“I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do)” by Hall & Oates (1981)

November 18, 2022

“I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do)” is an American single released by Hall & Oates in 1981. While many believe the song sounds like a love song, Hall has dismissed these allegations. 

Fun Facts:

  • The band is made up of Daryl Hall on lead vocals and John Oates on electric guitar and background vocals. 
  • Hall & Oates came up with the melody one evening. The following day, Sara Allen and the two worked on the lyrics producing the entire melody.
  • Unlike many bands today, Hall & Oates write their songs themselves. 
  • Hall has mentioned severally in the past that the song’s lyrics speak about the music business and not about love. They intended for artists to stand up to managers, record labels, and agents against being pushed around.
  • The song features Charles DeChant on the saxophone; he is closely associated with Hall & Oates melodies.
  • The song debuted at number 59 on the Hot 100 during the week of November 14th, 1981.
  • Although “I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do)” is not a love song, airplay by urban contemporary pushed the song to the top of the US R&B chart.
  • Hall recounts that during the We are the World recording, Michael Jackson told him that he lifted the ‘Billie Jean’ bass line from I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do).
  • Hall & Oates was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2003. 
  • Some of their most popular songs include “Sara Smile,” “You Make My Dreams,” “Say It Isn’t So,” and “She’s Gone.” 
  • Six of the pair’s albums have been certified gold, and seven more hit platinum. 

Lyrics 

Easy, ready, willing, overtime

Where does it stop, where do you dare me to draw the line?

You got the body, now you want my soul

Don’t even think about it, say no go

Yeah I, I’ll do anything that you want me to

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

Yeah, but I can’t go for that

No (no), no can do

I can’t go for that

No (no), no can do

I can’t go for that

No (no), 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 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

Yeah I, I’ll do anything that you want me to

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

Yeah, but I can’t go for that

No (no), no can do

I can’t go for that

No (no), no can do

I can’t go for that

No (no), no can do

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

Can’t go for that, can’t go for that, yeah

Yeah I, I’ll do anything that you want me to

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

Yeah, but I can’t go for that

No (no), no can do

I can’t go for that

No (no), no can do

I can’t go for that

No (no), no can do

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

Can’t go for that, can’t go for that, yeah

No, I can’t go (I can’t go for that, no, no, no, no, no) no

I can’t go for that, no (I can’t go for that) no, no (no can do)

I can’t go (I can’t go for that, no, no)

I can’t go (No, no, no)

No, I can’t go for that, no (I can’t go for that)

No can do (No can do)

Forget about it, no

(No, no, no) Forget about it, no go (no, no, no) no go, no go

(I can’t go for that) Can’t go for that, yeah (No can do)

Forget about it, no (I can’t go for that, no, no)

Forget about it, no go, no go no go (I can’t go for that)

No can do, no can do

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

Can’t go for that, yeah, no can do

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

Can’t go for that, yeah, no can do

(I can’t go for that) I can’t go, no can’t go, no can’t go, go for that, yeah

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

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

No can do, no can do

No no no no, no no no, no no no, no no no, no no no

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