In the song "We are the world" by Michael Jackson and Lionel Ritchie, there are these lyrics:

"We are the world,

We are the children

We are the ones who make a brighter day

So, let's start giving

There's a choice we're making

We're saving our own lives

It's true we'll make a better day

Just you and me"

Should the last line be "you and I"? Because the meaning is "you and I will make a better day".

Actually Michael Jackson asked this same question in the recording session, and someone (likely Quincy Jones) told him to sing "you and me". Is there any principal reason for this choice of words?


Grammatically speaking, you and I is correct, but clearly the wording was changed to make the song sound better. Try imagining the song with the word I instead of me and you'll get what I mean.

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  • To me, it sounds better but misleading. Once I thought it meant "make a better day for you and me". Is this really misleading for native listener? Is it worth the trade-off? – THN Jul 28 '17 at 9:33
  • @thn , you could always call it poetic license!! – Harry Weasley Jul 28 '17 at 9:51
  • And, @thn , native listeners are unlikely to be confused. That rule is often bent in modern speech. – Harry Weasley Jul 28 '17 at 9:55
  • Actually I prefer "you and I". The other one is poetic but not politically correct, because the theme of the song is to encourage people to actively do the good things. "You and me" makes it sound passive, which harms the theme. – THN Jul 28 '17 at 12:52
  • @thn , fair enough, that's a nice point! Well, I'll listen to the song and get back to you. Why do you use the word 'politically correct' , though? – Harry Weasley Jul 28 '17 at 15:57

imagine there being no "you and". it will be awkward to say "just I", but not to say "just me", so it should be "just me

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  • Interesting point – THN Jul 28 '17 at 12:57

You and I is not only grammatically correct but also works better as a rhyme with the preceding line: “we’re saving our own lives.”

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