I genuinely worship Lady Gaga, to the point where I made a bauble full of her face for the Lifestyle section last Christmas. So when I say that “You and I” is one of my favourite songs of hers, this is no small compliment. When I play this song, I am no longer an exhausted student from the UK, I’m a Christian country girl in a dive bar in the deep South, singing my heart out to the love of my life while Brian May shreds an electric guitar. Yee haw.
Look, I know it’s cool to hate One Direction. But honestly, I’m partial to a bit of 1D; “Kiss You” for example is super fun and catchy. But this one is eh at best. They’re questionably the biggest boyband in history, and this song apparently charted reasonably well, so the fact that I had to relisten to it for the sake of this article because I couldn’t remember it really says it all. Like a lot of love ballads, the lyrics are really generic (“nothing can come between us”, etc, etc) which would be excusable if the instrumental wasn’t straight out of a Centre Parks advert. And didn’t we leave key changes in the early norties? Come on boys.
A B-Side from A Day At The Races, this “You and I” is classic Queen: Mercury’s soothing voice, operatic backing vocals, a strong piano riff. As far as Queen songs go, you’re probably less likely to headbang to this song and more likely to opt for a gentle sway as you think about your significant other. It also weirdly reminds me of one of the Fleetwood Mac songs you’d play in the background just to fill the silence. It’s not “Somebody to Love”, but it’s a pretty nice tune.
Honestly, if I hadn’t found out from Wikipedia that this song was written to advertise a Canadian Airline, I probably could have guessed it myself. Though the excessive mention of flying in the lyrics is meant to symbolise the invincible power of love or whatever I don’t think it would be possible for me to hear this song without picturing the world’s cheesiest flight safety video featuring a plane soaring through a perfectly blue green-screened sky. And to be fair, the music video perfectly captured that vibe with shots of Celine on a runway singing directly into the camera. Not really my thing, but fair enough babe, get that coin.