Kelly Clarkson – “You Still Won’t Know What It’s Like” (Live)

Registration: (None)
Performed: December 16, 2010 – A Night For Hope; Performed throughout Stronger Tour in winter/spring 2012
Album Recorded For: Stronger; recorded in 2010
Writers: Kelly Clarkson, Jason Halbert

“You Still Won’t Know What It’s Like” was one of the most talked about songs that was expected to appear on Kelly Clarkson’s 5th album, Stronger. After not only tweeting about it, but also performing it live, fans and casual listeners alike were excited to see the song on her record. Unfortunately, it was never officially released, and only live versions have been heard. Although a recorded version does exist somewhere, as it was recorded for Stronger, it remains under lock and key.

“You Still Won’t Know What It’s Like” was inspired by Kelly’s trips to Africa to visit orphaned children as part of Houses Of Hope. Its message inspires empathy and change for the better.

 

Twitter Q&A: Kelly Reveals a New Song Title

The first mention of “You Still Won’t Know What It’s Like” came via Twitter in October 2010. Throughout the recording process for her 5th album, Kelly often tweeted little tidbits of information such as titles of new songs she was working on and collaborators she was working with.  On October 4, 2010, Kelly was excited to talk to fans, and ending up doing an impromptu Q&A on Twitter. In addition to announcing two duets and admitting to having “way too many songs to pick from,” she also shared another new song title.

Kelly told fans “Just finished another song today!” It turns out that song was “You Still Won’t Know What It’s Like,” and she worked on it with longtime collaborator, Jason Halbert.

She also answered fans’ questions about when her upcoming 5th studio album would be out: “Probably not till the beginning of the year but my single will come out before that. It takes too long. I’m bored & ready 2 tour :)” She ended up being a little off on that – Stronger didn’t end up being released until October 2011.

 

A Night For Hope – The First Performance of “You Still Won’t Know What It’s Like”

In December 2010, Kelly was part of a benefit concert called A Night For Hope. It was a benefit for Houses Of Hope, which cares for the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of orphan children in South Africa and Zimbabwe. Kelly and her band had been part of that during their visit to South Africa in summer 2010, and it was a very meaningful experience.

Jill and Kate – Kelly’s backup singers at the time – hosted the event:

A Night For Hope 2010

 

Kelly Clarkson was part of A Night For Hope, and sang some of her hits and covers. But the highlight of her set was when she debuted “You Still Won’t Know What It’s Like.” As she explained to the crowd:

I wrote this song actually with Jason [Halbert], and I NEVER write songs in the same room with somebody, ever, I never do anything like that. But we kind of did that on this one. […] Anyway, but we wrote this song one day in [his] house – [his] studio – and he played this track for me, and this track is so breathtaking that you don’t even need melody or lyrics, it’s so awesome. But we’re doing it acoustic today. But anyway, we started writing this song. I actually got the idea from my manger, Narvel [Blackstock], and it just was weird. Anyway I got the idea for it, and then we kind of ran with it, especially because we went to Africa and saw these kids. The most amazing thing about going is, no matter how much you’re struggling in your life, there’s always somebody that’s struggling either just as much or way more. And it’s not something to feel bad about, but something to relate to so you don’t feel so alone – for me. So it was kind of an uplifting thing to kind of to be able to write and portray that as well, our thoughts about the whole trip as well. Anyway. This song is called “You Still Won’t Know What It’s Like.”

After finishing the song, Kelly also confirmed that her backup singers, Jill and Kate, appear on the studio version of “You Still Won’t Know What It’s Like” as well.

 

You can see some pictures of Kelly in Africa for Houses of Hope below. These were taken April 2, 2011:

 

Stronger is Released

In October 2011, Kelly’s 5th album, Stronger, was finally released. It was a solid album, but unfortunately, “You Still Won’t Know What It’s Like” didn’t make the track listing. It didn’t appear as a deluxe track, and never was released as part of any EP or single b-side.

It was a surprising omission, especially after the buzz it created in late 2010, with news outlets describing as the new single and a certain inclusion for her new album.

 

Performances During Stronger Tour 2012

Apparently Kelly was still fond of the track, though – she included “You Still Won’t Know What It’s Like” in her set list for her Stronger Tour in early 2012. She made it an even bigger statement for her tour. The performances always opened with a short recorded speech from Kelly, talking about her trips to Africa and the suffering she had seen, and describing the Houses Of Hope foundation. To add even more impact and understanding, the backdrop featured videos and photos from Africa and the orphaned children. This is Kelly’s introductory speech:

Every child needs hope. Currently there are over 1.9 million orphans in South Africa, and over 1 million orphans living in Zimbabwe. I was fortunate enough to meet some of these kids through a non profit called Houses Of Hope Africa in several trips I’ve taken over the past two years. Many of these children are victims of the AIDS pandemic. Houses Of Hope Africa aims to provide food, clothing, and a nurturing community for each child. To find out how you can help, please visit my website for more information

I wrote this next song because I was inspired by the kids I met on these trips to Africa, and the relationships I’ve built with these children at the Houses Of Hope.

You can see a video with the full intro below – it is from an early show in January 2012:

You can also see an up close of Kelly’s performance from March 10, 2012:

 

“You Still Won’t Know What It’s Like”

“You Still Won’t Know What It’s Like” is a special song in Kelly’s catalog. It joins songs like “Don’t,” “Anymore,” and “All I Know” as a live-only treat that never sees official release.

It would work great as a charity single, and hopefully one day it will be used to support a foundation or relief group. Whether it’s part of an entire album or just a standalone single, “You Still Won’t Know What It’s Like” deserves to be released and used for good.

Please visit the foundation that inspired “You Still Won’t Know What It’s Like,” Houses Of Hope.

 

Lyrics

When you hit the bottom
When you’re left with nothing
When you can’t tell the difference, yeah
You still won’t know what it’s like

When you think you’re drowning
When it’s overwhelming
When you can’t get past it, yeah
You still won’t know what it’s like
What it’s like

You haven’t seen the ghosts that I’ve seen
You haven’t lived enough to know what it means
To feel the pain in love turn cold
To taste the year before it’s over

When your body’s frozen
And you can trust no one
When you think you’re lonely, yeah
You still won’t know what it’s like

When you feel the knife stick
And you just can’t take it
When your heart is breaking
You still won’t know what it’s like
What it’s like

You haven’t seen the ghosts that I’ve seen
You haven’t lived enough to know what it means
To feel the pain in love turn cold
To taste the end before it’s over

You don’t know the first thing of suffering
So before you start trading stocks for sympathies
Take a look at what’s left of me
Take a look at what’s left of me, left of me

Every day I fight a war with God
And every time I think I’m living a lie
No I’m not

You haven’t seen the ghosts that I’ve seen
You haven’t lived enough to know what it means
To feel the pain in love turn cold
To taste the year before it’s over

You don’t know the first thing of suffering (you don’t know, you don’t know)
So before you start trading stocks for sympathy
Take a look at what’s left of me
Take a look at what’s left of me, left of me

You don’t know the first thing of suffering
So before you start trading stocks for sympathy
Take a look at what’s left of me
Take a look at what’s left of me, left of me

Hidden Jams

Hidden Jams is a music blog for super fans. We provide fans with music news and secrets you can’t get anywhere else. Find insider details on new music for upcoming albums, unreleased tracks hidden in the back catalog, and the stories behind the songs you love. Hidden Jams is your backstage pass into your favorite artist’s music.

Hidden Jams

Hidden Jams is a music blog for super fans. We provide fans with music news and secrets you can’t get anywhere else. Find insider details on new music for upcoming albums, unreleased tracks hidden in the back catalog, and the stories behind the songs you love. Hidden Jams is your backstage pass into your favorite artist’s music.

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