Sunday, March 18, 2018


It's funny, my usual approach is to tap the theme into my iTunes search and see what comes up. No shortage with this one, both woman and women liberating dozens of possibilities. However, at just gone International Women's Day, neither honky tonk nor rainy day women seemed to be appropriate, as neither those toting black magic or those, when younger, with sturdy posteriors. In fact, finding a worthy song was harder than I thought, especially when I discovered Alice Cooper was a man. (Apologies if any of my colleagues were about to post said song, but, in hindsight, however many good versions I have of it, mainly by female artists, it is, isn't it, just a tad patronising?)

So, I did what anyone should do, and enquired of my soul. That is, my soul music collection. And Aretha had the answer. She usually does, even if the advice is written by a man.

And quite a man at that. Dan Penn. To be fair, it was a co-write, with Chips Moman, but it is Penn everyone recalls, a man better known for his writing and production skills than for his singing. Strangely, as he is no slouch in that department himself either. Here's a pretty good interview with him, and longtime jousting companion, Spooner Oldham, which gives a synopsis or his, and their, place in the world. And below the pair of them together, just playing the song.

I know I am missing a point here, what with it being a post supposedly celebrating women and to note the recent International Women's Day, and here am I putting up a paean to a man from Alabama. What can I say? I'm just a bloke. But when so many song lyrics in this genre are so straightforwardly sexist, including many sung by women, isn't it a change to have one which, despite a title that sounds like an instruction, is, on greater listening, not so bad a suggestion after all.

Take me to heart And I'll always love you And nobody can make me do wrong Take me for granted Leaving love unshown Makes will power weak And temptation strong A woman's only human You should understand She's not just a plaything She's flesh and blood Just like her man If you want a do right All days woman You've gotta be a do right All night man Yeah, yeah They say that it's a man's world But you can't prove that by me And as long as we're together baby Show some respect for me

Get it here and here.

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