"If I Were A Carpenter" as written by and Tim Hardin....
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
Carrying the pots I made, following behind me?

Save my love through loneliness
Save my love through sorrow
I give you my only-ness
Give me your tomorrow

If I worked my hands in wood, would you still love me?
Answer me, babe: "yes I would, I'd put you above me"
If a miller were my trade, at a mill wheel grinding
Would you miss your color box, your soft shoes shining

Save my love through loneliness
Save my love through sorrow
I give you my only-ness
Give me your tomorrow

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


Lyrics submitted by cflann01

"If I Were a Carpenter" as written by Tim Hardin

Lyrics © ALLEN STANTON PRODUCTIONS

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If I Were A Carpenter song meanings
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5 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentSome songs lend themselves to such beautiful interpretations
    nagromnaion February 10, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is obviously about Hardin's relationship with his wife, Susan Moore, and her societal position above him. Hardin's lifestyle, which included heroin use, was a constant barrier between the two, and this son is about the inadequacies Hardin feels being in such a relationship.

    It's basically a plea for unconditional love.
    haymarketon July 21, 2007   Link
  • 0
    My OpinionTim Hardin was handsome and addicted to heroin.It is known that his lookout for women was to steal their money for heroin. In 1965 he was in LA, where he knew tv actress Susan Yardley Morss. His following relationship with her was more important than usual. I think that the song "if I were a carpenter" means that without heroin he would never love Susan, and vice versa (carpenter is a man who repairs holes in wood, methaphor for heroin rehabilitation). From Susan side, attraction for weak
    creatures is a typical feature of female sexuality. I'm Italian, but I have to say that the Italian song cover (Dik Dik - se io fossi un falegname) is a terrible metamorphosis of a wonderful song in the paracommunist manifesto.
    maxlookdjon February 24, 2012   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningI hate to sound like a teacher, but here goes. Tim Hardin was a folk singer and we must consider that this is a Folk Ballad that is steeped in the history and traditions of British folk music dating back to at least the Middle Ages. It's related to similar folk ballads like "Barbara Allen," "Greensleeves," "Three Marys" and others. During the Middle Ages and for several centuries afterward, it was unheard of for a "Lady" to have anything to do with a commoner workman such as a carpenter, a tinker, or a miller. The song asks, "If I were a carpenter, and you were a Lady, would you marry me anyway, would you have my baby." So the speaker in the song is asking his true love if she would love him even if their love were absolutely forbidden by all social mores and conventions. Would she forget her noble birth and status to live with him as a common working man, and by so doing turn completely away from the fine things of life that would be hers if she married someone from her own noble class. A carpenter or a tinker would never be able to afford the "colored blouse" or the "soft shoe shining" because peasants wore clothes made of rough woven and naturally dyed fabric similar to flour sacks and gunny sacks and wore wooden shoes similar to clogs and called sabots.
    So basically the song asks if the woman would leave her world of high birth and luxury to live with a man who must work 16 hours a day trying to keep her from starving for the rest of her life? How many of us ever get to experience a love strong enough for such sacrifice, for such devotion?
    WoundedEagleon July 25, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFinally, proper lyrics to this song. Can anyone tell me what he is referring to when he says color box? Most lyrics sites quote the lyrics as "blouse," which is incorrect. Thank you.
    IMTNon January 31, 2015   Link

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