Ode To A Black Man

Album: Solo In Soho (1980)


  • Running to 4 minutes 6 seconds, this Phil Lynott solo composition is a lot stronger rhythmically than lyrically, and in spite of its title, there is no certainty as to whom it is about. Certainly Stevie Wonder won't have taken too kindly to the rant "I don't want no songs for plants".

    The problem is that although Lynott was in every sense a rebel, he was neither a political animal nor a paid up member of an "oppressed" minority. In spite of being the only son of a white Catholic single mother at a time when even mere illegitimacy was taboo, he had a rather comfortable upbringing between Manchester and Dublin, moving in exclusively white circles, and doing as he damn well pleased, a philosophy that led to his death at the age of thirty-six.
  • "Ode To A Black Man" was released as the B Side of a far superior Lynott tribute song, "King's Call". >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England, for above 2

Comments: 1

  • Alpha from Washington, DcWow! When you refer to his upbringing, "comfortable" in what way? Unless you grew up as an Afro in a Euro community I doubt seriously you can judge exactly how comfortable the brother was. Also "doing what he damn well pleased" is a far cry from the fact that he was a drug addict, which by the way is a disease. And unless you've spoken with Stevie Wonder directly you probably shouldn't claim to know what he would or wouldn't take to kindly about. The line was funny but apparently was beyond your sense of humor. This so called "song fact" is nothing but opinion with the only exception being the amount of time the song lasts. What does "inspite of the title" mean anyway?
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Martin PageSongwriter Interviews

With Bernie Taupin, Martin co-wrote the #1 hits "We Built This City" and "These Dreams." After writing the Pretty Woman song for Go West, he had his own hit with "In the House of Stone and Light."

90210 to Buffy to Glee: How Songs Transformed TVSong Writing

Shows like Dawson's Creek, Grey's Anatomy and Buffy the Vampire Slayer changed the way songs were heard on TV, and produced some hits in the process.

Gary Louris of The JayhawksSongwriter Interviews

The Jayhawks' song "Big Star" has special meaning to Gary, who explains how longevity and inspiration have trumped adulation.

Female Singers Of The 90sMusic Quiz

The ladies who ruled the '90s in this quiz.

Waiting For The Break of Day: Three Classic Songs About All-NightersSong Writing

These Three famous songs actually describe how they were written - late into the evening.

WeezerFact or Fiction

Did Rivers Cuomo grow up on a commune? Why did they name their albums after colors? See how well you know your Weezer in this Fact or Fiction.