I Love You

Album: Skinty Fia (2022)
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Songfacts®:

  • Described by Fontaines frontman Grian Chatten as "the first overtly political song we've written," "I Love You" is sung from the perspective of a proud Irishman living in Paris.

    Well, I love you, imagine a world without you
    It's only ever you, I only think of you
    And if it's a blessing, I want it for you
    If I must have a future, I want to with you
  • While the Irishman is "enjoying great personal success and a sense of cultural pride," he's angered by his homeland's current political climate and grim historical atrocities. One example is the tragic cruelty at the Tuam Mother and Baby Home in Tuam, County Galway.

    But this island's run by sharks with children's bones stuck in their jaws
    Now the morning's filled with cokeys tryna talk you through it all


    The Bon Secours Sisters ran the maternity home for unmarried mothers and their children between 1925 and 1961. Investigators found a mass grave at the site containing 800 babies in a septic tank.
  • Raised in Skerries, an Irish town north of Dublin, Grian Chatten is now an Irishman abroad. He, along with the rest of the band, left Ireland to pursue a music career in London.

    Chatten challenged himself to write an interesting song with a mundane title of "I Love You," and a superficially cliché topic. It turned out to be a love song about Ireland. "Spiritually, there are two parts to it," he told Rolling Stone. "I'm in a position there where I've made something of a career from trying to connect with and render the culture and country that I come from and try and express it and in turn and in doing so, understand it myself and help other people understand it. That's what I think I'm doing."

    "I've moved from that country," he continued. "I'm now living in a country that is responsible for a lot of the chaos in the country that I'm from, that still kind of looks down on that country. I feel guilty for having left. I feel like I've abandoned Ireland to some extent. Not that it can't survive fine without me, but I feel like I've taken all this crap from it creatively, and then I've just left. I have this kind of strange feeling of guilt toward my leaving of Ireland."
  • Fontaines D.C. recorded the song with producer Dan Carey (Tame Impala, Foals). They laid the track down at Carey's south London studio.
  • Fontaines D.C. gave the song its live debut during their headline gig at London's Alexandra Palace on October 27, 2021.
  • Samuel Taylor directed the cinematic video. It starts with Chatten walking through a candlelit church before he delivers the second half of the song staring directly at the camera.
  • During the jam session that produced this song, drummer Tom Coll suddenly dropped his sticks to collect a Deliveroo order and left the rest of the Fontaines to continue playing. The three guitars kept going, and Chatten started his rant with no drums to back it up. When Coll returned, he did his little fill and the song slowed back into its groove. The band kept the eccentric recording rather than doing another take.
  • For Chatten, writing his diatribes against the current political tensions in Ireland was like "getting rid of the elephant in the room." He told NME it "felt like I was physically standing in the middle of a storm, where all of these issues - things that have happened in my own life, plus the tensions in Ireland - were all spinning around me."

    Chatten added that when the song calms down sonically, "it represents how I was able to take a breath after I'd addressed everything that I needed to. I'm ready for the discussion and to fight our corner."

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