Waiting for a Strong, Strong Man
I’m an independent, deceptively scrappy, and unyieldingly pragmatic woman. Heck, I’ve been that way since I was a little girl. I’m hard-wired this way.
Nonetheless…y’all. I’m tired of perpetually being single. Of doing everything. Of being strong. Of always being self-reliant. Girl power, though well-intentioned, can be over-rated.
As a single chick, it’s out of fashion to admit this: how exhausting life can be with no one by your side.
Recently, I had a taste of being in a relationship and it felt really good. Not perfect. But really, really good.
It’s in purgatory at the moment (at best), so I’m still licking my wounds. I’ll be fine either way. I always am. [Update: yep, it’s over. I’m disappointed but fine.]
But I’m going to allow myself a little indulgence today. Though each of these songs shares very little, there is a common thread that unites all of them. These songs are unabashedly about the guy who fights for his woman.
No hesitancy. No wavering. No uncertainty.
This isn’t about physical strength but emotional fortitude. Not co-dependency. Just a strong man that can be counted on.
Maybe it’s cliche. And maybe I should apologize for that, but I’ll acknowledge there are times where I want THIS guy. The guy who knows who he is and what he wants. The guy who wants…me. Not for a few dates or a few weeks, but a good long while.
He might not exist for me. But it’s lovely to entertain that thought sometimes. And today, in this moment, I need to flirt with the idea that he is out there.
Well, this IS me. So, heck, yeah! Why shouldn’t Wham! start this thing off?
Edge of Heaven was my first tape back in the day, so I am well-versed in every nuance of “I’m Your Man.” I’ve listened to it in my bedroom, on road trips, and in middle age.
Soaring, confident, and smile-inducing every single time.
“Let Him Run Wild” and “I’m Waiting for the Day” are my two favorite Beach Boys songs.
This song grabs me from the first moment. I rarely notice the drums in songs, but the drumming on this tune is some of my favorite of any song.
(Holy smokes! In researching this song, I learned it was Jim Gordon. For years I had assumed that Wrecking Crew member, Hal Blaine, was the drummer. Oops! So glad to have this correction.)
Brian Wilson ended up being dissatisfied with the vocals on this one, so he re-recorded the entire song using only his voice. (Even then, he was still unhappy with the vocals.) It’s one of the rare times I’m going to question Brian Wilson’s musicianship because I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the vocal delivery on this song!
In fact, the reason I’ve selected this song is the delivery of those final lines. Brian is uncharacteristically defiant. This is a guy who knows what he wants and is going to make it happen. This guy is going to get the girl. His confidence is sexy.
I stumbled upon Lyle Lovett by accident. My sophomore year at FSU someone loaned me a tape with Jackson Browne on one side. I flipped it over out of curiosity — there was Mr. Lovett and His Large Band.
“Cowboy Man” captures the jubilant swagger of Texas swing. Stetsons, prairies, and Cinderella collide to create an unlikely fairy tale.
Little did I know when I first heard Lyle Lovett’s unique voice that I was destined for Texas just a few years later.
I dated a cowboy or two. They were intrigued by my slightly warped southern belle-ness. And I was intrigued by the myth of the guy with a big truck and even bigger accent (or maybe I have that reversed). We were mismatched but we got into a bit of trouble, too. No regrets!
A little too on the nose? Perhaps. But what can I say?
“The Fighter” might be a catchy country-meets-pop duet by chart-toppers Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood but the messaging always resonated with me. I don’t need someone to fight all my battles, but, yeah, a little help sounds really, really nice.
I struggled with where to slide in Jason Isbell’s “Cover Me Up,” but there was simply no way I was leaving this song off.
This is one of the most arresting love songs ever written.
Admission: I’m not really a big Jason Isbell fan. I saw him in Austin once to see what the hype was. I’ve never seen more hetero hipster dudes congregate in one place in my life!
Anyhoo, this song was worth the entire price of admittance. It’s a powerhouse of pain and vulnerability. The emotion he pours into this song is overwhelming. It’s hard to breathe listening to this. The intimacy he shares is astounding. It draws me in. Compels me. Simultaneously, it’s almost scary — there’s a part of me that can’t handle this much intensity. A part of me wants to turn away from this much emotion.
I’ve never experienced something like this. Could I even handle it? Perhaps not. I mean, I’m an INTJ for heaven’s sake! Nonetheless, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that there is a part of me that envies how much passion he shares in “Cover Me Up.”
This is not a mere song. It’s a piece of Jason’s soul. It guts me and moves me in a way no other song does.
I’m giggling. Um, no, Bonnie does not have ANY shame about music!
If loving “Lost Without You” is wrong, I do NOT want to be right!
Robin Thicke might have made some questionable decisions in recent years, but this song remains a favorite of mine. This song is soooo sexy. That falsetto. Yummy!
This song knocks me out with how direct and blunt it is. There’s nothing subtle here. I mean, in general, I prefer something more subdued but I acknowledge that a dash of this in-your-face desire is quite intoxicating.
I adore Rick Astley! For your viewing pleasure, today’s inspiration for my latest mixtape, “It Would Take a Strong, Strong Man” (duh)!
I saw Mr. Astley at Emo’s in Austin a few years ago. I had incorrectly assumed I’d be surrounded by middle-aged chicks. Au contraire! The crowd was totally random!
The concert was a blast. A dream come true for me. He sounds so great live, looks dapper, and I’m all about his British accent and self-deprecating quips.
Until her 40’s, Bonnie’s worst nightmare included writing and sharing personal stories publicly. At her friends’ suggestion, she bemusedly started Bonnie’s Mixed Tape on Medium in 2017. She remains shocked that anyone reads her stories and that P.S. I Love You, Assemblage, the Writing Cooperative, and the Ascent have published her work.
Bonnie loves all types of music, but really, really, really loves the 80s.
Thank you for reading this story
I know you are busy and have lots of ways you could be spending your time. you using your time to read my work means the world to me — my sincerest thanks!