♫ If ♫

A couple of weeks ago when I played a Bread tune, Everything I Own, everyone seemed pleased with it, and in the comments, at least two noted that this song is their favourite of the Bread collection.  ‘appens that it is also my favourite, or at least one of them … my music ‘faves’ tend to vary in accordance with my mood of the moment.

David Gates, then and now

Bread keyboardist David Gates says: “I wrote that one night at the dining room table, after my kids and my wife had gone to bed. It took me about an hour and a half, with an extra verse left over. If you look at it, there’s a few bizarre lines in there, like ‘you and I would simply fly away’ – that’s kind of an unusual thought. When I was done, I said, ‘That’s the best song I’ve ever written and probably will be the best song I’ll ever write.’ For me it’s really held up over time, more than any of the others.”

In the U.S., Bread’s version was the shortest song title to become a top ten hit until 1993, when Prince hit No. 7 with “7”, later matched by Britney Spears’ No. 1 hit “3” in 2009.  What … we just number songs now?  (Obviously neither Prince nor Britney are on my top 1,000 list)


If a picture paints a thousand words,
Then why can’t I paint you?
The words will never show the you I’ve come to know.
If a face could launch a thousand ships,
Then where am I to go?
There’s no one home but you,
You’re all that’s left me too.
And when my love for life is running dry,
You come and pour yourself on me.

If a man could be two places at one time,
I’d be with you.
Tomorrow and today, beside you all the way.
If the world should stop revolving spinning slowly down to die,
I’d spend the end with you.
And when the world was through,
Then one by one the stars would all go out,
Then you and I would simply fly away

Songwriters: David Gates
If lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

6 thoughts on “♫ If ♫

  1. This was another that turned up at proms a lot in the 70s–it amazes me that the speed of things has changed so much that the average listener now who wasn’t around when it came out might find it slow and boring and not want to hear it, whereas at the time it and other songs like it matched the speed we went at. Know what I mean? I preferred it. There seemed to be more of a sense of meaning, meaningfulness, to things, which I don’t see much of now.

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    • I fully agree with you. I find today’s music hard to listen to, it seems like just so much noise to me. But then, I remember my parents, back in the late 50s, early 60s, saying almost the exact thing about the music I listened to! 😀

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      • I think it is so odd in some ways, and yet to them perhaps the gap between swing bands of the War era and Nat King Cole and Ella Fitzgerald and all to the Stones and Beatles et al. was an equal abomination. My dad used to listen to a radio station that seemed to paly only that sort of music, and it gave me the idea that we often get stuck musically in the time of our high school years or perhaps college, or other times that meant a lot to us. There is a whole genre of music that I only play privately for myself around christmas, since I dated some guy decades ago during that time and he introduced me to this type of music, and it was a big time in my life although it only lasted a couple of months or so. I stuck with the music though after getting rid of the guy, and have been glad of both actions. It does feel to me like not much good stuff came out in the last couple of decades except perhaps from folks who were already performing (okay, and Adam Lambert, whom I love), and yet I never thought of myself as an old crankypants until I became one. It may well be some sort of punctuated backward equilibrium–lurching back from the excellent music like Yes and progressive rock and the wonderful David Bowie and Stevie Wonder and new wave and two-tone ska and vocals like the Eagles, into people these days who can’t sing, don’t try, and just rip off chunks of other people’s music as part of their ‘work’, and others actually buy or steal it and voluntarily listen to it. I dunno. It doesn’t seem like excellence happens much anymore, and I miss it. To me, rap and stuff is just belligerent opinions, and I dislike listening to opinions without the person even having bothered to write actual music to go with it. Everyone’s opinion may vary, but mine it that it’s not for me.

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        • My parents were more along the lines of Sinatra, Dean Martin, etc., and in truth, I like that music also. I’m a fan of classical and jazz as well. Never could get into rap or hip-hop or heavy metal, though. And like you, most of todays music sends me scrambling for the ‘off’ button. 😉

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