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Bill Withers Quotes

William Harrison Bill Withers Jr

Bill Withers quotes: the late hitmaker’s ornery outlook.

“There’s a life you have to run. And you do the best you can. And hopefully, as a human being, you improve.”

“You have to put yourself on the line. And to put yourself on the line, you have to at least think you can do it, you know.”

“People get stuck in certain situations and they wanna do something else but they’re afraid. Courage is not not being afraid; it’s what do you do in spite of being afraid? Fear disguises itself as anger and stuff, you know. Ego will make you call fear something other than what it is. I mean it’s not very macho to say I’m scared. Waiting for some guy with a cigar to come and discover you is not gonna happen. You have to go discover them.”

“I feel that it is healthier to look out at the world through a window than through a mirror. Otherwise, all you see is yourself and whatever is behind you.”

“Sometimes in our lives we all have pain. We all have sorrow. But if we are wise we know that there’s always tomorrow.”

“My real life was when I was just a working guy. You know, it’s okay to head out for Wonderful. But on your way to Wonderful, you’re gonna have to pass through All Right. And when you get to All Right, take a good look around, and get used to it, because that may be as far as you’re gonna go.”

“If you start sweet, then you’ve got somewhere to go.”

“Sellout—I’m not crazy about the word. We’re all entrepreneurs. To me, I don’t care if you own a furniture store or whatever, the best sign you can put up is SOLD OUT.”

“Value the people who value you.”

“I was the first black milkman in Santa Clara County, California—one of my jobs before I found fame.”

“I grew up in the age of Barbra Streisand, Aretha Franklin, Nancy Wilson. It was a time where a fat, ugly broad that could sing had value. Now everything is about image. It’s not poetry. This just isn’t my time.”

“I wouldn’t know a pop chart from a Pop Tart.”

“You gonna tell me the history of the blues? I am the goddam blues. Look at me. Sh*t. I’m from West Virginia, I’m the first man in my family not to work in the coal mines, my mother scrubbed floors on her knees for a living, and you’re going to tell me about the goddam blues because you read some book written by John Hammond? Kiss my ass.”

“I was a young black man from a mining town able to bring my songs to the world.”

“I’m not into false humility. So certain things you don’t try if you don’t think you can do it. So obviously I thought I could do it, because I went through a great effort to do it. If I was gonna write anything longer than a song, I would write about fear.”

“What few songs I wrote during my brief career, there ain’t a genre that somebody didn’t record them in. I’m not a virtuoso, but I was able to write songs that people could identify with. I don’t think I’ve done bad for a guy from Slab Fork, West Virginia.”

“My first goal was, I didn’t want to be a cook or a steward. So I went to aircraft mechanic school. I still had to prove to people that thought I was genetically inferior that I wasn’t too stupid to drain the oil out of an airplane.”

“I write and sing about whatever I am able to understand and feel.”

“Hopefully the music that I made is useful to somebody.”

“Don’t cheat yourself out of music. Music is one thing. The music business is another thing. Save enough of yourself to keep living anyway. Save enough joy in your heart to enjoy it. Let your reward be in the doing of it.”

“I’ve always been serious that way, trying to evolve to a more conscious state. Funny thing about that though. You tweak yourself looking for more love, less lust, more compassion, less jealousy. You keep tweaking, keep adjusting those knobs until you can no longer find the original settings. In some sense, the original settings are exactly what I’m looking for: a return to the easygoing guy I was before my world got complicated, the nice guy who took things as they came and laughed so hard the blues would blow away in the summer wind.”

“It was important to me, as best I could, to try to wind up with a life that had some stability and some dignity in it. I made some choices earlier that I wanted to be a whole person.”

“I got some responsibilities that require that I be available. I never had the benefit of a formal education, but I’ve always wanted to better myself. I can speak the language. I can write it, make it rhyme for you, if you want to. You know what I mean? Somebody said, ‘Education is the sum total of what you know.’ That’s everything from tying your shoe to whether you can do quadratic equations or not. So, I’m not saying this should be a template for everybody, but that’s just the kind of person that makes sense for me to be.”

“I’m like pennies in your pocket. You know they’re there, but you don’t think about them.”

“No one can fill those of your needs that you won’t let show. Please swallow your pride.”

“I was wiser at 30 than I am now. My judgment was better at 12. If you look out the windshield of a Hyundai or a Bentley, you see the same road.”

“Thoreau said, ‘Most men live lives of quiet desperation.’ I would like to know how it feels for my desperation to get louder.”

“I’m not some kind of mindless troubadour. You know? I have an intellect I have to manage, I have some thoughts I have to manage, I have a life I have to maintain. I want to know where my stuff is. You know? I want to know who I am. I don’t want to be some simple-minded blues boy. You can bleep this out: ‘Kiss my ass with that sh*t.’ So I’m doing the best I can. To grow and improve my lineage as a species.”

“We’re going through growing pains. It used to be Bubba lived next door with his pit bull. Now, it’s Dr. So-and-So. They’re going to want more of the service that is provided now.”

“Probably. I should have been better. But all things considered, I did the best I could.”

“This is not the age for showing off. I’m just some old guy in the checkout line at the Home Depot, which is fine with me.”

“The same love that made me laugh makes my cry.”

“Men have problems admitting to losing things. I think women are much better at that. So, once in my life, I wanted to forgo my own male ego and admit to losing something, so I came up with ‘Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone. It’s not warm when she’s away. Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone. And she’s always gone too long. Anytime she goes away.'”

“You just call on me brother when you need a hang. 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. l’ll help you carry on. We all need somebody to lean on.”

Cory Johnson: your momma’s neighbor’s side chick’s last Uber Eats delivery guy’s third-favorite blogger. Here’s how he makes millions of dollars blogging without being bothered.