I'll Have To Say I Love You In A Song

Album: I Got A Name (1973)
Charted: 9
  • Jim Croce died in a plane crash in Natchitoches, Louisiana, September 29, 1973. This hit #9 on the charts, posthumously, in 1974.
  • 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 this: "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." (Read more in Ingrid Croce's Songfacts interview, and at Croces.com.)
  • Terry Cashman and Tommy West were Croce's producers, and they did their best to replicate the sound of Croce's live performances on the records. In our interview with Terry Cashman, he told us: "We would set Jim up in a booth and he would play guitar and sing. And then we'd have Maury Muehleisen baffled off in a kind of a booth of his own in the studio, the most we would use on a track would be bass drums and maybe a keyboard. We would record Jim's vocal live. All those vocals, except for 'I Got A Name,' are live vocals done with the band. So they have a certain sound to them that is unusual because of that. Most people, especially today, wouldn't do a live record at all because of computers. But even in the late '60s and early '70s when we did those records, people would do tracks without a vocal, and then add the vocal later. But we thought it was very important to capture that live feeling. Because Jim sang with the guitar, and Maury played with him as Jim sang. So if you hear them live they'll sound a lot like the record, even though it's only two instruments and just Jim singing, because of the similarity between the way that they sounded live and the way that we recorded them."

Comments: 8

  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaFirst time I heard this I fell in love, and the older I got the more those lyrics reminded me of Me. Quite often what I say doesn't come out right so I just write my feeling out. Loved Jim and Murry' guitars, don't know what they were. Wish I could have seen Jim in person and told him thanks.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn February 24th 1974, "I'll Have To Say I Love You In A Song" by Jim Croce entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #73; and on April 21st it peaked at #9 (for 1 week) and spent 14 weeks on the Top 100...
    And on the same day it reached #9 on the Top 100 it peaked at #1 (for 1 week) on Billboard's Adult Contemporary Tracks chart...
    In his short four year recording career (1972 - 1976) he had ten records on the Top 100; with five of them making the Top 10 and two reaching #1 ("Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" for 2 weeks and "Time In A Bottle" for 2 weeks)...
    May he R.I.P. (1943 - 1973).
  • Frank from Venezuela, VenezuelaI love the insight provided here...Jim Corce sings about very personal matters we all can relate to because we have lived them. Thank you!
  • Carolyn from Knoville, TnWhat a lovely story...and what a lovely song! It's been a favorite of mine since I first heard it on the radio "back in the day".
  • Meg from Blahblahblah, LaHe died in good ole Louisiana... RIP
  • Meg from Blahblahblah, LaBeautiful song written by a beautiful man. It's a great love song.
  • Ron from Milwaukee, WiJim Croce died on September 20 ,1973 and not on September 29, 1973 as stated above.
  • Frank from Westminster, ScWhat a great insight Ingrid provides! I often wondered whether Croce himself oversaw the finished product of this song. The echoing background vocals seem to be tacked on, as if to fill out an uncompleted song. Of course, I could be full of soup.
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