I'm Afraid to Love You

Words & Music by Harry Stride, Bert Douglas & Pat McCarthy, 1946
Recorded by The Mills Brothers, 1974*

A     E7/6     A       F#m  Cdim         B7       Edim  B7
I'm afraid to love you,   afraid I might like it;

E7   Bm7-5      E7    Bm7-5 Fdim           A      D9  A  AM7
I'm afraid to hold you,    afraid I might like it.

D         Cdim    Bm7    Bm7-5    A      C#m7-5   F#7
When your lips invite me       to steal a kiss or two,

    B7       F#m   B7    Bm7-5     E7    Fdim  E7 Bb9
I'm tempted, but I never follow through.

A     E7/6         A       F#m  Cdim            B7       Edim  B7
I'm afraid you'll thrill me,   thrill me, then leave me --

E7      Bm7-5   E7     Bm7-5   F#7 
What's another heart or two to you?

B7   D   Cdim     Dm    Dm+7        A     C#m7-5    F#7
If I act like a stranger,   it's because I see the danger;

A     E7/6     A       F#m     B7    E7/6   A
I'm afraid to love you,    but I'm afraid I do.

This song is an accidental discovery -- I had never heard, nor heard of, it until I happened to do one of my "I'm bored" searches on the internet and found the .MP3 of the song. I checked it against one of my favorite historical sources (allmusic.com) and according to their information, it had only been recorded three times -- all by the Mills Brothers. Further research found the authors, and the fact that it had been written nearly 30 years before the earliest Mills Brothers version listed, so I have every reason to suspect earlier recorded versions of the song must exist -- but I have no idea whose, nor any clear suggestion of when they might have been done, other than the authorship date. If you know, I'd love to hear from you.

On their version, The Mills Brothers do an up-tempo repeat, the style of which suggests to me that they originally recorded it years before the 1974 release date I cite above, and the overall sound is indeed reminiscent of their much earlier recordings. Personally, I like the introductory ballad-style take of the first half much better.

The lyric and guitar chord transcriptions on this site are the work of The Guitarguy and are intended for private study, research, or educational purposes only. Individual transcriptions are inspired by and and based upon the recorded versions cited, but are not necessarily exact replications of those recorded versions.