If I Could

Music and lyrics by
Ron Miller, Kenneth Hirsch
and Marti Sharron

If I could
I’d protect you from the sadness in your eyes
Give you courage in a world of compromise
Yes, I would

If I could
I would teach you all the things I’ve never learned
And I’d help you cross the bridges that I’ve burned
Yes, I would

If I could
I would try to shield your innocence from time
But the part of life I gave you isn’t mine
I’ll watch you grow so I can let you go

If I could
I would help you make it through the hungry years
But I know that I can never cry your tears
But I would if I could

If I could
In a time and place where you don’t want to be
You don’t have to walk along this road with me
My yesterday won’t have to be your way

If I knew
I’d try to change the world I brought you to
Now there isn’t much more that I can do
But I would if I could

“If I Could” was written by American songwriters Ken Hirsch, Marti Sharron and Ron Miller. In an interview, Hirsch said that he likes lyrics that aren’t too obscure, that can be easily grasped, or that tell a great story.

The lyrics of “If I Could” seem simple. There are no big words. Repetition and rhyme create strong lyric poetry, but in the reflective voice of a mother or father thinking about or speaking to a child, an adolescent or young adult, there is a tone of regret, maybe even remorse.

The feeling is that the parent has given his all during the child’s formative years. He did his best. While he wants to encourage and to shield and protect the child, the parent realizes his limitations.

Maybe the parent has been disappointed by circumstances and himself. He knew what needed to be done but he cannot go back in time. He cannot do what was never done, cannot say what he meant to say, cannot undo the hurts, cannot give anything more. He feels impotent, sometimes overwhelmed by regret and despair.

The seemingly simple language reminds the reader that time does not wait.

Read more about "If I Could" and resilience.