Townes Van Zandt introduced the song with the following statement at a private concert in Houston: “It came to me in a dream. I was living in Tennessee with Guy and Susanna Clark, and I was asleep, and I had a notepad by my mattress – I had a mattress on the floor. I was dreaming that I was a folk singer, and this was the song I played, and I happened to wake up, write it down, and went right back to sleep. The next morning I woke up, went to the room with all the guitars, picked up a guitar and played it through. It never has changed.”Source
Well, if I needed you Would you come to me Would you come to me And ease my pain? If you needed me I would come to you I would swim the seas For to ease your pain Well, in the night forlorn Oh, the morning's born And the morning shines With the lights of love And you will miss sunrise If you close your eyes And that would break My heart in two The lady's with me now Since I showed her how To lay her lily Hand in mine Loop and Lil agree She's a sight to see A treasure for The poor to find Well, if I needed you Would you come to me Would you come to me And ease my pain? If you needed me I would come to you I would swim the seas For to ease your pain
The above song was made famous by Emmylou Harris and Don Williams. Another of Van Zandt’s 1972 songs is “Pancho and Lefty,” made famous by Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard.