Monday, October 12, 2015

Second Monday Music: A lyrical inspiration

When a man loves a woman

By Morris Dean

Percy Sledge’s 1966 song, “When a Man Loves a Woman” has had a hold on me for weeks. The melody* has run through my mind so much, I’m wondering whether it’s more than a coincidence that the song came out the same year I met and married the woman who has been my wife for going-on 50 years. I figured I had to write another lyric for it. This is it:
When a man loves a woman,
he can’t keep his mind on nothing else.
When a man loves a woman,
nothing’s the same, everything’s changed.

When a woman charms a man,
she can’t do nothing wrong,
she’s a magnet drawing him
to his permanent home.

When a man meets a woman
he thinks was meant for him,
he wants to see where it will go
so he runs and grabs her hand.

When a woman meets a man
who runs up and grabs her hand,
she knows that he’s the one,
and wants for life to come and take them.

When a man and a woman
meet and find that they can talk,
they know that they should be together
and that’s the way it ought to be.

When a man meets a woman
and he just wants to see her smile
and hear her laugh, and hear her talk,
he wants to always be with her.

When a woman meets a man
she feels is very special,
she wants to see what life unfolds
for the two of them together.

When a man meets a woman,
and a woman meets a man
and both would do anything for the other,
they marry and walk along together.

When a man loves a woman
and a woman loves the man
deep down in their souls,
they give each other everything they have.

When a woman loves a man
and the man loves the woman
and they’re equally committed,
they want to let their hearts lead the way.
* To refresh your memory of the melody, here’s a recording of the original lyric sung by Mr. Sledge himself:

Copyright © 2015 by Morris Dean


  1. I didn't let on, but about half an hour before this column was published last Monday evening, I read it at a wedding. Note that I say "read"; I didn't attempt to sing it. But I plan to revise it line by line and work with a composer/arranger to set it to string music that I HOPE I will be up to actually singing one day, perhaps at a first anniversary party.

  2. Morris, thanks for your sweet update of Percy Sledge's bitter-sweet song When A Man Loves A Woman. Your link gives a heart-rending version of Sledge who is in agony of fear that the woman he has fallen in love to is bad, taking all his extravagent gifts and will probably drop him.
    It's a great rendition which I now know why I forgot. It is too sad.

    1. Rolf, your distinction between "sweet" and "bitter-sweet" is well taken. I was aware when revising (or extending) the lyric for a wedding of two constructive, committed individuals, that I was avoiding the dark elements of what I thought of as Sledge's lyrics. I say that because your sending me a link to the lyric occasioned my noticing, for the first time (even though I had read the lyric several times), that it was written, not by Mr. Sledge, but by Andrew James Wright and Calvin Houston Lewis! Thank you.

  3. I loved hearing the song. Wish I could download it to a disc.
    I think I'll buy it! I hope I can find it.