I am translating the lyric of "If I ain't got you - Alicia Keys".

There are some "you"s in this lyric and it seems that all "you"s are someone whom the heroine of this song loves except the one in the part below.

Some people search for a fountain That promises forever young Some people need three dozen roses And that's the only way to prove you love them

I could not understand who are "you" and who are "them". (Perhaps "you" is "Some people" and "them" is "the ones who Some people love". Is that right? But why "you"?)

Can somebody explain it to me please?

(I know my English is not good. Please point out if this question makes no sense.)

Whole lyric here

1 Answer 1


The "you" seems to be a generic "you" - not referring to anyone in particular, used only to make a general statement. You could rewrite the sentence as:

Some people need three dozen roses, and that's the only way to prove one loves them.

and it wouldn't change the meaning and make it clearer that "them" refers to "some people". It does sound more stiff and formal, though.

  • Thank you, Maciej! I did not know about generic "you". Now the phrase became clear to me. Jul 21, 2020 at 11:18

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