She's Always a Woman

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"She's Always a Woman"
She's Always a Woman by Billy Joel A-side US vinyl.png
A-side label of U.S. vinyl single
Single by Billy Joel
from the album The Stranger
B-side"Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)"
Format7" single, 12" single
RecordedA & R Recording Inc., New York City, 1977
Songwriter(s)Billy Joel
Producer(s)Phil Ramone
Billy Joel singles chronology
"Only the Good Die Young"
"She's Always a Woman"
"The Stranger"

"She's Always a Woman" is a song from Billy Joel's 1977 album The Stranger. It is a love song about a modern woman whom the singer has fallen totally in love with to the extent of falling for her endearing quirks as well as her flaws. The single peaked at #17 in the U.S. in 1977, and at #53 in the UK in 1986, when it was released as a double A-side with "Just the Way You Are". It re-entered the UK chart in 2010, reaching #29. A Muzak version of the track[1] by Frank Chacksfield Orchestra is known to be one of the last songs played over the loudspeakers at the former World Trade Center complex before its collapse.[2] The song is played in the compound time signature of 6/8.

Origin and meaning[edit]

The song was released in 1977, following several other hits from The Stranger including "Just the Way You Are", "Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)" and "Only the Good Die Young". Musically, Joel has said that he was influenced by Gordon Lightfoot and his mellow acoustic guitar ballads. It is a love song that Joel wrote for his then wife, Elizabeth Weber. Elizabeth had taken over management of Joel's career, and was able to put his financial affairs in order after Joel had signed some bad deals and contracts. She was a tough and savvy negotiator who could "wound with her eyes" or "steal like a thief", but would "never give in". Because of her tough-as-nails negotiating style, many business adversaries thought she was "unfeminine," but to Joel, she was always a woman.[3] The two eventually divorced in 1982.

Track listing[edit]

7" single (1977)[edit]

  1. "She's Always a Woman"
  2. "Vienna"

Single (CBS)[edit]

  1. "She's Always a Woman"
  2. "Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)"

Japanese 7" single (CBS 06SP 248)[edit]

  1. "She's Always a Woman"
  2. "Only the Good Die Young"


Chart (1977) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 17
U.S. Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks 2
Chart (1978) Peak
Belgian Singles Chart (Flanders)[4] 28
Canadian Singles Chart[5] 12
Dutch Top 40[6] 15
Chart (1986) Peak
Irish Singles Chart 22
UK Singles Chart 53
Chart (2007) Peak
Italian Singles Chart[7] 56
Chart (2010) Peak
UK Singles Chart 29
Chart (2011) Peak
Austrian Singles Chart[8] 37


Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[9] Gold 400,000double-dagger

double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

Fyfe Dangerfield cover[edit]

"She's Always a Woman"
Fyfe Dangerfield - She's Always A Woman.jpg
Single by Fyfe Dangerfield
from the album Fly Yellow Moon
ReleasedMay 10, 2010
FormatDigital download
LabelFantastic Plastic, Polydor
Songwriter(s)Billy Joel
Fyfe Dangerfield singles chronology
"Faster Than the Setting Sun"
"She's Always a Woman"

Fyfe Dangerfield, lead singer of the band Guillemots, recorded a version of this song in 2010 which was used in an advertisement for the British department store John Lewis.[10] Subsequently, the Billy Joel original re-entered the UK singles chart at number 29 on May 1, 2010. On May 1, 2010, a new version of the advert aired; which shows more of the song cover. In the annual ITV poll for 2010 advert of the year; "John Lewis - She's always a Woman" ranked fourth.

The advert has been viewed on YouTube over 570,000 times (collectively from the top 3 results) since it aired on TV.[11]

Chart performance[edit]

"She's Always a Woman" debuted on the UK Singles Chart on May 2, 2010 at number 99. On its second week in the chart, the single climbed 85 places to number 14, marking Dangerfield's most successful single to date. On May 16, 2010, the single climbed seven places to its peak of number seven before falling to number nine in its second week within the top 10.

Track listing[edit]

Digital download[12]

  1. "She's Always a Woman" - 3:14


Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (2010) Peak
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[13] 8
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[14] 7

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (2010) Position
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[15] 116

Other covers[edit]


  1. ^ "She's Always a Woman to Me". YouTube. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
  2. ^ "Song: "She's Always a Woman" September 11th 2001". YouTube. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
  3. ^ "Billy Joel's many songs about his many wives". Washington Post. Retrieved November 7, 2016.
  4. ^ "Billy Joel - She's Always A Woman". Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  5. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  6. ^ "Jaarlijst 1978". Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  7. ^ "Hit Parade Italia - Indice per Interprete: J". Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  8. ^ Steffen Hung. "Billy Joel - She's Always A Woman". Archived from the original on October 13, 2016. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  9. ^ "British single certifications – Billy Joel – She's Always a Woman". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved May 30, 2019. Select singles in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type She's Always a Woman in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  10. ^ "John Lewis Ad 2010 - Fyfe Dangerfield 'She's Always A Woman'". YouTube. April 27, 2010. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 2, 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-03.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ "She's Always A Woman (Bonus Track): Fyfe Dangerfield: MP3 Downloads". Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  13. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
  14. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
  15. ^ "End Of Year Charts: 2010" (PDF). UKChartsPlus. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
  16. ^ "She's Always a Woman". AllMusic. Archived from the original on January 10, 2017. Retrieved January 10, 2017.
  17. ^ "A körben" (in Hungarian). December 3, 2004. Retrieved March 28, 2017.

External links[edit]