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Helen Reddy: “I Am Woman”

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Helen Reddy wrote this when she couldn’t find enough songs to include on her first album, I Don’t Know How To Love Him. She was looking for songs that reflected a positive self-image that she felt that she had gained from her participation in the women’s liberation movement.

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Included on the 1971 album, Reddy didn’t like the way this version came out and neither did her producer (he thought she sounded “too butch”), but they put it on the album anyway. Another producer DID like it. Movie producer Mike Frankovitch wanted to use it in his “feminist comedy” Stand Up And Be Counted. Reddy agreed on two conditions: That she would re-record the song, and that he would donate $1000 each to Women’s Centers in Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles.

To coincide with the movie’s release, the song was issued as a single in 1972, which slowly rose to #1 in America. Reddy’s second album was subsequently titled I Am Woman and included this new version of the song.

(source songfacts.com)

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

[Chorus:]

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

You can bend but never break me

‘Cause it only serves to make me

More determined to achieve my final goal

And I come back even stronger

Not a novice any longer

‘Cause you’ve deepened the conviction in my soul

[Chorus]

I am woman watch me grow

See me standing toe to toe

As I spread my lovin’ arms across the land

But I’m still an embryo

With a long long way to go

Until I make my brother understand

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 face anything

I am strong (strong)

I am invincible (invincible)

I am woman

Oh, I am woman

I am invincible

I am strong

I am woman

I am invincible

I am strong

I am woman

 

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