March 8 is International Women’s Day (website: https://www.internationalwomensday.com), which is a good time to recognise the value and importance of women in all walks of life. What better way than to celebrate with song and there are many great examples that have been adapted for the ukulele.
Women have long struggled for independence and to be taken seriously by the opposite sex. Back in 1963 Lesley Gore’s You Don’t Own Me, was such a plea that was eagerly welcomed by her young female audience. A more recent ukulele version by Peppermint Ollie demonstrates that the song still resonates with young women.
In 1972 Helen Reddy wrote what has become the anthem of the Women’s movement, I Am Woman. It is still a powerful song and Jaq Payne does it justice on the ukulele.
Working women have long struggled for equality in pay and promotions. The 1980 movie comedy, 9 to 5, starring Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and Dolly Parton dealt with the difficulties of being a woman in corporate America in a humorous manner, but there were definitely serious undertones. Dolly Parton’s excellent theme song says it all. Azalea Grace performs it wonderfully on ukulele.
A lesser known song is the 1999 electronic dance number, Don’t Call Me Baby by Australian duo Madison Avenue, which stresses the continued need for women to stand up for themselves. Julie Chow does a slow, memerising take on this song with ukulele and electronic accompaniment.
It’s good to celebrate being a woman and enjoy life on your own terms without being defined by others. Cindy Lauper’s version of Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, is a terrific reminder. Jemma Johnson does a beautiful ukulele cover.
Here are some links to a couple of ukulele songs that are only available to watch on YouTube:
A play along of what every woman wants – RESPECT, sung by Aretha Franklin (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4BEWPhPgwQ).
A tutorial and play along of Shania Twain’s gutsy Man I Feel Like a Woman (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IA2hw8OeFN8)
I’m sure that you can think of many other women’s songs to play on the ukulele.
Have a wonderful International Women’s Day. Remember to celebrate being a woman, as well as all the women in your life and try to make a difference, so that it is a better world for everyone.