The Story behind the Bee Gee’s Hit “How Deep is Your Love”

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The Bee Gees wrote this for the American singer Yvonne Elliman. Robert Stigwood, who produced the movie Saturday Night Fever, insisted the Bee Gees perform it themselves for the soundtrack. Elliman did sing “If I Can’t Have You,” which was written by The Bee Gees and included on the soundtrack. That song was also a #1 hit in the US.

This was a massive hit in the US. It was #1 for three weeks and stayed in the Top 10 for 17 weeks, which was a record at the time. The song was also a huge hit on the Adult Contemporary chart, where it spent six weeks at #1 – more than any other Bee Gees song. When Billboard listed their top 100 Adult Contemporary song of all time in 2011, “How Deep Is Your Love” came in at #13.

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Bee_Gees_Midnight_Special_1973
Wikimedia Commons – Midnight Special

A songwriter/antiques dealer in Illinois named Ronald Selle sued the Bee Gees, claiming a song he wrote in 1975 called “Let It End” was the basis for “How Deep Is Your Love.” The case went to a jury in 1983. The Bee Gees claimed that they had never heard “Let It End,” and there was no evidence that they did (that song was never released – Selle made a home recording that he had sent to music publishers). The case was based on the similarities between the songs, and an expert witness for Selle – a musicologist named Arrand Parsons – tried to convince the jury through technical analysis of the notes that the Bee Gees plagiarized the song. The jury bought it, and ruled that the Bee Gees did copy Selle’s song. The judge, however, nullified the verdict. Selle later appealed, and was once again rebuffed.

(Sourced from songfacts.com)

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“How Deep is Your Love?”

I know your eyes in the morning sun
I feel you touch me in the pouring rain
And the moment that you wander far from me
I want to feel you in my arms again
And you come to me on a summer breeze
Keep me warm in your love, then you softly leave
And it’s me you need to show

How deep is your love, how deep is your love
How deep is your love?
I really mean to learn
‘Cause we’re living in a world of fools
Breaking us down when they all should let us be
We belong to you and me

I believe in you
You know the door to my very soul
You’re the light in my deepest, darkest hour
You’re my savior when I fall
And you may not think I care for you
When you know down inside that I really do
And it’s me you need to show

How deep is your love, how deep is your love
How deep is your love?
I really mean to learn
‘Cause we’re living in a world of fools
Breaking us down when they all should let us be
We belong to you and me

And you come to me on a summer breeze
Keep me warm in your love, then you softly leave
And it’s me you need to show

How deep is your love, how deep is your love
How deep is your love?
I really mean to learn
‘Cause we’re living in a world of fools
Breaking us down when they all should let us be
We belong to you and me

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How deep is your love, how deep is your love
I really mean to learn
‘Cause we’re living in a world of fools
Breaking us down when they all should let us be
We belong to you and me

RELATED: The Bee Gees Are Getting Their Own Movie Biopic

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