If Ships Were Made To Sail

from the album: 
Jimmy & Me (MP3)
Jimmy cover art
audio/mpeg icon
Audio excerpt: Beginning to verse 2

words & music by Jimmy Webb

Favorite version: Jimmy Webb, And So: On, 1971


Oh, the images in this song! This one is right up there with Joni's "River" in the "running away" genre. "If I could fall up the long night, reach to time gone..." These are not only wonderfully evocative lyrics, but true in an astronomical sense. When you lie flat on your back and look up, you're looking out, really. Out of the world, and back in time. And if you could turn off gravity, you could literally fall up the long night, and reach to time gone.

I used to perform this quite often in concerts, always continuing on to "Love Hurts." People asked me many, many times if I was planning to record it ("Love Hurts"), and I hope all those people are somehow able to find their way to this album. This song duo never failed to silence a crowd, no matter how rowdy they may have been moments before. The words cut so close to the heart that they remove the breath in the process. Just lie back against the scented earth, listen and dream.

I stick close to Jimmy's piano on this, especially in the beginning.

Excerpt from Jimmy & Me album notes.