Like a Man: A Call and Response

Bonnie R.

All through my twenties, I was busy with graduate school and working, so I kind of put relationships on the back burner.

Yeah, right.  That’s a bunch of malarkey.  I can’t believe I actually started a post with a lie.  Well, not so much a lie as a standard cover story that I told for so long that it started to have the ring of truth to it.

The real, deep down, nitty-gritty truth is that I just couldn’t meet the right guy.  You know the old story – either I was too paralyzed by some ridiculous and unspoken unrequited love to be interested in anybody else, or I was foolishly piddling away precious time hanging out for eons with guys I knew I’d never want to have any kind of long-term relationship with.

So by my early thirties, I was a member of the vast army of secretly disappointed and disenchanted single women who put on their brave faces each day and pretend that this is how they want life to be.  Hanging out with “the girls” on the weekends, watching inane romantic comedies, eating Styrofoam-like air-popped popcorn, drinking diet coke, and talking about how much fun we’re having without any guys around.  But then I would go home to my bland apartment that was pretty much a dead ringer for Peter’s apartment on “Office Space”, except that this was before Peter.  There was a lot of beige and way too much particle board.

That’s when my true feelings would fight their way to the surface.  I’d light up a Marlboro red (don’t worry, dear friends, I gave them up long ago), put this song on the turntable, and let Bonnie lead me in a cathartic expression of thwarted hopes and dreams.  It was sort of a bluesy version of the “All By Myself” scene in Bridget Jones’ Diary, except that this was before Bridget.

This song was written by Chris Smither and adapted to a woman’s point of view in Bonnie Raitt’s version.  If you listen to Bonnie’s version first, then Mr. Smither’s, it makes a sort of “call and response”, which is fun.

For everyone reading this post that can identify with my story, I hope you find that dream guy or girl.  Unless you are too busy with graduate school and working and want to put love on the back burner.  I understand that completely.  Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.

And now for “the response”.  Ladies and gentlemen – the amazing Chris Smither.

Any thoughts or comments?  Please share! 



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8 responses to “Like a Man: A Call and Response

  1. So much I want to write in response to this lovely post, Marie. But I’ll control myself: it’s your article. Nevertheless…
    * Bonnie Raitt: Singer, song-chooser, guitarist, collaborator. Fab.
    * Even though her 70s albums are a little patchy – it’s like she’s restlessly moving between musical towns – none are without value.
    * The 90s renaissance albums (post JL Hooker duet) are terrific.
    * Never heard Chris Smithers before; great picking. The pairing of the songs is brilliant.
    * Smithers’ clip shows the best ever use of particle board.

  2. I got a little burnt out on some of Bonnie’s songs years ago – they got overplayed horribly around here. I still love this bluesy number though.
    Chris Smither is mainly a songwriter. He’s one heck of a picker, right?
    Oh, and always feel free to add any comments you wish to make! I love discussing music and the many ways that it touches our lives. In fact, that’s really the whole “theme” of my blog. It’s taken me a few months to figure that out. 🙂

    • That’s the thing about blues, isn’t it? It underpins so much of what we enjoy in rock and pop, but often it seems the closer to the motherlode the more timeless the performance. On ‘Give it up’ Bonnie acknowledges the departed Fred McDowell. Think I’ll play some now.

      • I agree absolutely – the blues never sound dated and those songs always seem to hit us right where we live, so to speak. I like many different kinds of music, but I definitely have a “blues leaning”. I’ll eventually do a post about my favorite blues club here in Mississippi. 🙂

  3. Another interesting post. Love often comes when we least expect it. What’s the saying? ‘Stop looking for love and it will find you.’
    I like Bonnie Rait a lot. Good choice of track here.

  4. Hi Jamie, Bonnie is quite an impressive lady, isn’t she? Especially with the old bottleneck slide. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  5. Pingback: No Neutral Ground: Victim of Love | My Wild Surmise

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