If I Wanted To

First appeared on Yes I Am (1993)
Written by Melissa Etheridge

"'If I Wanted To' was written around that little guitar riff that you can barely hear in the song; I was playing that riff over and over and we tried a number of different arrangements. Trying to make it into a big, hard rock song, however, it wasn't working. I tried it again with a laissez-faire attitude. The song gelled and became this lazy beat that rocked.

I love that song because it's a side of me that I should have listened to more often, it was true: 'I wouldn't have to be in love with you if I only wanted to.' If I only had the guts and the strength to realize that I wanted out of the relationship I would have done it. But I didn't."

If I wanted to I could do anything right
I could dance with the devil on a Saturday night
If I wanted to I could turn matches to gold
I could smoke drink swear and I would never grow old
I wouldn't have to be in love with you
If I only wanted to
If I only wanted to

If I wanted to I could run fast as a train
Be as sharp as a needle that's twisting your brain
If I wanted to I could turn mountains to sand
Have political leaders in the palm of my hand
I wouldn't have to be in love with you
If I only wanted to
If I only wanted to

I could leave tonight
And I would be all right
Stop holding on
If I wanted to
If I only wanted to

If I wanted to I could be as patient as death
Fix this hole in my heart leaking into my flesh
If I wanted to I could turn sparks into ice
There'd never be another woman who could make you think twice
I wouldn't have to be in love with you
If I only wanted to
If I only wanted to