♫ If I Could Turn Back Time ♫

I have no idea why this song has been in my head all day long.  All. Day. Long.  Perhaps it has something to do with the approaching new year/decade?  Or, perhaps I’m feeling guilty about one of the many things I have failed to do lately?  Who knows … I don’t even understand how that bouncy thing inside my head works.

This song, released in 1989, was written by Diane Warren, one of the most prolific songwriters of our time, having written songs for Aretha Franklin, Celine Dion, Barbara Streisand, Tina Turner and Whitney Houston.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter magazine, Diane Warren said Cher hated the song and she had to force her to sing it.

“I held her leg down during a session and said, ‘You have to record it!’  

According to Warren, Cher’s response was

“F— you, bitch! You’re hurting my leg! OK, I’ll try it.”

However, once Cher had recorded the tune …

“She gave me this look like, ‘You were right.'”

The following video was filmed on board the USS Missouri while it was stationed at the former Long Beach Naval Shipyard at Pier D along with the crew. The Department of the Navy had granted permission for the music video shoot because of its potential for boosting Navy recruitment: the Navy did not have a budget for TV ads in 1989. Cher recalled to Q magazine: December 2013:

“The ‘If I Could Turn Back Time’ video we shot for days. There was a whole story – I climbed up stuff, I was running away from a lover. I was in a cage, in a speedboat… And when the director got to the edit, he just said, ‘F this, here’s the money (shot)’ – me on the battleship with the sailors. They were real sailors too. They were funny. They kept calling me ‘ma’am.'”

Cher’s outfit for the original video, a fishnet body stocking under a black one-piece bathing suit that left most of her buttocks (and a tattoo of a butterfly) exposed, proved very controversial, and many television networks refused to show the video. MTV first banned the video, and later played it only after 9 PM. A second version of the video was made, including new scenes and less overtly sexual content than the original. The outfit and risque nature of the video were a complete surprise to the Navy, who expected Cher to wear a jumpsuit for the concert, as presented on storyboards during original discussions with producers. The sailors were already in place and the band had begun playing when Cher emerged in her outfit.

Highly successful around the globe, If I Could Turn Back Time was seen as a major comeback for Cher in the late 1980s. It charted at number one in Australia and Norway, as well as reaching number three in the United States and number six in the United Kingdom.

If I Could Turn Back Time
Cher

If I could turn back time
If I could find a way
I’d take back those words that hurt you
And you’d stay
I don’t know why I did the things I did
I don’t know why I said the things I said
Love’s like a knife it can cut deep inside
Words are like weapons, they wound sometimes
I didn’t really mean to hurt you
I didn’t want to see you go
I know I made you cry, but baby

If I could turn back time
If I could find a way
I’d take back those words that hurt you
And you’d stay
If I could reach the stars
I’d give ’em all to you
Then you’d love me, love me, like you used to do
If I could turn back time

My world was shattered I was torn apart
Like someone took a knife and drove it
Deep in my heart
You walk out that door I swore that I didn’t care
But I lost everything darling then and there
Too strong to tell you I was sorry
Too proud to tell you I was wrong
I know that I was blind, and darling

If I could turn back time
If I could find a way
I’d take back those words that hurt you
And you’d stay
If I could reach the stars
I’d give ’em all to you
Then you’d love me, love me, like you used to do, oh

If I could turn back time (If I could turn back time)
If I could turn back time (If I could turn back time)
If I could turn back time, oh baby

I didn’t really mean to hurt you
I didn’t want to see you go
I know I made you cry

If I could turn back time
If I could find a way
I’d take back those words that hurt you
If I could reach the stars
I’d give ’em all to you
Then you’d love me, love me, like you used to do

If I could turn back time (turn back time)
If I could find a way (find a way)
Then maybe maybe maybe you’d stay

Songwriters: Diane Warren
If I Could Turn Back Time lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, BMG Rights Management

39 thoughts on “♫ If I Could Turn Back Time ♫

  1. The title reminded me of an oldie, “If I Could Turn Back the Hands of Time” by Tyrone Davis. Hadn’t thought about that one in decades! I’ve now played it. Thanks, Jill…even though this is a different song. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, I never heard this song before! Cher did an amazing job for a performer who didn’t care for the song. And that was a killer outfit, very risque for it’s time. I’m sure the Navy had no problems with recruitment that year! 🙂

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  3. This song has a storied history betwixt my Son and myself dating back to its release on Cher’s 1989 album “Heart of Stone” right up to November 9th in 2016. He was too young to remember Sonny & Cher, but had become a Cher fan long before 1989. He was fond of the album’s title song as well as “After All”, but it was this song that he really loved. Along with three other friends he went to the “Heart of Stone Tour” at the Providence Civic Center in May 1990 and saw Cher in all her scantily clad glory perform this song. That was the first of several tours that he attended over the years where she repeated the song similarly attired, most recently in the “Here We Go Again” tour on December 8th in Boston. The Saturday before Christmas during a visit he told me “Cher still has it!” One might, rightly so, wonder what this song has to do with November 9, 2016. In the early morning hours of November 9, 2016 I received a phone call and after I said “Hello” I heard his voice singing these 6 words…”If I Could Turn Back Time”! I cannot count how many times over the last 3+ years those 6 words have popped into my mind to be spat out of my mouth in exasperation! That said, I do love the song and Cher! Thank-you!

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    • Oh wow, Ellen! I always enjoy hearing of your children, their exploits, their musical tastes, but the last bit … I so remember the wee hours of November 9th 2016, the tears I shed, the thoughts that pierced my heart … thoughts that we now know weren’t just the ramblings of an old, bitter woman as I was told then. Yes, my friend, if only we could turn back time. Sigh … love ‘n hugs ❤

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  4. Pingback: ♫ If I Could Turn Back Time ♫ — Filosofa’s Word – Sarah's Attic Of Treasures

    • Thanks! I enjoy digging around a bit for the background of the songs I play … I’ve learned more in the last year than in the last 50 decades about music! Yeah, heh heh … I can imagine all those seamen’s jaw’s dropping!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Great song, clothing optional. It was quite surprising to see her attire in the video. It would be less surprising today, but it was more of a shocker then. Of course, Cher was known for being her own person.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Glad you like it, Keith! Yeah, I was even a bit offput by her clothing, or should I say lack of, and I think I’m fairly liberal-minded. But, it cannot take away from the music, right? Hard to believe it’s the same Cher of Sonny & Cher, isn’t it? She seems like a totally different person.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jill, it is interesting. Sonny and Cher dressed quite differently when they started. Another difference, is Cher did not unleash her talented voice until the TV show started and they split up. Sonny was many things, but was not the best of singers, so I think we Cher started doing solo songs on the TV show, that people fully realized how well she could sing. When she sang on the second Mama Mia movie, her voice was at another level from the other performers. Keith

        Liked by 2 people

    • We all have things in our lives we wish we could ‘undo’, or at least erase. But, as rg said, those contributed to who we are today. Your “glass half full” is not so bad, nor is mine, my friend. Glad you liked the song!
      Cwtch

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Another great song choice! Trust me I have this song go through my mind a lot when thinking about the past and different situations BUT it is what it is and as rawgod said we wouldn’t be who we are today if some things would have been different.
    So keep moving forward my friend, there are happy memories to be made!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you … I’m so glad you liked it! Yes, I’m with rg on that one … we are a product of everything and everyone that has come into our life, or all the decisions we’ve made, right or wrong. I shall keep moving forward as long as there is breath in these lungs and a beat in the heart!

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      • Hello Jill. I have several I really enjoy but if I had to pick just few of her songs I love Dark Lady, also Gypsies Tramps and Thieves, and I would add Half-Breed to that list. As for favorite artist it changes by song. I like songs I can hear the lyrics over the music, I like music that tells a bit of a story. So it is not the artist so much as the individual songs. Hugs

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I absolutely love this song, second only in my Cher favorites to After All. I am always amazed at the singers not liking certain songs they recorded and the reasons why. They ere, after all, people with their own histories and influences. She did a bang up job on it.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Ahhhh … when you mentioned “After All”, I thought I might play that for you tomorrow, but a look back tells me I just played it in September! I never can remember … old age, I suppose. Brain calcification. I do love that one, though. That’s the thing with music … it brings back memories, unique and individual for each of us. ♫

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