The Meaning Behind Michael Bolton’s Dreamy Hit “Said I Loved You…But I Lied”

Adult contemporary radio would’ve sounded very different in the 1980s and ’90s without the sound of Michael Bolton’s smoky, sultry voice. One of the greatest pop ballads he has to offer is “Said I Loved You…But I Lied,” his 1993 hit that followed in a line of chart-toppers including “Love is a Wonderful Thing” and his cover of “When a Man Loves a Woman.” From the moment Bolton calls the listener in with a high note at the start of the song, he sets a romantic tone with the lyrics about a love that couldn’t be any deeper. Read below for more history about the song.

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Meaning Behind the Song

“Said I Loved You…But I Lied” was co-written by Bolton and Robert “Mutt” Lange, the latter of whom is a prolific songwriter and producer most known for his work with Shania Twain, as well as in the rock world producing and writing songs for AC/DC, Def Leppard and more.

The lyrics of the song compare love to a fire that burns through wind and rain, Bolton manifesting the woman of his dreams. But the chorus opens with a plot twist as he proclaims, Said I loved you, but I lied/’Cause this is more than love I feel inside. The singer shares that when he and Lange sat down to write the song, he came in with the approach of writing about love from a different perceptive.

“‘Said I Love You… But I Lied” is a song I have fun with the audience when I sing it live, and it’s one of my favorites to perform. It’s special for me because it speaks about love in a way I’d never heard expressed before,” he explains to Classic Pop Magazine. “There are very few ultimately important things in our lives that we can write about. The challenge is really to say something about love in a way that hasn’t been said before.”

The hitmaker adds that of all the songs, “Said I Loved You” is among the ones he’s most proud of. “He’s one of my favorite producers to watch because of what he brought to the artists,” Bolton praised of Lange to Las Vegas Magazine. “That was an unexpected combination of chords and sounds, and that’s part of Mutt’s magic he brings. I think there are a bunch of songs that for different reasons are the highlights of my life and career, and when I’m writing or producing and it’s something I feel strongly about, it can be just as emotional and just as powerful as reaching into a standard like ‘When a Man Loves a Woman.’”

“Said I Loved You” was released in October 1993 as the lead single off Bolton’s album, The One Thing. The song reached No. 1 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart and No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100. It also earned Bolton a nomination for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance at the 1995 Grammy Awards.

Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC

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