If That Were Me

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"If That Were Me"
File:Melanie C If That Were Me Cover.jpg
Single by Melanie C
from the album Northern Star
B-side "When You're Gone" (Live)
Released 27 November 2000 (2000-11-27)
Format CD single
Recorded 1999
Length 4:34
Label Virgin
  • Melanie Chisholm
  • Rick Nowels
Producer(s) Rick Nowels
Melanie C singles chronology
"I Turn to You"
"If That Were Me"
"Here It Comes Again"
Audio sample
file info · help
Music video
"If That Were Me" on YouTube

"If That Were Me" is a song by English singer-songwriter Melanie C. It was released as the fifth and final single from her debut studio album Northern Star. The single peaked in the UK Singles Chart at number eighteen, becoming the first of her solo singles to not reach the top five.[1] The song's lyrics address the issue of homelessness and all the proceeds from its sale went to help an unspecified homeless charity.[2]

Music video

The music video shows Melanie C on the top of a factory and around urban buildings while curling her arms around herself from the cold. There are also scenes of rain in alleyways.

Formats and track listings

These are the format and track listing of major single releases of "If That Were Me".

  • European/UK CD
  1. "If That Were Me" - 4:34
  2. "If That Were Me" (Acoustic Version) - 4:29
  3. "When You're Gone" (Live with Bryan Adams) - 3:36
  4. "If That Were Me" (Video)
  • UK Cassette
  1. "If That Were Me" - 4:34
  2. "If That Were Me" (Acoustic Version) - 4:29
  3. "When You're Gone" (Live with Bryan Adams) - 3:36

Originally, there was to be a CD2 (UK) but this part of the single was later cancelled for an unknown reason. Featured CD2 cover is for a promotional version of the single.

Live performances

Melanie C performed the song on the following concert tours:


The lyrics of the song came in for particular criticism. Kurt B. Reighley wrote in CMJ New Music Monthly: "When she's singing lyrics like 'I couldn't live without my phone/ And you don't even have a home', it's tough to recall Chisholm's charms."[3] The NME's Andrew Wagstaff recommended people donate to Shelter and ridiculed the song's lyrics: "If, after doing so, you still want to hear our Mel trilling - and this is not a joke - 'I couldn't live without my phone/But you don't even have a home', well, hell, just remember that charity begins at home. So bear the neighbours in mind and wear headphones."[2] Alex Needham described the song in The Guardian as an "ode to a tramp" and suggested the aforementioned rhyming couplet was a strong contender for the worst song lyric ever.[4] Caroline Sullivan of The Guardian has compared the song unfavourably with Phil Collins' 1989 anti-homelessness single "Another Day in Paradise", arguing that they both addressed the issue with a similar lack of insight.[5] It was also chosen by The Guardian as among "the worst political lyrics in pop" in 2014.[6]


Chart Position
Australia Singles Chart 29
Austria Singles Chart 45
Germany Singles Chart 58
Irish Singles Chart 38
Netherlands Singles Chart 41
Scottish Singles Chart[7] 23
Sweden Singles Chart 22
Switzerland Singles Chart 50
UK Singles Chart 18

Uk Sales: 53,600


  1. Roberts, David (2005). Guinness World Records: British Hit Singles and Albums. Guinness World Records Limited. ISBN 978-1904994008.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 Wagstaff, Andrew (12 September 2005). "If That Were Me". NME. Retrieved 20 July 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Review by Kurt B. Reighley in CMJ, February 2000, p. 63.
  4. Needham, Alex (3 May 2007). "What's the worst song lyric ever?". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 July 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Sullivan, Caroline (19 September 2007). "I wish I'd never heard of Phil Collins ..." The Guardian. Retrieved 15 February 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Hogan, Michael (16 January 2014). "Terrible topical lyrics in pop: which are the worst?". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 November 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. http://www.officialcharts.com/charts/scottish-singles-chart/20001203/41