♫ Lean On Me ♫

I rarely have to go looking for a song … they are usually playing around in my head, just begging to be released.  But, for the past couple of days, the last one I played, Al Green’s Let’s Stay Together, wouldn’t leave my head, even though I played it here, gave it permission to hop out of my head and into yours, but it had seemingly carved out a niche somewhere in my head and … given the cold temps outside, I think it liked it in there.  So, tonight I went in search of something that I maybe hadn’t heard in a while, and came across this little gem.

This song, written and recorded by singer-songwriter Bill Withers, was released in April 1972 as the first single from his second album, Still Bill.  It was his first and only number one single.  According to Withers …

“This was my second album, so I could afford to buy myself a little Wurlitzer electric piano. So I bought a little piano and I was sitting there just running my fingers up and down the piano. In the course of doing the music, that phrase crossed my mind, so then you go back and say, ‘OK, I like the way that phrase, Lean On Me, sounds with this song.’ So you go back and say, ‘How do I arrive at this as a conclusion to a statement? What would I say that would cause me to say Lean On Me?’ At that point, it’s between you and your actual feelings, you and your morals and what you’re really like. You probably do more thinking about it after it’s done.”

Withers did not record his first song until he was 32 years old. He was in the US Navy for nine years, then worked at a factory making parts for airplanes. Says Withers:

“Being from a rural, West Virginia setting, that kind of circumstance would be more accessible to me than it would be to a guy living in New York where people step over you if you’re passed out on the sidewalk, or Los Angeles, where you could die on the side of the freeway and it would probably be eight days before anyone noticed you were dead. Coming from a place where people were a little more attentive to each other, less afraid, that would cue me to have those considerations. I think what we say is influenced by how we are, what’s been our life experiences. Now, I notice young guys writing about shooting each other in the city and stuff like that, well I would never have said anything like that because it was not my experience, I’m not from a big city. I think circumstance dictates what people think.”

Lean On Me
Bill Withers

Sometimes in our lives we all have pain
We all have sorrow
But if we are wise
We know that there’s always tomorrow

Lean on me, when you’re not strong
And I’ll be your friend
I’ll help you carry on
For it won’t be long
‘Til I’m gonna need
Somebody to lean on

Please swallow your pride
If I have things you need to borrow
For no one can fill those of your needs
That you won’t let show

You just call on me brother, when you need a hand
We all need somebody to lean on
I just might have a problem that you’ll understand
We all need somebody to lean on

Lean on me, when you’re not strong
And I’ll be your friend
I’ll help you carry on
For it won’t be long
‘Til I’m gonna need
Somebody to lean on

You just call on me brother, when you need a hand
We all need somebody to lean on
I just might have a problem that you’ll understand
We all need somebody to lean on

If there is a load you have to bear
That you can’t carry
I’m right up the road
I’ll share your load

If you just call me (call me)
If you need a friend (call me) call me uh huh(call me) if you need a friend (call me)
If you ever need a friend (call me)
Call me (call me) call me (call me) call me
(Call me) call me (call me) if you need a friend
(Call me) call me (call me) call me (call me) call me (call me) call me (call me)

Songwriters: Bill Withers
Lean On Me lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, BMG Rights Management

22 thoughts on “♫ Lean On Me ♫

  1. Jill, ditto to your and David’s comments. The musicality, vocal delivery and message make this song one of my all time favorites. It is a classic drive time song where you simply ignore other drivers and sing your heart out. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so happy you liked this! I’m picturing you driving down the Interstate, singing this at the top of your lungs! I wonder, is your wife singing along, or has she donned her earplugs? I’m betting she’s singing along!

      Like

  2. On of those absolutely beautiful songs those with a mental anguish listen to on repeat. But perhaps you don’t need the anguish to listen to it that way as it’s great for working to or relaxing with..Just one of those you should never be without really.Thank you Mr Withers, thank you Jill.
    Cwtch

    Liked by 1 person

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