Sunday 19 February 2012

Billy Joel: She's Always A Woman

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 she's 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 it's free
Yeah, she steals like a thief
But she's always a woman to me

Oh--she takes care of herself
She can wait if she wants
She's 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 she'll carelessly cut you
And laugh while you're bleedin'
But she'll bring out the best
And the worst you can be
Blame it all on yourself
Cause she's always a woman to me


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

She is frequently kind
And she's suddenly cruel
She can do as she pleases
She's nobody's fool
And she can't be convicted
She's earned her degree
And the most she will do
Is throw shadows at you
But she's always a woman to me


Wikipedia: She's Always a Woman
"She's Always a Woman" is a song from Billy Joel's 1977 album The Stranger. It is a love song about a modern woman, with whom he falls in love for her quirks as well as her flaws. The single peaked at #17 in the U.S. and in 1986 peaked at #53 in the UK when released as a double A-side single with Just the Way You Are. On May 2, 2010 the song re-entered the UK chart at #29. The song is played in compound time signatures of 6/8 9/8 and 12/8. it was "impossible" for the two songs to have been written independently. However, the verdict was overturned a few months later. The song was ranked #366 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. In a British TV special shown in December 2011, it was voted "The Nation's Favourite Bee Gees Song" by ITV viewers. A Muzak version of this song was playing at the World Trade Center plaza moments before it was eventually destroyed.

Origin and meaning
The song was released in 1977, following several other hits from Billy Joel's successful album The Stranger including "Just the Way You Are", "Movin' Out" and "Only the Good Die Young". Musically, Joel has said that he was influenced by Gordon Lightfoot and his mellow acoustic guitar ballads. Lyrically, many people consider the words to be misogynistic or sarcastic. It is a ballad, a love song that Joel wrote for his then wife, Elizabeth. Elizabeth had taken over management of Joel's career, and was able to put his financial affairs in order after Joel had signed some bad deals and contracts. She was a tough and savvy negotiator who could "wound with her eyes" or "steal like a thief", but would "never give in". Because of her tough-as-nails negotiating style, many business adversaries thought she was "unfeminine," but to Joel, she was always a woman. The two eventually divorced in 1982.

Wikipedia: The Stranger (album)
The Stranger is the fifth studio album by musician Billy Joel, released in 1977 (see 1977 in music). While his four previous albums had been moderate chart successes, this was his breakthrough album, and is generally regarded by critics as his magnum opus, spending six weeks at #2 in the U.S. album charts. It remains Joel's best-selling non-compilation album to date and was ranked number 67 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

Wikipedia: Billy Joel
William Martin "Billy" Joel (born May 9, 1949) is an American musician and pianist, singer-songwriter, and classical composer. Since releasing his first hit song, "Piano Man", in 1973, Joel has become the sixth best-selling recording artist and the third best-selling solo artist in the United States, according to the RIAA.

SongFacts: She's Always A Woman by Billy Joel
The true history behind this song will explain the meaning. Billy Joel was on the verge of financial ruin when his wife stepped in and sorted out his finances. In doing this she had to be a stern businesswoman and show a very "hard" side to the people she was dealing with. Despite the way they saw her, Joel still saw the softer side, therefore "she's always a woman" to him. So it is not meant to knock her personality; its a beautiful love song in which he says that despite all these "flaws" that other people see, he sees a side that nobody else knows. I guess it can very easily be interpreted as a song about a narcissist but thats not the intention with which it was written.
- Cindy, Cape Town, South Africa

I think this song is about a girl who wants everyone to believe she's all tough and mean but the guy knows that really she's harmless and a "woman".
- Allison, Albany, NY

It's people's perfections that make us like them, it's their imperfections that make us love them.
- Erik, Los Angeles, CA

The key to this song's meaning is revealed in the lyric, "the most she will do is throw shadows at you." Joel is singing about New York City. All the lyrics fit this context, "She's ahead of her time," "...she'll carelessly cut you/And laugh while you're bleedin'," "...she'll bring out the best/And the worst you can be," and so on. He is comparing the city he loves to his ideal of a woman.
- Richard, San Francisco, CA

This song is sweet. This man loves or is strongly attracted to this woman, despite her personality traits. I always liked the song because of it, and think to myself hopefully someday I'll find a man who will love me despite my personality flaws. The woman in the song was interesting to me, I thought she was a made up character. I think it's sweet how Billy Joel wrote this about his ex-wife but the romance died because he didn't want to sing about anymore, not to mention feeling nothing. This is also the same woman he wrote the song, 'Just The way you Love'. Sad.
- Michaela, brooklyn, NY


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