Week 201: “Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers


The first time I heard this song was in this classic scene from “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”.

I had no idea that it was the same voice that sang Lean On Me. For all I knew, Will Smith wrote it as an excuse to do something funny on his show. But now that I’m 20 years older and (?) wiser, I can hear this song for what it is: a simple, soulful song about wanting to be with someone who’s far away.

What makes this a beautiful song:

1. I love the way it starts. Voice, bass, and a hint of acoustic guitar in the background.

2. I love the way the second verse lights up with the big strings and those funkyfunky drums.

3. I love the way everything drops out but the drums and the voice for that classic “I know, I know, I know…” The Fresh Prince may have  kicked the jukebox at that point to stop the record from skipping, but I could listen to it forever.

Recommended listening activity:

Waiting patiently.

Buy it here.