23 May 2022

Hardin

Tim Hardin  - Sketch by Dale Burkhardt

Is it really twelve years since I blogged about Tim Hardin? I guess it must be because the evidence is here. In 2010 I shared his recording of "Reason to Believe" but tonight it's the turn of his other most famous song - "If I  Were A Carpenter". This was released in 1966:-

If I were a carpenter
And you were a lady,
Would you marry me anyway?
Would you have my baby?

If a tinker were my trade
Would you still find me,
Carryin' the pots I made,
Followin' behind me.

Save my love through loneliness,
Save my love for sorrow,
I'm given you my onliness,
Come give your tomorrow.

If I worked my hands in wood,
Would you still love me?
Answer me babe, "Yes I would,
I'll put you above me."

If I were a miller
At a mill wheel grinding,
Would you miss your color box,
And your soft shoe shining?

If I were a carpenter
And you were a lady,
Would you marry me anyway?
Would you have my baby?
Would you marry anyway?
Would you have my baby?
Tim Hardin had only just turned thirty nine when he died in Los Angeles  in December, 1980. A son of Eugene, Oregon it is believed that his ultimately fatal addiction to heroin began when he was serving with the US military in South East Asia in the sixties. Hardin played Woodstock in 1969 but just two years later he was performing to a sparse audience in The Floral Hall, Hornsea, East Yorkshire. He would have been twenty nine at the time and I was seventeen.

28 comments:

  1. What a sad waste of a life.

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  2. Ah, mixed it up with the song that begins, If I had a hammer.

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    1. If I had a hammer, I'd hammer in the morning... It was written by Pete Seeger and Lee Hays in 1949.

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  3. I sometimes imagine a world in which dozens of musicians who died in their prime… or before it, were still alive and producing music. We might never do anything but stare into our radio and drool in bliss.

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    1. So many great songs never got written.

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  4. So this is the original -- it's far better than the "popular" versions I heard growing up. It's a shame he was a war casualty, a different kind but a casualty nonetheless.

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    1. You are so right Jenny. I would love to read his biography but I don't believe it was ever written.

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  5. I remember this song. I didn't know of the singer's tragic end.

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    1. He had such talent. How tragic to waste it for a horrible addiction.

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  6. I'd forgotten the song and never did know the name of the singer. Heroin takes far too many.

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    1. Heroins also take a lot of fish with their spear-like beaks.

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  7. I like the lines about giving one's onliness, but I am not sure about the bit "Answer me baby, Yes I would, I'll put you above me".

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    1. I agree. Maybe it was just that "above" rhymes well with "love"!

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  8. That the lyrics had 'were' rather than 'was' pleased me no end.

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    1. Grammatical correctness in songwriting is preferable. The Beatles ought to have sung - "She loves you. Yes! Yes! Yes!"

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  9. I remember the song, but not aware Tim Hardin was the singer. Not a name I recognise.

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    1. Well I am pleased that I have spread his name a little further.

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  10. I love that song, but I always associate it with Joan Baez! Tim Hardin also wrote "Misty Roses," which the Fifth Dimension made famous.

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    1. Thanks for the heads up re. "Misty Roses" Steve. I will go and listen to that right now.

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    2. Thanks for the heads up about this song, Steve. It's beautiful; haunting and sweet (Hardin's version).

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  11. So many singers have their demons and suffer and self medicate with fatal consequences.

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    1. Even Mick Jagger and Paul McCartney had demons to wrestle with but now they are old men with zimmer frames.

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  12. I remember how much I loved that song as a child. Reading the lyrics now, I realize how incredibly patriarchal it was with all its talk of following behind and putting above. I wonder how Hardin would feel now, if he were alive. We will never know, will we?

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    1. No we won't. I guess the woman in the song could have been the carpenter and the guy could have been a gentleman.

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  13. I remember this song. It reminds me of "You're having my Baby" by Paul Anka. I think I remember reading that Anka's song caused a more relaxed use of birth control in the 70s. I can see why too. Listening to either of these songs while sipping a glass of wine would have caused me to throw caution to the wind. (No caution is necessary these days.)

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