Sunday, March 2, 2014

born a woman and aging poorly

Going through some CDs, I found myself listening to Sandy Posey's 1966 hit, "Born a Woman." I can't help thinking that it hasn't aged well.

Let me back up a bit. My first exposure to the song was via Nick Lowe's version, which appeared on his 1977 EP, Bowi. Lowe's rendition is energetic and fun. The sound is very similar to that of "Marie Provost" which also appears on the EP. And, like "Marie Provost," it's jangly guitars and bouncy bass lines disguise the unpleasant subject matter. In the case of "Marie Provost," that subject matter is a has-been movie star fading from the public eye, dying in squalor and having her corpse eaten by her pet dog ("that hungry little dachshund"). In "Born a Woman," the topic is the mistreatment of women in society. "You're born to be lied to, stepped on, cheated on and treated like dirt." And in both, Ncik's smarmy presentation makes it hard to tell whether he's lamenting or celebrating.

It wasn't until years after I heard Nick Lowe's rendition did I actually hear the original. The two are -- how to put it? -- very different records. Putting aside the fact that Nick did some significant reqwriting of the song, the fact is that Posey's version is almost a dirge by comparison. But what gets me about it is that it could be a decent protest song, except that by the end she's singing that she wouldn't change a thing. Because, despite being under her man's thumb, it's worth it just be his woman.I don't think I like that message.

So you can judge for yourself, here are Posey's and Lowe's renditions.

No comments:

Post a Comment