Bill Withers

Bill Withers is an American singer and song writer. He was born on July 4, 1938 in West Virginia. Bill joined the US Navy when he was 18 and served for 9 years. Afterwards, he moved to California and began his music career. Bill Withers has written some of the most well known songs of our time; “Ain’t No Sunshine“, “Grandma’s Hands“, “Just The Two Of Us” and many more. Below you can listen to Bill sing his song, “Lean On Me”. Also below is a video of the song with lyrics you can read.

Let us know what you think about the song in the comments section.

Is it a happy song or a sad song?

What does the phrase ‘lean on me‘ mean?

Do you have someone to ‘lean on‘ or does someone often ‘lean on‘ you?

What does the phrase ‘swallow your pride’ mean?

Have you ever had to ‘swallow your pride‘?

Listen to some of Bill Withers’ other songs and tell us what you’re favorite is.

Read the lyrics below…

 

“Lean On Me”

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

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6 thoughts on “Bill Withers

  1. You can hear and see the whole concert here:

  2. Sze Wong says:

    Hello Idiom expert :what does “swallow your pride ” mean.I don’t understand. Please explain it to me. I did my research before I asking you. Thank You!!1

  3. Sze Wong says:

    If you have somebody lean on.you must be very lucky. I have a colleague .She leaned her whole body on me.(it is not exagggerate) When she had problems ,She called me 3.4 …………….10 times a day. Some friend and colleague lean on you That’s a great responsibility and troublesome.

  4. Grace says:

    This song is too old. The lean-on-me idea is good, but it’s hard to find someone to lean on or to be leaned willingly.

  5. Sze, keep trying to find the meaning online or in a book, what do you think it might mean? We will make it an idiom of the week in the near future.

    Grace, interesting point. It can be hard to find some one to lean on often. If you read this interview with Bill Withers, he makes an interesting point about how he came to write the song. What do you think about what he says?

    Bill Withers:
    “In the course of doing the music, that phrase crossed my mind, so then you go back and say, “OK, I like the way this 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?” Then 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. 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 8 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 than somebody from a different place. 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 that was not my experience, so 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.”

    http://www.songfacts.com/blog/interviews/bill_withers/

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