I Want You Lyrics - Elvis Costello

Review The Song (13)

Oh my baby baby
I love you more than I can tell
I don't think I can live without you
And I know that I never will
Oh my baby baby
I want you so it scares me to death
I can't say anymore than "I love you"
Everything else is a waste of breath

I want you
You've had your fun you don't get well no more
I want you
Your fingernails go dragging down the wall
Be careful darling you might fall
I want you
I woke up and one of us was crying
I want you
You said "Young man I do believe you're dying"
I want you
If you need a second opinion as you seem to do these days
I want you
You can look in my eyes and you can count the ways
I want you
Did you mean to tell me but seem to forget
I want you
Since when were you so generous and inarticulate
I want you
It's the stupid details that my heart is breaking for
It's the way your shoulders shake and what they're shaking for
I want you
It's knowing that he knows you now after only guessing
It's the thought of him undressing you or you undressing
I want you
He tossed some tattered compliment your way
I want you
And you were fool enough to love it when he said
"I want you"
I want you
The truth can't hurt you it's just like the dark
It scares you witless
But in time you see things clear and stark
I want you
Go on and hurt me then we'll let it drop
I want you
I'm afraid I won't know where to stop
I want you
I'm not ashamed to say I cried for you
I want you
I want to know the things you did that we do too
I want you
I want to hear he pleases you more than I do
I want you
I might as well be useless for all it means to you
I want you
Did you call his name out as he held you down
I want you
Oh no my darling not with that clown
I want you

I want you
You've had your fun you don't get well no more
I want you
No-one who wants you could want you more
I want you
I want you
I want you
Every night when I go off to bed and when I wake up
I want you
I want you
I'm going to say it again 'til I instill it
I know I'm going to feel this way until you kill it
I want you
I want you.

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Thanks to Katt for submitting I Want You Lyrics.
Oh dear | Reviewer: Wangaratta | 8/10/11

"I Want You" is, I think, one of the great repulsive songs (that thing by The Police springs to mind as well) sort of in the vein of old blues, "I'm gonna cut you, babe" stuff. Costello's performance is magnificent. I think that it is a dangerous song and somewhat immature.

Does he know? | Reviewer: Anonymous | 6/14/11

I love Elvis Costello, and many of his songs are about heartbreak and love-gone-awry.

Especially this one. I listen to it and can't help but feel exactly what is being expressed. I sulk in my little corner but then I realised, he must have had something happen to him. The grasp Elvis has on the lyrics and how he near strains to sing them cannot have been pulled from nothing. I feel bad that this happens to anyone, let alone myself (I'm over it now, mostly). Master Class!!!!

A little Psychotic. | Reviewer: M1 | 3/28/11

Awesome track about someone's reaction to their lover sleeping with another.. absolutely Psychotic and Beautiful at the same time.

Fiona Apple does a live version with Elvis Costello that is so excellent that by the end of the video (see youtube) you'll be hiding behind the sofa, just in case that woman you wronged (you know the one) starts banging on the door...

fresh understanding | Reviewer: David | 8/1/08

As a teenager, I loved this song, but despite hearing it dozens or times, I didn't understand it's deeper level. I thought it was an atmospheric song that might accompany an intense seduction. After a bad break-up a few years ago, I put Costello on my iPod, and suddenly all the lyrics made sense to me. I Want You puts its finger on all the horrible, nerve-shredding pain of betrayal like no other song. The line "It's knowing that he knows you now after only guessing" expresses the core of that feeling more clearly than most of us can ever express it ourselves.

obsession | Reviewer: lilysilver | 7/7/08

this is definitely about being cheated on and not letting go of the partner. and after being cheated on s/he's a bit of an obsession. to me, i want you seems like i want you to love me but i you don't and it's driving me totally crazy--i'm obsessed.

Another Version | Reviewer: writergeek | 9/19/07

I loved this song and Elvis, but moved on in my tastes until I heard a rendition of it from Storm Large and the Balls:


Storm is probably best known as a contestant on Rock Star Supernova, but she is a true, indie artist who turned down record labels after the show in order to stay true to the music she loves and rocks best.

Sigh. | Reviewer: OldGuy | 8/25/07

I used to cry to this song over unrequited love, but I've come to believe that it describes the feelings of a man who's lover has cheated on him.
Particularly the 'tatty complement' and 'not with that clown' lines.
My life is happy now, love is full; this thing STILL makes me cry.

Fiona Apple did a really great cover | Reviewer: Marco Meijer | 11/20/06

I thought no one else would be able to sing this song. What a mistake !
Fiona Apple did an amazing performance; maybe her cover is even better than the original. She is totally into the song; at the end she can't even smile when the audience cheers and applauds. I think she is the reincarnation of Janis Joplin (but much better looking and with a better voice). Superb !

One of His Best | Reviewer: Miss Lyrically-Oriented | 11/4/05

A desperate and agonizing song that's been around for ages. This long-time Costello fan (since 1977)thinks this is some of his best work. Just the way the words are ripped outta his throat, with such desperate emotion. Just the sorta stuff I love, and the complicated stuff Costello manages to put into a song. I don't know how he does it, when most of us just flounder around for words. No one I know likes EC like I do.....they just don't get it, I think.

This song is killing me... | Reviewer: Seon | 10/21/05

This song is killing me.I first heard it cause a girl I like so much heard it and told me to listen to it.
This song is ugly...in a beautiful way. Dangerous, yes..... Almost immediatelly it filled me with so much emotion. Its the agony as a reviewer said of a man that 'loves' a woman, but tries to hide it inside the "I want you" maybe cause he doesnt want her to know his feeling, or because can't say it now that shes with another man -it hurts to say it in this situation, trust me I know.
Since I first heard it I can't take it out my mind, purhaps because Im actually living what Costello sings.

PS:It does make you cry....

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------ Performed by Elvis Costello

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------ 11/23/2014

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