I am woman
Next month marks the 40th anniversary of Helen Reddy’s song, I am Woman, going to number one on the Billboard charts. The song remains a feminist anthem and loved by generations of women who still relate to the powerful lyrics.
Helen Reddy was the first Australian to win a Grammy and she had eight number one singles in the USA. However her best known single, I am Woman, she wrote herself – inspired by the blossoming women’s movement in the early 1970s. When she accepted her Grammy for the song she famously thanked God “because she made everything possible”
At the time there had been little or no music that communicated women’s empowerment, so Reddy was inspired to pen something that reflected this dawning new era.
Just a reminder of these wonderful lyrics ….. you can sing along if you like!
I am woman, hear me roar
In numbers too big to ignore
And I know too much to go back an’ pretend
‘Cause I’ve heard it all before
And I’ve been down there on the floor
No one’s ever gonna keep me down again
Oh yes, I am wise
But it’s wisdom born of pain
Yes, I’ve paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to
I can do anything
I am strong (strong)
I am invincible (invincible)
I am woman
You can bend but never break me
‘Cause it only serves to make me
More determined to achieve my final goal
And I come back even stronger
Not a novice any longer
‘Cause you’ve deepened the conviction in my soul
I am woman watch me grow
See me standing toe to toe
As I spread my lovin’ arms across the land
But I’m still an embryo
With a long, long way to go
Until I make my brother understand
In addition to her music career, she also had a television show and made many appearances as a guest on popular shows. She has been married and divorced three times and has two children. Little known is her community work and the fact she was California’s Park and Recreation Commissioner for three years. Also not widely publicised is her battle with Addison’s disease – a failure of the adrenal glad that demands constant treatment.
She said after a performance in 1972 that she would retire and indeed she did, until this year when she appeared in a Jazz Club in San Francisco.
These days Helen lives in Sydney and is a practicing clinical hypnotherapist. She wrote an autobiography in 2006 called The Woman I Am which is available on Amazon.
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