Song of the Day #4,765: ‘Lean On Me’ – Bill Withers

Our final inductee into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s 2015 class is the soulful singer-songwriter Bill Withers, who recorded a handful of enduring classics during a career that spanned just 15 years. Withers retired abruptly in 1985 over his frustrations with record executives trying to micromanage his career.

Withers released eight studio albums during that span. His three best-known songs — ‘Ain’t No Sunshine,’ ‘Lean on Me,’ and ‘Lovely Day’ — are the sort of soulful staples people list among their all-time favorites. He also wrote and recorded the yacht rock classic ‘Just the Two Of Us’ with Grover Washington, Jr. on sax.

Withers was first eligible for entry into the Hall in 1997 but went un-nominated until 2015, when he made it in. Though he had been almost entirely absent from the industry for 30 years, he showed up and graciously accepted his admission from presenter Stevie Wonder.

“Stevie Wonder inducting me into the Hall of Fame is like a lion opening the door for a kitty cat,” he said, gracious as ever.

Withers died a year ago due to heart complications at age 81.

[Verse 1]
Sometimes in our lives, we all have pain
We all have sorrow
But if we are wise
We know that there’s always tomorrow

[Chorus]
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

[Verse 2]
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
[Bridge]
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

[Chorus]
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

[Bridge]
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

[Verse 3]
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

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #4,765: ‘Lean On Me’ – Bill Withers

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    I don’t know much from Bill Withers beyond the songs you mentioned, but I know he is often lauded as a great songwriter by other artists I admire. A deeper dive into his discography might prove to be rewarding.

  2. Peg says:

    I enjoy the songs you mentioned and am glad he was honored while still alive.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.