The World According to Keitho

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Posts Tagged ‘Marvin Gaye’

I am Woman

Posted by keithosaunders on July 1, 2011

I am woman, hear me roar
In numbers too big to ignore
And I know too much to go back an’ pretend
’cause I’ve heard it all before
And I’ve been down there on the floor
No one’s ever gonna keep me down again

Oh yes I am wise
But it’s wisdom born of pain
Yes, I’ve paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to, I can do anything
I am strong (strong)
I am invincible (invincible)
I am woman

We look back on this song, written and sung by Helen Reddy, and we think, “wow, is that corny.”  Yes it is corny, but it’s a well-written song with a decent melody, and for its time it was fairly subversive.  You can’t deny that it’s catchy — I’m still humming it 40 years later, and I remember most of the lyrics.

But think about it…this song could never be written today.  It would never become a hit.  It is devoid of irony.  These days a song has to be cynical, ironic, and “hip.”  Can you imagine Lady Gaga singing something as obvious as I Am Woman?  Personally, I can’t imagine her carrying any tune, but that’s besides the point. 

When you consider the early 70s, it wasn’t as if the music was dominated by Lawrence Welk.  The Beatles had already come and gone, but the Stones were till going strong, as was Led Zeppelin, Marvin Gaye, and Stevie Wonder, all of whom could be heard at various times on top 40 radio.  These days hit radio is dominated by artists who rely on auto-tune, droning one-chord vamps, with robotic [non] grooves. 

Personally I would welcome a little corn.  I hate that things have to be so contrived and vacuum-packed.  So where are the corny message songs of today?

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