"If I Could Talk I'd Tell You" by The Lemonheads SOTD Header

“If I Could Talk I’d Tell You” by The Lemonheads

“First Day Of My Life” leads to “If I Could Talk I’d Tell You”, and for a moment I’m thinking its the start and end of a themed playlist. The start and end of a relationship, set to song. It’s funny, both Conor Oberst and Evan Dando are both, more or less, the “name behind the band name”. Even if they’ve had other people play with them on albums, and gigs, it is pretty much just them their “names” (Bright Eyes and The Lemonheads) are referring to. Also, both “bands”/artists have written about new love, as well as the ends of love, and about addictions. Not that any of those topics are unique to “alternative rock and roll”.

I don’t normally think of the two of them together – Conor and Evan – even though their music falls somewhat under the same “header”. Evan seems very of the 90’s though, the grungy, shaggy haired, dreamy and druggie boy that guys like to hangout with and girls like to fall into bed with. Conor seems carved out of the early aughts. All emo and sad with a coke problem and a suicidal past. Guys aren’t as big on hanging out with him, he’s a bit of a loner in that regard. But, yeah, the girls still want to bed him, and try to fix him after.

They are both talented singer-songwriters, and they both scream “‘really big messes”. But hey, I’m not immune to either. They both live in my music collection, and I’m not sure I could tell you who I prefer. If pressed, today, I’d say Evan/The Lemonheads. Tomorrow you might get a different answer.

But, enough of the compare and contrast. Let’s get on with the Song (Of The Day).

“If I Could Talk I’d Tell You” by The Lemonheads – from the album, Car Button Cloth (1996)

“If I could talk I’d tell you.
If I could smile I’d let you know.
You are far and away,
my most imaginary friend.”

“If I Could Talk I’d Tell You” by The Lemonheads
Song Of The Day
May 13, 2021

“If I Could Talk I’d Tell You” is track two on the 1996 album, Car Button Cloth, The Lemonheads seventh studio album and their last under contract with Atlantic Records. The “band”, as I mentioned in the Conor versus Evan contast/compare above consisted mainly of Evan Dando himself. He played many instruments on the album, including guitar and lead vocals. Patrick Murphy was on drums for the album, along with a series of session musicians and producer Bryce Goggin, who filled in, now and then, on other instruments.

“If I Could Talk I’d Tell You” was co-written by Evan and Eugene Kelly, of The Vaselines. The song, along with “The Outdoor Type”, were both released as singles in the UK. (source: Wikipedia)

“If I Could Talk I’d Tell You” is full of nonsensical words verses, as well as references to drugs – both kicking and using again.

Evan has said, about “If I Could Talk I’d Tell You”:

“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.” (source: Songfacts)

Though the song is credited to be co-written with Eugene, from The Vaselines, neither Evan, nor Eugene, completely recall the writing of it.

“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.'” (source: Songfacts)

Besides memory lapses, they both seem to have a fondness for stripes, too.

Evan Dando
Eugene Kelly

“If I Could Talk I’d Tell You” has always been one of my favorite songs. I’ve slid it into many a playlist, and wrote about it more than a few times here at lyriquediscorde. For awhile, I used to do a Evan and Juliana day every 14th, an ode to me adoring both Evan Dando and Juliana Hatfield (though, to be honest, my adoration is a full fledge love for Juliana).

Here’s a Top 5 list I did back in 2014, that includes today’s track.

Juliana Hatfield and Evan Dando

What do you think of “If I Could Talk I’d Tell You”? What is your favorite song by The Lemonheads/Evan Dando?


Feel free to follow along in playlist form, for all the Song of the Day’s in May, on Spotify and YouTube.

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