Elvis Presley "Can't Help Falling in Love" Lyrics Meaning - Harlem Shakes (2023)

“Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis Presley is a timeless classic that has been loved for over 60 years. It was first released in 1961 and became a hit in both the UK and the US, earning platinum certification.

The song has also become a popular anthem for English football clubs and is the top choice for first dances at weddings, according to a 2020 survey by OnBuy.

The song’s appeal lies in its simple yet heartfelt lyrics, which capture the feeling of falling in love. In this article, we will explore the meaning behind the lyrics and discuss the themes of love, fate, and surrender.

Table of Contents

  • Lyrics Interpretation
  • True Meaning Behind“Can’t Help Falling in Love”
  • UB40 Version
  • A-Teens Version
  • Conclusion

Lyrics Interpretation

Before we delve into the story behind this song, let’s take a closer look at each verse of the lyrics.

Verse 1

Wise men say

Only fools rush in

But I can’t help falling in love with you

Shall I stay?

Would it be a sin

If I can’t help falling in love with you?

The song begins with a common saying: “Wise men say, only fools rush in.” This phrase suggests that falling in love hastily is unwise and can lead to heartbreak.

However, the singer admits to being unable to resist the allure of falling in love with the subject of the song. This inner conflict is expressed through the questions “Shall I stay?” and “Would it be a sin?”, highlighting the singer’s uncertainty and vulnerability in the face of love.


Like a river flows

Surely to the sea

Darling, so it goes

Some things are meant to be

Take my hand,

Take my whole life, too

For I can’t help falling in love with you

The chorus introduces the metaphor of a river flowing to the sea, symbolizing the natural and inevitable progression of falling in love. The phrase “Darling, so it goes” and “Some things are meant to be” emphasize the idea of fate and destiny in the realm of love.

The singer then offers their hand and their whole life to the loved one, showcasing the depth of their feelings and their willingness to fully commit to the relationship. This selfless surrender is summed up in the line “For I can’t help falling in love with you.”

Verse 2

Like a river flows

Surely to the sea

Darling, so it goes

Some things are meant to be

Take my hand,

Take my whole life, too

For I can’t help falling in love with you

The second verse reiterates the chorus, reinforcing the themes of fate, surrender, and the irresistible force of love. The repetition of these lines serves to emphasize their significance and underscores the singer’s unwavering devotion.


For I can’t help falling in love with you

The song concludes with a final declaration of the singer’s inability to resist falling in love. This simple yet powerful line encapsulates the overarching theme of the song – the overwhelming, transformative power of love that transcends reason and caution.

True Meaning Behind“Can’t Help Falling in Love”

“Can’t Help Falling in Love” is a timeless classic that celebrates the power of love. Originally a French love song from the 18th century, the song has evolved over time to become an enchanting ode to the irresistible force of love that captures the hearts of all who listen to it.

The song’s lyrics express the singer’s hesitations and concerns about falling in love too quickly, acknowledging the age-old wisdom that “only fools rush in.” Yet, the singer finds himself unable to resist the allure of love and questions if it would indeed “be a sin” to succumb to his feelings. This sentiment resonates with the listener, as we have all experienced moments when our hearts have overruled our minds in matters of love.

The essence of the song is beautifully depicted through the metaphor of a river flowing towards the sea, mirroring the pull of love. The singer finds himself helplessly caught in the current, swept away by emotions beyond his control, ultimately concluding that it is simply “meant to be.” This imagery captures the powerful, inevitable nature of love that draws us in and transforms us.

As the song progresses, the singer shifts from expressing his feelings to making promises of lifelong commitment. By offering his hand and his entire life, he demonstrates his dedication and willingness to love unconditionally. This transition showcases the transformative power of love that can conquer even the most cautious hearts.

The song relies on the repetition of a single line – “I can’t help falling in love with you” – emphasizing the strength of emotion without being overshadowed by other distractions. It is the heartbeat of the song, pulsating with the rhythm of love that sweeps us off our feet and carries us away.

Elvis Presley, the king of rock and roll, performed a memorable rendition of “Can’t Help Falling in Love” that cemented the song’s legacy as an enduring anthem of love and devotion. His ability to encapsulate this universal emotion in such a captivating manner reflects his own experiences of being swept away by love.

UB40 Version

In 1993, the British reggae-pop band UB40 released a cover of Elvis Presley’s classic song “Can’t Help Falling in Love”. The song was the first single from their album “Promises and Lies”, and it quickly became a huge success, reaching No.1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and holding the position for seven weeks. This was UB40’s fourth and final top 10 hit.

The cover version of “Can’t Help Falling in Love” has a slightly different melody and backing rhythm compared to the original, giving it a unique sound that appealed to audiences worldwide. The song topped the charts in 11 other countries, including the UK, Australia, and New Zealand, where it was the most successful single of 1993.

The song’s success was further amplified by its appearance on the soundtrack of the movie “Sliver” and in the trailers for “Fools Rush In” and the 1997 film “Speed 2: Cruise Control.” This exposure helped to cement the song’s popularity with audiences and contributed to its lasting success.

While critics had mixed opinions on the cover, with some noting the band’s shift towards a more adult-contemporary sound, audiences loved it, and the music video produced to promote the single has amassed over 61 million views on YouTube as of September 2021.

A-Teens Version

If you’re a fan of early 2000s pop music, then you’ve probably heard of A-Teens’ “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” This track was a huge hit for the Swedish pop group, and was even featured in Disney’s “Lilo & Stitch” movie soundtrack.

The song was released as the first single from their third studio album, “Pop ’til You Drop!” and was later included in the “Disney Girlz Rock” teen pop compilation album. In fact, it was such a popular track that it was also featured as a bonus track on the A-Teens’ “New Arrival” album in the European market.

The music video for “Can’t Help Falling in Love” was directed by Gregory Dark and was shot in Los Angeles, California. The band released two different versions of the video. The first, known as the “Disney Version,” featured scenes from the “Lilo & Stitch” movie as well as new footage of the A-Teens in beach costumes.

The second version, called the “A-Teens Version,” showed the band members performing on a white background with various close-ups and choreography, as well as some scenes with puppies and different costumes.


Ultimately, “Just the Way You Are” taps into the timeless truth that the heart wants what it wants. It reminds us that, amidst the routines and sensibilities of daily life, there are moments when love takes over, leading us to trust our hearts and take the leap. It is in these moments that we find ourselves truly alive, as we embrace the magic and wonder of love that transcends time and reason.

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Why is Elvis voice so special? ›

Voice characteristics

Elvis Presley was a baritone whose voice had an extraordinary compass — the so-called register — and a very wide range of vocal colour. It covered two octaves and a third, from the baritone low-G to the tenor high B, with an upward extension in falsetto to at least a D flat.

Did Elvis Presley have perfect pitch? ›

Elvis' perfect pitch was just one of the many factors that contributed to his success. The singing range of Elvis Presley was quite extensive, ranging from three octaves to a full seven. He was able to identify pitches accurately, which helped him to create his own unique style of music.

When was Elvis voice at its best? ›

'Elvis' lowest effective note was a low-G, as heard on 'He'll Have To Go' (1976); on 'King Creole' (1958), he growls some low-F's; going up, his highest full-voiced notes were the high-B's in 'Surrender' (1961) and 'Merry Christmas Baby' (1971), the high-G at the end of 'My Way' (1976 live version), and the high-A of ' ...

Did Elvis write any of his own songs? ›

And while Elvis wasn't a songwriter per se, he did co-write a few songs in his career including 'That's Someone You Never Forget' and the haunting 'You'll Be Gone'. From the '50s through the '70s, Elvis demonstrated his innate gift as a seasoned song man.

Who was Elvis favorite singer? ›

He says Elvis's favorite groups were the Harmonizing Four and Golden Gate Quartet and his favorite gospel singers included Jimmy Jones, Jake Hess (who sang with the Statesmen and later formed the Imperials) and Mahalia Jackson.

Who has the closest voice to Elvis? ›

The world is full of Elvis Presley impersonators, but only one, Jimmy 'Orion' Ellis, sounded so much like him that people were convinced he actually was Elvis.

Who has a better voice Elvis or Freddie Mercury? ›

Freddie Mercury by a mile. There are plenty of great Elvis impersonators but very few Freddie's as the songs require a much wider vocal range.

Who is the most pitch perfect singer? ›

Mariah Carey not only has perfect pitch, but she also has an unparalleled five-octave range. Her highest pitch almost sounds like her voice has been digitally altered by high-tech machinery. It is the highest pitch the human voice can achieve, known formally as the whistle register.

Did Freddie Mercury like Elvis? ›

When Freddie Mercury was at boarding school near Bombay in the 50s, he first heard Elvis Presley and became a lifelong fan of the singer.

Why is Elvis the greatest singer who ever lived? ›

But the real difference between Elvis and other singers was that he could sing majestically in any style, be it rock, country, or R&B – because he had soul. He sang from the heart. And that is what made him the greatest singer in the history of popular music.

Who was the first choice to play Elvis? ›

Miles Teller was a top fan choice for the role of Elvis.

What is Elvis's biggest hit? ›

1. Hound Dog (1956) Controversial in its day, “Hound Dog” is now considered one of the biggest influences on the rock 'n' roll genre, and was Presley's biggest selling single, spending a recording-setting 11 weeks at number one in 1956 – a record which stood for 36 years.

What was Elvis last song before he died? ›

"Way Down" is a song recorded by Elvis Presley. Recorded in October 1976, it was his last single released before his death on August 16, 1977. The song was written by Layng Martine Jr. and was later recorded by Presley at his home studio in Graceland on 29 October 1976.

Was Lisa Marie at Elvis funeral? ›

What did Elvis think of Marilyn Monroe? ›

"A few days later when I mentioned Marilyn to Elvis, he said, 'She's a nice gal, but a little tall for me'." "I knew that this was the sort of thing that could ruin their careers."

What song did Elvis sing at his mother's funeral? ›

That's Someone You Never Forget.

Who was Elvis best man? ›

The co-best men were Marty Lacker and Joe Esposito, two members of the Memphis Mafia, Elvis's ever-present entourage, and the maid of honor was Priscilla's sister Michelle Beaulieu. Elvis reportedly requested that the word “obey” be removed from their otherwise traditional marriage vows.

Who was almost cast as Elvis? ›

Robert Mitchum Almost Cast Elvis In Thunder Road (But Col. Parker Stepped In)

What actor sings like Elvis? ›

Actor Austin Butler's vocal coach explains why he still sounds like Elvis.

Who has the best vocal range of all time? ›

Luciano Pavarotti is hailed as the world's greatest tenor, and his impressive vocal range proves just that. In his prime, the larger-than-life tenor could hit an F5 – that's an octave and a half above middle C.

How strong was Elvis voice? ›

He states insightfully: “Elvis had a vocal range of about two octaves and a third, compared to about the one octave range of the average pop singer, and was best described as a high baritone. He could hit full-voiced high Gs and As that an opera singer might envy.

What female singer had perfect pitch? ›

Ella Fitzgerald

Famous female jazz singer, Ella Fitzgerald has many nomenclatures: First Lady of Song, Lady Ella, and Queen of Jazz to name a few. She also had perfect pitch and it's reported that her absolute pitch was so accurate that the band would tune to her!

Does Michael Jackson have perfect pitch? ›

Jackson had several incredible skills, like beatboxing, singing falsetto, and a perfect pitch. One of the more interesting parts of his voice was how high it was. According to close friends and accomplices, Jackson actually had a deep voice when he spoke normally (which was almost never).

Who has the best male voice in the world? ›

Freddie Mercury

The greatest frontman of all time, also just so happened to possess the greatest male voice of all time. Freddie Mercury was able to perfectly tackle rock, pop, jazz, opera, soul, folk, you name it.

Did Queen Elizabeth like Elvis? ›

During her time on the throne, The Queen met countless pop and rock stars from throughout the ages. She even awarded The Beatles MBE medals. However, she never met the King of Rock and Roll himself: Elvis Presley. But she once came very close.

Did Elvis have a friend? ›

Apart from his relationships with women, Presley had many male friends. He reportedly spent day and night with friends and employees whom the news media affectionately dubbed the Memphis Mafia. Among them were Joe Esposito, Sonny West, Red West, Billy Smith, Marty Lacker and Lamar Fike.

Who did Elvis think was the king of rock? ›

Article content. “No, that's the real King of Rock 'n' Roll,” said Elvis. Elvis admired Fats Domino dearly.

Who was more popular than Elvis? ›

Perhaps unsurprisingly, British rock band The Beatles are top of the list for best-selling artists worldwide, with 183 million units certified sales. Second is Garth Brooks with over 157 million units sales, followed by Elvis Presley with 139 million units.

How good was Elvis at singing? ›

Elvis Presley's three-octave vocal range was exceptional, 'very narrowly all at once a tenor, baritone, and bass'. A 1987 article in the Village Voice included an assessment of his voice in classical terms, categorizing it as a 'lyric baritone ... [but with] unexpectedly rich low [notes] ... and astounding high notes'.

Did Elvis have blue eyes? ›

While his gorgeous locks of jet-black hair that perfectly complement Elvis Presley's eye color of striking ice blue helped him seduce any woman possible, it's surprising to know that The King of Rock' n' Roll was actually born a natural blonde.

Who was turned down to play Elvis? ›

However, Colonel Parker wasn't sold on the project because Streisand was the real star rather than Presley, even though his client didn't care about his billing. Therefore, Parker decided to make unreasonable demands which would price Presley out of appearing in the film.

Who gave Elvis his first screen kiss? ›

Dolores Hart and Elvis Presley in “Loving You” — her first film and his second. Hart, who later would veer from her path as an up-and-coming starlet, purportedly gave Elvis his first onscreen kiss in the film, although that is a matter of some dispute.

Who is the best female singer of all time? ›

1: Aretha Franklin

Topping our list of the best female singers of all time, Aretha Franklin also stands as the most-charting female singer in history. Starting out in the gospel choir at her Baptist church, in Detroit, Franklin began her career as a recording artist in 1960, aged just 18.

What was Elvis most viewed concert? ›

Aloha from Hawaii via Satellite is a concert starring Elvis Presley that took place at the Honolulu International Center and was broadcast live via satellite to audiences in Asia and Oceania on January 14, 1973.

What was Elvis last 1 hit? ›

Among the cuts Presley laid down at Memphis' American Sound Studio was his seventh and final No. 1 single on the Billboard Hot 100, “Suspicious Minds.” (Note: many of his hits predate the launch of the Hot 100 in August of 1958.

What song knocked Elvis off the charts? ›

Gogi Grant, whose rendition of “The Wayward Wind” replaced Elvis Presley's “Heartbreak Hotel” on top of the Billboard singles chart in 1956, died on Thursday at her home in Los Angeles. She was 91. Her death was announced by her family. In the early 1950s, Ms.

How many #1 songs did Elvis have? ›

Elvis has had no less than 149 songs to appear on Billboard's Hot 100 Pop Chart in America. Of these, 114 were in the top forty, 40 were in the top 10, and 18 went to number one. His number one singles spent a total of 80 weeks at number one.

Who was with Elvis when he died? ›

The King's life came to an end on August 16, 1977. He was found unconscious by his then-girlfriend, Ginger Alden, on the bathroom floor in his Graceland mansion home. He was rushed to the hospital but after several attempts to revive him failed, Presley was pronounced dead at 3:30 p.m. He was only 42 years old.

What was the last song Elvis played on the piano? ›

Reportedly the last song Elvis sang in private was a rendition of 'Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain,' performed on his piano in Graceland hours before his death. It would become the first exposé on Presley's years of drug misuse.

What was the last thing Elvis said? ›

Some say that Elvis's final words were actually “I'm going, I'm going, I'm gone,” spoken as he slipped into a coma. Others believe that his last words were a plea for help, spoken to his son, Danny, who found him unconscious in his bathroom.

Will Priscilla be buried next to Elvis? ›

Report: Priscilla Presley's Wish to Be Buried Next to Elvis Denied in Trust Settlement. A new report reveals that Priscilla Presley's wish that she might be laid to rest next to her ex-husband, Elvis Presley, has been denied in a new settlement over their daughter, Lisa Marie Presley's, trust.

Who owns Graceland now? ›

Lisa Marie Presley retains 100% sole personal ownership of Graceland Mansion itself and its over 13-acre original grounds and her father's personal effects - meaning costumes, wardrobe, awards, furniture, cars, etc.. She has made the mansion property and her father's personal effects permanently available for tours of ...

Did any celebrities attend Elvis funeral? ›

Elvis Presley's funeral, held on the 18th, was a modest affair, though attended by stars such as his "Viva Las Vegas" co-star Ann-Margret, James Brown, and actor George Hamilton.

Does Elvis have a speech impediment? ›

In an interview in August 1956, Elvis talked about his stuttering: “Whenever I get excited, I stutter a little bit. I have a hard time saying 'when' or 'where' or any words that start with 'w' or 'i.

Why does Austin Butler still sound like Elvis? ›

Makeup helps sell the illusion, but so does Butler's voice. “There was a change in vocal energy as the character aged,” says Byrne. “That has to do a little bit with the pitch that he's speaking at, which got lower and gruffer as it went on, which is probably pretty true to what Elvis experienced in real life.”

Did Elvis warm up his voice? ›

On his vocal warm-up routine:

Funnily enough, Elvis Presley said that before he went on stage, he would sing “Delilah” — my version. He would sing along with it. And once he could sing it like that, he knew he was ready.

Who is considered the best singer of all time? ›

The 200 greatest singers of all time according to Rolling Stone as of January 2023
Aretha Franklin1
Whitney Houston2
Sam Cooke3
Billie Holiday4
181 more rows
Jan 12, 2023

Does Elvis have a disability? ›

Presley had hypertension and arteriosclerosis independent of his autoimmune disease, but his autoimmune disorder undoubtedly accelerated the inflammatory process. It is noteworthy that Elvis could not do his usual gyrations on stage in the last couple years of his life as a result of rigidity and spasticity.

Did Elvis always struggle with weight? ›

Today, Presley might have received help for an eating disorder, but back then he was ridiculed and labelled “fat Elvis” in the press. He reportedly weighed an astonishing 158kg (350 pounds) at the time of his death, at age 42 – around 80kg, or 180 pounds, heavier than a decade before.

Did Elvis shake because he was nervous? ›

Elvis was so nervous when he first started playing in front of crowds that his legs would shake. Ironically enough, his shaky legs would become one his most famous dance moves.

What accent did Elvis have? ›

According to CBSNews.com, "Elvis Presley may forever be known as the King of Rock n' Roll, and a new survey helps point to one of the reasons why; the Southern accent has been voted the most sexy in North America."

Did Austin Butler learn to sing for Elvis? ›

The actor went to what sounds like fairly painstaking lengths to learn how the King singer walked, talked, and, yes—sang.

Who sounds like Elvis Presley? ›

Share All sharing options for: Why Austin Butler still sounds like Elvis, explained by his own vocal coach. Baz Luhrmann's Elvis follows the King from the cradle to the grave.

Did Elvis ever learn to read music? ›

While he couldn't read or write music and had no formal lessons, he was a natural musician and played everything by ear. He could often hear a song, pick up an instrument, and play. He often played an instrument in his recordings, and always produced his own music.

Was there lip syncing in Elvis? ›

The short answer is, yes, that really is Austin Butler's voice you hear in Elvis – with snippets of the real singer blended in later on. The actor watched multiple videos of Elvis performing, studying footage of films and concerts to perfect the singer's voice.

Who did Elvis think was the king of rock and roll? ›

He invited Domino to the press conference and when one reporter referred to him as “The King of Rock 'n' Roll,” Elvis pulled the room's focus to Fats Domino, insinuating that he was the true King. “[Domino] was one of my influences from way back,” said Presley.


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