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If You are Willing

(Bob Nolan)


You passed by me today and smiled across the way.

That smile, dear, did it say that you are willing?

Some paradise, I know, just waits for us to go

And all you need to show is that youre willing.


These words may never cheer you.

They may fade away and fall

In someplace where Im not near you to hear you if you call.

So, darling, come to me,

Here in these arms, you see, is where you ought to be

If you are willing.


        Bob had an old home recording machine and he made his own wax demos on it. Many years later, his grandson rented a record player and transferred the old demos to tape. I remember years ago, soon after Bob died, that my mom went down to see P-Nuts and brought back a box of old 78s. These records were one-time studio recordings of songs that he wrote and never were recorded [commercially]. But we went out and got a 78 record player, needles - which were hard to find - and hooked it up to a cassette recorder and recorded all the records. As you can imagine the quality was very poor. A little curl of wax built up before the needle so the sound was virtually destroyed. (Calin Coburn, July 2, 2000)

        This song was registered for copyright by his daughter on September 24, 1985, five years after his death. Bob had become increasingly disappointed in the lack of public interest in the type of song that he considered much better than his western pieces. "If You are Willing" was never recorded by the Sons of the Pioneers and there was no sheet music or lead sheet found. It was written later in life when Bob had left his western tunes behind and concentrated on his love songs. 

        Bob Nolan sings and whistles, accompanying himself on his guitar. He made the demo and put it away without ever recording it for copyright. Roy Rogers commiserated with him, assuring him that his songs would be recognized one day. Bob had achieved fame with his western songs and no one seemed willing for a change.