If I Had Eyes

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"If I Had Eyes"
If I Had Eyes.jpg
Single by Jack Johnson
from the album Sleep Through the Static
B-side "Let It Be Sung"
Released December 11, 2007
Format CD
Recorded Los Angeles, California, 2007
Genre Soft rock
Length 3:59
Label Universal
Writer(s) Jack Johnson
Producer(s) J.P. Plunier
Jack Johnson singles chronology
"If I Had Eyes"
"Sleep Through the Static"

"If I Had Eyes" is the first single from Hawaiian singer-songwriter Jack Johnson's album Sleep Through the Static. It was released exclusively on Brushfirerecords.com November 29. The official iTunes single was released on December 11, 2007.

The track features more electric guitar work, similar to that on his On and On album. The track is a mix of acoustic, jazz, and blues. Lyrically, the song expresses the sad breakup of a long-term relationship.

Background and Writing[edit]

Johnson elaborated to the Herald Sun on how his son Moe (3-years-old at the time this was written) inspired this song: "He was drinking a lot of soya milk at the time. I told him if he kept drinking too much, he would grow a tail with an eyeball at the end. He looked at me trying to make sure I was kidding. When he figured that out, he attached his elbow to his butt and pointed his finger around the room. He had made this tail with an eyeball. He pointed at me and said, 'Dad, you look good.' I thought that was a sweet thing to say."

This inspired Johnson to immediately write If I Had Eyes. Johnson added: "I made a song that said, 'If I had an eyeball on the end of my tail, I'd tell you that you look good as I walked away'. I meant it literally, but once I thought about metaphors (Johnson's friends were divorcing), it was a beautiful way to put it. I switched it around, made it less silly, but kept my son's ideas. I need to give him a songwriting credit."[1]

Music Video[edit]

The music video for "If I Had Eyes" shows Jack Johnson and his fellow musicians (see below credits) performing the song in a recording studio. The video was shot in grayscale with a few other colors appearing, mostly from the instruments they're playing.[2]

Track listing[edit]

CD single[edit]

  1. "If I Had Eyes" - 3:59
  2. "Let It Be Sung" (with Matt Costa & Zach Gill) - 4:08


  • Jack Johnson - vocals, guitar
  • Adam Topol - drums
  • Merlo Podlewski - bass
  • Zach Gill - piano, clavinet, backup vocals
  • Danny Riley - backup vocals
  • JP Plunier - claps, backup vocals
  • Emmett Malloy - claps
  • Josh Arroyo - claps


Chart (2007) Peak
Ö3 Austria Top 40 37
Brazilian Singles Chart (ABPD)[3] 31
Canadian Singles Chart 11
German Media Control Charts 73
Netherlands Mega Single Top 100 60
New Zealand RIANZ Singles Chart 33
Swiss Singles Chart 30
UK Singles Chart 60
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 47
U.S. Billboard Modern Rock Tracks 7
Venezuela Pop Rock (Record Report)[4] 2

External links[edit]


  1. ^ If I Had Eyes by Jack Johnson - Song Facts (accessed May 29, 2014)
  2. ^ Jack Johnson - If I Had Eyes (Official Video) on YouTube (uploaded June 16, 2009)
  3. ^ "Brazil" (PDF). ABPD. October 6, 2001. Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Pop Rock" (in Spanish). Record Report. 2008-04-05. Archived from the original on 2007-07-02.