Song Spotlight: “Love Is”

Hand-drawn heart in black pen, with the pen that made the mark showing at the bottom of the image. Label reads "R&B"
  • Mood: Supportive
  • Themes: Love, Community
  • Tempo: Moderate
  • Genre/Style: Funk/Soul

Bill Withers is known for his Grammy-winning hits including “Ain’t No Sunshine,” “Lean On Me,” and “Just the Two of Us.” However, his songs of support and connection to those around us do not stop there. “Love Is” explores a variety of things that love can be.

One element of love explained by the song is that love is not only the things that you can give in love, like sharing and caring, but that love is receiving things from others too. When we spend time with each other, there are opportunities to show our love.

We can show love by sharing, and assisting someone when they need it or out of spontaneous compassion. It is also an opportunity to recognize that the other person is also contributing to the relationship by expressing a need to you, someone close who can support them.

This concept is close to our hearts here at Soundscaping Source. When we lead music therapy sessions for individuals and groups, we are not just filling a need for music and connection. We also receive the gift of connecting with each person we work with and getting to know their rich life experiences. The same idea relates to care partners – be it family, friends, or service providers – who work at home or in long-term care. When both individuals involved in care have opportunities to meet their needs or engage in moments of spontaneous activities and joy, well-being improves on both sides.

Our spotlight is focused on this song as it explains the variety of things that love can be. 

Here are some of the lyrics:

Love is caring

And love is needing

Love is sharing

And love is feeling

Love is (love is caring)

Love is (love is needing)

Love is (love is sharing)

Don’t you know that love (love is feeling).

This is a great song to use in a 1:1 setting or group and would go well with a collection of songs that explore the concept of love or community, is a great opportunity for songwriting, or can be used as a transition into group discussion.

Try This:

Theme: This song would fit well into a collection of songs about love or community.  Other complementary songs may include “Lean on Me,” “Get Together,” and “You’ve Got a Friend.

Have a discussion about the things that your group loves. You can start with the small things that they love and expand to find more abstract concepts. 

Read the lyrics of the song and discuss what Withers describes love as.

Encourage the group to explore what individual group members believe love is. Prompt the group to pick words that can go into the following fill in the blank songwriting adaptation. You will need 8 different words, actions or things that describe what love is. 

Love is ____ (1)

And love is ____ (2)

Love is ____ (3)

And Love is ______ (4)

Love is (love is _____response 1)

Love is (love is ________response 2)

Love is (love is ______ response 3)

Don’t you know that love ( love is ____ response 4)

Say that love

Is just taking some time

Easing your mind

Don’t you know that love (Love is ______response 5)

Say that love (love is ________ response 6)

Love is sharing a smile (love is ______ 7)

Every once in a  while (love is ______ 8)

Don’t you know that love (love is _____ 8)

Feel it coming down all around

Tell me! Wouldn’t you like to feel it, feel it

Feel it coming down all around

Love is lending a hand

Love is needing and helping your fellow man

Love is sharing

 Oh Don’t you know that love (love is _______ 1)

Love (love is _________2)

Love (love is _______3)

Don’t you want to feel it

Feel it coming down all around

Tell me! Wouldn’t you like to feel it, feel it

Feel it coming down all around

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