Bill Withers only sang for about 15 years. Despite that fact, he was capable of doing what many people only dream of doing, creating a number of hit songs that resonate with the public today just as much as they did when they were first released. Even though Withers died in 2020, he was able to see the impact that his songs had on people through the years. If you’re curious about learning more about his music, consider reading through this list of 10 of his best songs, ranked from number 10 to number one. There are even YouTube links for each one so you can take a few minutes and enjoy listening to some of his music.
10. Lonely Town, Lonely Street (1972)
Sometimes, you can be in a whole sea of people and feel more alone than if you were on a deserted island. That is precisely what this song talks about. To be more specific, it talks about living in a crowded city, yet not really having that many friends. As a result, the person living there feels completely alone even though he is surrounded by people everywhere he goes.
9. Use Me (1972)
Have you ever been with a person that you think is the perfect fit for you, yet everyone around you keeps telling you that you should walk away while you still can? That is precisely what this song is about. In the song, the person is telling a story that involves all of his friends telling him that this individual he has fallen for doesn’t want to do anything but use him in order to get what she wants. He can’t see it because he’s in love but everyone around him sees through the facade.
8. Who Is He? (1972)
This is another sad song that talks about that moment when a person realizes that the individual they love has actually been seeing someone else. In the song, this realization comes as the man inadvertently meets this other person on the street while he is with his beloved. The man acts suspiciously enough, but it is his beloved’s actions that tell him what is truly going on. The song then goes on to talk about the heartache that comes with realizing this type of thing and being forced to accept the fact that the person you loved all along never really loved you back.
7. Grandma’s Hands (1971)
This is a truly heartbreaking song about losing someone that you not only loved, but that helped shape who you have ultimately become. The lyrics talk about growing up in the presence of one’s grandmother and how her hands would pick you up when you fell, hand you candy and wipe away your tears. At the end of the song, the singer says that grandma isn’t there anymore and that if they make it to Heaven, the first thing they will do is search for her hands, knowing that when they see them they will have found the person that was so instrumental throughout their life that has left such a big void as a result of their passing.
6. I Can’t Write Left Handed (1973)
This is a very sad song about war and the damage that it does to people. In the song, a young man has been shot and he’s asking another person to write a letter to his mother because he can’t write with the only good hand that he has left. He goes on to ask him to send a letter and place a phone call to his Reverend because he knows that he’s going to die. He talks about how people tell young individuals that going to war is honorable and that they’re doing the right thing. On the other side of it, he’s not so sure it’s the right thing at all.
5. Kissing My Love (1972)
This is a rather beautiful song about kissing someone that you love, spending time with them, and feeling more alive than you’ve ever felt. At the same time, you don’t really notice anything else that’s going on around you because you are so enthralled with being with that particular individual that it requires all of your attention and then some.
4. Lovely Day (1989)
Loving the right person can make everything in life seem easier. That is precisely what this song is about. The lyrics talk about a person who wakes up and is greeted with worry, concerned for the day ahead. Almost immediately, that same individual thinks about the person that is their significant other and all of that weight that they were feeling only moments ago begins to lift. It’s a beautiful song and anyone who has ever found the right person knows that it’s also true.
3. Ain’t No Sunshine (2014)
Just like the title of the song implies, this is the song that talks about having no sun shining in your life unless you can be with the person that you want to be with more than anyone else in the world. The song says that when she’s not there, there is no sunshine, only dark and gloomy days ahead.
2. Just the Two of Us (1980)
When you really love somebody, you feel like you can take on the entire world. You genuinely believe that no matter what is thrown at you, you can make it because you’re not going through any of it alone. That is what this song is all about. It doesn’t make it seem like all your problems will just magically disappear because you’re in love, but it does talk about how being in love makes it so much easier to work your way through those problems.
1. Lean on Me (1972)
If you’re lucky, you’ve had the opportunity to have someone in your life that you can always turn to, even during your darkest times. Everybody needs a shoulder to lean on or someone to talk to and that is what the lyrics in the song discuss. It talks about letting you know that you’re not alone, even though you might feel that way from time to time.