Just One Thing

In Compathy With Lily Hobbs

Yes, Mavis, Me Too

I saw Mavis Staples in concert last night at World Records in Bakersfield, California. I love her feisty spunk, gravelly voice and dimpled face. She was a Kennedy Center Honoree in 2014 and the broadcast of the award show was the first I’d heard of her. Researching and listening to her music, I fell in love. This photo was taken from her biography on Entertainment Weekly.

“Build A Bridge” from her new album, “If All I Was Was Black,” is a new favorite:

When I say my life matters
You can say yours does too
But I betcha never have to remind anyone
To look it at from your point of view

These lyrics caught my attention and inspired me with the following.

Yes, Mavis, Me Too

I never said my life matters, Mavis

But I’ve had to remind others

To Look at it from my point of view.


When the man flying high his flange

In Napa for all the world to see

Empowered the girls who opened their lips

And limbs for his pleasure

The ones he said made him rich

And delighted him

While he ordered from us more bricks without straw

And then cut the widow in her distress to pieces,


I indeed asked him

To look at it from my point of view.

He laughed, mocked, derided.

The next time I told him my point of view,

He thought his loud roar, red face and popping veins

Would scare me off.

But I saw he was just a senseless drunk,

And I’d seen greater rage before.


Mavis, he still had the power to take my wages,

To remove my livelihood, to send me into poverty.

He broke another widow and robbed an orphan.

Your life matters, Mavis.

Mine does too.

And we all must keep saying it

From our point of view.


Oh, you cuss around women and you don’t even know their names and you
Dumb enough to think that’ll make you a big ol man

“Respect Yourself,” Sung by Mavis Staples

Songwriters: Luther Thomas Ingram / Mack Rice