"The One You Love" as written by and Rufus Wainwright....
The mind has so many pictures
Why can't I sleep with my eyes open
The mind has so many memories
Can you remember what it looks like when I cry

I'm trying, trying to tell you
All that I can in a sweet and velvet tongue
But no words ever could sell you
Sell you on me after all that I have done

I'm only the one you love
Am I only the one you love?
The lady gloom and her hornets circling round
Is now before us, the screaming's done without moving
One little move and for sure you will be stung

I'm singing "oh, Jerusalem oh, Jerusalem
See what he's picked up in the park"
Let's fuck this awful art party
Want you to make love to me and only to me in the dark

I'm only the one you love
Am I only the one you love?

We've traded in our snap shots
We're going through the motions
Into the view, I'm leaving you
Down conduit avenue into the early morning
Into the early morning
The one I love
Are you only the one I love?


Lyrics submitted by anna118k

"The One You Love" as written by Rufus Wainwright

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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The One You Love song meanings
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  • 0
    General CommentI love this song... probably my favorite on the CD. Hmm...

    Anyway, I think it's pretty self explanitory. Guy messes up, wants back in to his other's life.
    prayingmantis84on December 11, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love how Rufus is able to twine so many themes around love and all its aspects.

    The coolest line by far in this "I'm only the one you love." How sarcastic is that? How could you say to a loved one, I'm only the one you love. Not anything important, or significant. just the one you love. Makes it sound like love isn't anything great. . Feeling underappreciated, insecure (especially when he asks am I only the one you love?), jealousy (want you to make love to me and only to me) and helpless (though empowered at the same time).. All things that are experienced eventually through love. Such a great song. My favorite from the CD too.

    Best line musically on the whole album is when he goes, "OHHhh Jerusalem, Ohh jerusalem". hehe
    anna118kon December 25, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song really speaks out especially now that the word "love" is being thrown around so casually.
    i feel like when he sings of "make love to me and only to me" is like the other person is cheating on him. i particularly feel this way because i have a boyfriend cheating on me, and yet claims that he loves me. haha.
    rufus' voice is very expressive and i enjoy this song greatly also.
    OllieCowon March 07, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYes, definitely my favourite song on the album.
    It sounds as though the song is comming from the perspective of the one who's been cheated on, who feels betrayed by his lover. You can hear this when he says "after all that I have done" for their relationship, and he's bitter and sarcastic when he says "I'm only the one you love". Yet he's still trying to win this person back, or try to find a reason to stay together: "lets fuck this awful art party" and go get it on... But eventually he leaves, and as he does he questions his own love for this person: "Are you only the one I love", he asks at the end.
    nursejenon January 12, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentvery, very catchy.

    i believe the first verse shows us that there's an obvious distance between these two people whether it be physically, emotionally or both. he can't get the memories of this person out of his head. "why can't i sleep with my eyes open" almost suggests he feels trapped, or at least overwhelmed, by these memories and all he wants it to get them out of his thoughts.

    i think the second verse captures how he's been trying to "win", [or perhaps “gain” would be a better word to use] this person back. "sweet and velvet tongue" could be representing everything rufus has said to gain them back even though he’s yet to succeed. because of whatever rufus did in the past, it was bad enough to lose him any future second chances, hence the: "but no words ever could sell you, sell you on me after all that i have done". it almost seems as though their past is preventing anything from happening in their future.

    "we've traded in our snap shots
    we're going through the motions
    into the view, i'm leaving you"

    both rufus and whoever this song is about have "moved on", or at least they’ve attempted to. bottom line: they want to be together but they can’t because of their circumstances.

    i think the course is about rufus’ persistent feelings and how this person may be sending mixed signals to him, [almost as if they haven’t been able to make up their minds as to whether they still love rufus or not]. at the end he's switched the words around to “the one i love, are you only the one i love?” it almost sounds sarcastic, like he’s wasted his time on them or something. i’ve interrupted this song so that it isn't just about these two people; there are more involved which can easily create jealously and complicate things to the point where rufus and this person have potentially lost any future together.
    unsweetendedon August 26, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think unsweetened has a good interpretation...heres miiine:
    I agree completely with unsweetened about the first verse obviously showing that these people have a distance between them. And I think that

    "But no words ever could sell you
    Sell you on me after all that I have done"

    Implies that Rufus has done the cheating or treating the other person badly. And the other person was upset at him for it, and supposedly forgave him but has still been acting distant. No matter how much he tries to apologize and make up for it. So in his frustration he sarcastically states, "I'm only the one you love."

    I think that
    "The Lady Gloom and her hornets circling round
    Is now before us, the screaming's done without moving
    One little move and for sure you will be stung"
    Simply means that no matter what they try to do or say they are always gloomy or upset together. And always hurling little barbs back and forth at one another.

    Then, going from the sarcastic "I'm only the one you love"
    He switches it to the sort of insecure or unsure, "Am I only the one you love?"

    "We've traded in our snap shots
    We're going through the motions
    Into the view, I'm leaving you
    Down Conduit Avenue into the early morning
    Into the early morning
    The one I love
    Are you only the one I love?"

    To me, "we've traded in our snapshots" implies that they've traded in their old snapshots for snapshots of them with someone new, but even though they're both moving on Rufus still cares deeply for this person.
    adamanteveon January 24, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree with almost everything that is said here. It's so amazing, I learn from each and everyone of you every single day. Here goes my interpretation of the song.

    I feel like he's cheated on the other person, probably his girlfriend. He tries to make up with her but the distance between them is still there and will probably remain forever; he can not fix this.
    jailbirdon June 17, 2010   Link

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