All I Want Is You
by U2

Album: Rattle And Hum (1988)
Charted: 4
  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • Bono wrote the lyrics about his wife Ali. The quiet verses are him telling her the words, the loud guitar pieces at the end of the verses is her reaction. At the end when he screams "All I want is you" 4 times, the Edge solos for that amount of time, as her reaction. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bill - Johnstown, PA
  • The Edge came up with the guitar part while working on U2's song "Desire."
  • Van Dyke Parks arranged the strings. He was best known for working with Brian Wilson on the Beach Boys Smile project, writing intricate lyrics for Wilson's melodies, but many other artists have called upon his services as a session musician and arranger, including T-Bone Burnett, Rufus Wainwright and Joanna Newsom. When we spoke with Parks in 2011, he talked about "framing" a song to give it "greater power of enunciation so that it will be noticed." "All I Want Is You" is a great example of his work, as the strings bring out an emotive quality in the song without detracting from its other elements.
  • On The Best Of 1980-1990, "October" comes on as a hidden track about a minute after this.
  • The single is backed with a cover of "Unchained Melody."
  • This was used in the trailer for the 2000 movie All The Pretty Horses. It was also on the soundtrack to Reality Bites. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Wendy - Yakima, WA
  • This plays under the credits of the U2 documentary Rattle And Hum.
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Comments: 30

  • Bubba from Minneapolis, MnIn the video for "All I Want is You" it is obvious at the end that the girl dies and the midget lives.
    From the video you can tell by the way the girl looks at the midget that she loves him and we already know that the midget loves her. My interpretation of her death was that she broke his fall and it killed her. I don't think there is a right or wrong answer since the video itself leaves it open to interpretation.
    She loved him, but for a myriad of reasons she could not be with him. At the end she proves that she loves him by trying to catch him and it kills her.
  • Pj from Dublin, Irelandif you listen to the edges solo near the end i d swear its like the guitar is crying... brill stuff...
  • Chris from San Diego, Caahem my cousin would like to note that technically speaking, it would be more correct to call it a parable in the context of my comment, and not a fable. -.-"
  • Chris from San Diego, CaQuite sure, after watching the film, that the video is as follows:
    Essentially it's your classic love triangle, except set in the strange setting of a traveling circus. Unrequited love is the theme, as other posters have mentioned, and the dwarf loves the lady trapeze artist (the lyrics may be thought of as his words). However, she is already in a relationship with her trapeze partner. Nevertheless, the way she returns his glances convinces the dwarf that she loves him back, and so he buys an engagement ring and puts it in his pocket. Then he climbs the trapeze as a symbolic gesture to prove his love to her, though it is obviously dangerous for him. He falls off, and the video cuts to a surreal sequence that shows a coffin carried at a funeral and the woman in her bed at night, tossing fitfully. It is revealed at the end that the dwarf is still alive, and is present at the coffin, dropping in his ring into the dirt before walking away amongst the graves. The most logical conclusion to draw from this is that the woman has died sometime in the future and that the dwarf had never gotten a chance to tell her of his love for her, or propose to her, and leaves his ring with her as a silent final goodbye. The "twin brother" idea is ridiculous, as his brother would have no good reason to a) have the ring or b) drop it into the dirt in what is invariably a strong gesture of romantic love. How the woman dies is left deliberately ambiguous, as is the amount of time that passed after the dwarf's fall to her death, but the final scenes do strongly suggest that the theme of unrequited love survived to the last and that they never had their "happy ending." This fits in well with the lyrics as something of a cautionary fable, as the singer essentially says that his lover is asking for material possessions and making empty promises instead of developing their relationship, forgetting or ignoring the fact that "all I want is you."
  • Dane from Lima,ohio, Fl"All the promises we made,from the cradle to the grave & all I want is you..."What a great song.All my fave U2 songs came off the same album:Desire,Angel of Harlem & this one.How could I forget "One"?Different album,but one of their best songs.
  • Mary from Dublin, IrelandThis song was not covered by "Bellevue" or B*witched, it was BELLEFIRE, a short-lived Irish girl group and it's actually a really nice cover. My favourite though is a cover by Mark Geary, an Irish singer-songwriter. Look it up, it's worth it :)
  • Dj from Hope, NjThis song is pure musical genius performed perfectly.
  • Theresa from Murfreesboro, TnI must agree this song is perfection. I feel Bono's emotion - beautiful love song.
  • Joylightsound from Bangalore, IndiaBest Love song with Chilling Guitar. Might have heard this song about 1000 times and Bono is genious. All I want is Youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu is chilling and with such an intensity!!. It takes me back to another world whenever i listen to the song.
  • Miles from Vancouver, CanadaI'm one who preaches putting people before things, so this one song that really gets to me...but in a good way.
  • Shawn from Frostburg, MdI took my wife to see U2 in Pittsburgh about 6 months before we got married. She was not a huge U2 fan before that time. Once they started to play this song I told her I wanted this to be our wedding song. When they were done playing it she turned around and looked at me and she was crying !! 6 months later this was our song at our wedding and it is now here all time fav, from any band...
  • Manish from Mumbai, Indiai think its a really outstanding performance, but one thing i didn't understand on the video, whether the dwarf guy die or not, if he did who was the other dwarf????? perhaps a lookalike or something ,i didnn't get.
  • Manish from Mumbai, IndiaThis is the best u2 song. theres gr8 passionate vocals from Bono. After listening to this song i became a big u2 fan. this might be the best love song of all times
  • Reina from La Union, OtherThis is one of the best songs of U2. I wish I would have a man compose or sing me a song like this on my wedding day (ooops, he has to be my groom). Bono is one passionate singer in this song. Love it!
  • Jet from SeatownIt was the first dance at my wedding. I had always found the video very haunting and sad shot in b&w and the story of unrequited love between the two circus performers. Song lyrics have always been important to me, so when it came time to pick a wedding song for my, "All I Want Is You" perfectly expressed what I think anyone making a commitment, of any kind, feels. So much hype surrounds the engagement, the ceremony, all the material possessions that form your "new life" together, but I when it comes right down to it, it involves two people saying to each other "All I Want Is You" above "All the riches in the world".
  • Danielle from Toronto, CanadaI always thought that the guy they bury at the end is just to symbolize the death of that part of his life...he realizes he can't have the girl he wants, and he's given up on romantic illusion, just like that short story, Araby, by James Joyce...although they do make it pretty obvious that he does die...maybe it is his twin.
  • Dean from Cardiff, Walesit was covered by a irish girl band few years ago
    called bewitched
  • Leigh from Nottm, EnglandSorry to report one of the above song facts is a bit wrong.
    If you liston to the 'extras' on one of the recent DVD's you'll hear Bono say this song was 'born out off' the Edges guitar solo at he end of early live versions of 'with or Without You'.
  • Jessie from Staten Island, United StatesI danced to this song with my BF at my sweet 16.. hah. Anyway, 3 years later I still think this song is wildly romantic and beautiful.
  • Marius from Lüneburg, Germanythis song is pretty nice

    on their concert at slane castle, when the "all i want is... yooooouuu"-part was ending, someone was throwing some water on bono. and then, some seconds later, when the edge was composing this well-known powerful guitar-solo, bono was pointing at the "water-thrower" and just said "all i want i f--king you, man!"... just cool =)
  • Pete from Nowra, AustraliaTwin brother ....Craig ...pleaaaaase.... what do they put in the drinking water where you live...
  • Craig from Madison, WiThis is the song with the circus-themed video of the doomed midget and the trapeze artist he loves. The midget does die [falling from the trapeze], but in a plot point never fully developed, his twin brother shows up at the funeral...I guess. It's been years since I've seen this video, but if I recall correctly the guy is buried in the sand on a beach. Wildly impractical, due to high erosion and the possibility of finding a corpse in a few years by sea shell collectors.
  • Jeni from Los Angeles, Cabenmont tench helped U2 write this song. he is the keyboard player in the heartbreakers, as in tom petty and the . . .
  • Seth from West Jordan, UtThe Brittish Modern/Industrial Band "Mission UK" covered this song for the U2 tribute album "We Will Follow". They did a wonderful job, however they misplaced Bono's angst for a muted sense of eroticisim. I felt it didn't add or detract from the song; however it did change the feel of it completely. Give it a shot, you might like it. :-)
  • Adrian from Wilmington, DeI'm not at U2 fan at all, but this song stands out among the rest. The strings at the end are very eerie and majestic and bono's vocals and delivery are equally spine-shivering. A definite gem for the band
  • Pete from Nowra, AustraliaSo is this the song where in the video clip the midget from the circus falls in love with trapese artist ????if so who dies in the end??? i thought it was the midget , but he's at the funeral
  • John from Madison, WiBeautiful song. I love the strings at the ending
  • Danny from Leeds, Englandgreat song,heard it by a female vocalist other day.it was very soulful,anyone any ideas who it is?
  • Susan from Reisterstown, MdI love this song. It is mine and my husbands song and it means alot to the two of us.
  • Lily from Central Coast, Australiaone of the best love songs in the history of music ...the title of the song says it all, to show love compares to life.
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