Tag Archives: Steve Earle

If I needed you by Townes Van Zandt

I have nearly 30 albums by Townes Van Zandt, most of them live and released after he passed away. Most of them better than 99% of everything  released today.

My mother and father are heavy smokers. When we went camping when I was a child we drove in our Opel Record. No safety belts, no windows open, just  lot of smoke and country music.

It is glued into me, I still love those voices, Waylon Jennings, Burl Ives, Kenny Rogers, Johnny Cash, Townes Van Zandt and a whole bunch of other fantastic singers and songwriters.

I don’t mind the smoke as long a s I get the music!

One of my favourite songs from back then is If I Needed You, so sparse and so vulnerable.

My father had a good friend, Reidar, who collected all these great country artists. He was very passionate about the music and he was a very kind man. He died of cancer much too young.

He gave me casettes of fantastic country and western music, I didn’t really appreciate it at the time, but he played a big part in shaping my musical taste.

Townes Van Zandt was his doing. Thank you , Reidar!

If I needed you:

Version 2 by Townes (the song starts about two minutes into the video):

It is a popular song that is covered by a lot of artists. Here are a few of the best known ones:

Emmylou Harris and Steve Earle:

Emmylou in 1982, maybe the best cover version!

Don Williams had a hit with Emmylou Harris:

Very understandable, it’s a fantastic interpretation.

If I needed you, would you come to me?
Would you come to me for to ease my pain?
If you needed me, I would come to you.
I would swim the sea for to ease your pain.
Well the night’s forlorn and the morning’s born
And the morning’s born with the lights of love.
And you’ll miss sunrise if you close your eyes,
And that would break my heart in two.

last but not least, Townes Van Zandt again with the masterpiece if I Needed You:

– Hallgeir