John Gorka Home videos
31th homemade video (November 1, 2020)

On November 1, 2020 John Gorka wrote:
Home Video # 31 and this week's One Song Concert is If I Could, written by Roland Maddrey who I met at The Swannanoa Gathering last year. He finished this song just recently. Thank you Roland for letting me sing it. I think it is a classic. I hope you like the song as much as I do!!


Roland Maddrey




The other 'one song concerts':

- Click here for Red River Valley (April 5, 2020)
- Click here for Better times Will Come (April 12, 2020)
- Click here for Polly Wally (April 19, 2020)
- Click here for Soap Opera (April 26, 2020)
- Click here for Maya May I, (May 1, 2020)
- Click here for My Creole Belle (May 10, 2020)
- Click here for Careless Love (May 17, 2020)
- Click here for You Can Run (May 24, 2020)
- Muting the Sea (May 31,2020)
- Click here for Ignorance and Privilege (June 7, 2020)
- Click here for The Mercy of the Wheels. (June 14, 2020)
- If I Could Forget To Breathe (June 21, 2020)
- Let them in (June 28, 2020)
- Unblind The Referee (July 5, 2020)
- The Dutchman (July 12, 2020)
- Morningside (July 19, 2020)
- Cowboy Song (July 26, 2020)
- That's How Legends Are Made (August 2, 2020)
- If Not Now (August 9, 2020)
- Arroyo Seco (August 16, 2020)

- Shenandoah (August 23, 2020)
- Outside (August 30, 2020)
- Outnumbered (September 6, 2020)
- Brown shirts (September 13, 2020)

- Jackís Crows (September 20, 2020)
Where No Monument Stands (September 27, 2020)
- Blue Chalk (October 4, 2020)
- Zuly (October 11, 2020)
- The Sentinel (October 18, 2020)
- Where The Bottles Break (October 25 2020)
- If I Could (November 1, 2020)
- Particle & Wave (November 8, 2020)
- True in Time (November 15, 2020)
- Edgar The Party Man ( November 22, 2020)
- The Water is Wide (November 29, 2020)
- The Streets of Laredo (December 6, 2020)

- Spanish is the Loving Tongue (December 13, 2020)
- Christmas Bells (December 20, 2020)
- Riverside (December 27. 2020) Recorded earlier
- Auld Lang Syne (January 3, 2021)

Click here to go to the John Gorka "Home videos homepage"



..If I Could  



An interview with Roland Maddrey, the writer of "If I Could"
November, 3, 2020

On election day, I was in contact with 66-year-old Roland. Before he spoke to me, he was busy because his 18-year-old son was allowed to vote for the first time, so hopefully his vote could also contribute to political change....

Roland you wrote a beautiful song "If I Could". Can you tell us something about yourself, because you are unknown to many music lovers.

Roland: I have been playing guitar since high school. I grew up in and now live in Mooresville, NC. I played and sang solo in bars and restaurants in the Chicago, Illinois area for several years in the 1970s. I did covers of contemporary folk music: Simon & Garfunkel, John Denver, James Taylor, Gordon Lightfoot etc. Since those days music has been a significant part of my life but other life events have had priority. I am married with three kids, ages 15, 18 and 21. My wife and I have a small private contract business processing vehicle registrations for the state of North Carolina.

I have always wanted to write songs but found it was easy to start a song but hard to finish a song. Musical ideas come to me constantly but it has been much harder to find words to create and carry meaning. I have a "collection" of melody files with titles waiting for my attention. The last several years I have been working at learning how to convert these music files into songs.


Jos: It is of course special that John Gorka has embraced your song. Can tell how this came about?

Roland: The song "If I Could" started out as one of those melody / music files. I came up with a sketch of the song (two verses) as a class exercise at the Swannanoa Gathering music camp which takes place every year in late July near Asheville, NC. I have been going there for years to learn more about songwriting. I met John Gorka there in 2019. He was one of the excellent instructors teaching there. That is when he heard the short version of the song.

And that is probably where the song would have stayed without John Gorka's interest.

A few months ago John contacted me by email and expressed his interest in singing the song as part of his weekly "one song concerts." That got my attention. Of course I said YES. And since the song was so short I said he could arrange it as necessary to extend it. But I also told him that I had not worked on it since Swannanoa and I wasn't even sure if it was finished.

He replied and said he had an idea about an arrangement that would extend the song if I was sure that it was finished. But he also said that he would rather wait until I had a chance to work with the song to see if I wanted to do anything else with it. He said that he trusted my instincts. He also said that there was no rush.

So I had the perfect combination of desire to finish the song and positive motivation with no pressure to get it done. It was the push I needed and the result is the version of "If I Could" that John has performed so well.


Jos: Well that's a great story, how do you look back on it yourself?

Roland: This has been a great experience for me. The way I feel now I am hopeful that I will be more productive with songwriting in the future. With some luck and motivation I hope to create more songs from my music files "collection."

Roland I wish you the best of luck and I hope we will hear a lot from you!


If you like to write Roland Maddrey: You can reach him at this email address:



If I Could (Lyrics)


















es who didnít come



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