The first Relaunch Top Ten is from a previous request. This one is difficult. Beyond difficult, really. My list of women in music I love goes miles and miles, and a universe past ten, and the list of who lands in those “top ten” slots do sometimes change, rotate, and vary. But for now, for today, this is a list of My Top Ten Women In Music.

Women In Music
My Top Ten

1. Tori Amos

Tori Amos Top Ten Women In Music

“Caught a Lite Sneeze” by Tori Amos
from the album, Boys For Pele (1996)

“Caught a lite sneeze.
Dreamed a little dream.
Made my own pretty hate machine.
Boys on my left side,
boys on my right side,
boys in the middle and you’re not here.
Boys in their dresses,
and you’re not here.
I need a big loan from the girl zone.”

2. Chrissie Hynde

Chrissie Hynde Top Ten Women In Music

“Back On the Chain Gang” by Pretenders
from the album, Learning to Crawl (1984)

“I found a picture of you,
oh-oh-oh-oh.
Those were the happiest days of my life.”

3. Stevie Nicks

Stevie Nicks Top Ten Women In Music

“Gypsy” by Fleetwood Mac
from the album, Mirage (1982)

“So, I’m back to the velvet underground,
back to the floor that I love.
To a room with some lace and paper flowers.
Back to the gypsy that I was, 
to the gypsy that I was.”

4. Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin Top Ten Women In Music

“I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)” by Aretha Franklin
from the album, I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You) (1967)

“Some time ago I thought,
you had run out of fools,
but I was so wrong,
you got one that you’ll never lose.
The way you treat me is a shame.
How could ya hurt me so bad?
Baby, you know that I’m the best thing,
that you ever had.”

5. Aimee Mann

Aimee Mann Top Ten Women In Music

“You Could Make a Killing” by Aimee Mann
from the album, I’m With Stupid (1995)

“I wish I was both young,
and stupid.
Then I too could have the fun that you did.”

6. Polly Jean Harvey

Polly Jean Harvey Top Ten Women In Music

“You Said Something” from Polly Jean Harvey
from the album, Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea (2000)

“We lean against railings,
describing the colors,
and the smells of our homelands –
acting like lovers.
How did we get here?
To this point of living?
I held my breath,
and you said something.”

7. Nina Simone

Nina Simone Top Ten Women In Music

“Feeling Good” by Nina Simone
from the album, I Put a Spell On You (1965)

“It’s a new dawn,
it’s a new day,
it’s a new life for me –
and I’m feeling good.”

8. Jenny Lewis

Jenny Lewis Top Ten Women In Music

“Just One of the Guys” by Jenny Lewis
from the album, The Voyager (2014)

“I’m not gonna break for you!
I’m not gonna pray for you!
I’m not gonna pay for you!
That’s not what ladies do!”

9. Natalie Merchant

Natalie Merchant Top Ten Women In Music

“Ophelia” by Natalie Merchant
from the album, Ophelia (1998)

“Ophelia was the circus queen,
the female cannonball,
projected through five flaming hoops,
to wild and shocked applause.
To wild and shocked applause.”

10. Fiona Apple

Fiona Apple Top Ten Women In Music

“Sleep to Dream” by Fiona Apple
from the album, Tidal (1996)

I tell you how I feel,
but you don’t care.
I say tell me the truth,
but you don’t dare.
You say love is a hell you cannot bear,
and I say gimme mine back and then go there,
for all I care.”

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