I Want It That Way

Album: Millennium (1999)
Charted: 1 6
Play Video
  • Yeah
    Oh yeah

    You are my fire
    The one desire
    Believe when I say
    I want it that way

    But we are two worlds apart
    Can't reach to your heart
    When you say
    That I want it that way

    Tell me why
    Ain't nothin' but a heartache
    Tell me why
    Ain't nothin' but a mistake
    Tell me why
    I never wanna hear you say
    I want it that way

    Am I your fire?
    The one, yeah, desire
    Yes, I know that it's too late
    But I want it that way

    Tell me why
    Ain't nothin' but a heartache
    Tell me why
    Ain't nothin' but a mistake (tell me)
    Tell me why
    'Cause I never wanna hear you say
    I want it that way

    Now I can see that we've fallen apart
    From the way that it used to be, yeah
    No matter the distance, I want you to know
    That deep down inside of me

    You are my fire
    The one desire
    You are (you are, you are, you are)

    Don't want to hear you say
    Ain't nothin' but a heartache (yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
    Ain't nothin' but a mistake (don't want to hear you say)
    I never want to hear you say (oh yeah)
    I want it that way

    Tell me why
    Ain't nothin' but a heartache
    Ain't nothin' but a mistake (you better tell me why)
    Tell me why
    I never want to hear you say
    I want it that way
    'Cause I want it that way Writer/s: Andreas Mikael Carlsson, Martin Karl Sandberg
    Publisher: Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 30

  • Unikitty from Cloud Cuckoo LandI love this, it's so informational
  • Jazzmtazz from TexasI am the mutt....so there were all these street signs in Lake Jackson that ended in way....so i had a couple phrases and then would throw in a street name....kind like your in a relationship and you want to be right in a holy perspective but your heart and thoughts are everywhere and not really want to be there....but you a little guilt tripping...God is so good...and finally...The sign That Way stuck with you are my fire, the one desire phrase....singing a mashed up acapella sound...
  • Ronsha from New JerseyBeatles will always be superior to BSB, but hey, both are amazing in their own ways. Admit it, you found yourself beginning to sing along to "I Want It That Way"... that's what happened to me! I didn't WANT to like that random 90s boy band! But THEY GOT TO ME! Catchy music does that to you, even if you don't want to like the singer.
  • Siahara Shyne «theoneandonly» Carter∆ from United StatesYeah and Someone made a parody of this song! lol "I Will Kill You That Way" The group is called " Slashstreet boys " It was also shared in Nick Carter's Page and Other Fan Pages at Facebook.

    What can I say? hmm They are both good WESTLIFE and BSB Only BSB have "Thumbs up" Only WESTLIFE have many songs compared to BSB they only have few but

    still love all <3 BSB, WESTLIFE , Boyzone, A1... and others
  • Eduardo Hdz. from MexicoThe only similarity between The Beatles and the Backstreet Boys is that both were a huge phenomenon at certain time in music industry, but there are much more differences than similarities. The Beatles played instruments and were composers of every song they recorded, while the Backstreet Boys sang and danced to songs composed by other persons. I enjoy both groups, they had great tunes well performed. The fact that an artist doesn't play an instrument on stage doesn't decrease his value as performer. Take Michael Jackson for instance; he didn't need an instrument to become legendary, he got his voice and body to perform. Backstreet Boys proved more than once they could sing live. They used to sing acapella everytime they were asked for.
  • Megan from Stevenson, AlHoly crap! I still remember when I was obsessed with these guys! HA! This is great! TELL ME WHY?!:) lol
  • Leon from Dokkum, Netherlandsthere's a great cover of this by the band Dynamite Boy, on the " Punk goes Crunk" album :)
  • Joe from El Paso, TxYou really begin to like this song when youre in love...
  • Dalinda from Cresskill, NjThanks for posting Carmine's comment. He plays in the Vanilla Fudge with my uncle.I love BSB. They can sing as good as the greatest 1970's bands even though the BSB are not 1970's. Can all of us BSB fans ask Kevin to rejoin the band 'koz the BSB is'nt the same without all the original guys.My lady has a crush on all of them.AJ is cool,Brian is super-cool,Kevin of course and all the original BSB guys are the best of todays music.I can't beleive Carmine is a big fan of BSB just like I am. Hey Carmine,say hello to Mark,Tim and Vince for me...you're the best,too!!
  • Rahul from Chennai, Indiaone of the best boy band songs...i dont really like boybands though....
  • Rebecca from Houston, TxThe person who said they hope BSB are more legendary than the Beatles is from Sout Africa. Perhaps the Beatles are not as well known there. Obviously BSB will most likely NOT be more lengdary.
  • Bob from Baltimore, Mdi cant believe people compare bsb to the beatles. bsb are a bunch of pussies with no talent. they don't write their own songs, they don't play instruments, they don't even sing their songs. they lip sync. they are a joke and will always be remembered as such. If you compare them to the beatles you have no write to post anything about music.
  • Jena from UnknownThis song has also been covered by Jackass, Dynamite Boy, and Allister.

    So many people think these lyrics don't make sense, but that's because they don't know the mindset of the song writer.

    The singer is singing about someone he loves and longs for, but cannot call her or visit her because of his pride.
    ..Some people run from their past, even if it means shutting out people they once knew.
    They might be hiding the person they have become, and don't want their past lover from discovering the life they now lead. Alot has changed in the singer's life since he knew her, and knows that if they were to reunite, things would not be the same. So, he pushes her away(not physically), and won't let her get close.
    He's singing this to himself, like a prayer, or it can be interpreted as a dialogue between the two.
    The lyrics on this site are wrong, so this might confuse people. It's "BUT we are two worlds apart..."

    Here's an explanation(not of the full song):

    --first lines are self explanatory, he loves her, and doesn't want that to change. She'll always be in his heart.

    -"Tell me why?
    ain't nothing but a heartache,
    Tell me why?
    ain't nothing but a mistake,
    tell me why?
    I never want to hear you say,
    I want it that way"
    --The singer never told his love how much he cared for her, and is regretting it. He doesn't want to imagine her being glad that they aren't together(he doesn't want to hear her say that she doesn't love him)

    -"Am I your fire, your one desire?
    guess I know it's too late,
    but I want it that way"
    --Goes back to how years have passed, and he's thinking about her, and wondering if she ever felt the same way as he does still. But he's running from his past, and cannot bring himself to call her. He's ashamed of his life, and couldn't bear to let her know who he is now.

    -"Now I can see that we've fallen apart,
    from the way that it used to be, yeah"
    --Maybe they were teenagers at the same school, or maybe they lived in the same apartment complex. They both had good lives, but now he's a complete mess, drunk, drug addict, broke, no job, etc... She's probably somewhere out there with kids, a husband who doesn't love her, etc... and it's just not the way it was.

    -"Tell me why?
    ain't nothing but a heartache,
    ain't nothing but a mistake,
    tell me why?
    I never want to hear you say, (hear you say, yeah)
    I want it that way
    cos I want it that way"
    --So, he loves her, wants to be with her, but can't, because he's ashamed of himself, and a life with her would never come true. But, he does not want to think that she wants her life the way it is, without him.

    Ok, that explanation sucked, and I had WAY too much time on my hands today, but I tried(repetitive?). I'm sure it still doesn't make sense, and it didn't to me for seven years, but now I get it. Hope this helps.
  • Myss from Arvada, CoWhy are people getting offended by BSB being compared to the Beatles? They were both pop and were huge sucesses. The Beatles are obviously better, and have more musical credit than the Boys ever will, but get over it. I think this is definitely the best BSB song EVER. It's just....everything about it oozes out "pop" but also "maturity" to it. That it sounds gosh darned good. Though it doesn't make sense. And good to see that no one has explained yet what it's about. LOL Something about a breakup I think. I don't know and I don't really care.
  • Katherine from Perthone of my all tie faves, i LOVE the backstreet boys, and have ever since i was a little person :P
  • Oliversabitch from Bitcharoo, Txthis song is about masturbation. just like steven s does every day to catcher in the rye and this band and pictures of Ian I naked
  • Tom from Bozeman, MtHow can a band that doesnt write there own music or play and intruments be compared to the beatles
  • Kimberly from Greeley, Coi cant believe backstreet boys were my all time favorite band. blahh. i like real music now (ie blink-182)
  • Sarah Floyd from Bloomingdale, Ili like this song also. it tells you what they want i think. and they are normal people like us. and if they dont get what they want then this happens and tells people what they want. they have feelings and i care for that. well every body has feelings at least.
  • Rob from Castaic, CaMore legendary than the Beatles? You're on crack!
  • Jade from Lexington, MiThank you SOOOOO much for that comment, Jason. Any who compares the Backstreet Boys with The Beatles isn't right in the head . . . no offense to anyone.
  • Jason from Austin, TxI can't even begin to explain how ignorant it is to even attempt to compare the backstreet boys to the Beatles... does anyone remember when music had balls and 13 year old girls didn't control the music scene?
  • Tom from New York, NyThe Howard Stern Parody of this song is much better.
  • Ryan from Lackawanna, NyThis Might Be The Worst Lyricy Song Ever, The Song Makes Absolutely no sense wat so ever it describes a love then a rebelious act its just so corny and so badly written its emmbarrising
  • Shawna from San Diego, CaI remember being about 11 years old and loving this song along w/bsb but having no idea what it meant. Now I'm 17 and heard it on the radio and was like "hey that song actually has good words to it!' but yeah, bsb wasn't so bad. too bad the band boy thing is over though.
  • Alireza from New Jersey, NjI want it that way is the best song of "Backstreet Boys" group.
  • Tony from Buffalo Grove, IlHeh, big surprise they didn't write the song themselves.
  • Vere from Pretoria, South AfricaBackstreet Boys kix you-know-what forever! I love them and they are gonna be more legendary than the Beatles (I hope!)
  • Kathryn from Wiltshire, EnglandThere is a second verion of "I want it that way". I have post the those lyrics on here.
  • Kathryn from Wiltshire, EnglandThe plane in the video is not real. It is virtual.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Actors With Hit Songs

Actors With Hit SongsMusic Quiz

Many actors have attempted music, but only a few have managed a hit. Do you know which of these thespians charted?

Intentionally Atrocious

Intentionally AtrociousSong Writing

A selection of songs made to be terrible - some clearly achieved that goal.

How "A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss" Became Rock's Top Proverb

How "A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss" Became Rock's Top ProverbSong Writing

How a country weeper and a blues number made "rolling stone" the most popular phrase in rock.

Jonathan Cain of Journey

Jonathan Cain of JourneySongwriter Interviews

Cain talks about the divine inspirations for "Don't Stop Believin'" and "Faithfully."

Roger McGuinn of The Byrds

Roger McGuinn of The ByrdsSongwriter Interviews

Roger reveals the songwriting formula Clive Davis told him, and if "Eight Miles High" is really about drugs.

Tony Banks of Genesis

Tony Banks of GenesisSongwriter Interviews

Genesis' key-man re-examines his solo career and the early days of music video.