"One" is a song written and recorded by Harry Nilsson and made famous by Three Dog Night whose recording reached number five on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in 1969 and number four in Canada. It is known for its opening line "One is the loneliest number that you'll ever do". Nilsson wrote the song after calling someone and getting a busy signal. He stayed on the line listening to the "beep, beep, beep, beep..." tone, writing the song. The busy signal became the opening notes.
Three Dog Night played "One" in the key of F minor, and it was released as the second single from Three Dog Night's eponymous first album. It became their first of seven gold records over the next five years.
The original issue of the single version fades out about ten seconds before the final notes heard on the album version. Upon reissues by ABC Records, the label reverted to the album version which is heard on radio today.
The song reached number five on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and spent three weeks at number two on the Cash Box Top 100. It also reached number four in Canada.
Electric Six recorded a cover version of the song for use in the trailer for Army of Two, but their version was rejected in favor of the Mastodon version. It was subsequently included on their 2015 compilation album Mimicry and Memories.
The song was sung by Nathan Lane and was featured on the soundtrack of Stuart Little 2 in 2002.
In 2004, the song appears in the third episode of House ("Occam's Razor"). Dr. House references the song's opening line during a discussion with his team, and the song later plays over the episode's last scene.
Also in 2004, the song is briefly sung by Donkey in the film Shrek 2.