Womack the wise man of romance

SISGive it up to Bobby Womack, wise as an owl when it comes to romance. When dealing with a woman, nothing beats common sense.

In accord with that Old Chinese Proverb, ”Every woman that look good to you, brotha, — don’t matter how fine the gal might be — ain’t necessarily good for you.” Brotha Bobby, a.k.a The Preacher, if his word ain’t all the way gospel, his verse sure gets close.

Look. How you gon’ argue with ”I’m Through Trying to Prove my Love to You,” when the man soulfully intones, ”God, if He see that you don’t want something that’s good for you/He take it away and give it to somebody else”? Anybody with sense has to say, ”Amen.”

It happens so many times that you don’t miss your water ain’t ‘til the well run dry. Then, there’s ”I Can Understand It,” which has some cold poetry to it. With line, ”Somethin’ sweet as a candy bar/Like, girl to me, that’s what you are.” Later in the song comes cruel heartbreak: ”When I try my best to make you happy/Then, wake up early one mornin’ and find you packin’/No, no, no. You can’t make me understand it.”

But, wait, there’s from ”I Don’t Wanna Be Hurt By Ya Love Again,” the line, ”Love once took my heart, I can’t let it take my mind.” And, ”Hey Baby,” with, ”Girl, I really love you and I hate to see you cry/It’s just as hard for me to come home as it is to say goodbye/Try my best to give you everything you never had/But, you twist around everything I say just to make feel bad.” It is a true no-win situation.

Another original Bobby Womack killer, covered by Chaka Khan back when she was with Rufus ”(You’re Welcome) Stop On By” imparts wisdom good as gold. ”Girl, you’re welcome/Stop on by/ You know I’ll be here, baby, to dry your eyes/But, I’m gettin’ tired of being that second guy/Don’t you be no fool, baby. ‘Bout to lose your old stand-by.” And, nicely said, ”Don’t take for granted/Oh, I’ll always be/‘Cause there’s some woman somewhere who could truly need me.”

Go ahead, girl, if you want to, and miss your water once the well run dry. A favorite phrase of mine is when he just says, ”Think about it,” which he regularly advises. And, really, between you, me and the lamppost, how much romantic loss in our love lives could’ve been curtailed or forgone altogether with the application of some common sense.

Bobby doesn’t just pick on sistahs. He’s got more than a few cuts having women’s back. As in ”Holdin’ On (To My Baby’s Love)”: ”They say she ain’t no good for you/Still, I’m holdin’ on to my baby’s love/They say they quit the gal/’Cause she’ll never be true/Still, I’m holdin’ on to my baby’s love.” And, ”She’s the talk all over town. But, she was there when y’all put her down.” Case closed on that.

Then, there’s ”Secrets,” which has to be one of the best written tributes to a lady’s love. With lines like, ”What you put in your sweet kisses/Such a delicious mystery/Girl, you know how to make my cookie crumble/When you hold me close and do all those things you do to me/Just like some good old Kentucky Fried Chicken/And, oh, if it was good enough to be finger-lickin’/Oh, she must’ve had secret.”

Alright, it’s not the most delicate poetry in the world. But, tell me there’s not a woman alive who doesn’t want her man to feel that way about what goes on between behind closed doors. What about, ”A Woman’s Gotta Have It” which his buddy James Taylor covered, ”Don’t take for granted the smile on her face/Check a little closer/You might find a tear trace/Maybe she never said a word/But, she’s got to know her voice is heard.”

You’ll hear Bobby, time and time again, throughout his songs, throw in his trademark phrase, ”Think it over.” Not bad advice. How many times have you made a rash decision about somebody you wanted to hold close but wound up pushing away? Because you didn’t stop, sit down and use some sense.

Bottom line, how can you not relate when he entreats, ”Please, please, answer love if it ever come knockin’ at your door/’Cause what’s out there knockin’, the world don’t give enough of.”

For a strong, simple message that hits your love life right where you live, listen to — okay, say it with me — Bobby Womack.


Dwight Hobbes welcomes reader responses to P.O. Box 50357, Mpls., 55403.