When A Man Loves A Woman

Lyrics: Robert Hunter
Music: Robert Hunter

A Robert Hunter song, not to be confused with the better-known song of the same title recorded by Percy Sledge and others.

When you cross the sea of emotion
In a boat with no passenger side
Throwing all sense of precaution
To the waves to be lapped with the tide
With the west pouring sun in your eyes
Like the note of a bell from the blue
Granting keys to the moon and the sky
And it means less than nothing to you

Chorus
When a man loves a woman
The way I love you
Nothing else matters
The way that you do

When you sweat from the face for a living
To retain some semblence of pride
And the work of your hands is a highway
Or a car in which you'll never ride
When the management threatens a layoff
And the union is striking for rights
And your benefit claim is rejected
Though the pain wakes you up in the nights

[chorus]

When you fail to live up to your promise
And you falter so far from your dreams
And you have no distinction or honors
And your best coat is frayed at the seams (note 1)
As long as your lovelight is burning
The house can collapse to the ground
As long as the world is turning
As long as she is still around

[chorus]

When a man writes a love song
And I don't mean a construct of rhyme
But a couple of lines where his heart talks
Seemingly perfectly clear at the time
Offers it up for your favor
Instead of a diamond bouquet
Don't ask what he means by forever
Accept that he means it today

[chorus]
Notes
(1) Hunter sings "And your patience is frayed at the seams" in the version on "Liberty"

Robert Hunter Recordings
     Date Album
     1988 Liberty