Song Lyric Sunday — No Can Do

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday theme, Jim Adams has given us the words Can’t, Don’t, Shouldn’t, and Won’t. I decided to run with the Hall & Oates song, “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do) because I have a feeling the sentimental favorite this week might just be Meatloaf’s “I’d Do Anything For Love”…but I won’t do that. Or maybe Elvis’ “Can’t Help Falling In Love.” Or Maybe the Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.” We’ll see.

“I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do)” was written and recorded by the American duo of Daryl Hall and John Oates. Sara Allen, Hall’s girlfriend, was attributed as co-writer. Hall wrote most of the lyrics, with some ideas being contributed by Sara Allen. The song was released in November 1981 as the second single from their tenth studio album, Private Eyes. It became the fourth number one hit single of their career on the Billboard Hot 100. It is also one of fourteen Hall & Oates songs that have been played on the radio over a million times.

“I can’t go for that, no can do” was a phrase Daryl Hall used when he was pressured to go along with the crowd against his wishes. According to Songfacts, when the song came out, a review in the British press insisted it was about bondage, to which Daryl Hall mockingly responded, “The English… everything has to do with sexual perversion!”

Many listeners assumed the lyrics were about a relationship, but according to John Oates, in reality the song was about individuality and personal choice. It’s specific focus was on the music business and not being pushed around by big labels, managers, and agents and being told what to do. It was about being creatively true to yourself. Oates said, “The theme is sort of ongoing with us, that people should think for themselves, do what they believe. They shouldn’t act or do things just because other people do, or because the government says to do it, or because their fathers and mothers say this is the right thing. People have to be able to assess each situation, based on their own beliefs, and not just follow along.”

Here are the lyrics to the song.

Easy, ready, willing, overtime,
Where does it stop,
where do you dare me
to draw the line.
You’ve got the body,
now you want my soul,
Don’t even think about it,
say no go.
I– I ‘ll do anything
that you want me to do,
And I’ll do almost anything,
that you want me too, ooh,

But I can’t go for that, (No can do)
No, I can’t go for that, (No can do)
Oh, I can’t go for that, (No can do)

I can’t go for that,
can’t go for that,
can’t go for that.

I can go for being twice as nice,
I can go for just repeating
the same old lines.
Use the body,
now you want my soul,
Ooh, forget about it,
now say no go.

I– I’ll do anything
that you want me to do,
And I’ll do almost anything
that you want me to do,

But I can’t go for that, (No can do)
No, I can’t go for that, (No can do)
Oh, I can’t go for that, (No can do)I can’t go for that,
can’t go for that,
can’t go for that.

Oh, I– I’ll do anything
that you want me to do,
And I’ll do almost anything
that you want me to do,

But I can’t go for that, (No can do)
No, I can’t go for that, (No can do)
Oh, I can’t go for that, (No can do)

I can’t go for that,
can’t go for that,
can’t go for that,
can’t go for that.
I can’t go for that,

can’t go for that (No can do)
I can’t go,
I can’t go–
for that, (No can do)
Oh, I can’t go for that, (No can do)
Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no,
no, no, no, no, no can do,
Oh, I can’t go for that, yeah, (No can do)
No, no, no, no, no, no…..

22 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday — No Can Do

  1. bushboy February 13, 2022 / 3:43 am

    I love what others read into songs 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. shail February 13, 2022 / 4:24 am

    I love what Oates said on staying true to oneself. Love the song too.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Paula Light February 13, 2022 / 5:35 am

    Love your possibles list! Great H&O choice! 🎶❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  4. newepicauthor February 13, 2022 / 5:49 am

    Everything has to do with sex, most of the time. Nice pick Fandango.

    Like

    • Fandango February 13, 2022 / 12:54 pm

      Thanks, Jim.

      Like

    • Fandango February 13, 2022 / 3:32 pm

      They were great back in the 70s and early 80s.

      Like

  5. SadiRose February 13, 2022 / 6:21 am

    Nice song. Hall & Oates had so many good songs but I hardly hear any played.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango February 13, 2022 / 3:32 pm

      They were all over the airwaves back in the day.

      Liked by 1 person

      • SadiRose February 14, 2022 / 4:10 am

        Yes, back in the day, but even the classic stations rarely play them. At least not out here.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Marleen February 13, 2022 / 12:59 pm

    I Can’t Get Next to You — Al Green

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marleen February 13, 2022 / 4:13 pm

      Can’t Get Next to You — Annie Lennox

      Liked by 1 person

  7. leigha66 February 26, 2022 / 11:05 am

    Great song choice. Hall and Oats was a favorite of mine.

    Liked by 1 person

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