If I Could Make a Living (song)

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"If I Could Make a LIving"
Single by Clay Walker
from the album If I Could Make a Living
B-side "Down by the Riverside"
Released September 13, 1994
Format CD single
Genre Country
Length 2:14
Label Giant
Writer(s) Alan Jackson
Keith Stegall
Roger Murrah
Producer(s) James Stroud
Clay Walker singles chronology
"Dreaming with My Eyes Open"
"If I Could Make a Living"
"This Woman and This Man"

"If I Could Make a Living" is a song written by Alan Jackson, Keith Stegall and Roger Murrah, and recorded by American country music artist Clay Walker. It was released in September 1994 as the first single and title track from his album of the same name. It was Walker's fifth chart entry, and became his fourth Number One hit on the Billboard country charts in November 1994. It also reached #21 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 charts, and on the Canadian RPM country charts, it followed Jackson's "Livin' on Love" at Number One.


In an interview with The Columbus Dispatch Walker revealed he was mildly dissatisfied with the single and stated, "I didn't pick the musicians or anything for If I Could Make a Living. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with doing songs with pop melodies, but I find the more mature I get with my music, the more traditional I become. The older I get, the more I love that fiddle and pedal (steel) sound, that pure country sound." In the same interview, Walker also said "If I Could Make a Living is really a fun-lovin' song, but it's a short song . . . a really short song, only a minute and 56 seconds. Every night I do that song in concert I think, 'Man, that's not enough.'"[1]


The song is an up-tempo in which the narrator says that, if he could make a living out of loving his partner, he would "be a millionaire in a week or two" and never have to leave her behind.


Larry Flick of Billboard gave the song a mixed review writing "Walker has made a hell of a living selling this kind of cornbread-philosophical lyric. Co-written by Alan Jackson, this sounds an awful lot like one of his leftovers. And that ain't necessarily a bad thing."[2]

Tara Seetharam of Country Universe listed "If I Could Make a Living" as the 374th best country single of the 1990s and wrote, "This song is either ridiculously cheesy or irresistibly cheesy depending on your taste, but there’s no denying Walker sells the heck out of it with charm and enthusiasm."[3]

Music video[edit]

The music video was directed by Michael Merriman.


Preceded by
"Shut Up and Kiss Me"
by Mary Chapin Carpenter
Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks
number-one single

November 26, 1994
Succeeded by
"The Big One"
by George Strait
Preceded by
"Livin' on Love"
by Alan Jackson
RPM Top Country Tracks
number-one single

December 5, 1994
Succeeded by
"Somebody's Leavin'"
by Patricia Conroy


  1. ^ Eichenberger, Bill The Columbus Dispatch WALKER'S COUNTRY-MUSIC ROOTS GROW DEEP (3 August 1995)
  2. ^ Flick, Larry. "Single reviews: Country." Billboard 106.38 (1994): 67. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 14 Apr. 2011.
  3. ^ Seetharam, Tara Country Universe 400 Greatest Singles of the Nineties: #375-#351 Juli 7, 2010
  4. ^ "Top RPM Country Tracks: Issue 2674." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. December 5, 1994. Retrieved August 4, 2013.
  5. ^ "Clay Walker – Chart history" Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 for Clay Walker.
  6. ^ "Clay Walker – Chart history" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Clay Walker.
  7. ^ "RPM Top 100 Country Tracks of 1994". RPM. December 12, 1994. Retrieved August 4, 2013. 

External links[edit]