She was holding a drink that resembled blood.


She was practiced at the art of deception
The singer realized that she was skilled at deception.


Well, I could tell by her blood-stained hands
The artist noticed that her hands were stained red.




Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Abkco Music Inc.
Written by: Keith Richards, Mick Jagger

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Comments from YouTube:

@larrywalker5781

In my humble opinion as a 78 year old male this was the best Stones song ever

@duanedodson1

This is a good song, until I seen the lipstick wearing fool.

@christianrodriguez-sg8vt

I agree sir.

@chilloften

Haha, it’s a beauty. So many good ones from these guys, what a joy.

@jilldove5793

I'm 55 grew up on stones. Have every vinyl. Been blessed to see them 9 time. Still my fav stones song & wild horses❤

@user-cu4vm8eh5d

Absolutely ! Young man !

2 More Replies...

@carrieashford1683

My dad's favorite song. We played this at his funeral and two years later at my baby sisters. Miss them with all my heart ❤️

@Aquas1998

2024 and this generation needs to hear this again and again until they’re deaf.

@alah7243

My dad would always sing me this song back in the 90s whenever I would ask for something but we were very poor which used to make me hate this song. But now that he’s gone I will forever love this song as a way to remember him

@edsherrod5216

I used to sing the chorus to my oldest son when he was growing up as well....It fits so many situations :-)

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