I have to admit something: it took me years to warm back up to this song, after a college professor ruined it for me. She used a cover of it as the background song to a video she had put together showing photographs of homeless people. I cannot for the life of me remember the point of that video or what she was trying to convey to us, but it was a class about politics or society or…something. The class was called “Person and Society”, and I really couldn’t tell you what the point of the class was at all, these many years later. It was one of three classes Wartburg College had at the time that were required of every student, summed up under the label “Foundational Studies”. This class might have been about political expression…or…hell, I don’t know. All I really recall from this class is this godawful video, and the fact that one of our textbooks was a ranty volume by a guy named Dinesh D’Souza. (Yeah…I know.)
So yeah, it took me quite a long time to warm up to this song again, and when I did, it was to the original, by Bill Withers. It really is quite a good song, after all — too good to be ruined by a weird A/V presentation in a college class.
Here’s “Lean On Me” by Bill Withers.