♫ I’ll Have To Say I Love You In A Song ♫ (Redux)

This one just popped into my head in the shower yesterday and for some reason it refused to leave.  So, since I haven’t played it for a few years, and since I really like it, let’s … Play it again, Sam!  Or Jim, as the case may be.


Jim Croce was just starting to become successful when he died at the age of 30. Jim, the pilot, and other members of his group, were killed when the plane crashed into a pecan tree at the end of the runway in Natchitoches, Louisiana in 1973.  This song, as well as another of my favourites, Photographs and Memories, were released after his death.

Croce’s wife Ingrid has an autobiographical cookbook, Thyme In A Bottle, in which she writes interesting anecdotes about Jim. Here’s what she wrote about the backstory for this song:

“One weekend, after being on the road for many months, Jim got a chance to come home to relax with his family. We settled in to enjoy our time alone together. Though Jim was expecting company the next day, avoiding confrontation he never told me that we were to be joined by an entire film crew! The next morning, 15 people from Acorn Productions descended upon our house to record a promotional film of Jim Croce at Home on the Farm. I prepared breakfast, lunch and dinner for the whole film crew and after the group left, I questioned Jim about our finances. After a year and a half of his working so very hard on the road, we were barely making ends meet, but Jim wouldn’t talk about it. He hated questions as much as he hated confrontation, especially about money. He stormed out of our bedroom and went down to the kitchen table to brood. The next morning he woke me gently by singing his new song. ‘Every time I tried to tell you the words just came out wrong. So I’ll have to say I love you, in a song.'”

Several artists have covered this song, but none come even close to the originator, Jim Croce.

I’ll Have To Say I Love You In A Song
Jim Croce

Well, I know it’s kind of late
I hope I didn’t wake you
But what I’ve got to say can’t wait
I know you’d understand
‘Cause every time I tried to tell you
The words just came out wrong
So I’ll have to say “I love you” in a song

Yeah, I know it’s kind of strange
Every time I’m near you
I just run out of things to say
I know you’d understand
‘Cause every time I tried to tell you
The words just came out wrong
So I’ll have to say “I love you” in a song

‘Cause every time the time was right
All the words just came out wrong
So I’ll have to say “I love you” (I love you) in a song

Yeah, I know it’s kind of late (it’s kind of late)
I hope I didn’t wake you
But there’s something that I just got to say
(I know you’d understand)
I know you’d understand
‘Cause every time I tried to tell you
The words just came out wrong
So I’ll have to say “I love you” in a song

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: James Croce
I’ll Have To Say I Love You In A Song lyrics © BMG Rights Management

♫ Operator (That’s Not The Way It Feels)♫

I was beginning to think I would have to settle for a redux tonight, for every song that popped into my head was one I had already played here.  So, I pulled up a Jim Croce song I hadn’t played since 2018 and, as I typically do, went back through the comments on that post.  In the comments, our friend Keith had mentioned a couple of songs by Croce that … lo and behold … I hadn’t yet played!  This is one of them …

The story behind the song was inspired during Jim Croce’s military service, during which time he saw lines of soldiers waiting to use the outdoor phone on base, many of them calling their wives or girlfriends to see if their Dear John letter was true.  According to Jim’s wife, Ingrid …

Jim and I had gotten married in 1966, and we had been waiting for him to go in the service. He was a National Guard, which he had joined with the hope that he would not be sent over, and he would be able to continue his education and his music career. So he signed up for the National Guard, and just as soon as we decided to get married – in August of 1966, the week before our little wedding – he got a letter that said that he would be leaving within two weeks for his National Guard duty down in South or North Carolina, so he was leaving with a very heavy heart.

My dad had been very ill and shortly after that passed away. And we had just waited… wanted to get married and have some time to be together after all those years of waiting. All of the sudden here he is the National Guard, and Jim is not very good with authority. And he’s in the South, and they were not very good with making pasta. He was missing good food, he was missing me, he was missing life in general.

He’s one of the few guys I think who went through basic training twice… he really couldn’t follow the system. He’d always find things that were funny, like a handbook that he put together in dealing with the service with a whole bunch of quotes of how to deal with people in the Army.

But anyway, he was standing there in the rain at a payphone. And he was listening to these stories of all these guys, the ‘Dear John’ stories, that were standing in line waiting their turn in the rain with these green rain jackets over their heads – I can just picture it, all of them in line waiting for their 3-minute phone call. Most of them were getting on the phone and they were okay, but some of them were getting these ‘Dear John’ letters, or phone calls. I think that was the most important aspect of the song, because it was just so desperate. You know, ‘I only have a dime’ and ‘You can keep the dime’ because money was very scarce and very precious, and I think if you look at the words to the song there are so many aspects of our generation that are in it.

Jim Croce died in 1973, the year after this song was released, when the chartered plane in which he was a passenger crashed into a tree during takeoff from the Natchitoches Regional Airport in Natchitoches, Louisiana. In 2000, the Martin guitar company produced 73 guitars in honor of Jim Croce. In each of these guitars, an uncirculated 1973 dime was inserted in the third fret fingerboard in honor of this song and the final line, “You can keep the dime.”

This song only charted in Canada (#11) and the U.S. (#17) at the time of its release in 1972.  I found in some of my other Jim Croce postings that he wasn’t widely known outside of North America.  Still … I like this song.

Operator (That’s Not the Way It Feels)
Jim Croce

Operator, O could ya help me place this call?
See, the number on the matchbook is old and faded
She’s living in L.A.
With my best old ex-friend, Ray
Guy, she said she knew well and sometimes hated

But isn’t that the way they say it goes?
Well, let’s forget all that
And give me the number if you can find it
So I can call just to tell ’em I’m fine
And to show
I’ve overcome the blow
I’ve learned to take it well
I only wish my words could just convince myself
That it just wasn’t real
But that’s not the way it feels

Operator, O could ya help me place this call?
‘Cause I can’t read the number that you just gave me
There’s something in my eyes
You know it happens every time
I think about a love that I thought would save me

But isn’t that the way they say it goes?
Well, let’s forget all that
And give me the number if you can find it
So I can call just to tell ’em I’m fine
And to show
I’ve overcome the blow
I’ve learned to take it well
I only wish my words could just convince myself
That it just wasn’t real
But that’s not the way it feels
No, no, no, no
That’s not the way it feels

Operator, O let’s forget about this call
There’s no one there I really wanted to talk to
Thank you for your time
Ah, you’ve been so much more than kind
You can keep the dime

But isn’t that the way they say it goes?
Well, let’s forget all that
And give me the number if you can find it
So I can call just to tell ’em I’m fine
And to show
I’ve overcome the blow
I’ve learned to take it well
I only wish my words could just convince myself
That it just wasn’t real
But that’s not the way it feels

Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Croce James J
Operator (That’s Not the Way It Feels) lyrics © H&r Lastrada Music, R2m Publishing, Wingate-music Corp.

♫ Bad Bad Leroy Brown ♫ (Redux)

Jim Croce died in a plane crash on September 20, 1973 when he was only 30 years old.  A few days after his death, his wife Ingrid received a letter from him telling her that he had decided to quit music and stick to writing short stories and movie scripts as a career, and withdraw from public life.  Bad Bad Leroy Brown hit #1 on the charts just two months before his death.

The song was inspired by a tough private he met while in the army.  Croce and Brown used to hang out and sing together … until one day when Leroy Brown went AWOL.

Bad Bad Leroy Brown
Jim Croce

Well the South side of Chicago
Is the baddest part of town
And if you go down there
You better just beware
Of a man named Leroy Brown

Now Leroy more than trouble
You see he stand ’bout six foot four
All the downtown ladies call him “Treetop Lover”
All the men just call him “Sir”

And it’s bad, bad Leroy Brown
The baddest man in the whole damned town
Badder than old King Kong
And meaner than a junkyard dog

Now Leroy he a gambler
And he like his fancy clothes
And he like to wave his diamond rings
In front of everybody’s nose
He got a custom Continental
He got an Eldorado too
He got a thirty two gun in his pocket for fun
He got a razor in his shoe

And it’s bad, bad Leroy Brown
The baddest man in the whole damned town
Badder than old King Kong
And meaner than a junkyard dog

Now Friday ’bout a week ago
Leroy shootin’ dice
And at the edge of the bar
Sat a girl named Doris
And oo that girl looked nice
Well he cast his eyes upon her
And the trouble soon began
And Leroy Brown learned a lesson
‘Bout messin’ with the wife of a jealous man

And it’s bad, bad Leroy Brown
The baddest man in the whole damned town
Badder than old King Kong
And meaner than a junkyard dog

Well the two men took to fighting
And when they pulled them off the floor
Leroy looked like a jigsaw puzzle
With a couple of pieces gone

And it’s bad, bad Leroy Brown
The baddest man in the whole damned town
Badder than old King Kong
And meaner than a junkyard dog

And it’s bad, bad Leroy Brown
The baddest man in the whole damned town
Badder than old King Kong
And meaner than a junkyard dog

Badder than old King Kong
And meaner than a junkyard dog

Songwriters: James Croce

Bad Bad Leroy Brown lyrics © BMG Rights Management US, LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

♫ I’ll Have To Say I Love You In A Song ♫

Jim Croce is one of my favourite musical artists, but for some reason when I’m wracking my brain for a song to post here late at night, he rarely comes to mind.  Tonight, however, he did pop into my mind.

Jim Croce was just starting to become successful when he died at the age of 30. Jim, the pilot, and other members of his group, were killed when the plane crashed into a pecan tree at the end of the runway in Natchitoches, Louisiana in 1973.  This song, as well as another of my favourites, Photographs and Memories, were released after his death.

Croce’s wife Ingrid has an autobiographical cookbook, Thyme In A Bottle, in which she writes interesting anecdotes about Jim. Here’s what she wrote about the backstory for this song:

“One weekend, after being on the road for many months, Jim got a chance to come home to relax with his family. We settled in to enjoy our time alone together. Though Jim was expecting company the next day, avoiding confrontation he never told me that we were to be joined by an entire film crew! The next morning, 15 people from Acorn Productions descended upon our house to record a promotional film of Jim Croce at Home on the Farm. I prepared breakfast, lunch and dinner for the whole film crew and after the group left, I questioned Jim about our finances. After a year and a half of his working so very hard on the road, we were barely making ends meet, but Jim wouldn’t talk about it. He hated questions as much as he hated confrontation, especially about money. He stormed out of our bedroom and went down to the kitchen table to brood. The next morning he woke me gently by singing his new song. ‘Every time I tried to tell you the words just came out wrong. So I’ll have to say I love you, in a song.'”

Several artists have covered this song, but none come even close to the originator, Jim Croce.

I’ll Have To Say I Love You In A Song
Jim Croce

Well, I know it’s kind of late
I hope I didn’t wake you
But what I’ve got to say can’t wait
I know you’d understand
‘Cause every time I tried to tell you
The words just came out wrong
So I’ll have to say “I love you” in a song

Yeah, I know it’s kind of strange
Every time I’m near you
I just run out of things to say
I know you’d understand
‘Cause every time I tried to tell you
The words just came out wrong
So I’ll have to say “I love you” in a song

‘Cause every time the time was right
All the words just came out wrong
So I’ll have to say “I love you” (I love you) in a song

Yeah, I know it’s kind of late (it’s kind of late)
I hope I didn’t wake you
But there’s something that I just got to say
(I know you’d understand)
I know you’d understand
‘Cause every time I tried to tell you
The words just came out wrong
So I’ll have to say “I love you” in a song

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: James Croce
I’ll Have To Say I Love You In A Song lyrics © BMG Rights Management

Bad Bad Leroy Brown

Jim Croce died in a plane crash on September 20, 1973 when he was only 30 years old.  A few days after his death, his wife Ingrid received a letter from him telling her that he had decided to quit music and stick to writing short stories and movie scripts as a career, and withdraw from public life.  Bad Bad Leroy Brown hit #1 on the charts just two months before his death.

The song was inspired by a tough private he met while in the army.  Croce and Brown used to hang out and sing together … until one day when Leroy Brown went AWOL.

Bad Bad Leroy Brown
Jim Croce

Well the South side of Chicago
Is the baddest part of town
And if you go down there
You better just beware
Of a man named Leroy Brown

Now Leroy more than trouble
You see he stand ’bout six foot four
All the downtown ladies call him “Treetop Lover”
All the men just call him “Sir”

And it’s bad, bad Leroy Brown
The baddest man in the whole damned town
Badder than old King Kong
And meaner than a junkyard dog

Now Leroy he a gambler
And he like his fancy clothes
And he like to wave his diamond rings
In front of everybody’s nose
He got a custom Continental
He got an Eldorado too
He got a thirty two gun in his pocket for fun
He got a razor in his shoe

And it’s bad, bad Leroy Brown
The baddest man in the whole damned town
Badder than old King Kong
And meaner than a junkyard dog

Now Friday ’bout a week ago
Leroy shootin’ dice
And at the edge of the bar
Sat a girl named Doris
And oo that girl looked nice
Well he cast his eyes upon her
And the trouble soon began
And Leroy Brown learned a lesson
‘Bout messin’ with the wife of a jealous man

And it’s bad, bad Leroy Brown
The baddest man in the whole damned town
Badder than old King Kong
And meaner than a junkyard dog

Well the two men took to fighting
And when they pulled them off the floor
Leroy looked like a jigsaw puzzle
With a couple of pieces gone

And it’s bad, bad Leroy Brown
The baddest man in the whole damned town
Badder than old King Kong
And meaner than a junkyard dog

And it’s bad, bad Leroy Brown
The baddest man in the whole damned town
Badder than old King Kong
And meaner than a junkyard dog

Badder than old King Kong
And meaner than a junkyard dog

Songwriters: James Croce

Bad Bad Leroy Brown lyrics © BMG Rights Management US, LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC