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Lean on Me
Song

Lean on Me

Bill Withers
Album:
Still Bill

Song Meaning and Background of Lean on Me by Bill Withers


Bill Withers was a soul singer who wrote plainspoken-language songs on acoustic guitar. He kept his factory day job, making toilets for 747 planes, even after his first album came out, to retain his independence.


He wrote “Lean on Me,” a quiet pledge of friendship and strength, and his only Number One hit.


Bill Withers' childhood in the coal mining town of Slab Fork, West Virginia, was the inspiration for "Lean on Me", which he wrote after he had moved to Los Angeles and found himself missing the strong community ethic of his hometown. He had lived in a decrepit house in the poor section of his town.

Withers stated the inspiration for the song:


"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.'"


Withers stated in the same interview that he made an effort to keep the lyrics simple.


It was released in April 1972 as the first single from his second album, Still Bill. It was a number one single on both the soul and Billboard Hot 100 charts.


Lyrics of Lean on Me by 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 when 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

Release Date

1972

Songwriter/s

Bill Withers

Producer/s

Bill Withers

Label/s

Sussex

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