The One

Album: The Burdens Of Being Upright (1996)
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Songfacts®:

  • This catchy tune has a rather disturbing backstory. "The song 'The One,' and actually the whole album, is about this one particular ex-boyfriend and my life leading up to that, and my life inside that relationship," Tracy Bonham explained in a Songfacts interview. "It was a really destructive, very abusive relationship where I was almost quite literally locked in the bedroom. One of those stories where this person was really manipulative, abusive degrading. I fell into this trap and I was afraid to leave because I was afraid of him. So when I speak to him and I say, 'You're the one that froze the sun,' it quite literally felt that way. He blocked out all of the light in my life for about four years."
  • "The One" was Tracy Bonham's second single. Her first, "Mother Mother," was a big hit, going to #1 on the Modern Rock chart, where it stayed for three weeks. "The One" reached #23 on that chart.

    This was a time when women who wrote and performed their own songs were finally getting their due. Lilith Fair started up the next year, and Bonham joined it for two tours. As trends shifted to dance-pop and nu-metal, it left less room for Bonham. Her recorded label, Island, went through a re-organization, and by the time her next album was released in 2000, Lilith Fair was scuttled and it was very hard for artists like her to earn airplay. She ended up leaving the label and going independent. Trained in classical violin, she developed a program in 2021 teach kids about music.
  • The music video was supposed to be directed by Jake Scott, who did Bonham's video for "Mother Mother," but that didn't pan out. They ended up making what Bonham calls a "throwaway video" using shots from an alternate version of "Mother Mother" directed by Pamela Birkhead that takes place in a hallway where Tracy and her band perform.

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