Croce's wife Ingrid Croce has an autobiographical cookbook, Thyme In A Bottle, in which she writes interesting anecdotes about Jim. What she wrote about "I'll Have To Say 'I Love You' in a Song" is this.
"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.'"
Prior to the album's release, the song "I Got a Name" was featured as the theme song to the 1973 film, The Last American Hero (also shown on television as Hard Driver). Circumstances are unclear as to whether or not Croce's song was specifically written for the film, or if he simply allowed the film makers to use the track, but the film was released two months before his album, I Got a Name. The arrangement of the song in the film differs slightly from the single version.