♫ If ♫

I last played this one in November 2018.  Tonight, I couldn’t find a song in my heart nor in my head … I seem to have only the sound of a lone pebble bouncing from one side of my skull to the other, and only long tears in my heart tonight.  So, I dug around in the archives a bit and came up with this rather melancholy, but somehow pleasing song. 

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

36 thoughts on “♫ If ♫

  1. Oldest numbered rock song I can think of is Manfred Mann, circa 1964, 5-4-3-2-1. Then we had Chicago, 25 or 6 to 4. Three Dog Night, One. I am sure there are lots of others. If, the shortest word with the biggest meaning. I never got into Bread, don’t know why. But then, I’ve still never heard anything by the Peanut Butter Conspiracy. Just couldn’t bring myself to buy an album of theirs, and they got no radio play. Yet, Cream, and Vanilla Fudge, two of the best bands ever. Just free-thinking. No point at all to this comment…

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    • The “Peanut Butter Conspiracy”??? Are you making that up, or are they for real? Never heard of them, but given that I consider peanut butter to be nature’s most perfect food, I’d give it a listen!


      • I can still see their album cover on the racks in the 60s. How often I picked it up I’ll never know, but I put it back every time. I’m thinking I can probably find it on YouTube now, and listen to it for free, but will it still be relevent? Hopefully, one say, before I die. But I expect to be disappointed. How bizarre!

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        • I checked, and there is a Wikipedia entry about them, and yes, you can find them on YouTube. I didn’t listen, for it is late and I’m trying to catch up from a lazy day, but I’ll listen tomorrow.


    • I’m glad you liked this one! I played Guitar Man, but it’s been two years, so maybe about time for a redux! Oh gosh … I cannot imagine why I didn’t go for Telly’s version! 🤦 Oh wait … perhaps it was because I didn’t even know such a thing existed! 😉

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        • Of course you knew my curiosity would be piqued and I’d just have to go find it and see for myself, right? I was about to say that I didn’t know Telly Savalas could sing, but … now I know he CAN’T! I loved him in Kojak, but he should have stuck to acting! I can’t believe it hit #1 over there!

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          • I did wonder…

            There have been some strange hits here over the years, but that was one of the weirdest. I remember a Radio 1 DJ announcing it as ‘I have to play this, as it’s #1’ 😂

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    • Now THAT is one awesome memory! I’m so glad now that I played this one, if for no other reason than to think of you singing your kids to sleep back in the day. I wonder how many dads do that today?


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