If I Had Time

"If I Had Time"

Music & Lyrics by Scott Cooley.

We could go to get a bar of chocolate

Or maybe an ice cream cone

I could pour you a snort of whiskey

And see if you could hold your own

But the problem with makin' promises

Is that they're always set in stone

If I had time, I could help you, but I don't

I know you could use my assistance

With all those projects that you've got at home

And I could use some of your time too

If the truth be known

I could help you with your homework

But I gotta tell you that you're on your own

If I had time, I could help you, but I don't

If I had time we could tackle it together

And we'd get it done in no time at all

Then you'd have more time with your girlfriend

Or more time for playin' baseball

I could make you a wager on the football game

But I'd need you to spot me a loan

Until you find the time to squeeze me in

I guess I'll have to settle for the phone

I'm old and I could use the company

But I'm no stranger to bein' alone

If I had time, I could help you, but I don't

Now I might be from Missouri

But I don't need to be shown

I'm just the right guy to get you what you need

If I was able, you know that I'd go

But I've got plans you see, and they'll keep me busy

I'd like to help you more than you know

If I had time, I could help you, but I don't

You're gonna have troubles along the way

And you've got such a long way to go

You'll just have to hope for good luck

And try to snap that dry wishbone

I s'pose that I could find a way

To get you through your pain, but I won't

If I had time, I could help you, but I don't

If I had time I'd tell you I'm only joking

But we both know that's just the way that it is

One of us is on their way out

And the other barely on their way in

As the years go by, don't feel bad

About the time you never had so long ago

I understand, you were just a young man

And at least I had the chance to watch you grow

Every time we get together, we always laugh

And I wish I could be around when you're old

If I had time, I could help you, but I don't

If I had time, I could help you, but I don't

Copyright Β© β„— 2012 by Scott Cooley. All rights reserved.

An emotional song with deep personal meaning I wrote from the perspective of a grandfather speaking to a grandson, and yes, I wrote it about my own grandpa, Charlie Ford, one of the greatest men to ever walk the planet.Β  I put myself in his shoes and wrote it about how he used to talk to me.Β  He always used to ask me what I had going on in my life, and when I would tell him, he'd always tell me something like "well, see I know about that, and I could help you out with that"Β  and then he'd follow it up with "if I had time, but you see I haven't got the time, or else I would"Β  or something along those lines.Β Β 

He was really funny, and this always made me laugh.Β  You had to know him and hear his Missouri accent to fully appreciate it.Β  He had moved to Michigan from the south, so the way he talked with his southern phrases was always hilarious to me and my sister Court and especially my cousins Chuck and Pat - he said the same things to them of course.Β  He had built a great bar in his basement and used to pour us what he called "snorts" of whiskey when we were little boys, take us to movies like Jaws, or to the local grocery store to buy us what he called "bars of chocolate."Β Β 

He used to help my dad fix things around our house, and he even helped us build a workbench with a vise in our basement when I was a kid, and I would always follow him around and try to help him with various projects he had going on at his house too.Β  So, especially on the phone he'd ask about my school projects or the tree house I was building in the woods, or a birdhouse in the basement or whatever.Β  He'd always ask you what kind of projects you had going on - he loved having projects whatever they might be working in his garage or whatever, and he was the kind of guy who liked helping other people out with their projects.Β  Even after you got something done and told him about it, he'd say "well, I could've helped you with that....if I had time...but I didn't have the time."Β Β 

He was retired already when I was a kid, so he always did actually have the time!Β  He also understood that as a kid, I was busy with all the regular kinds of things kids are busy with.Β  So anyway, long story longer, I worked that basic concept into a song where I switched it up to also be about someone who is older and literally running out of time in life who was wanting to hang out with his grandkid who has his whole life ahead of him.Β  That's the tough thing about life, but I knew he understood that, and he knew I would understand it when I was older, and even if I wished I could've spent more time with him while he was still around, which I of course do now, I know he understood that too.Β Β 

That's why this one could be a tear-jerker if you pay attention to what the lyrics are about.Β  He was a big fan of country music too - being a truck driver from the South and all - and he liked Hank Williams, Johnny Cash and Tennessee Ernie Ford and guys like that.Β  We used to play his 8-track tapes on his basement stereo when we visited him.Β  So, of course, I had to make this be a country song, and then I thought it was so good when I wrote it, I decided I needed to have Lenore's great accordion playing on there too.Β  Yep, best song I ever wrote - to me anyway.