Meaning of “Can’t Stand Losing You” by The Police

“Can’t Stand Losing You” was a late 1970s controversial song performed by the renowned English rock band The Police. The lyrics have been suggested to center on the theme of suicide. But is that really the case? Interestingly enough, it is.

Sting (bassist and lead singer of The Police) confirmed this. According to him, “Can’t Stand Losing You” is actually about the suicide of a teenager. But why does the teenager take his own life? Simply because he can’t stand losing his girlfriend.

Here are the exact words that Sting once used in describing this song:

Sting on the meaning of "Can't Stand Losing You"

The song’s original artwork in itself depicts Stewart Copeland (the band’s drummer) standing on a large block of ice. He has a noose around his neck and patiently waits for the ice to melt so he can commit suicide.

Lyrics of "Can't Stand Losing You" by The Police

Facts about “Can’t Stand Losing You”

  • The Police produced the song as a group. However, Sting (who was the group’s primary songwriter) solely penned it.
  • The track was first released on August 14, 1978. It was re-released again in June of the following year. It appears on the band’s debut studio album Outlandos d’Amour.
  • The BBC banned this song owing to its very morbid artwork. Despite the ban, the song became the band’s first hit.
  • The Police made two music videos for this track.
  • Just like many other songs by The Police and Sting, this song has a very strong reggae influence.
  • “Can’t Stand Losing You” peaked at numbers 42 on the UK Singles Chart upon its first release in 1978. However, after it’s re-release in 1979, it peaked at number 2 on that same chart.
  • To produce this song and the entire album Outlandos d’Amour, which this song appears on, The Police borrowed an amount of £1,500 from Stewarts’ older brother Miles Copeland III.
  • Sting said he used only just a few minutes to pen the entire song. In some interviews, he stated that penning the song took him roughly five minutes.
  • New wave and reggae rock are the musical genres that this track fits perfectly into.


Are there any cover versions of “Can’t Stand Losing You”?

Yes. There are many cover versions of this track. Some of the most prominent artists to have covered this song include: Novastar, Mika and Feeder.

Did “Can’t Stand Losing You” win a Grammy?

No. That said, it is noteworthy to mention that the band later made an improvised instrumental version of this song titled “Reggatta de Blanc”. That version came out on October 5, 1979 and won the band a Grammy in 1980.

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