"If" as written by and Roger Waters....
If I were a swan, I'd be gone.
If I were a train, I'd be late.
And if I were a good man,
I'd talk with you
More often than I do.

If I were to sleep, I could dream.
If I were afraid, I could hide.
If I go insane, please don't put
Your wires in my brain.

If I were the moon, I'd be cool.
If I were a rule, I would bend for you.
If I were a good man, I'd understand
The spaces between friends.

If I were alone, I would cry.
And if I were with you, I'd be home and dry.
And if I go insane,
And they lock me away,
Will you still let me join in the game?

If I were a swan, I'd be gone.
If I were a train, I'd be late again.
If I were a good man,
I'd talk with you
More often than I do.

Lyrics submitted by Demau Senae

"If" as written by Roger Waters

Lyrics © T.R.O. INC.

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

If song meanings
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  • +2
    General Comment"If I go insane
    Please don't put your wires in my brain"
    "And if I go insane
    Will you still let me join in with the game?"

    I'm not sure, but these two lines above might refer to Syd Barrett. "The game" is then the music business or maybe even just the every day live.

    Anyway, what a great song this is ;)
    Icelanderon April 05, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis- strangely enough- may be my favorite pink floyd song. it's so well crafted and the bits where you can hear roger waters breathing just make it seem so personal...beautiful!
    vera_lynn07on July 28, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentTo me, it's about someone who's falling in love with a friend, and even though he knows what he should do (And if I were a good man I'd talk with you more often than I do / I'd understand the spaces between friends) he just can't because he's not perfect (if i was a swan i'd be gone, if i was a train i'd be late, etc)

    So he's thinking about possible situations (And if I were with you i'd be home and clean), but knows that he's not brave enough to do something else than think and hypotetize, so he becomes afraid of going mad, and, even if he were to become insane, he wouldn't want to change. (If I go insane, please don't put your wires in my brain)

    So, he accepts he just can't do anything about the situation.
    A Lady of Waron October 05, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is about soul searching, looking inward to find out what you are all about.
    sonic_leaveson April 21, 2008   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationNow I was doing some thinking yesterday, and this is how far I got.

    - If I were a swan, I'd be gone.
    Swan can fly. Flying means the ability to move freely, so being a swan represents freedom. In this song, this would most likely refer to being free of addictions. As Barrett was addicted to psychedelics, if he could have, he would have quit them. But he could not, because addictions are not so easy to beat. He could not.

    - If I were a train, I'd be late.
    Trains just move along the given road. They have no problems to face, they just move straight. Now Barrett's or any of them life was not straightforward. Hence the "if". But if life would have been easier, one would not have gone for the "goal", but taken time off to enjoy this simplicity, surroundings... Just enjoy the life. But they always had something to struggle with. That "being late" means to take time off and slow down.

    - And if I were a good man, I'd talk with you more often than I do.
    Now as this song is to be associated with Barrett, this could refer to the use of drugs, which shrank his social skills. If he was not abusing drugs, he would have stuck to his friends. But he was not a good man, he did drugs, and that detached him from his friends.

    If there are any more lines you would like me to interpret, just reply to my comment.
    HerrTammon March 27, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is a stretch, but Rudyard Kipling has a very famous poem titled "If" (my favorite poem of all time; everyone should read it to themselves everyday). It details the battle to truly become a man. To me, this song is a response to the poem, stating that he is not a good enough man b/c of his inadequacies. Anyone?
    droutkaston June 04, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI dont know nething about the Rudyard Kipling poem, but these are one of the most beautifully carved lyrics for a song, very appropriate and very true in every sense.
    aenimicon May 05, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is another part to my 5 part series. Part one came in Summer of '68. This song is going to sound strange to some people and get me called an idiot but i'm out for my own opnion. It reminds me of marijuana. Everyone thinks they have to be better then we really are and that's when the paranoia sets and and we think we should be the better, strong, smarter, jus all around perefect person. Song lyrics beautiful but like i said everysong is a different drug..
    Aminals420on June 08, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti just love this song. i love the lyrics, they're so true. i think he's saying how he's not perfect, in ways, by comparing himself to trains and such. but then he's saying please, even though i'm not perfect, don't try to fix me, and don't exclude me. (don't put your wires in my brain, would you still let me join in with the game)
    beanickaon October 18, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI dont know why, but i absolutely love this song... to me, it somehow relates to a personal experience. It is talking to a person that you do not talk to often. Possibly because of different social groups, live far away, etc... Someone you really want to get to know, but somehow your paths never cross, and as time passes, it is harder and harder to talk to them.
    mikemacon April 07, 2005   Link

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