I Am Woman

“I Am Woman”  is a song written by Australian-American artist Helen Reddy and singer-songwriter Ray Burton and performed by Reddy.  The first recording of the song appeared on Reddy’s debut album I Don’t Know How to Love Him, released in May 1971, and was heard during the closing credits for the 1972 film Stand Up and Be Counted.  A new recording of the song was released as a single in May 1972 and became a number one hit later that year, eventually selling over one million copies.  The song came near the apex of the counterculture era and, by celebrating female empowerment, became an enduring anthem for the women’s liberation movement.  (More from Wikipedia)

There is a strong feminist stance in women’s music, however; and that was largely absent from the music scene in the mid-1970’sHelen Reddy’sI Am Woman” (1972) notwithstanding.  Besides her own fine compositions, Meg Christian reinterprets a Rolf Kempf song, “Hello Hooray” as a feminist anthem, with some new lyrics that she added.  The song had been included on one of Judy Collins’ best albums, Who Knows Where the Time Goes (1968).  Jimmy Webb is not a songwriter where one would expect feminist sensibilities, but Meg reworks his song “The Hive” as a tale of female oppression – not at all the way that Richard Harris performed the song several years earlier.  Meg Christian also covers one of Cris Williamsons songs, “Joanna”; a single lyric in Joanna, “I need to touch you” was the only hint of lesbianism on the Cris Williamson album. 


(January 2014)


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As I remember, the interview that was spread across the cover of Living in the Streets was where I first learned that Kim Fowley had worked with Helen Reddy, of “I Am Woman” fame – specifically, her albums Ear Candy (1977) and We’ll Sing In The Sunshine (1978).  Of the long list of musicians and bands who worked with Kim – and there have been dozens of them that I have learned about myself – she is the most surprising. 


(January 2015/1)


Last edited: March 22, 2021