If You Could Only See

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"If You Could Only See"
If You Could Only See.JPG
Single by Tonic
from the album Lemon Parade
Released April 30, 1997
Format CD single
Genre Alternative rock, post-grunge
Length 4:21 (album version)
4:07 (radio edit)
Label A&M
Writer(s) Emerson Hart
Producer(s) Jack Joseph Puig
Tonic singles chronology
"Casual Affair"
"If You Could Only See"
"You Wanted More"

"If You Could Only See" is a song by the American rock band Tonic. The song was released in April 1997 as part of the band's debut album, Lemon Parade. It remains Tonic's highest charting single in the United States, Canada, and Australia. "If You Could Only See" was a number-one hit on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and reached number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay chart, where it spent 63 weeks on the chart.

Background and writing[edit]

In an Australian show (Live At The Chapel), Tonic lead vocalist Emerson Hart elucidated the meaning of this song. He stated that he had been in a relationship with an older woman and that his family did not approve of that relationship, and this song was written about that situation and was directed at his family.

In another interview, Hart said, "When I was 21 or 22, I was in love with somebody who my mom did not feel was a good fit. So my family disowned me for about three years. And the last conversation I had with my mother when I was home I’d said, 'if you could only see the way she loves me, maybe you would understand.' I just wrote that song, after that phone call, literally in a matter of minutes."[1]

Music video[edit]

The music video was directed by Jeff Cutter and Rmaaa Mosley.[2]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "If You Could Only See" (Radio Edit)
  2. "If You Could Only See" (Live Acoustic Version)
  3. "If You Could Only See" (Adult Version)
  4. "If You Could Only See" (Album Version)

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1997) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[3] 20
Canada (RPM)[4] 18
Canada Alternative 30 (RPM)[5] 1
Netherlands (Mega Top 100)[6] 100
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Airplay[7] 11
U.S. Billboard Hot Adult Top 40 Tracks[8] 7
U.S. Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks 1
U.S. Billboard Hot Modern Rock Tracks[9] 3
U.S. Billboard Top 40 Mainstream 11


  1. ^ Weiss, Dan (2014-03-21). "Single Again: Tonic - "If You Could Only See"". radio.com. Retrieved 2014-03-21. 
  2. ^ "If You Could Only See - Tonic". Vevo. Retrieved 2010-02-06. 
  3. ^ "Tonic - If You Could Only See (Song)". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2010-02-08. 
  4. ^ "Top Singles - Volume 65, No. 16, June 23, 1997". RPM. Retrieved 2010-12-01. 
  5. ^ "Rock/Alternative - Volume 65, No. 19, July 14, 1997". RPM. 2004-10-01. Retrieved 2010-02-07. 
  6. ^ "Tonic - If You Could Only See (Song)". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2010-02-08. 
  7. ^ "If You Could Only See - Tonic". Billboard. Retrieved 2010-02-22. 
  8. ^ "Adult Pop Songs Week of November 29, 1997". Billboard. Retrieved 2010-02-12. 
  9. ^ "Alternative Songs Week of June 07, 1997". Billboard. Retrieved 2010-02-12. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"The End Is the Beginning Is the End" by The Smashing Pumpkins
Canadian RPM Rock/Alternative 30 number-one single
July 14, 1997
Succeeded by
"The Difference" by The Wallflowers