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Old Sep 16, 2013, 12:14 PM   #1
Apple Scruff
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Thumbs up "Woman" John's most perfect love song?

What do you all think? If you had to really give an edge to one of the many stunning love songs this genius wrote, would you give it to "Woman?" I was listening to it again, like, five times in a row because that's how I listen to that song- I'm a little obsessive- and it just struck me how the words, melody, vocals are so incredibly perfect. It's just a simple song but so effective. It's easy to interpret, but who could best the original? It has such an amazing flow, a message that chimes as loud now as it did then because it is universal.

And it could be open to interpretation. John said it was for Yoko but also all women, everywhere. And perhaps even those women in his past whom he had hurt in some way. I want your feelings: love it? Things it's 'just ok'? Is it on par with The Beatles John stuff?

Come on! I kind of want to break into Double Fantasy sooner than later so I need to get that Rock and Roll analysis rolling. This is the season where John's later songs touch me so, so hard.
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Old Sep 16, 2013, 04:00 PM   #2
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I think the thing I love most about "Woman" is that it successfully mixes some very mature lyrics with a basic "Do do do do do" chorus. I know that sounds silly, but it's one of those songs that you can learn to appreciate for different reasons depending on where you are in life. When I was 13 or 14, the melody would get stuck in my head after listening to Lennon Legend, so that was my big takeaway from the song.

Then when I was a little older and wiser and knew a little bit more about John Lennon--and about life in general--I noticed how intelligent the lyrics, the first verse especially, were. You know how it is when you've listened to a song for years and know all the words by heart and then all of a sudden, you have that "Wait...let me hear that line again" moment? One day the "mixed emotions" line really struck me. Even though I knew all the lyrics, the whole vibe of the song had always made me take it in as a straightforward "silly love song" if you will. Finally I felt compelled to actually examine them and realized it was beyond just a guy saying "I love you." It was a man admitting, "I need you to take care of me," and "I'm sorry." A lot deeper than I'd given it credit for!

...But then, in my haze of pseudo-intellectualism, I scoffed at how the song ends. "I love you, yeah, yeah, now and forever"? Come on, John, this was supposed to be a mature ode to finally understanding what love is about! Why close it off with all that sappy stuff?

...And of course, now, it's that part that resonates with me the most when I listen to it, especially the stripped down version (which is probably my go-to version these days, although I love the original and the Anthology demo, though I'm not crazy about that drum machine), where you can clearly hear a nice falsetto harmony on it. After all, isn't that what we're all looking for? Someone we can unabashedly express our love to in the simplest terms possible? I've never been in a relationship that's reached that level of love (yet!) but that's the goal for sure.

My favorite love song of John's though is "Oh My Love." Those opening notes alone are chilling.
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Old Sep 16, 2013, 04:35 PM   #3
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I want your feelings: love it? Things it's 'just ok'? Is it on par with The Beatles John stuff?
It is gorgeous. A timeless, beautiful classic of a song. Definitely among the top of John's illustrious song book. BUT... is it his "most perfect"? I dunno. Definitely very polished, mature, enduring. I'm not crazy about the production, though. If it were done less layered sonically then I would say it's close to perfection.

My favorite love songs of John's are Jealous Guy (also over-produced imo) and I'll Be Back, but Woman is high up there as well. My ex used to include it in just about every mixed CD/play list he made for me... and in "John season," it always makes me more wistful because I think about how fortunate Yoko was that he left her with such an undeniable testament to his eternal love. It's almost as if John knew he was going to die soon and he had to get his message to Yoko (and all the women in his life) on record. Looking at it from that angle, I would say it's a perfect love song.

The line that always gets me is, "And woman, hold me close to your heart, however distant don't keep us apart" – ugh, so friggin' sad... but so friggin' beautiful as well!
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Old Sep 16, 2013, 04:45 PM   #4
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My favorite love song of John's though is "Oh My Love." Those opening notes alone are chilling.
Omg, how can I forget? Yes, that is one of the most beautiful, precious, delicate creations ever.

I dig your point about how your view of the song changes as your life experiences/perspectives change. Though I was "just seventeen" when it first came out, I've always thought that Woman was amazing, but over time I've come to realize how much of a mature view of love John himself developed.... from all his anxiety-ridden themes of neediness, to gratefulness and appreciation. I've always said it's the one song of his I most wish a man had written for me... which is why, I s'pose, my ex used to always put it on CDs he'd make me.
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Old Sep 16, 2013, 07:21 PM   #5
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Then when I was a little older and wiser and knew a little bit more about John Lennon--and about life in general--I noticed how intelligent the lyrics, the first verse especially, were. You know how it is when you've listened to a song for years and know all the words by heart and then all of a sudden, you have that "Wait...let me hear that line again" moment? One day the "mixed emotions" line really struck me. Even though I knew all the lyrics, the whole vibe of the song had always made me take it in as a straightforward "silly love song" if you will. Finally I felt compelled to actually examine them and realized it was beyond just a guy saying "I love you." It was a man admitting, "I need you to take care of me," and "I'm sorry." A lot deeper than I'd given it credit for!
This is basically true for me with so many of John's songs. Initially, I either loved the melody, rhythm, the vocals/performance and I was drawn in first by those. Later on, when realizing the depth of the words and how they emotionally resonated with the artist and how I could also relate to them- then I really fell.

It's very much like "Strawberry Fields Forever" for me. I loved the atmosphere of that song soooo much and the instruments sounded so awesome, as well as John's voice. But later on I understood the meaning behind those words and I was hooked.
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Old Sep 16, 2013, 07:24 PM   #6
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It is gorgeous. A timeless, beautiful classic of a song. Definitely among the top of John's illustrious song book. BUT... is it his "most perfect"? I dunno. Definitely very polished, mature, enduring. I'm not crazy about the production, though. If it were done less layered sonically then I would say it's close to perfection.

My favorite love songs of John's are Jealous Guy (also over-produced imo) and I'll Be Back, but Woman is high up there as well. My ex used to include it in just about every mixed CD/play list he made for me... and in "John season," it always makes me more wistful because I think about how fortunate Yoko was that he left her with such an undeniable testament to his eternal love. It's almost as if John knew he was going to die soon and he had to get his message to Yoko (and all the women in his life) on record. Looking at it from that angle, I would say it's a perfect love song.

The line that always gets me is, "And woman, hold me close to your heart, however distant don't keep us apart" – ugh, so friggin' sad... but so friggin' beautiful as well!
I know the production is more slick- very true to it's times. But even still, it doesn't even matter to me because It's soooo beautiful. And the Stripped version, as ringo said, is also my go-to version because of how clear, simple, and stunning it is without all the layers and backing. It's just a beautifully-written song and it gets me every single time.

But man, your fave choice is an absolute masterpiece...wow.

My fave line in "Woman" for today:

"And woman, I will try to express my inner feelings and thankfulness for showing me the meaning of success..."

Bam.
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Old Sep 21, 2013, 11:39 AM   #7
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Smile just brilliant !!!

"Woman" is more than a classic love-songs to me, it's just above average and I'd place it in the top 10 just right before "Jealous Guy".

I think everything is perfect, the melody, the lyrics and the production; a real highlight of DF. My favourite line is "please remember my life is in your hands", which I found very strong and humble when one think how macho John was in younger years.

I guess, I will never get tired of hearing it again and again and again...

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Old Oct 05, 2013, 01:48 PM   #8
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A hate to be the one dissenting voice but.... I don't like Woman. To me John sounds like a maudlin drunk chock full of sentimentality.

Okay, I'm outta here!
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Old Oct 05, 2013, 09:47 PM   #9
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Over the years I've come to prefer the stripped down version of Woman. Nice sentiment for the other half of the sky. As for John's love songs, an excellent choice is always Love from POB! Beautiful in it's simplicity and simple in it's meaning. Bravo!
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Old Oct 06, 2013, 10:36 AM   #10
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To me John sounds like a maudlin drunk chock full of sentimentality.
I can sorta see that. To me, the song plays close to the line, but falls on the more emotionally honest side... to my ears, anyway.
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Old Nov 09, 2013, 10:43 AM   #11
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Well, hib, for one thing, when they play John Lennon on the radio these days, it's either "Woman" or "Imagine." Which are great songs, both, but familiarity can sometimes breed contempt. Maybe that has had an influence on your feelings for the song? Maybe???

And WOW! I'm actually agreeing with Snoopy on "please remember my life is in your hands." Yes, yes, YES!

I LOVE "I'll Be Back," actually. That was a poignant early effort.
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Old Nov 09, 2013, 11:34 AM   #12
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Got to admit it hasn't helped, Wilde, although Woman has never been my favorite. And today, well, the line "and forever in your death" fairly creeps me out! I mean, Yoko's still her but John...
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Old Nov 09, 2013, 01:35 PM   #13
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Default Forever in your *debt*, I think, Hib….

I think John sang "debt," not "death" there! Although I kind of like your twist on that lyric!

And I think I'll adopt that version from now on!
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Old Nov 11, 2013, 12:03 PM   #14
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I think it's an ok song musically, but I don't really view it as all that more mature. The lyrics aren't all that profound, more like greeting card sentiment. Musically it's This Boy redux. Except instead of an incredible bridge, he implements a modulation. Which seems a little uninspired.
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Old Nov 12, 2013, 02:46 PM   #15
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I think John sang "debt," not "death" there! Although I kind of like your twist on that lyric!

And I think I'll adopt that version from now on!
What!!!! Well, debt is just too cliché to be believed. Shame on you, John! We expect more originality than that.

Another strike against the poor song and a nod to the Col.
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Old Nov 16, 2013, 06:33 PM   #16
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Wink Hmm...

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What!!!! Well, debt is just too cliché to be believed. Shame on you, John! We expect more originality than that.

Another strike against the poor song and a nod to the Col.
Well, I'm going to respectfully disagree with hib and Colonel. I love "Woman." I've been playing Double Fantasy Stripped in my car since the last week of October and i switch between the stripped down and the original discs and I feel very much like bobdude about the former version of "Woman." It sounds more powerful with just John's voice in the forefront. You can hear the emotion in his singing and it clearly shows what a gorgeous voice he has.

However, I love the original very much. I think it's sentimental and romantic, but it's got such a beautiful hook for me. I'm not listening for anything musically captivating here. All I hear is a man professing his adoration of his particular female counterpart- and John's statement that it was dedicated to all women makes it pretty deep for me. In my opinion, sometimes a song doesn't have to be anything more than "I love you, " but when executed in the way Joh did here it hits me.

However, I of course respect your arguments!
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Old Nov 17, 2013, 04:40 AM   #17
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However, I love the original very much. I think it's sentimental and romantic, but it's got such a beautiful hook for me. I'm not listening for anything musically captivating here.
However, I of course respect your arguments!
I think that "Woman" is one of the most beautiful love-songs of John and I feel captivated by the music AND the lyrics. The melody is full of romantic and the lyrics are very moving and full of honesty - to me at least

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Old Nov 17, 2013, 08:15 AM   #18
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"Julia" from the White Album is as haunting would make a great flipside to a 45 release!
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Old Dec 14, 2013, 07:34 AM   #19
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I think that "Woman" is one of the most beautiful love-songs of John and I feel captivated by the music AND the lyrics. The melody is full of romantic and the lyrics are very moving and full of honesty - to me at least

Snoopy
It is lovely. It's "love at first listen" and really does capture the mood perfectly.

How about ''Grow Old With Me' as another strong candidiate for John's best love song? It's a classic.
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Old Dec 15, 2013, 10:04 AM   #20
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I think"Woman is ok".
I like Julia very much.
Is Imagine a ballad?
Is In My Life a ballad?
Sometimes with some songs of Johns', it seems to me there is a fine line between ballad and not ballad.
Oh well.
Like the song says:
In my life, I love them all.
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