“Each Song Has a Story” (Part 4 – If I Had a Dollar)

This song is one that is wicked near and dear to my heart. The story is pretty funny of how it was written, but before we get there, let’s look at the original version. 😀

Here is the oldest version of it that I could find, from April of 2011. (huge thanks to Rosey from SDDialedin.com for capturing it!) I’m pretty pitchy, cause I don’t think I was ready to play it… It sounds like I didn’t know the tempo or anything… haha… oh well.

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And here’s what it sounds like on the album:


So here’s the story.

I’m sitting in Los Angeles at my apartment one night and text my friend, Mary. I simply asked her if she wanted to come over and watch a movie. The reply text said, “Josh. I am not a “hollar back girl”. If you want to hang out, hit me up earlier in the day…” I was SHOCKED. That idea hadn’t even popped into my head. I replied with the first thing that popped into my head. I said “Sweetheart… If I had a dollar… I’d spend it all on you.”

Now, I’m sure she texted me back… but I don’t think we did end up hanging out again. (First off… don’t say stuff like that to me… it’s rude. Second… well I guess there’s no second. Don’t be rude. :-D) I literally wrote the song in about 5 minutes after I typed that text.

The idea of the song was that it is from the perspective of a broke musician to his girlfriend, but also a young child to his mother. The idea of the “Dollar” in this story isn’t really about money, but more about giving everything you have to someone because you love them so much. When I was imagining the story in my head, I saw a little child finding a dandelion and giving it to his mom. Even though it’s a weed, the mother would cherish it more than if it was the most beautiful rose, because her son picked it for her. Kids don’t have a concept of money- they just give. So the idea if a quarter – paying to take someone to the mall and nickel – buying ice cream evokes an image of a little kid that is so cute that an ice cream vendor gives him stuff for free (or his mom pays when he isn’t looking.)

So anyways, that’s where the song comes from. I think it’ll be a ton of people’s favorite, and I hope you play it at your wedding. 😀 I LOVE when the keys come in. John Foltz KILLED that. 😀

I also rewrote it a few times. The last line was “I hope this song will do.” But I ended up changing it to “I hope my heart will do” because I felt like that was much stronger. So here’s the lyrics. 😀



If I Had a Dollar
(C) 2011 Written by Josh Damigo

Drums — Jeff Berkley
Upright Bass — Doug Walker
Piano — John Foltz
Electric Guitar — Jeff Berkley
Hammond Organ — Ben Moore
Vocal & Guitar — Josh Damigo

Produced, Recorded & Mixed by Jeff Berkley
Mastered By Gavin Lurssen and Rueben Cohen

If I had a dollar
I’d spend it all on you
and I’d buy you all the things
That you’ve grown accustomed to
Cause If I had a dollar
I’d waste every cent on you
But until I have a dollar
I hope my heart will do

If I had a quarter
Well, I’d take you to the mall
Let you try on all the dresses
You’d look so pretty in ’em all
Cause If I had a quarter
I’d waste every cent on you
But until I get a quarter
I hope this song will do

I hope my heart will do
Cause It’s all I have
I know it isn’t much
And I know it’s not that big
but you’re written on my soul
And you’re my every breath
So I hope my heart will do
Cause It’s all I have

If I had a nickel
I’d put a big smile on your face
I’d buy you tons of ice cream
From your favorite place
Cause If I had a nickel
I’d waste every drop to you
Until I have a nickel
Well I hope my Heart will do

I hope my heart will do
Cause It’s all I have
I know it isn’t much
And I know it’s not that big
but you’re written on my soul
And you’re my every breath
So I hope my heart will do
Cause It’s all I have


About Josh Damigo

Josh will cheerfully admit that he averaged less than a dozen people a show when he first began playing San Diego coffee houses. But he garnered diehard fans in the process, sold a few thousand copies of his homemade EP, Pocket Change, and picked up few awards along the way. After a traumatic family incident, Damigo retreated inward, and he ended up writing what would ultimately become his breakout debut, Raw. The album was true to its name and people noticed - Josh picked up two San Diego Music Awards for “Best Acoustic” and “Best Local Recording,” opened for the likes of Zac Brown, Jason Mraz, Eric Hutchinson, and Matt Nathanson, and had enough money and momentum to tour the country a few times over. A few years after Raw, there was his third release, Hope. Whereas Raw was a mostly acoustic, vulnerable affair, Hope was a celebration. Pleading and poignant, heartfelt and heavy hearted, it segued effortlessly from orchestral to alt-country, eventually landing him in the top 25 on the country charts. One of the hardest working indie singer/songwriters in Southern California, Damigo spent much of year with producer Mike Butler, gathering up some of the finest musicians in town, shaping his songs and sound further still for his latest album, "Just Give Me a Call", available now, on Randm Records. From the up-tempo single, “Just Give Me a Call”, to the simple sincerity of the ballad “Tennessee”, Josh’s songwriting skills are clear, his voice rings true and his goals remain the same as when he started - to keep making the best music he can, and to share it with all.
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