I Swear

Album: All-4-One (1994)
Charted: 2 1
  • songfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • This was originally a country hit for John Michael Montgomery, topping the Country chart for four weeks in February 1994 and also reaching #42 on the Hot 100. All-4-One turned it into an R&B song with a group vocal, taking it to the top of the Hot 100 in May 1994, where it stayed for a staggering 11 weeks.

    Montgomery's version was the first single from his album Kickin It Up; he also included it on his 2002 album Love Songs.
  • This was written by Gary Baker and Frank J. Myers, who wrote and recorded as Baker & Myers. In an interview with Songwriter Universe magazine, Myers explained that he and Baker wrote the song in 1987 and recorded the demo at Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. The couldn't convince anyone to record the song, but in 1992 they recorded a new demo of the song which a year later got the attention of John Michael Montgomery, who recorded it in 1993. Atlantic Records thought the song had huge crossover potential, and considered having Montgomery record a pop version, but the label head didn't want to upset country radio stations, so they had their new vocal group All-4-One record the song with David Foster producing the track. Their version was released as the second single from their debut album in the spring of 1994, about six months after Montgomery's version was released as a single.
  • In the US, this was one of the biggest hits of 1994, spending 11 weeks at #1 (only "I'll Make Love To You" by Boyz II Men held the top spot for longer that year: 14 weeks). In Britain it only reached #2 on the charts, where it was held out of #1 for seven weeks by Wet Wet Wet's "Love Is All Around."
  • This won a Grammy in 1995 for Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal.
  • All-4-One was assembled in Antelope Valley, California by Tim O'Brien, owner of Blitzz Records. He had them record the doo wop classic "So Much in Love," which rose to #5 in March 1994, earning the group an entire album. "I Swear" was a last-minute addition to the album, and one of two songs produced by David Foster. Released as their next single, "I Swear" went to #1 in America on the chart dated May 21, 1994 - the group was playing gigs at Disneyland at the time.

    The group had another hit in 1995 with "I Can Love You Like That," also produced by Foster, which reached #5 US. In 1996, they made #30 with "Someday."
  • This has been used in a number of movies and TV shows, including the 2017 "Winter of Our Discontent" episode of American Horror Story: Cult where the cult leader (played by Evan Peters) concocts a copulation ritual set to this song. "This is a holy song now," he says. "Like the Lord's Prayer. From this day forward, it shall be played whenever a messiah is conceived."

    Other TV appearances include:
    South Park ("Cartman Finds Love" - 2012)
    The Vampire Diaries ("Welcome to Paradise" - 2014)

    Movies:
    Just Friends (2005)
    The Social Network (2010)
    Despicable Me 2 (2013)
    Sisters (2015)
  • "I Swear" isn't the only #1 Country hit to reach the top of the Hot 100 in a version by a different artist: In 1992, "I Will Always Love You" pulled it off when Whitney Houston's rendition of Dolly Parton's song hit the top spot. Like All-4-One's "I Swear," Houston's track was produced by David Foster.
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Comments: 12

  • Andy from Birmingham, AlI wonder often if this song got inspired in any way by "I'll Be There For You" by Bon Jovi. Some of the lyrics are the same, and the theme is just about identical. Comparing "I'll be there" with "I'll be there for you"; "I swear..." with "these five words I swear to you"; "'til death do us part" with "I'd live and I'd die for you"; "by the moon and the stars in the sky" with "I'd steal the sun from the sky for you"; and "I'll love you with every beat of my heart" with "Words can't say what love can do." They're both really cool songs to listen to. Although, I tend to be at least a little hesitant to sing that I'm swearing an oath by anything, in outright violation to James 5:12 (Not to swear by anything, be it the heavens, the earth, your own head, etc.) I certainly wouldn't write a song that doesn't leave its "yes" as "yes" and its "no" as "no," nor swear an oath by anything in real life, except in the necessary cases laid out in God's Word (courtroom, marriage, etc.). I guess this song is not a violation if it's a marriage song. "I'll love you with every beat of my heart" might be a little lofty to claim, as we human beings are fallible. But husbands and wives are to strive to be the best ever they can be in a marriage and keep the (realistic) vows they make. Anyway, that's all for my rambling....
  • Don from Muscle Shoals, Al"I Swear" was co-written by Gary Baker a staff writer for FAME Recording Studio in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Gary said that he wrote the song for the group Alabama but Randy Owens turned down the song saying that his mom would not approve of the title. Randy respected his mom that much.
    Another fact about Gary Baker: He played and sung in the group "The Shooters" in the 80s and also played bass for Marie Osmond's show band.
  • Kayla from Winnipeg, MbThis so is so cute! It's my wedding song :)
  • Sara from Silver Spring, MdDavid Foster produced this song around the same time he produced Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" and Madonna's "You'll See"
  • Dylan from Harahan, Lai really love this song. i can like start crying to it just listening to it. It's one of the strongest love songs i know it truly is.
  • Sara from Silver Spring, MdThe back up vocals are by Warren Wiebe a fabulous session singer who took his own life before he could achieve celebrity status.
    Gerald "Teddy Bear" Leveret wrote the song.
  • Karie from Jacksonville, FlThis song was the song I first danced to with my bf and he also sang it at our wedding this song is so powerful It's a promise made by this guy that he will always love her,be there for her,and give his whole heart to and that my friend is so heart touching
  • Sara from Traverse City, MiThis song I used to love until they over played it and now I don't really like it all that much.
  • Cory from Morden, CanadaJMM teamed up with A4O to do a version of this song on the American Music Awards in the mid-90s. It was actually pretty cool...
  • Dave from Beamsville, CanadaI recently heard Ryan Reynolds singing this in 'Just Friends' ..Definitely worth checking out!
  • Michael from Seattle, Wa"I Swear" by All 4 One is about a man who swears he'll slap his wife if she gets outta line again. The extended version of this song has the lead singer screeching "I'm gunna beat you woman!" at the end of the song.
  • Bethany from Lindale, TxThis song is the best song and I dedicate it to everyone I know.
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