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.jpg
A-side label of U.S. vinyl single
Single by Billy Joel
from the album The Stranger
B-side Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)
Released 1977
Format 7" single, 12" single
Recorded A & R Recording Inc., New York City, 1977
Genre Soft rock
Length 3:21
Label Columbia
Writer(s) Billy Joel
Producer(s) Phil Ramone
Billy Joel singles chronology
"Only the Good Die Young"
"She's Always a Woman"/"Vienna"
"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, with whom he falls in love for her 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 is known to be one of the last songs played over the former World Trade Center complex before its collapse. 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.[1] 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 positions[edit]

Chart (1977) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 17
U.S. Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks 2
Chart (1978) Peak
Belgian Singles Chart (Flanders)[2] 28
Canadian Singles Chart[3] 12
Dutch Top 40[4] 15
Chart (1986) Peak
Irish Singles Chart 22
UK Singles Chart 53
Chart (2007) Peak
Italian Singles Chart[5] 56
Chart (2010) Peak
UK Singles Chart 29
Chart (2011) Peak
Austrian Singles Chart[6] 37

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
Released May 10, 2010
Format Digital download
Length 3:14
Label Fantastic Plastic, Polydor
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.[7] 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.[8]

Track listing[edit]

Digital Download[9]
  1. "She's Always a Woman" - 3:14

Chart performance[edit]

"She's Always a Woman" debuted on the UK Singles Chart on May 2, 2010 at #99. On its second week in the chart, the single climbed 85 places to #14, marking Dangerfield's most successful single to date. On May 16, 2010, the single climbed 7 places to a current peak of #7 before falling to #9 in its second week within the Top 10.

Chart (2010) Peak
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[10] 7

Other covers[edit]

  • In 2004, Zorán made a Hungarian cover "A nő", on his maxi single "A körben".
  • In 2012, Celtic Thunder covered the song on their album Voyage with Neil Byrne on vocals.


  1. ^ "Billy Joel's many songs about his many wives". Washington Post. Retrieved 7 November 2016. 
  2. ^ "Billy Joel - She's Always A Woman". Retrieved 2016-10-12. 
  3. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2016-10-12. 
  4. ^ "Jaarlijst 1978". Retrieved 2016-10-12. 
  5. ^ "Hit Parade Italia - Indice per Interprete: J". Retrieved 2016-10-12. 
  6. ^ Steffen Hung. "Billy Joel - She's Always A Woman". Retrieved 2016-10-12. 
  7. ^ "John Lewis Ad 2010 - Fyfe Dangerfield 'She's Always A Woman'". YouTube. 2010-04-27. Retrieved 2016-10-12. 
  8. ^ [1][dead link]
  9. ^ "She's Always A Woman (Bonus Track): Fyfe Dangerfield: MP3 Downloads". Retrieved 2016-10-12. 
  10. ^ "Fyfe Dangerfield: Artist Chart History" Official Charts Company.

External links[edit]