If I Could Talk I'd Tell You

Album: Car Button Cloth (1996)
Charted: 39
  • Lemonheads lead singer Evan Dando would sometimes lose his voice, a side effect of his drug habits. One journalist recalls Dando handing him a note saying, "Sorry, substance abuse" to explain why he couldn't speak in a scheduled interview. When he did speak he was often nonsensical, toying with reporters for his own amusement or too impaired to be coherent.

    This song is an embodiment of this time, with a mention in the first verse of flushing his Zoloft, and some word salad chopped up in the second verse:

    Your place or mein kampf
    Now I'm giving the dog a bone


    In a Songfacts interview with Dando where he proved lucid, the singer explained: "That song comes from when I would lose my voice and I couldn't talk, so I would write down, 'If I could talk I'd tell you.' I wrote that down once, and I thought, That's a good title for a song."
  • Dando wrote this with Eugene Kelly from the Scottish band The Vaselines. "I would write everything down on a piece of paper," he told Songfacts. "Eugene and I happened to write it. We didn't even know we wrote it - we went back and found it on a cassette and said, 'That's a song, I guess.'"
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