Composer: Jim Croce
Inspired by the Jim Croce version
"I'll Have to Say I Love You in a Song" is the title of a posthumously-released single by the American singer-songwriter Jim Croce. The song was written by Croce and was originally found on his album I Got a Name.
Croce was killed in a small-plane crash in September 1973, the same week that a 45RPM single, the title cut from his studio album I Got a Name was released. Following the delayed release of a song from his previous album ("Time in a Bottle") in late 1973, "I'll Have to Say I Love You in a Song" was chosen as the second single released from his final studio album. It peaked at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in April 1974, becoming his fifth Top 10 hit. In addition, the song went to #1 on the Billboard adult contemporary chart and reached #68 on the Billboard country music chart, Croce's only song to chart there.
Croce wrote the song in early 1973 when he arrived home and got into a disagreement with his wife, Ingrid. Instead of arguing with her, she has stated that Croce "went downstairs, and he started to play, like he always did when he wrote...the next morning, he came up early in the morning and sang it to me."
This song is noted for the use of male backup singers, as well as a string section, that plays a counterpoint melody during the concluding instrumental.
Croce's wife Ingrid Croce wrote an autobiographical cookbook, Thyme In A Bottle, in which she includes interesting anecdotes about Jim. She wrote the following about "I'll Have To Say 'I Love You' in a 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.'"
• Cilla Black covered this song on her 1974 album In My Life.
• Country music singer Clint Black recorded a cover version of this song that is found on his 2007 album The Love Songs.
• Lane Brody covered it on Jim Croce: A Nashville Tribute
• The Ventures covered it on "The Ventures Play the Jim Croce Songbook"
• Jerry Reed on Jerry Reed Sings Jim Croce
• Bonnie Koloc on "Bonnie Koloc at her Best"
• Andy Williams on "You Lay So Easy on My Mind"
• Cleo Laine on "Gonna Get Through"
• Mary Travers on "Circles"
• Johnny Lee on "Hey Bartender"
“The Vocal Chords” are performing in this version.
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