Music Friday: ‘I’d Make You a Chain Out of Diamonds and Pearls,’ Sings Jim Croce

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you classic songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, music legend Jim Croce tells his sad and lonely wife how things are going to change in the 1972 classic, “Tomorrow’s Gonna Be A Brighter Day.”

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He’d love to give her diamonds and pearls to express how much he wants to make things right, but the hardscrabble musician can only offer a kiss and an apology.

He sings, “Well, I’m sorry for the things that I told you / But words only go so far / And if I had my way / I would reach into heaven / And I’d pull down a star for a present / And I’d make you a chain out of diamonds / And pearls from a summer sea / But all I can give you is a kiss in the morning / And a sweet apology.”

Released as the second track from his chart-topping studio album, You Don’t Mess Around with Jim, “Tomorrow’s Gonna Be a Brighter Day” seems to reflect Croce’s personal struggle with balancing a life on the road with the needs of his family.

Only 17 months after the release of this song — at the peak of his fame — the 30-year-old Croce lost his life in a plane crash near Natchitoches, La. He had just wrapped a performance at the campus of Northwestern State University.

In a letter to his 26-year-old wife, Ingrid — a letter that arrived after his death — Croce told her that he was homesick and couldn’t bear the pain of being away from her and their infant son. He was planning to stop touring and to concentrate, instead, on writing short stories. It was never to be.

Born in South Philadelphia in 1943, Croce struggled early in his music career, appearing at large coffee houses, on college campuses and at folk festivals. In 1972, he scored a three-record deal with ABC Records.

Later that year, he made his national debut on American Bandstand, which spawned appearances on The Tonight Show, The Dick Cavett Show, The Helen Reddy Show and The Midnight Special.

He was on his way and the possibilities were boundless. Sadly, his life ended much too soon.

Please check out the audio track of Croce performing “Tomorrow’s Gonna Be A Brighter Day.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along…

“Tomorrow’s Gonna Be A Brighter Day”
Written and performed by Jim Croce.

Well, I’m sorry for the things that I told you
But words only go so far
And if I had my way
I would reach into heaven
And I’d pull down a star for a present
And I’d make you a chain out of diamonds
And pearls from a summer sea
But all I can give you is a kiss in the morning
And a sweet apology

Well, I know that it hasn’t been easy
And I haven’t always been around
To say the right words
Or to hold you in the mornin’
Or to help you when you’re down
I know I never showed you much of a good time
But baby things are gonna change
I’m gonna make up for all of the hurt I brought
I’m gonna love away all your pain

And tomorrow’s gonna be a brighter day
There’s gonna be some changes
Tomorrow’s gonna be a brighter day
This time you can believe me
No more cryin’ in your lonely room
And no more empty nights
‘Cause tomorrow mornin’ everything will turn out right

Well, there’s something that I’ve got to tell you
Yes I’ve got something on my mind
But words come hard
When your lying in my arms
And when I’m looking deep into your eyes
But there’s truth and consolation
And what I’m trying to say
Is that nobody ever had a rainbow baby
Until he had the rain

It’s gonna, it’s gonna, it’s gonna be a brighter day
It’s gonna, it’s gonna, it’s gonna be a brighter day
It’s gonna, it’s gonna, it’s gonna be a brighter day
It’s gonna be, it’s gonna be, it’s gonna be a brighter day
It’s gonna be, it’s gonna be, it’s gonna be a brighter day
Come on tomorrow
Come on tomorrow
It’s gonna be a brighter day

Credit: Image by ABC Television [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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