New Tunes: What a Song

March 1, 2007

Ruthie Foster is Phenomenal, and that’s the name of her new CD. I found her a few years back while paging through a No Depression magazine, which is a great way for Willi and I to keep up with the music we are so fond of. In fact, before XM Satellite Radio, No Depression was about all we had; well that plus the internet. Absolutely none of the other radio stations played what we liked, and they still don’t. Not even the Chicago stations.

Well anyway, Willi found out there was another offering from Ruthie and headed on over to our internet connection for new tunes, Village Records. Our local vendors don’t really carry much that isn’t mainstream. Within a few days it was in our mailbox. Yippee!

What first drew me to Ruthie Foster was the strength of her voice. I don’t go much for wimpy sounding women singers. Willi says I am too hard on them, but if they don’t have some grit and guts in their voice, I’ll pass. What a wonderful thing to play Phenomenal for the first time and get the same thrill I heard a few years back.

The title track, Phenomenal Woman, grabbed me as soon as I heard it but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. While playing it for my daughter and her husband, he recognized the song right off the bat as a poem written by Maya Angelou. It was truly a “Duh” moment; I should have read the liner notes. Maya Angelou is an awesome woman and Ruthie Foster sinks every bit of herself into this song. It is one of those moments that just can’t be topped. Well, I think so anyway.

So here is the song, and the lyrics, for your perusal. Hope you enjoy them. Warning to the guys: this would probably be considered a “chick song”.

PHENOMENAL WOMAN
by Maya Angelou

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies
I’m not cute or built to suit a model’s fashion size
But when I start to tell them
They think I’m telling lies.
I say
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips
The stride of my steps
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally
Phenomenal woman
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please
And to a man
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees
Then they swarm around me
A hive of honey bees.
I say
It’s the fire in my eyes
And the flash of my teeth
The swing of my waist
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally
Phenomenal woman
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can’t see.
I say
It’s in the arch of my back
The sun of my smile
The ride of my breasts
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally
Phenomenal woman
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say
It’s in the click of my heels
The bend of my hair
The palm of my hand
The need for my care.
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally
Phenomenal woman
That’s me.


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11 Responses to “New Tunes: What a Song”

  1. dilling Says:

    No Depression is one of the best, if not the best, music magazines out there, isn’t it? I have discovered so many new and interesting artists reading that magazine that I may have never know existed because you would never hear them on the radio! And when they do an in depth story on someone well-known? I still learn dozens of things about them I never knew before.

  2. Cazzie!!! Says:

    This song gave me chills, I so love it!!! I will endeavour to buy the CD 🙂

  3. gawilli Says:

    Ah, Dilling…I knew you were a kindred spirit! The first time I read No Depression, it knocked my socks off! Finally a place to learn and share info about a genre that had gone unnoticed for so long. Then when XM Radio came along we had it made. Willi and I spent hours listening at first, we just could not soak up enough!

    Cazzie – you must like a little grit, too! The neat thing about that song is that even as a poem it will give you chills!

  4. her indoors Says:

    i enjoyed that song, didnt think i would but i think it might have got me hooked

  5. Tink Says:

    *Pout* I don’t have any speakers at work. Damn the Man! I’ll try to check her out when I get home though. I love new and interesting music.

  6. willi Says:

    It’ in the laugh at my jokes
    the smile on your face
    the way you just say
    nobody has it like me
    Cause you’re my woman
    Phenomenally
    Phenominal woman
    for me.

    Love ya,

  7. Laurie Says:

    Aw…Willi’s comment leaves me speechless.

  8. susan Says:

    I didn’t know Willi was such a romantic…that’s what gives me chills…

    I’ve always loved the poem and putting it to music..wow. You always find the best music.

  9. gawilli Says:

    Her indoors – glad you gave it a try!

    Tink – our Net Nanny blocks blogs altogether at work. Damn the man.

    Willi – I like the way you say woman.

    Laurie, It left me speechless, too.

    Susan – What a guy, huh?

    I really enjoy sharing music and am happy someone else might find it good, too.

  10. daddy d Says:

    Ruthie has a strong voice, for sure. I liked her right away. She has the same name as my oldest sister. Music does carry a lot of meaning and fun with it.

  11. graymama Says:

    My local library does not have any of these beautiful songbird’s albums 😦 I e-mailed them a request for purchase. Thanks once again for expanding my music library!


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