I’m Always a Woman

I was deboning chicken when Billy Joel’s “She Always a Woman” began playing. My hips began to sway and the lyrics seemed louder than usual.

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
I do this. I lie. I use my eyes and my smile like weapons. I distract. I put on a mask daily.
She can lead you to love
She can take you or leave you
She can ask for the truth
But she’ll never believe
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
I don’t ever want to be the one who is “in love” the most. It’s too out of control for me. It’s scary. It hurts.
[Chorus:]
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
When I heard that line as a young girl, it resonated with me. I didn’t have to be wrong. I could just change my mind. And I do. Sometimes to the detriment of those around me.
She will 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
These lines give me the most pause. They are the most unflattering. But yes. I have been guilty of this as well. The problem is… when I’m promising the Garden of Eden, I truly believe in what I’m promising. I do. But I just have a difficult time delivering. Even worse, sometimes I promise carelessly. Not really aware of how my words and actions are taken. As I’ve gotten older thankfully I’ve become more aware. But I still cut. A friend told me once that I wield a power I have to be careful with. So I try. But I do fail.
[Chorus:]
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
But 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

I don’t know what it means to throw shadows. That line has puzzled me for a long time. If anyone has any ideas to its meaning I would love to be enlightened.

I believe there are parts of this song that speak to all women. Because at our core… no matter what else we may also be… we are women. And as my friend said, there is power in that. I hope to use it wisely. And to be forgiven when I don’t.

28 thoughts on “I’m Always a Woman

  1. This is the first time I have ever read an entire piece of writing that started with the words “I was deboning chicken”.
    To keep my attention after those four words, especially when so closely followed by the words “Billy” and Joel”, is an amazing feat.
    Apologies for not being able to assist with interpretations of shadowy lyrics…

    • “Amazing feat” might be over stating it a bit. But I’m a sucker for flattery… so I won’t stop you. It’s the bottle of red wine I have downed for dinner. I blame (credit) them. :) Thanks for commenting. First one I believe. :) Cheers!

  2. You’re you, there’s nothing to forgive, you are the person you are,

    It is scary, surrendering yourself to love like that, nothing can hurt as much, or give you the joyous highs, it’s sometimes a gamble, but you get what you both put into it.

    The shadows she throws, one dimensional facets, of herself, nothing that anyone can grasp or hold,so she never invests or allows people to invest in her,

    *hugs*

    • Oh wow Dok. That last bit… that translation. I love it. So much. And I do that. I block people. So I don’t feel their investment. Because then I feel I owe them. And I like keeping my ledger balanced.

      • imho, this ledger, for us all, should always be in the ‘red’, it’d probably make the world a nicer place, and that’s something we all deserve :-)

        • are just trying to blow my mind tonight? Because you are. It’s so very uncomfortable for my ledger to be in the red. I don’t know if I could exist like that. Yet… your point is so beautiful. A “pass it on” world…

          • blow your mind,, no *lick* there’s much better things to blow ;-) , but yeah I know what you mean, it’s kinda like running around in your life without any clothes, you feel the stares at first, but after a while you find your comfort zone and cruise along :-)

  3. I just like the idea of you dancing by yourself in the kitchen. Reminds me of me. :)

    I took the shadow bit to be referring to the way shadows hide and obscure, relating to a few lines above about not being convicted. I do like dok’s interpretation though.

  4. Two things…now, I could really go for some chicken. Did it turn out well?

    And two, the part that makes my heart hurt is “I don’t ever want to be the one who is “in love” the most. It’s too out of control for me. It’s scary. It hurts.” My inner-romantic (and outer-happily-in-love) self hates that for you. I know that everyone has to live their life the way that works for them, but my babygirl self hopes one day this changes for you (assuming you want it to). ((HUGS))

    • The little bite I tasted was delicious. I did a lot of pre-cooking last night to make meal prep this week easier. So will REALLY eat tonight. As to the scary shit that is being head over heels… I don’t know that it will ever change. And for not I’m ok with that. Calculated risk and all that. :)

  5. I’ve been a Billy Joel fan for what seems like eons & this song has always struck a deep cord from within since my early twenties. I’ve often identified with the lyrics over the years, I’m not sure if this is a good or a bad thing. As a woman, I guess it’s a part of me & I too have tried to use that user wisely. For both protecting my own heart & others.

  6. I have always though that song is probably the best Billy Joel ever did,I think it’s even better than Piano Man-big call i know but that’s my view anyway,to me though women will always be slightly mysterious,it can be very difficult to understand just what a woman is thinking,so instead of trying to second guess them I just treat every woman with respect and decency and that seems to work for me because I get on well with most women I meet.
    Interesting topic Marian.Thanks.

    • I loved this interpretation from that link and think I’ll just claim as what I believe it means. “Read the line backwards- She’s always a woman to me, therefore the most she’ll do [to you] is throw shadows. In the context of the rest of the song, I think he’s saying that she is his woman, although she is flirtatious and a bit of a tease with other men. But when push comes to shove, she won’t actually engage in anything further; the most she will do is just be there and throw shadows (as opposed to any physical contact) because she’s already taken by the protagonist of the song.

      The whole song, to me, is your basic love song- in spite of her flirting, her moodiness, all that, he loves her and she loves him.”

      Thanks for sharing that! xoxo

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