If I Were a Carpenter (song)

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"If I Were a Carpenter"
If I Were a Carpenter Four Tops.jpg
Single by Four Tops
from the album Reach Out
B-side "Wonderful Baby"
Released 1968
Format 7" single
Genre Folk, soul
Length 2:47
Label Motown
M 1124
Songwriter(s) Tim Hardin
Producer(s) Brian Holland
Lamont Dozier
Four Tops singles chronology
"Yesterday's Dreams"
"If I Were a Carpenter"
"Don't Let Him Take Your Love From Me"
"Yesterday's Dreams"
"If I Were a Carpenter"
"Don't Let Him Take Your Love From Me"

"If I Were a Carpenter" is a song written by Tim Hardin. Hardin's own recording of the piece appeared on his 1967 album Tim Hardin 2. It was one of two songs from that release (the other being "'Misty Roses") performed by Hardin at Woodstock in 1969.[1] The song has been covered a number of times by other artists:

Cover versions[edit]

  • In 1966, it was a Top Ten hit for Bobby Darin, reaching number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100.[2] Bobby Darin also had an album If I Were A Carpenter, which contained the song.
  • In 1967 Joan Baez covered a gender-reversed version on her album Joan, initially renamed If You Were a Carpenter though later compilations reverted to the original title.[3]
  • In 1968, The Four Tops hit the Top 20 on both the pop and soul charts with their version.[4] It also reached number eight in the UK charts in 1968 staying in the charts for 11 weeks.[5] It reached number four in the Netherlands.[6]
  • In 1970 a duet by Johnny Cash and June Carter went to number 2 on the country chart.[7]
  • In 1972, a cover by Bob Seger reached number 76 on the Billboard Hot 100.[8] The single was released from his album Smokin' O.P.'s.[9]
  • According to the Discogs encyclopedia the song appears on 2287 singles, LPs or CDs. [10]


  1. ^ Evans, Mike (2010). Woodstock: Three Days that Rocked the World. Sterling. ISBN 9781402780349. 
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits: Eighth Edition. Record Research. p. 162. 
  3. ^ "Joan Baez - Joan (Vinyl, LP, album)". Discogs. Retrieved 18 December 2016. 
  4. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 212. 
  5. ^ "Four Tops". www.officialscharts.com. Retrieved 18 March 2014. 
  6. ^ "Dutch Charts: The Four Tops". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2014-04-03. 
  7. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 74. 
  8. ^ "Billboard Hot 100 Chart August 19, 1972". Billboard Hot 100. Retrieved 19 May 2016. 
  9. ^ "Bob Seger: Charts & Awards – Billboard Singles". Allmusic. United States: Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 19 May 2016. 
  10. ^ "If I were a carpenter". Discogs. Retrieved January 5, 2017. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Brown Eyed Handsome Man"
by Waylon Jennings
RPM Country Tracks number-one single
(Johnny Cash and June Carter version)

March 7, 1970
Succeeded by
"Honey Come Back"
by Glen Campbell