Song of the Day #4,201: ‘One Man Guy’ – Rufus Wainwright

‘One Man Guy’ is a lovely track from Rufus Wainwright’s 2001 album Poses. It’s a cover of a song Rufus’ dad, Loudon Wainwright III, released on his 1985 album I’m Alright.

There’s a lot going on in this recording, including the twist Rufus’ homosexuality puts on the title. It’s also a loving but sharp-edged nod to a selfish streak in Loudon that didn’t make him the best father all the time. Rufus is joined on this track by his sister Martha on backup vocals.

The parent and child motif continues with the inclusion of the second backing vocalist: Teddy Thompson, son of Richard Thompson, who produced the original track.

People will know when they see this show
The kind of a guy I am
They’ll recognize just what I stand for
And what I just can’t stand
They’ll perceive what I believe in
And what I know is true
They’ll recognize I’m a one man guy
Always was through and through

People meditate hey that’s just great
Trying to find the inner you
People depend on family and friends
And other folks to pull them through
I don’t know why I’m a one man guy
Or why I’m a one man show
But these three cubic feet of bone and blood and meat
Are all I love and know

Cause I’m a one man guy in the mornin’
Same in the afternoon
One man guy when the sun goes down
I whistle me a one man tune
One man guy
One man guy
Only kinda guy to be
I’m a one man guy
I’m a one man guy
I’m a one man guy is me

I’m gonna bathe and shave and dress myself
And eat solo every night
Unplug the phone
Sleep alone
Stay way out of sight
Sure it’s kinda lonely
Yeah it’s sort of sick
Bein’ your own one and only
Is a dirty selfish trick

Cause I’m a one man guy in the mornin’
Same in the afternoon
One man guy when the sun goes down
I whistle me a one man tune
One man guy
One man guy
Only kinda guy to be
I’m a one man guy
I’m a one man guy
I’m a one man guy is me

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #4,201: ‘One Man Guy’ – Rufus Wainwright

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    It would really be neat if my son recorded one of my songs in the future.😀

  2. willedare says:

    Thank you for reminding me about Rufus. I have been very moved by several of his songs in past years. But I had not heard this one — with so many layers of history and resonance!

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