Life in progress

Song-Lyric Sunday – If I Had Words – Babe


The wonderful Helen Espinosa has, this week, declared Song-Lyric Sunday’s theme to be a song that we love from a movie. (Please join in – it’s fun!) It was a tough decision, but finally I chose a song from the movie, Babe. It’s sung by Farmer Hoggett, played by the lovely James Cromwell, during the film and by the Field Mice in the end credits.

The song has quite a history. “If I Had Words” was first recorded in  1978, sung by Scott Fitzgerald as a duet with Yvonne Keeley. It became a hit in the UK. I imagine Scott Fitzgerald gave it lyrics, but I haven’t been able to confirm it. Considering the lyrics themselves, this is strangely ironic. The music was adapted from Symphony No. 3 by Camille Saint-Saëns, written in 1886.

The lyrics are simple but deeply profound to me, as a writer. They represent everything I would give to my children, every day of their lives, if I could.

“If I Had Words”

If I had words to make a day for you,
I’d sing you a morning golden and new
I would make this day last for all time
Give you a night deep in moonshine


The music moves me as much as the words, so I’ll leave you with two sources. First the version from the movie, and second, the Symphony. The latter is 36+ minutes long, but the section in question, if you want to hear just that, begins shortly after 27:20 in the Youtube video. The whole Symphony is beautiful.

Oh, and what the hell: I’ll add the Mice version too, since it’s so cute.

Author: Linda G. Hill

There's a writer in here, clawing her way out.

21 thoughts on “Song-Lyric Sunday – If I Had Words – Babe

  1. There’s also a bunch of covers on YouTube. I like this arrangement


  2. I love this song, too! Have sung it to myself for years since I saw the Babe movie. I was searching for a poem to give to a friend who is ill with cancer… After filtering through dozens of songs and poems I’ve come back to this. I hope it gives her some small joy.


  3. The most beautiful thing about this song and also the most unusual is that it has no verses or bridges , it is chorus from start to finish – like a chant . Very moving indeed .

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I caught the end of Babe on TV a couple of days ago with 2 of my Aussie grandchildren sitting with me. We flicked to the channel right at that wonderfully emotional scene ……. my 8 year old granddaughter didn’t understand why granddad had tears streaming down his face ….. I live most of the time in N/W Vietnam where I have over 200 little ones who think of me as a foreign grandfather ……. I just wished they could have farmer Hoggett sing it to them ……. but they’ll have to make do with me when I get it translated into H’mong, Thai and Kinh


  5. Pingback: Odd… | Linda G. Hill

  6. The simple beauty of the song moves me beyond words.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. That is a sweet song. I watched Babe years ago when my children were very young, so I have a warm fuzzy feeling about the movie to begin with. Somehow, I’d forgotten this tender scene, though, so it was nice to see it again.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Such a lovely song. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. That was so cute and it made me so happy! Thanks for sharing, Linda!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Cool Linda.


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