I Swear

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"I Swear"
I swear (JM Montgomery).jpg
Single by John Michael Montgomery
from the album Kickin' It Up
ReleasedNovember 19, 1993
Recorded1993
GenreCountry
Length4:22
LabelAtlantic Nashville
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)Scott Hendricks
John Michael Montgomery singles chronology
"Beer and Bones"
(1993)
"I Swear"
(1993)
"Rope the Moon"
(1994)

"I Swear" is a song written by Gary Baker and Frank J. Myers that became a hit for American country music artist John Michael Montgomery in 1993 and for American R&B group All-4-One in 1994.

Montgomery's version, released in November 1993 as the lead single from Montgomery's album Kickin' It Up and accompanied by a Marc Ball-directed music video, spent four weeks at number-one on the U.S. Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart, later crossing over to pop radio and reaching number 42 on the US Billboard Hot 100. All-4-One's cover later became a number one hit in numerous countries.

Content[edit]

The song is a ballad in which the narrator promises his significant other that he will always love her.

Track listings[edit]

CD maxi—United States (1993)
  1. "I Swear" – 4:23
  2. "Line on Love" – 2:37
  3. "Dream on Texas Ladies" – 3:08
  4. "Friday at Five" – 2:41

Charts[edit]

"I Swear" officially debuted on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs for the week of December 18, 1993.

Chart (1994) Peak
position
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[1] 1
US Billboard Hot 100[2] 42
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[3] 1

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1994) Position
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[4] 8
US Country Songs (Billboard)[5] 1

All-4-One version[edit]

"I Swear"
All4one-iswear.jpg
Single by All-4-One
from the album All-4-One
ReleasedApril 28, 1994
Recorded1993
Genre
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)David Foster
All-4-One singles chronology
"So Much in Love"
(1993)
"I Swear"
(1994)
"(She's Got) Skillz"
(1994)
Music video
"I Swear" on YouTube

Several months after Montgomery had released his original version, All-4-One recorded their own version with record producer David Foster. The All-4-One version of the song is slightly different to the original, in that the line "And when there's silver in your hair" from the second verse was replaced by "And when just the two of us are there."

All-4-One's version hit number one on numerous music charts, including the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, where it remained at number one for 11 consecutive weeks. It peaked at number two on the UK Singles Chart, where it stayed for seven consecutive weeks, being held off number one by Wet Wet Wet's "Love Is All Around", which went on to spend 15 weeks at number one. This version spent a total of 18 weeks on the UK Singles Chart. This version ranks number 88 on Billboard's All-Time Top 100 Songs list.[6]

Critical reception[edit]

American magazine Billboard called it a "memorable anthem ballad".[7] Larry Flick wrote, "Follow-up to the gold-selling 'So Much in Love' once again spotlights this male quartet's seamless harmonies. Producer David Foster supplies soft and pillowy synths, a caressing sax solo, and an overall splash of drama, which complements the unabashed romance of this hit-bound ballad. As teens enter prom season, expect this song to be the peak tune of the evening. Ahhh, young love ..."[8] Music & Media commented, "Since Whitney covered Dolly, Nashville is hip in the R&B milieu. Now the vocal harmony quartet halfway between Shai and Boyz II Men polishes John Michael Montgomery country number 1 hit." Head of music on German Radio Regenbogen/Mannheim, Martin Schwebel said, "It's a beautiful love song. The fact that it's on pole position in every American chart imaginable shows its huge potential. Here in Germany it might be a sleeper, but it will be a hit in the long run."[9] Alan Jones from Music Week deemed it a "pretty and powerful ballad" that "should be big."[10]

Music video[edit]

A music video was produced to promote the single. It portrays the members of All-4-One hanging out on a rooftop singing interspersed with scenes with a young woman walking on the sidewalk below. They go down to walk and talk with her as they implore her not to leave. Ultimately, she says goodbye to each member before boarding a departing bus.

Track listings[edit]

CD single

  1. "I Swear" (radio edit) – 3:43
  2. "I Swear" (radio remix) – 4:19

CD maxi

  1. "I Swear" (radio edit) – 3:43
  2. "I Swear" (radio mix) – 4:18
  3. "I Swear" (radio remix) – 4:18
  4. "I Swear" (album version) – 4:18

7-inch single

  1. "I Swear" (radio edit) – 3:43
  2. "I Swear" (radio remix) – 4:19

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[37] 2× Platinum 140,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[54] Platinum 50,000*
Germany (BVMI)[55] Platinum 500,000^
Netherlands (NVPI)[56] Gold 50,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[57] Platinum 10,000*
Sweden (GLF)[58] Gold 25,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[59] Platinum 600,000^
United States (RIAA)[61] Platinum 1,500,000[60]

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

Other versions[edit]

All-4-One and John Michael Montgomery recorded an updated duet version of "I Swear" for the deluxe edition of All-4-One's 2015 album Twenty+. A music video for this duet version was released on May 9, 2016.

Brazilian duo Leandro e Leonardo recorded a Portuguese version entitled "Eu Juro", it was recorded in 1995.

Costa Rican group Centinelas Vocal Band has performed a Latin American version entitled "Juraré".[62] It was also covered in 1997 by Sandy Lam, Chyi Yu, Prudence Liew and Teresa Carpio, and as "Ya sé" by Mexican country band Caballo Dorado in 1998.[63]

In 2008, Yao Si Ting (姚斯婷), a female Chinese singer from Guangzhou, recorded an English cover of the song.[64]

In the 2013 computer-animated comedy film Despicable Me 2, the Minions sang a Minionese cover of the song during Gru and Lucy Wilde's wedding. The song is called "Underwear".

In 2021, American country a cappella group Home Free released a cover of the song. It was accompanied by a music video released on February 19, filmed as a tongue-in-cheek homage to 1980s and 1990s romantic music videos.[65]

In 2021, the entire cast of Pose sang it at the wedding of Angel and Lil Papi in the episode "Something Old, Something New".

POPSTARS Germany 2010 finalists version[edit]

"I Swear"
ISwearP2010.jpg
Single by Gary Baker featuring POPSTARS
from the album No Sleep
Released19 November 2010 (2010-11-19)
GenrePop
Length4:03
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)Gary Baker
LaViVe singles chronology
"I Swear"
(2010)
"No Time for Sleeping"
(2010)

The final eleven contestants from Popstars: Girls forever, ninth season of TV talent show POPSTARS in Germany, they released a cover version of the song with Gary Baker on November 19, 2010. The finalists premiered the song live on the November 18th edition of the programme; the single was available for digital download on November 16, 2010 and a physical release followed the day after the live performance of the song. The song was recorded at Noiseblock Studios in Florence, Alabama.

Track listings[edit]

CD single

  1. "I Swear" – 04:03
  2. "Empire of Love" – 03:28

Charts[edit]

Chart (2010) Peak
position
Germany (Official German Charts)[66] 69

References[edit]

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  5. ^ "Best of 1994: Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 1994. Retrieved August 4, 2013.
  6. ^ a b Bronson, Fred (August 2, 2013). "Hot 100 55th Anniversary: The All-Time Top 100 Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved August 1, 2018.
  7. ^ Verna, Paul; Gillen, Marilyn A.; Cronin, Peter, eds. (April 30, 1994). "Album Reviews" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 106 no. 18. p. 68. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
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  9. ^ "New Releases: Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. June 18, 1994. p. 10. Retrieved May 18, 2021.
  10. ^ Jones, Alan (June 4, 1994). "Market Preview: Mainstream - Singles" (PDF). Music Week. p. 12. Retrieved April 17, 2021.
  11. ^ "Australian-charts.com – All-4-One – I Swear". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved July 17, 2020.
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  16. ^ Danish peak
  17. ^ Eurochart peak
  18. ^ source: Pennanen, Timo: Sisältää hitin - levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972. Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Otava, 2006. ISBN 9789511210535. page: 280
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  36. ^ * Zimbabwe. Kimberley, C. Zimbabwe: singles chart book. Harare: C. Kimberley, 2000
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  56. ^ "Dutch single certifications – All-4-One – I Swear" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Enter I Swear in the "Artiest of titel" box.
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  61. ^ "American single certifications – All-4-One – I Swear". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
  62. ^ Revernation Artist, CENTINELAS VOCAL BAND.
  63. ^ 滾石唱片 ROCK RECORDS (2016-02-22), 林憶蓮 齊豫 劉美君 杜麗莎 Sandy Lam & Chyi Yu & Prudence Liew & Teresa Carpio【I SWEAR】Official Music Video, retrieved 2017-09-30
  64. ^ iBest Cover (2017-04-26), Yao Si Ting - I Swear [Official Video], retrieved 2020-10-18
  65. ^ Home Free Releases Cover of Romantic 'I Swear': WATCH, 19 February 2021, retrieved 2021-03-01
  66. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Gary Baker feat. Popstars – I Swear" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved December 9, 2020.

External links[edit]