Johnny was a peculiar guy
Brough up on love and the reasons why
But the reasons why ought not to be said
And so I'm left hands held to my head

I love you
I love you
I love you

It's a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful thing
It's a beautiful, beautiful thing

Chances, changes are all that you have
As you take the hard stuff and lie on your back
The smoothness, strangeness
Fits like a glove
But the comfort of tease
Still rises above

I love you
I love you
I love you

But is it possible, possible, possible babe?
Is it possible for you and me?

Gold and waves and Betty Blue
Are the images that lead to the clues of why
I can't love you
I can't love you
I can't love you
It isn't possible


Lyrics submitted by leopanthera

"I Love You" as written by Tanita Tikaram

Lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

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I Love You song meanings
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  • 0
    General Comment"Brought up on love and the reasons why
    but the reasons why ought not to be said
    and so I'm left hands held to my head"

    Johnny was rich, and brought up to believe that he needed to fall in love with someone with equal status and money, who would be his social match. A cookie-cutter woman.

    Johnny and the artist fell in love, and they tried to make it work, but:
    "Gold and waves and Betty Blue
    Are the images that lead to the clues of why
    I can't love you"

    Gold = money, waves = distance, Betty Blue = obsession.
    They were in love, but she was just so opposite to what Johnny's life could accept that in the end he left her.
    MemoryWakeon June 22, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm sorry, @MemoryWakeon but you are way off the mark here.

    Tanita Tikaram's debut album was sprinkled with suggestions about her sexuality and this song is probably the most 'explicit' of them all.

    Johnny was brought up to believe in male-female attraction and relationships, and nothing else that deviates from that. Johnny is attracted to Tanita... but she already knows that she doesn't like boys (hence this song).

    When Johnny confesses his love to Tanita, it puts her in a very awkward position ("And so I'm left hands held to my head"). Also, "Is it possible for you and me?" is cleverly used to confound the listener into thinking of a different meaning from the one originally intended (i.e. can it work between a lesbian and a heterosexual?).

    "The smoothness, strangeness / Fits like a glove" is a subtle sexual reference to lesbianism. This theory is further supported when she later mentions that Betty Blue is one of the reasons why she can't possibly love Johnny. In other words, she sees Béatrice Dalle as her ideal sexual/romantic partner.

    This is how I interpreted the song, when it was first released in 1987, and I haven't changed my mind since then. Goggle "Tanita Tikaram" and you should find sufficient evidence about her homosexuality.
    Khuson December 13, 2019   Link

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