Bread was one of the first bands I found out about. My sister loved them because every time she started to date someone or broke up with someone…out came the Bread albums. She is 8 years older than me so I was just 6 when she was 14 but I knew the dating cycle of a teenage girl rather well at that time.
My sister now…(she will kill me if she finds out I posted this)
Bread was a soft rock band that later on I probably would have never claimed that I liked…but I did…and still do. I called them a guilty pleasure (the guilt-o-meter peaks) for a while but hell…I like them. When I hear the opening guitar in this song, it’s the early seventies again.
The song peaked at #4 in the Billboard 100 and #6 in Canada in 1971. It also peaked at #1 in the Easy Listening chart in America and Canada. The song was on the album Mana that peaked at #21 in the Billboard Album charts and #16 in Canada.
David Gates was the writer who wrote most of the hits. Gates is a very good singer songwriter who knows how to write a good pop melody. In this song there is no chorus to speak of but it works well.
David Gates: “I wrote that one night at the dining room table, after my kids and my wife had gone to bed. It took me about an hour and a half, with an extra verse left over. If you look at it, there’s a few bizarre lines in there, like ‘you and I would simply fly away’ – that’s kind of an unusual thought. When I was done, I said, ‘That’s the best song I’ve ever written and probably will be the best song I’ll ever write.’ For me it’s really held up over time, more than any of the others.”
One odd fact about this song… Kojak actor Telly Savalas recorded a spoken-word version that went to #1 in the UK in 1975.
If a picture paints a thousand words,
Then why can’t I paint you?
The words will never show the you I’ve come to know.
If a face could launch a thousand ships,
Then where am I to go?
There’s no one home but you,
You’re all that’s left me too.
And when my love for life is running dry,
You come and pour yourself on me.
If a man could be two places at one time,
I’d be with you.
Tomorrow and today, beside you all the way.
If the world should stop revolving spinning slowly down to die,
I’d spend the end with you.
And when the world was through,
Then one by one the stars would all go out,
Then you and I would simply fly away