Musical Monday: All I Want Is You by U2

My son was watching the movie Contagion the other night. I’d seen it before, so I was busy doing something else in another room (writing, most likely). Then I heard this song (it played during the closing scene) and it’s been stuck in my head for days.

U2 released the song  All I Want Is You in 1988 on the album Rattle and Hum. Like most well written songs, it means different things to different people, so many interpretations of the song exist. Some believe it’s about obsessive love, the extreme desire to possess another person so completely that it really isn’t love at all.

Bono wrote the song for his wife, and according to this site the “poetic and symbolic lyrics describe his desire for true, unconditional love, and the promises his lover makes show the depth of her feelings.”

This is similar to my interpretation. To me, it’s about true love, not love wrapped up in promises of material things (“diamonds on a ring of gold”). It seems one person in the relationship is following society’s definition of love. If you love someone you must show them by giving them things. She is making promises to give him things (“treasure just to look upon it”). Yet, he is telling her that he doesn’t need them,  he doesn’t care about those things. She is the real treasure. All I Want Is You. To me it’s beautiful and describes the meaning of true love.

What does the song mean to you?

All I Wants Is You

You say you want
Diamonds on a ring of gold
You say you want
Your story to remain untold

But all the promises we make
From the cradle to the grave
When all I want is you

You say you’ll give me
A highway with no one on it
Treasure just to look upon it
All the riches in the night

You say you’ll give me
Eyes in a moon of blindness
A river in a time of dryness
A harbor in the tempest

But all the promises we make
From the cradle to the grave
When all I want is you

You say you want
Your love to work out right
To last with me through the night

You say you want
Diamonds on a ring of gold
Your story to remain untold
Your love not to grow cold

All the promises we break
From the cradle to the grave
When all I want is you

You… all I want is…
You… all I want is…
You… all I want is…
You…

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