It is Women’s History month. The time of year we are celebrate and appreciate all the achievements made by women (actually, that is all year for us). Well, what is a celebration without music? So, whether you are getting ready to start your day or need a pick me up during the day, here are 20 songs that will bring your inner goddess out, have you walking tall, and not taking any nonsense from anyone. Because, not only do these songs celebrate the power and beauty of being a woman, they are sung by women. For only another woman can truly understand the perils, pain, and challenges women may face in society. So, let us get ready to rock, jam, dance, and two-step our way to empowerment.
1. I Am Woman by Helen Reddy: “I am woman hear me roar.” Released in 1971 this song is synonymous with the woman’s liberation movement of the time. Reddy is quoted, as saying that she wanted to write a song about the strong women in her family because she could not find any songs that reflected the strength these women had. What she created was an anthem for all women. “I can face anything, I am strong (strong), I am invincible (invincible), I am woman.”
2. Independent Women Part I (part 1) by Destiny Child: Written as a song for the Charlie’s Angels soundtrack (a movie about three women who kick ass and look good doing it); the song is the anthem for women who are chasing their dreams, taking care of themselves, and relying on no one else to make them happy. “All the women who are independent throw your hands up at me.”
3. Sisters Are Doing it for Themselves by Annie Lennox featuring Aretha Franklin: Released in the 80’s this song this song is a celebration of the new roles many women were beginning to enter into. Even today, in this time and day, we have women entering into male dominated fields who face stigma and scrutiny.
4. You Don’t Own Me by Lesley Gore: Released in 1963, Gore was only 17 years old when sang the message that love does not equal ownership. “And don’t tell me what to do; don’t tell me what to say. And please, when I go out with you, don’t put me on display.”
5. The Pill by Loretta Lynn: With this subject being a hot topic on the news and in politics, this song had to be put on this list. And for those making the argument that birth control is an excuse for women to be promiscuous (an absurd thought I will ignore for now and without asking about men); this song is a wife speaking to her husband because, seriously, who really wants 15 and counting . . . “All these years I`ve stayed at home while you had all your fun. And every year that`s gone by another baby`s come
There`s gonna be some changes made right here on Nursery Hill. You`ve set this chicken your last time `cause now I`ve got the pill”
6. U.N.I.T.Y by Queen Latifah: Since, stepping onto the rap scene, at age 19, Queen Latifah, used her lyrical gift to demand self-respect and gender equality in hip-hop. But, these lyrics apply from the street to the workplace.
7. Respect by Aretha Franklin: Who doesn’t know this woman’s anthem? “All I am askin’ is a little respect.” This is the declaration by a strong, confident woman she knows that she has everything her man wants and in return wants nothing more than “respect.” Isn’t that what we all want for in return for all the hard work and care we give?
8. One Girl Revolution by Superchick: “I’ll shoot the shot, bang, that you hear round the world…” One Girl Revolution is all about being the voice of change even if you have to stand alone. “I declare my independence from the critics and their stones, I can find my revolution I can learn to stand alone…” Stand up for what you believe in.
9. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper: A fun feminist anthem from the 80′s about letting women enjoy life.
10. I Am Woman by Jordin Sparks: The song contains testimony of the strength it takes to be a woman. “It ain’t easy walkin’ in stilettos, but somebody gotta do it. Spend a day in my shoes, then see what the hell I go through.”
11. Rebel Girl by Bikini Kill: Bikini Kill is widely considered to be the pioneer of the riot grrrl movement (underground feminist Punk rock movement. Riot grrrl bands often address issues such as rape, domestic abuse, sexuality, racism, patriarchy, and female empowerment), and was notorious for its radical feminist lyrics. “When she walks, the revolution’s coming. In her hips, there’s revolution. When she talks, I hear the revolution.
12. Can’t Hold us Down by Christina Aguailera: Let me make this perfectly clear. A woman has the right to wear what she wants without someone assaulting her. I DO NOT care if she is walking naked down the highway. Oh and men when you are rejected by a woman please refrain from the name calling. Tell’em Christina . . .
13. Girl Power by Cheetah Girls: “Throw your hands up if you know that you’re a star. You better stand up if you know just who you are. Never give up never say die.” This is not only for my young girls but, for all girls. Keep striving toward your dreams. The Cheetah Girls, I know you saw the movies (if you haven’t read the books), kept going even when the obstacles were blocking their path.
14. I’m Every Woman by Chaka Khan: “I’m every woman, it’s all in me.” The song is symbolic in meaning. I’m Every Woman means that elements of my personality contain elements of the personalities of all the women in the world. Though we are different; in many ways, we are the same.
15. Superwoman by Alicia Keys: This is for all the women who are trying to make a better life for themselves. For every mother protecting and caring for her child. For women who are trying to make a difference.
16. Can’t Hold a Good Woman Down by Mary J Blige: “I felt like I had enough went to the edge of the ledge but, I didn’t jump. My life will sum it up, can’t hold a good woman down.” Some days, some situations, some moments we feel as if we cannot continue, it feels like everything and everyone has turned a back to us. This song reminds us that no matter what we are going through or have been through we will rise. “Cause, you can’t hold a good woman down.
17. Never Underestimate A Girl by Vanessa Hudgens: “Never underestimate a girl, gets anything she wants. She’s never gonna stop.” That is right, please; do not assume for one second that because we are female we have to limit our options. “She’s always got a plan; the world is in her hands.” We can be anything we set our minds on: scientist, lawyer, or CEO. “Your secretary might, end up your boss.”
18. This One’s for the Girls by Martina McBride: This song is for the girls ages 1 to 99. It is a reminder that being just who you are . . . is beautiful.
19. Miss Independent by Kelly Clarkson: “Miss never let a man help her off her throne.” This song is not a woman empowerment song. However, I chose it because there is nothing wrong with a strong woman falling in love. “What happened to Miss Independent’s no longer need to be defensive?” Love is realizing that you may not need someone but, you somehow it is okay to do so.
20. Run The World (Girls) by Beyonce: Who runs the world? Girls! I have heard and read all the arguments about why this song is not a good anthem but, quite frankly without women society is doomed.
Any other song(s) that should be added to the list? Please share them.
Share with your girlfriends!