Yeah, I should leave the young thing alone,I'd never really paid much attention to the lyrics of Ain't No Sunshine. It was just another one of those songs that I heard every so often. But one day, I was listening to a playlist that I'd put together of the sort of music that I listened to as a child, I began to realize that a lot of songs used similar phrasings to talk about things, when this didn't simply directly reference one another. The Rolling Stones had put together a compilation album of music that had influenced them, and when I listened to it, it became pretty clear to me that even when the Stones weren't directly making covers of older songs, they were unafraid to lift bits and pieces of them. And over the years, I'd started to notice that it wasn't only they that did this.
But ain't no sunshine when she's gone.
The general theme of Ain't No Sunshine is the longing for something that you know isn't good for you. And that lends the song a poignancy that I was unaware of before I'd carefully listened to the lyrics. And a level of universality. Because relationships aren't the only things that we want, that aren't good for us.