“You Are Not Alone” by Michael Jackson
There is a popular conspiracy theory, if you will, concerning the origin of “You Are Not Alone”. That story is touched upon in the facts section of this post. But in terms of this analysis, we will focus on the main, transparent idea(s) being put forth. For instance, considering that the music video to this track is romantic in nature, we will also analyze the song upon such a foundation. And the lyrical premise is that the singer has apparently been deserted by his significant other, i.e. the addressee. Moreover the vocalist is blaming himself for this situation. However, at the same time he feels his lover’s spirit, so to speak, is near to him. In other words, although she is not around, it is necessarily not by choice. Or more specifically her love remains with the singer even though she herself is not physically present.
So it is she who is telling Michael “you are not alone”. Simply put, he should not fret in her absence and believe that she has truly deserted him. But that being said, within the lyrics themselves there is no screamingly-overt reference to romance. So ultimately this song can be applied to anyone whom the person relaying the lyrics misses and perhaps feels they have a fractured relationship with.
Facts about “You Are Not Alone”
This is the second single released from Michael’s dual-disc, partial-anthology album “HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I”. And it was released as such by Epic Records on the 15th of August 2020.
This was one of Jackson’s (1958-2009) final great hits. Indeed it holds the distinction of being the last song he dropped which topped the Billboard Hot 100. And interesting to note is that it is also the first song in history to debut on top of the Hot 100.
“You Are Not Alone” also topped the UK Singles Chart, the European Hot 100 and music charts in quite a few other countries. It has also been certified Platinum in the US, UK and Australia.
Moreover “You Are Not Alone” reached number one in England when a collaborative version, featuring the 12 finalists on that season’s The X Factor (UK), released a cover in November of 2009.
The music video to this track was handled by prolific director Wayne Isham. It famously (or infamously, depending on one’s perspective) features both Michael and his wife, Lisa Marie Presley (daughter of music icon Elvis Presley) semi-nude. And said video – for better or worse – did contribute significantly to the overall popularity of the song.
Michael’s older brother, Jermaine Jackson, published a book in 2012 about his little brother entitled “You Are Not Alone: Michael, Through a Brother’s Eyes”.
This song was actually written by the infamous yet brilliant singer R. Kelly. And he also produced the track alongside Jackson himself. And Kels described working alongside Michael as “a dream come true”.
One of the popular theories behind the origin of this song is that Kels wrote it about a (teenaged) girl he was dating at the time who miscarried his baby.
FYI: R. Kelly was later successfully sued for rights to “You Are Not Alone” by a pair of Belgium musicians named Danny and Eddy Van Passel. In other words, they formally accused him of plagiarizing a song they dropped in 1993 entitled “If We Can Start All Over” and actually won in court.
However, said court is in Belgium, and their judgment is strangely only valid there. Below is an audio of Van Passel’s “If We Can Start All Over”: