If I Needed You

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"If I Needed You"
Single by Emmylou Harris and Don Williams
from the album Cimarron
B-side "Ashes by Now"
Released September 1981
Genre Country
Length 3:37
Label Warner Bros.
Writer(s) Townes Van Zandt
Producer(s) Garth Fundis, Don Williams
Emmylou Harris singles chronology
"I Don't Have to Crawl"
"If I Needed You"
"Tennessee Rose"
Don Williams singles chronology
"If I Needed You"
"Lord, I Hope This Day Is Good"

"If I Needed You" is a song written by Townes Van Zandt and performed on his 1972 album The Late Great Townes Van Zandt. It was covered 9 years later by American country music artists Emmylou Harris and Don Williams as a duet. It was released in September 1981 as the first single from Harris' album Cimarron. The song reached #3 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart[1] and #1 on the RPM Country Tracks chart in Canada.[2]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1981) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles 3
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 1
Preceded by
"It's All I Can Do"
by Anne Murray
RPM Country Tracks
number-one single

December 12-December 19, 1981
Succeeded by
"I Never Figured on This"
by David Thompson


Townes Van Zandt's "If I Needed You" was not only covered by Emmylou Harris and Don Williams, but also by Andrew Bird on Hands of Glory, Guy Clark on Songs and Stories, Lyle Lovett on Step Inside This House, and others. The song was also recorded by Doc Watson for his record Then and Now. On his record Live at the Old Quarter, Townes introduces the song “If I Needed You” by saying, “This was recorded by Doc Watson, and it really blew my mind, you know…” The song is also covered in the Belgian film The Broken Circle Breakdown, where the The Broken Circle Breakdown Bluegrass Band, including actors Johan Heldenbergh and Veerle Baetens sing it live. It also appears in the album of the original soundtrack of the film, "The Broken Circle Breakdown". Recently, Mumford & Sons released a version of Van Zandt's "If I Needed You"


External links[edit]