A Bit Like You And Me Radio

March 01, 2017

Bobby Darin - If I Were a Carpenter (1966)

As mentioned in our first post regarding today’s featured artist, Bobby Darin was a teen idol who had had pop music hits such as “Splish Splash,” “Beyond the Sea,” and “Dream Lover” in the late 1950s and early ‘60s. But by the mid-1960s with that style of music falling out of popularity with the general public, Darin was forced to reinvent himself. In June 1966, Darin released an album consisting of then-current Broadway musical numbers. Just six short months later in December 1966 he did an about-face and released If I Were a Carpenter, which was an album of folk and folk rock songs.

If I Were a Carpenter featured Darin singing five songs written by Tim Hardin, two songs written by John Sebastian, a song by Buffy Sainte-Marie, and a few others. But far and away without question, the biggest hit was the title track.

Written by Tim Hardin, the song heard below hadn’t even yet been released by Hardin himself when Darin took the song to number eight in the USA (and number nine in the UK). In fact, Hardin wouldn’t release his version of the song until his album Tim Hardin 2, which hit shelves in April 1967. Ultimately, Hardin wasn’t happy with Darin’s release, believing the Darin too closely copied his vocal style of the song (heard on his demos) and the musical arrangements.

album art

Bobby Darin - If I Were a Carpenter (1966)

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Lyrics:

If I were a carpenter
And you were a lady
Would you marry me anyway?
Would you have my baby?

If a tinker were my trade
Would you still find me?
Carrying the pots I made
Following behind me

Save my love through loneliness
Save my love for sorrow
I've given you my only-ness
Come give your tomorrow

If I worked my hands in wood
Would you still love me?
Answer me babe, "Yes, I would
I'll put you above me"

If I were a miller
At a mill-wheel, grinding
Would you miss your color-box?
Your soft shoes shining?

If I were a carpenter
And you were a lady
Would you marry me anyway?
Would you have my baby?

Would you marry anyway?
Would you have my baby?

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