Can't Stop

Album: By The Way (2002)
Charted: 22 57
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  • For this song, lead singer Anthony Kiedis wrote the lyrics around the music. The words are a somewhat random collection of thoughts, with some creative rhyming thrown in to fit the rhythm of the song ("Can I get 2 maybe even 3 of these, come from space to teach you of the pleiades"). The song encourages the listener to live with passion and individuality ("This life is more than just a read-through"), something the Chili Peppers have done throughout their career.
  • A fan favorite, the Red Hot Chili Peppers play this at most of their concerts.
  • The video for this song was inspired by works of Austrian artist Erwin Wurm called "One Minute Sculptures." which are a series of sculptures made in a very creative way, using the human body as a part of the composition. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Zuzana - Bratislava

Comments: 30

  • Wolfe from OzOne of my favourite songs by RHCP, though it's really hard to pick a fav since they're all really good.

    In my opinion Can't Stop sounds like it's about an addiction to fame and partying, as the first line of the song quotes "Can't stop, addicted to the shindig".
    The chorus could back this up, as "the trains I hop" are mentioned - which are clearly the mode of transport to an event or place with a lot of meaning.
    For instance, the "wave".

    The "wave" could be a reference to fame, genre of music, or a subculture that Keidis remarks about during the chorus, "To be part of the wave, can't stop".
    I personally think it's about taking a gamble on fame and a subculture about music as this would tie in well with a line from the first verse, "Chop top, he says I'm gonna win big".
    Although everyone is left unsure, and even Keidis questions "I wonder what the wave meant" at a later point.
    Perhaps he has realised whatever the "wave" was, it's kind of silly to keep wanting to be part of it, until...

    The song as a whole seems to run in a cycle of some kind, as the first verse is repeated a second time toward the end, after which it's as if listeners are only hearing part of a new cycle, part of a new chapter in life.

    In conclusion, Can't Stop sounds like it's written from the point of view of someone wanting to be the life of the party and to be famous.
    They're addicted to being in the spotlight and "can't stop" until they burn out ("Wait a minute, I'm passing out, win or lose") at which point they realise maybe that's not a good way to live all the time.

    But then comes a new "shindig".
    A new cycle of having it all, becoming addicted, and burning out, starts again.

    Maybe it's not perfect, but it must be a fun way to live if they're willing to do it again.
  • Al"Kick start the golden generator"=Raise the Christos to the heights of enlightenment turn your light on, see through spirit eyes!
  • Anonymous This song is talking about the awakening process, seeing everything for what it is and all the contrast that is needed for you to remember your sovereignty.

    Defunkt the pistol that you pay for
    This punk the feeling that you stay for - is a reference to how our government makes us believe what they are saying is the truth. When they get caught in a lie, they are like hey you were dumb enough to believe what I said. Look up might is right, very popular when Nixon ran.

    White heat screaming in the jungle is drugs being exported and disturbed to keep us asleep. It's also means we numb ourselves through addictions, to drugs, to winning, to having the next best thing but never feel full.

    Knock out but boy you better come to
    Don't die you know the truth is some do
    Go write your message on the pavement
    Burn so bright I wonder what the wave meant.
    Is talking about waking up to the truth and to go write your message for all to see. Burn so bright a reference to ascending in consciousness. The wave are the waves of ascension that we as a collective (everyone) experience and they always come in 3 waves. Also could be a reference to quantum physics wave particals (energy can be anywhere at any time).

    • Music is a great communicator (how to get the message across).
    • Worth your weight the gold of meditation (the answers you seek are within).
    • Can't stop the spirits when they need you (your spirit guides and higher self are guiding you)

    The distant cousins are Alien's, that's why the Pleiadian reference because we did learn from them in ancient Egypt.

    The Golden Generator is the golden ratio, which is the Universal thumb print.

    Can't stop the God from engineering means we are the God's and we create our reality, that's the truth we are waking up to. We aren't apart of the conditioning any more and control is an illusion. That's why they end the song with this life is more than just a read through, we came here to create and experience incredible thing's.
  • Tj from NycIt seems many people have forgotten that the Chili Peppers have been influenced and basically straight up lifting material off George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic (see Dope P Funk Spaceship linked below). This the space references. Sorry but to think this is on deep spiritual awakening is a real stretch. The reservation reference is homage to Kedis’ Native American descent.
  • AnonymousIt’s about me. I waited my whole life to realize the song I played over and over was for me. I respect all answers because in the end it is all about spiritual weakening. But especially the waking of the one who needs to wake up. And see it’s all about this moment and you figuring it out
  • H from EnglandOne of the greatest songs of all time from one of the greatest bands of all time....well in my opinion THE greatest band of all time!!!
  • Hbam from CologneHe is talking about how in this world there are different souls, people that look the same but have a different conciousness. They have their "eye' open.

    He is a "distant cousin to the reservation" means he comes from these people, these souls.

    "Choose not a life of imitation" means he doesnt live the life of the Adam/Eve people(tribe). These souls are the masters of earth, they have a higher conciousness - The other tribe (Adam/Eve) is "imitating" them.
    Thats ironic because "humans" are imitating "aliens", who've become the "disired" humans.

    "Go write your message on the pavement" he is telling us the truth in his words. Also "I know your going to blow one"

    "All on a spaceship persevering" is a reference to how they came to earth. Since assimilating they have grown to a great tribe. They rule, but are only 1/5 of mankind.

    "Can't stop the spirits when they need you", he refers to these souls being able to "see" different energies. They can do many things..

    "Mop Tops are happy when they feed you", the Adam/Eve humans feed these other souls with energy. Energy can be transmitted through thoughts for example. They dont "need" "this" energy.

    Lastly, these higher souls have kings and queens, dont forget they are a fifth of mankind, to these ruler's (almost gods) hes making some refferences, some are ovious.

    But Im not going to elaborate on that. (^HBAM^)

    In the end, all is one, and one is all. All souls are one, a creation of everything, which is called "Jehova".
    Dont be scared there are many souls.
  • Christine from UsaThis song is definitely about spiritual awakening. There are references to a twin flame guiding the awakeming, seeing the truth, authenticity...and so much more pointing to spiritual awakening...
  • Lydia Mcgowan from Monkstown Co. Dublin IrelandOne of my first Red Hot Chili Peppers songs.
  • Aussie Baby from SydneyReferences The Great Gatsby?
  • Seth from TuscaloosaJazz Fest 2016, they opened the show with this jam. Seriously changed my life. I've been down the music rabbit hole ever since.
  • Sonny from PhilippinesIts about spiritual awakening! I realized this now!
  • Jg from Joppa, MdYeeun, Many couples?
  • Mimzy from Salem, Ori think this song is about aliens .... think ... Kick start the golden generator
    Sweet talk but don't intimidate her
    Can't stop the gods from engineering
    Feel no need for any interfering
    Your image in the dictionary
    This life is more than ordinary
    Can I get 2 maybe even 3 of these
    Come from space
    To teach you of the Pleiades (a star cluster where ETs come from)
    Can't stop the spirits when they need you
    This life is more than just a read thru
  • Mike from Luvshuck, PaGo ask the dust for any answers
    come back strong with 50 belly dancers
    anyone know what that means?
  • Zach from Jacksonville, FlAwsome song in my top five
  • Cole from San Francisco, CaThe Red Hot Chili Peppers is the best band ever! This is definitely one of my top 3 songs of all time
  • Ninja from Las Vegas, Nvahh! The beat is just freaken awesome. And the video is real creative. One of my fav songs;)gets me hyphy:P Finally a song with no comments of it being of drug abuse and addiction...haha:O
  • Yeeun from Warsaw, PolandGood song... But many couples misunderstand the song lyrics, I hear it's one of the most misunderstood songs. It's also about the death of this guy, I forget who, though.
  • Théo from Tallahassee, FlI recently wrote an analysis paper about this song for my ENC1102 class. I received an A+ by the way.
    The following is my thesis and a short introduction to my eight page paper:
    "The song is about trial and error and how we learn from the mistakes we make that are caused by temptation. The song can be split up, by verse, into a few closely related parts, which have their own separate and specific themes: The first verse is about having a problem, such as a drug addiction. The second verse ("Sweetheart is bleeding...") is about loss of control, and an attempt at gaining it back. The third verse ("Wait a minute...") is about hitting the hypothetical bottom, how the narrator knew he or she might be screwed, and how the narrator sees himself or herself getting back up. The fourth verse is a repetition of the first verse, which shows how the narrator might have looked back and realized how poorly he or she was living. The fifth and final verse ("Kick start the golden...") is about the lessons learned and the control he has over his life now, as well as how strong he feels. There is no specification as to who the narrator is or what the problem might be, but I have assumed that Kiedis is the narrator and the problem is drug abuse."
  • Ben from Ocean City, NjThis was the song I first heard by the Peppers when I was a little kid, still one of my all-time favorites! This song got me hooked on the music that makes me think pretty much forever, thankyou Chilis!
  • Austin from Smallsville,new England, --The song was left out on their greatest hits cd even though there was enough room for one more song
  • Mark from Worcester, MiJohn Frusciante was the primary creative force behind the music for this song. Heard him in an interview where he cited this as a song that most people associate with Flea, but it was his baby. He was pointing out how hard it is for people to figure out who wrote what, and he had some examples of other songs that Flea or Anthony got started but people think that he did.
  • Olivia from Perth, AustraliaOne of my favourite songs. Love the guitar riff
  • Ikkin from Bedford, Txthis is one of my favorite red hot chili peppers. they rock
  • Chris from New Jersey, Njha i used this for a science project
  • Billy from Calgary, CanadaThis is a pretty nice song.
  • George from Jackson, Njpliedes is spelled pleiades they are a small open cluster of bright stars.
  • Jay from Geneva, CheezlandThis song was used to motivate the crew on "Alinghi" the year that boat won the American's cup for the first time. It was played onborad before each race and has become their signature tune since.
  • Soso from Somewhere, United Statesbeautful song. all their songs have deeper meanings though, find it.
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