Given that I had a '90s college party this past weekend, it only seems fitting that I should have a '90s song as this week's Retro Video of the Week. This Saturday will mark the 20th anniversary of the release of Tonic's debut album, Lemon Parade. Setting aside the fact that lemons can't walk or drive and, therefore, cannot have a parade, I'm going with the band's biggest song off of that (or any other) album, "If You Could Only See." This song did not make the cut for my playlist this past weekend because it's kind of a downer and, after all, I was limited to a mere ten hours of music.
As with countless songs, "If You Could Only See" has a good backstory. Lead singer Emerson Hart -- whose sideburns are strong to quite strong -- wrote the song when he was 21 or 22 in a matter of minutes after getting into an argument with his mom, who disapproved of an older woman Hart was dating at the time. During a conversation, he told his mom, "If you could only see the way she loves me, maybe you would understand," which, of course, became the lead line for the song and its chorus, and is such an early '90s thing to say to your mom. If one of my kids ever said that to me, I would laugh in his or her face, no matter how old he or she is.
The song became a radio staple in 1997, hitting #1 on the Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, #3 on the Billboard Hot Modern Rock Tracks chart, #7 on the Billboard Hot Adult Top 40 Tracks chart, and #11 on both Billboard's Hot 100 Airplay and Top 40 Mainstream charts.