The One

Album: Memories...Do Not Open (2017)
Charted: 63 78

Songfacts®:

  • This ballad is about a dead-end relationship. However, singer Andrew Taggart doesn't want to be the one who ends it.

    Down and down we go
    We'll torch this place we know
    Before one of us takes a chance
    And breaks this, I won't be the one
    No, I won't be the one
  • The song is also about the busyness of life getting in the way of relationships. During the first verse, an apologetic Taggart, full of remorse, sings of not making it to a wedding and getting "caught up in my own selfishness." He explained:

    "I wrote the first verse of this song on a plane when I was feeling guilty about being so wrapped up in my work, knowing that it was affecting my relationships. I figured if I wrote a song about it, it would remind me to seek balance."
  • Andrew Taggart's Chainsmokers partner Alex Pall explained the song's meaning to AntiMusic:

    "The One specifically is about two things, in the first verse is just about how much our life has changed recently, how we miss out and skip things as a result of putting this all first, and it's just been sort of crazy realizing how deep we are in it now and how life is complicated."

    "We constantly prioritize this life and as a result we are missing out on memories and moments with our friends and families, and how we sort of feel like s--t about it sometimes (not that we don't know how lucky we are)... The other half deals with the idea of knowing a relationship is just over and isn't working out but being too scared to end it, something we all can relate."
  • Co-writer and frequent Chainsmokers collaborator Emily Warren supplied the background vocals. Warren also co-wrote the duo's hit "Don't Let Me Down" and sang on another of their best-selling tunes "Paris."
  • The Chainsmokers expanded on the second part of the song during a Facebook post.

    "The second verse tells the story of someone who is realizing that they've mentally moved on from a romantic relationship but don't have the courage to end it in fear that they are making a mistake that will haunt them.

    We fess up to our selfishness, but also question if it's trying to tell us something. We admit at times we're so consumed by work that we are not present when we are with the people in our lives. Is our selfishness a sign that we've moved on?

    This indecision results in a tumultuous stage of a relationship where both of us aren't sure we are still committed and therefore make each other miserable. We won't be the ones to be decisive one way or the other."

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