I had no idea how many songs had the title “I Want You” until I went and looked it up on Wikipedia this morning. Although this post could have easily been about Madonna’s cover of the Marvin Gaye song which was on Something To Remember, her album of ballads from 1995, it isn’t as I have limited myself to only two Madonna songs on this month long list and I’m not about to blow one of those songs on “I Want You.” No, this “I Want You” is s the debut single from Australians Darren Hayes and Daniel Jones, better known as Savage Garden. “I Want You” is, to many people, the “chik-a-cherry-cola” song, primarily because many of the other lyrics in the verses aside from “chik-a-cherry-cola” seem to be unintelligible. I have to admit that I only sort of knew the words even today before looking them up on a lyrics site late this morning. I was surprised to see the word “magenta” actually used in a song.
To me, “I Want You” will always be one of what I refer to as my “Drug Town songs.” From 1997-1999, I worked as a pharmacist at Drug Town in Iowa City while I was working on my Pharm.D. It was very part time – every other weekend and a handful of evenings from 5 to 9PM, but since I was working as a pharmacist, it paid pretty well. This was important because at the time, I was racking up student debt like you wouldn’t believe and even with that, we had a hard time making ends meet. The reason “I Want You” and other songs from this era are Drug Town songs is because the store had one of those piped in music systems that would play the same songs over and over again. It got to the point that you could set your watch by what was playing. “Stop” by the Spice Girls is the ultimate Drug Town song because I swear it played every afternoon at 2:45, and also because it’s my favorite Spice Girls song. But “I Want You”, along with “Truly Madly Deeply” are two Savage Garden songs that remind me of filling prescriptions in North Iowa City as the 20th century drew to a close.
The other honor that “I Want You” holds is that it is my ultimate karaoke challenge. I firmly believe that it has to be one of the hardest songs in the karaoke book to actually sing. The first hurdle is getting all the words right and once you do that, then it’s the matter of delivering the lyrics in the rapid-fire fashion that Darren Hayes does. It’s a challenge when you’re singing along with the song, I can only imagine how tough it might be when you don’t have a vocal track to rely on. Also, I have no idea when you’re supposed to breath. But one day, after a lot of practice, I will master it.
Darren Hayes is reportedly going to tour the U.S. in 2014, and I am going to do whatever I can to make sure I’m there. I’m prepared to travel for it if need be. I will also sacrifice seeing Dolly Parton again if I have to choose. Hopefully I only have to travel to Chicago.
And while I really love the original version of this song, there’s also the acoustic version which I probably love even more. YouTube had videos for both, so here they are.