This song is featured in the Kevin Costner movie Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves, where it plays over the credits. It was written to order for the movie, initially by American film composer Michael Kamen, with the middle eight, break, outro and arrangement added by Adams and producer Mutt Lange. Adams used a line in the movie, "I do it for you..." as the basis for the song, and they had it written in about an hour.
There are no specific references to Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves in the lyric; the song quickly became dissociated from the film and far more popular. The song finds Adams pouring out his devotion for a girl, letting her know that their love is worth dying for. He knows if she looks into her heart, she will know it's true.
In the wrong hands, this would be terribly cheesy, but Adams can deliver this sentiment with total conviction, even if it was written for a movie.
Adams said that initially, this song didn't meet with Hollywood approval, as the film company wanted the song to have instrumentation in line with the film's era - lutes, mandolins, and the like. The film company relented, but still buried the song midway through the credits, apparently unaware of the huge hit they had on their hands.
This is one of the most successful singles of all time, selling over 3 million copies. It was #1 for 16 weeks in the UK (from 13th July to 26th October 1991) and 7 weeks in the US.
Matthew - Shrewsbury, England
A longer version of this song was used as the B-side to Adam's next single, "Can't Stop This Thing We Started."
This brought Adams a huge Adult Contemporary audience, but alienated many fans of his rock music. He continued to record dramatic ballads for romantic movies: In 1993, he sang "All For Love" with Rod Stewart and Sting for The 3 Musketeers
, and in 1995 he recorded "Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman?
" for Don Juan DeMarco
This went to #1 in 30 countries. It also won a Grammy for Best Song Written Specifically For A Motion Picture Or For Television in 1992.
Some of the hits Mutt Lange produced before lending his talents to this track include "Back In Black
" for AC/DC and "Photograph
" by Def Leppard. Bryan Adams told Songfacts
about working with Lange: "Mutt is great to work with because he is committed to making sure the songs have the best of everything before they go out into the world. We've had three number one records together and many good times, a true friend."
Brandy covered this on her 1998 album Never Say Never
Daisy - Ikast, Denmark
Michael Kamen had originally wanted the song to be as if it were Maid Marian singing to Robin Hood. However, this initial version was deemed so bland that Kate Bush, Annie Lennox and Lisa Stansfield all turned it down.