Useful

It’s Song Lyric Sunday! This time, Jim Adams has given us the prompt of brother/sister; children of the same parent. I chose Bill Withers, “Use Me.”


Lyrics

My friends feel it’s their appointed duty
They keep tryna tell me
All you want to do is use me
But my answer, yeah to all that use me stuff
I wanna spread the news
That if it feels this good getting used
Oh, you just keep on using me
Until you use me up
Until you use me up

My brother sit me right down and he talked to me
He told me that I ought not to let you just walk on me
And I’m sure he meant well
Yeah, but when our talk was through
I said, brother, if you only knew
You’d wish that you were in my shoes
You just keep on using me
Until you use me up
Until you use me up

Sometimes, it’s true
You really do abuse me
You get me in a crowd of high-class people
And then you act real rude to me
But, oh baby, baby, baby, baby
When you love me, I can’t get enough
I wanna spread the news
That if it feels this good getting used
Girl, you just keep on using me
Until you use me up
Until you use me up
Talkin’ ’bout you usin’ people
It all depends on what you do
It ain’t too bad the way you’re usin’ me
‘Cause I sure am usin’ you to do the things you do
To do the things you do

The Story

Use Me” is a song, composed and originally recorded by Bill Withers, which was included on his 1972 album Still Bill. It was his second-biggest hit in the United States, released in September 1972, and later reaching No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.[1] It was kept from No. 1 by both: “Ben” by Michael Jackson and “My Ding-a-Ling” by Chuck Berry.[2] “Use Me” also peaked at No. 2 on the soul chart for two weeks.[3] Withers performed the song on Soul Train on November 4, 1972.[4] Billboard ranked it as the No. 78 song for 1972.[5] The song was certified Gold by the RIAA.[6] The song is noted for its repeated bass figure which is heard alongside a complex rhythm in the percussion.

Music critic Robert Christgau called “Use Me” “one of the few knowledgeable songs about sex our supposedly sexy music has ever produced”, featuring a “cross-class attraction” in its narrative.[7]

Grace Jones covered the song – with a reggae-influenced arrangement – on her 1981 album Nightclubbing and subsequently released the song as a single.

 

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