I'll Have to Say I Love You in a Song

"I'll Have to Say I Love You in a Song" is the title of a posthumously-released single by the American singer-songwriter Jim Croce. The song was written by Croce and was originally released on his album I Got a Name.

"I'll Have to Say I Love You in a Song"
Love You In a Song.jpg
Single by Jim Croce
from the album I Got a Name
B-side"Salon and Saloon"
ReleasedMarch 1974
Format7" (45 rpm)
GenreCountry folk, folk
LabelABC Records
Songwriter(s)Jim Croce
Producer(s)Terry Cashman, Tommy West
Jim Croce singles chronology
"It Doesn't Have to Be That Way"
"I'll Have to Say I Love You in a Song"
"Workin' at the Car Wash Blues"

It entered the Billboard Hot 100 chart at position #73 in March 1974.[1] It peaked at #9 in April 1974, becoming his fifth Top 10 hit.[2] In addition, the song went to #1 on the Billboard adult contemporary chart and reached #68 on the Billboard country music chart, Croce's only song to chart there.[3]

This song is noted for the use of backup singers, as well as a string section, that plays a counterpoint melody during the concluding instrumental.


Croce was killed in a small-plane crash in September 1973, the same week that a 45RPM single, the title cut from his studio album I Got a Name was released. After the delayed release of a song from his previous album ("Time in a Bottle") in late 1973, "I'll Have to Say I Love You in a Song" was chosen as the second single released from his final studio album.

Croce wrote the song in early 1973 when he arrived home and got into a disagreement with his wife, Ingrid. Instead of arguing with her, she has stated that Croce "went downstairs, and he started to play like he always did when he wrote ... the next morning, he came up early in the morning and sang it to me."[3]

Ingrid Croce wrote an autobiographical cookbook, Thyme In A Bottle, in which she includes interesting anecdotes about Jim. She wrote the following about "I'll Have To Say 'I Love You' in a Song":

One weekend, after being on the road for many months, Jim got a chance to come home to relax with his family. We settled in to enjoy our time alone together. Though Jim was expecting company the next day, avoiding confrontation he never told me that we were to be joined by an entire film crew! The next morning, 15 people from Acorn Productions descended upon our house to record a promotional film of Jim Croce at Home on the Farm. I prepared breakfast, lunch and dinner for the whole film crew and after the group left, I questioned Jim about our finances. After a year and a half of his working so very hard on the road, we were barely making ends meet, but Jim wouldn't talk about it. He hated questions as much as he hated confrontation, especially about money. He stormed out of our bedroom and went down to the kitchen table to brood. The next morning he woke me gently by singing his new song. 'Every time I tried to tell you the words just came out wrong. So I'll have to say "I love you" in a song.'[4]


Track listingEdit

7" Single (ABC-11424)[5]

  1. "I'll Have to Say I Love You in a Song" - 2:30
  2. "Salon And Saloon" - 2:30

Chart performanceEdit


  1. ^ "Billboard Magazine" (PDF). March 2, 1974. Retrieved October 3, 2017. Cite magazine requires |magazine= (help)
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1996). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 6th Edition (Billboard Publications)
  3. ^ a b Hyatt, Wesley (1999). The Billboard Book of #1 Adult Contemporary Hits (Billboard Publications)
  4. ^ Songfacts on "I Have to Say I Love You in a Song", Songfacts.com
  5. ^ "Jim Croce - I'll Have To Say I Love You In A Song / Salon And Saloon". Discogs. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  6. ^ "Australian Top 100 Singles - Week ending 04 August 1974". Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  7. ^ "Top Singles - Volume 21, No. 12, May 11 1974". Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  8. ^ Dutch Charts - Jim Croce I'll Have to Say I Love You in a Song
  9. ^ http://www.flavourofnz.co.nz/index.php?qpageID=search%20listener&qartistid=1470#n_view_location Flavour of New Zealand, 3 August 1974
  10. ^ "I'll Have to Say I Love You in a Song (song by Jim Croce) ••• Music VF, US & UK hits charts". www.musicvf.com. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  11. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 4/27/74". Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  12. ^ "The RPM Year-End Charts: 1974". Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  13. ^ "The CASH BOX Year-End Charts: 1974". Archived from the original on 2010-12-13. Retrieved 2011-01-29.

External linksEdit