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Learn The Art Of Seduction With Don Williams “I Wouldn’t Be a Man”

Don Williams + I Wouldn't Be A Man
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In 1987, country music’s Gentle Giant, Don Williams, dropped a romantic, wistful, straight-ahead country cut track titled “I Wouldn’t Be a Man,” and it didn’t disappoint. Well, Don Williams never did. 

Released as a single from Williams’ album Traces, the song became a commercial success. It reached number nine on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart in the United States, earning a spot in the long list of Don Williams’ chart hits. And that was no surprise as his smooth baritone vocals and the song’s sensual lyrics deeply resonated with audiences.

“I Wouldn’t Be a Man” was written by two songwriting powerhouses, Mike Reid and Rory Michael Bourke. Reid, as the Nashville Songwriters Foundation described him, was a “dominant force in commercial country music of the 1980s and early ’90s as he was on the gridiron in the 1960s and ’70s.” And this track was one of the hits he notched in the ‘80s that also went on to become a radio staple. Bourke, on the other hand, was named ASCAP’s Songwriter of the Year thrice. He also had a string of Grammy nominations for Country Song of the Year. 

So, it wasn’t a stretch to say that the song was really deserving of its success. And even if it didn’t make it to the charts, it would still be one of the greatest songs in country music. 

Meaning Behind the Song

“I Wouldn’t Be a Man” is a heartfelt ballad that explores themes of sensual love and vulnerability. 

In the first verse of the song, Don Williams opens with a vivid description of a woman under the moonlight and how there was no holding back. He then smoothly eases into the chorus, saying exactly the reason why: Because he wouldn’t be a man if he didn’t feel that way to his woman. He sang, “I’d have to be from another planet / Where love doesn’t exist / I wouldn’t be a man if I didn’t feel like this.”

By the second verse, the sensual tension increases as he sings of his passion flowing as his lover secretly touches him. Then, finally, in the third verse, he reaches that sweet height of pleasure.

Musically, “I Wouldn’t Be a Man” features a traditional country arrangement, with acoustic guitars, fiddle, and pedal steel guitar creating a melodic backdrop for Williams’ smooth baritone vocals. The song’s melody is emotive and heartfelt, perfectly complementing the seductive nature of the lyrics. 

Immerse yourself in wistful romance in Don Williams’ “I Wouldn’t Be a Man” in the video below. You can also check out Billy Dean’s 1996 bluesy version of the song and Josh Turner’s 2010 rendition

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