…who are you holding?
It’s a question Bobby Womack plaintively asks at the outset of If You Think You’re Lonely Now – one of the great sexist soul anthems of all time. If you think you’re lonely now : wait until tonight girl. This is his somewhat chilly advice to his laydee, a laydee who is ‘telling him what she wants, what she needs, and telling him to go and and get it for her.’ The laydee’s attitude comes with an inbuilt problem: Girl, I can’t be in two places at one t-i-m-e. Quite. Lyrics aside, one of the other great things about the song is that it seems to come in half-way through an intro. It’s worth a click just to catch that. I linked to one of those static* you tube clips: all the live versions are appalling, which is no surprise: I caught Bobby Womack at the Hammersmith Odeon in the mid-eighties – he was one of those infuriating performers who could never just do a song, he always had to segue into something else halfway through, or else start getting on his knees and testifying (to be fair, testifying is inherent to this track, but he’d do it absolutely anywhere and everywhere). I went back to the Odeon the following year hoping for better, but it was just the same. There was a lot of dope and cocaine involved in all this malarky, of course (his drugs song, Harry Hippy, is well worth checking out, as we Dee-Jays say).
It’s cold up in them dunes, but we ain’t lonely cos we get back before nightfall.
* (Note for makemeadiva: the static picture changes to an intriguing pipe-smoking-on-horseback shot on about three minutes).