Song Lyric Sunday — Soul Man

Helen Vahdati chose “soul” as her theme for this week’s Song Lyric Sunday prompt. No doubt that I’m not the only blogger who will pick “Soul Man” as their song choice.

“Soul Man” was written and composed by Isaac Hayes and David Porter in 1967. It was originally recorded by the soul duo of Sam & Dave (Sam Moore and Dave Prater). The song reached number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts in the US in 1967.

Isaac Hayes said that he got the idea for the song from watching the riots in Detroit on TV. It was said that if you put the word “soul” on the door of your business establishment, the rioters wouldn’t burn it. The word “soul” became a galvanizing kind of thing for African Americans, according to Hayes, and it had an effect of unity, it was said with a lot of pride.

Hayes said, “Why not write a tune called ‘Soul Man’? All you had to do was write about your personal experiences, because all African Americans in this country at the time had similar experiences. But we realized that in addition to being an African American experience, it was a human experience, and therefore it crossed over and became very commercial.”

When this song was written, there was no clear definition of a “Soul Man.” After Isaac Hayes came up with the title, David Porter wrote the rest of the lyrics based on what he thought a Soul Man would be like.

In November 1978, Dan Akroyd and John Belushi, calling themselves the “Blues Brothers,” performed the song as the “cold opener” of an episode of Saturday Night Live. It was later released as a single, which reached number 14 in February 1979.

Here are the lyrics to the song.

Comin’ to you on a dusty road
Good lovin’, I got a truck load
And when ya get it, huh, ya got some
So don’t worry, ’cause I’m comin’

I’m a soul man, wow
I’m a soul man
I’m a soul man, woah, heh
I’m a soul man
And that ain’t all, huh

Gots what I got the hard way
And I’ll make it better each and every day
So honey, don’t you fret, huh
‘Cause you ain’t seen uh, nothin’ yet

I’m a soul man, oh road
I’m a soul man, play it Steve
I’m a soul man, ha
I’m a soul man, oh

I was brought up on a side street, yes maam
I learned how to love before I could eat
I was educated from good stock
When I start lovin’, oh I can’t stop

I’m a soul man
I’m a soul man
I’m a soul man, yeah
I’m a soul man, look

Grab a rope and I’ll pull you in
Give you hope and be your only boyfriend
Yeah (yeah) yeah (yeah), uh

I’m talking about a
Soul man, I’m a
Soul man, and you
Soul man, aah
Soul man, hold on
Soul man, I’m a
Soul man, and you a
Soul man, and you’re a
Soul man, hold on

19 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday — Soul Man

    • Fandango November 11, 2018 / 8:53 am

      Just skimmed the surface compared with the insights you provide on your song/artist posts.

      Liked by 1 person

      • newepicauthor November 11, 2018 / 9:07 am

        Thanks, but you have many other topics to write about and I try to concentrate on specifics.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Marleen November 11, 2018 / 2:33 pm

        I know someone (white) whose dad drove him (along with his brother and mother) into cities to see the riots — for pretty much the opposite purpose.

        But I didn’t know this background for this song.

        Good to know.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. msjadeli November 11, 2018 / 9:26 am

    Very upbeat tune. I think of The Blues Brothers every time I hear it.

    Liked by 1 person

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