Monday, July 21, 2008

Always a Woman

click for BBC review of The Stranger: 30th Anniversary Edition

Words and music by BILLY JOEL
From the 1977 album THE STRANGER

Billy Joel found himself being saddled with accusations of mysogyny because of this song, by individuals who thought that the title was "She's only a woman". It seems that his sin was to have the dexterity to be able to describe a man's experience of loving a flesh-and-blood woman with the darkness as well as the splendour that entails, as opposed to expressing solidarity with whoever could best deconstruct an oppressive patriarchal narrative which, more often than not, didn't exist in the first place. Joel was surprised that this song was a hit because of its unusual time-signature, but his fans weren't surprised. It was the best of songs from a songwriter who demands nothing but the best from himself.

She can kill with a smile
She can wound with her eyes
She can ruin your faith with her casual lies
And she only reveals what she wants you to see
She hides like a child
But shes always a woman to me

She can lead you to love
She can take you or leave you
She can ask for the truth
But she'll never believe you
And she'll take what you give her, as long as its free
She steals like a thief
But shes always a woman to me


Oh-she takes care of herself
She can wait if she wants
Shes ahead of her time
Oh-and she never gives out
And she never gives in
She just changes her mind

And she'll promise you more
Than the garden of eden
Then shell carelessly cut you
And laugh while youre bleedin'
But she'll bring out the best
And the worst you can be
Blame it all on yourself
Cause shes always a woman to me


She is frequently kind
And she's suddenly cruel
She can do as she pleases
She's nobodys fool

But she can't be convicted
Shes earned her degree
And the most she will do
Is throw shadows at you
But shes always a woman to me

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