Meaning of “If I Go, I’m Goin” by Gregory Alan Isakov

Written By Michael Miller

Michael is a music teacher and professional cellist. He loves uncovering the deeper meaning of popular songs.

At its heart, “If I Go, I’m Goin” is a song about conflict and uncertainty in a relationship. It’s a portrayal of the emotional tug-of-war between wanting to leave yet yearning to stay. The house in the lyrics symbolizes memories, past experiences, and the stronghold of love. The songwriter seems to suggest that sometimes, in love, there are moments of intense passion and anger. But even in those fiery moments, there is an underlying love that keeps you tethered.

Dive deeper into the layers of this song and uncover the rich emotions behind every line.

“If I Go, I’m Goin” Lyrics Meaning

The opening line “This house” sets a tone of nostalgia and emotion. The house is not just a physical structure; it’s a metaphor for the emotional space shared by the two lovers. When he mentions, “She’s holding secrets,” it hints at the undisclosed feelings and untold stories between them.

The lyrics “I got my change behind the bed, In a coffee can, Throw my nickels in, Just in case I have to leave” depicts the singer’s preparedness to leave if things go south. He has a backup, indicating his uncertainty about the relationship’s future. Yet, the juxtaposition in “I will go if you ask me to, I will stay if you dare” shows his deep emotional connection and his willingness to stay if there’s even a slight hint of hope.

His mixed feelings intensify with lines like “And if I go I’m goin’ shameless” and “And if I go I’m goin’ on fire.” He’s conflicted – willing to leave without any regrets, driven by his emotions, be it hunger or anger. But the crux of the song’s emotion is in the lines “This old house she’s quite the keeper, Quite the keeper of you.” It signifies that the house, or their shared memories and experiences, has a grasp on his lover, and he acknowledges that hold.

Why Was “If I Go, I’m Goin” Written?

Delving into why Gregory Alan Isakov wrote this piece, it’s evident he was exploring the intricacies of love and relationships. It’s a reflection of the various phases we all go through – the ups and downs, the joys, the pains, and the utter chaos of emotions. It’s possible that he was in a state of emotional turmoil while penning down these lyrics. The dichotomy of emotions, the push and pull, indicates a state of mind that is grappling with decisions and choices, driven not just by present circumstances but also by the weight of past experiences and future uncertainties. The song acts as a window into that very moment of introspection, making it deeply relatable for many who’ve been at similar crossroads in their relationships.