Remembering Bobby Womack: His death lifts the lid off my heart

Remembering Bobby Womack: His death lifts the lid off my heart
Bobby Womack's Fact of Life was my favorite song of all.

Death is inevitable. We know this. But there are some people when you hear about their passing, it just hits you hard. Bobby Womack is one of those people for me.  I never knew him personally, never met the man, but his music was an integral part of my upbringing and the psychology I have about men and relationships. Long before Steve Harvey's "Think Like A Man, Act Like A Woman," Bobby Womack was teaching us how to act right, respect each other, and love our brothers and sisters. Like Marvin Gaye did in his album "What's Going On," Womack also encouraged us to think about our actions. No one could croon us to a higher consciousness like them.

My father wasn't much on talking, but he demanded silence while Bobby Womack's music played just like he did when Jesse Jackson preached his sermons on Operation Push on Saturday mornings. I believe his music was therapeutic for my father. For me, it was as instructive as Sunday morning gospel. mean just listen to "Woman's Gotta Have it," one of my favorites. Men from any class, culture, or color can learn how to treat a woman right from this song alone. The instructions he gave us were simple and timeless

Do the things that keeps the smile on her face

Say the things that make her feel better every day

They you got to stay on your P's and Q's

If you don't, the woman you can easily lose

There are so many of his songs of his that I loved. "Lookin For  A Love" made me imagine what life must have been like down South, because that beat and harmony had a southern twang that made me want collard greens, fried chicken, and corn bread. I was sure he could find his love in Mississippi somewhere.

Out of all the songs, my absolute favorite is "Facts of Life" because that song just took me to a place of understanding about him,  and about men, and about life. When that song played and I was in the car with my father, or in the backyard with him, or in the basement with him having a drink playing his album, I felt like a learned about my daddy, a man I really know very little about--so Bobby Womack gave us a history. I created memories about my father through Womack's music, even though my dad wasn't a musician, those lyrics became shared experiences for us. I knew those lyrics were speaking to my father in a special way, and it was doing the same for me too.

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Tweet with me @ElanaInspires

I actually thought my father could've written "Harry Hippie" because my father had no problem helping people, but you had to be in a position to receive it.  My father helped those who helped themselves. With its anthem sounding melody "Sha La La La...", my father was like Bobby.

I'd like to help a man when he's down

But I can't help ya Harry

If you wanna sleep on the ground

Sorry Harry, you're too much weight

To carry around

Another reason I loved Bobby Womack so much was that he sounded like a man I thought of as my second father, my dad's good friend, and our next door neighbor on the South side for over twenty years, Joe Taylor. I still miss Joe and my dad so much. It hurts that I can't just drive over to 93rd Street for a barbecue, or the world's largest slice of watermelon that Joe always had for me. Those were special men to me, and I treasure their memories forever.   Like the men Bobby sang about in "Facts of Life" they were always there for me, even when, and especially when, the sun went down.

I could go on and on about all of Bobby Womack's music. I mean, I haven't even touched on "If You Think You're Lonely Now," a song that came out when I was in the 8th grade.  I learned right then and there that there was nothing so impenetrable than a nighttime loneliness. You might be able to make it through the day, but things get real different at night. Bobby was good at putting something on your mind to think about about. "Just wait until tonight girl."

I was 14 when that song flooded the airwaves, and now, thirty years later, the memories I've worked to pack away so nicely just come flooding back over me reminding me of my precious time on 93rd Street waking up and learning of the death of Bobby Womack. I miss my Daddy and Joe so much, but I thank God I have Bobby Womack's music that will live forever, keeping all of them alive,and near and dear to my heart always.

Thank you for your music Bobby Womack.

May all of you Rest In Peace.



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    Elana Anthony

    I am a wife and mother blessed to have six daughters who fill my home with love and laughter. My passion is writing and teaching, but most especially inspiring people to live healthy lives in my faith-filled fitness classes. My dream is to have my own faith and fitness TV show where people from all the world collectively join together on our "temple" building project of enjoying optimal health. I am a certified group fitness instructor by the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA), and earned graduate degrees in Writing from DePaul University, in addition to a degree in Exercise Science and Health Promotion from the California University of Pennsylvania. I have seen and experienced the hand of God work and move in my life, and consider it an honor and blessing to be saved to serve.

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