“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.”
History lesson: Found on the 1977 album, The Stranger, She’s Always a Woman has been described as a love song about a “modern woman”, sung by the man who loves her for all of her quirky ways and despite her flaws. The song reached #17 on the Billboard charts in the U.S., and hit #53 in the UK in 1986 when it was released as a “double A side” with Just the Way You Are.
(editor’s note: what a perfect duo of unconditional “love songs”)
It has been documented that a Muzak version of this song was playing at the World Trade Center plaza moments before it was eventually destroyed during the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Personal reflection: My earliest memory of this song was when I was eight years old and heard the song for the first time. It was night and I was in the backseat of my Mother’s car, she had the radio on and this song started to play. The headlights and the street lamps were casting shadows and streaks of light across where I sat, and it seemed like some kind of magic to me. The line quoted above came on, and the image I had in my head was of a female vampire who was beautiful and lovely, but also a killer. I always had a romantic fascination with vampires, and this woman, this vampire, she was not a monster to me, but something misunderstood. I would hear those lyrics to the song in my head and would create a bit more of her story in my imagination, sketching in the singer as a shy human man who loved her from afar, the only one to understand her.
She’s Always a Woman to Me (live) :: Billy Joel