Saturday, December 30, 2006

James Brown (1933-2006)

James Brown provided a big part of the soundtrack of my life, so profuse apologies to the Godfather of Soul for belatedly noting his Christmas Day passing.

Of the many great songs that Brown wrote and covered over a five-decade career, "It's a Man's World" sticks out. That may seem a curious choice. Brown was nothing if not a mysoginist, and the original lyrics were penned by a woman, Betty Newsome, who happens to have been one of his former girlfriends and drew on Biblical references and her stormy relationship with Brown for inspiration . . .
This is a man's world, this is a man's world
But it wouldn't be nothing, nothing without a woman or a girl

You see, man made the cars to take us over the road
Man made the trains to carry heavy loads
Man made electric light to take us out of the dark
Man made the boat for the water, like Noah made the ark

This is a man's, a man's, a man's world
But it wouldn't be nothing, nothing without a woman or a girl

Man thinks about a little baby girls and a baby boys
Man makes then happy 'cause man makes them toys
And after man has made everything, everything he can
You know that man makes money to buy from other man

This is a man's world
But it wouldn't be nothing, nothing without a woman or a girl

He's lost in the wilderness
He's lost in bitterness

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