If My Love Could Kill

Album: The Ghosts of Highway 20 (2016)


  • This song is about the Alzheimer's that killed Lucinda Williams' father in January 2015. The lauded Arkansas poet Miller Williams is best known for writing Bill Clinton's second-term inaugural poem, Of History and Hope.
  • Lucinda Williams told Uncut the story of the song: "The initial inspiration came during one of the last times I was with him. He suddenly said, 'I can't write poetry anymore.' For him, it was like saying he could no longer hear or see. I just broke down and started sobbing. Sorry, I'm going to start crying again. (pause)

    Anyway, later that night I wrote this ode to him that said, it doesn't matter if you can't write anymore, because you are poetry."
  • The subject of the song is described but not named. Williams explained to Mojo: "I like to leave things open to a degree of interpretation. I wrote that song about my dad's Alzheimer's disease. I was personifying it as if it was a murderer or thief. I was angry at the disease. It seems to attack the most brilliant minds. My dad's older brother, who was head of the chemistry department at Louisiana State University, died from it too."


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Christmas SongsFact or Fiction

Rudolf, Bob Dylan and the Singing Dogs all show up in this Fact or Fiction for seasonal favorites.

Michael W. SmithSongwriter Interviews

Smith breaks down some of his worship tracks as well as his mainstream hits, including "I Will Be Here For You" and "A Place In This World."

Dave Pirner of Soul AsylumSongwriter Interviews

Dave explains how the video appropriated the meaning of "Runaway Train," and what he thought of getting parodied by Weird Al.

Steely DanFact or Fiction

Did they really trade their guitarist to The Doobie Brothers? Are they named after something naughty? And what's up with the band name?

Dave Alvin - "4th Of July"They're Playing My Song

When Dave recorded the first version of the song with his group the Blasters, producer Nick Lowe gave him some life-changing advice.

Boz ScaggsSongwriter Interviews

The "Lowdown" and "Lido Shuffle" singer makes a habit of playing with the best in the business.