Songs about serious topics can be fun. For proof, look no further than those about girl power that are upbeat and energetic. Indeed, some of these songs are classics, meaning interested individuals should familiarize themselves with them sooner rather than later.
Here are ten examples of fun songs about girl power:
10. “The Lady Is a Vamp” – Spice Girls
Vamp doesn’t seem much use as a term nowadays. Those curious should know it is a synonym for the femme fatale, the stock character of the beautiful, mysterious woman who can lead her target into dangerous situations.
“The Lady Is a Vamp” is the song that ended the Spice Girls’ second studio album Spiceworld. It is a tribute to pop culture legends, including several women seen as symbols of girl power in their time. The song ends with the Spice Girls announcing themselves, which has become more appropriate than ever because they remain the most successful girl group formed so far.
9. “6’1″” – Liz Phair
Liz Phair’s Exile in Guiville was conceived as a song-for-song response to the Rolling Stones’ Exile on Main St. Due to this, interested individuals should know this song is the counterpart of “Rocks Off,” thus explaining much about the narrator’s less-than-impressed tone.
Besides this, it plays with the idea of status and stature. Phair outright mentions that she is 5’2″ rather than 6’1″ in the song, though she imbued it with the bravado people tend to associate with the latter rather than the former.
8. “Bad Reputation” – Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
Historically, women tended to have much more limited opportunities for pursuing pleasure than their male counterparts. As such, songs in which female narrators express their desire to have fun regardless of the consequences for their reputations can be highly feminist. Joan Jett’s “Bad Reputation” is still one of the best released.
7. “What’s Up?” – 4 Non-Blondes
“What’s Up?” is an LGBT+ anthem. After all, the band members are lesbians, who built up much of their early fan base by playing in lesbian bars. Regardless, “What’s Up?” is also an expression of strength because it emphasizes hope despite everything wrong in the world.
6. “Woman” – Kesha Featuring the Dap-Kings Horns
“Woman” wasn’t inspired by Kesha’s long-running legal battle with Dr. Luke, who she claimed abused her sexually and in other ways. Instead, she wrote the song because of Donald Trump’s infamous conversation with Billy Bush in 2005. Kesha stated that she loved being a woman, so she deliberately set out to make an anthem for others who wanted to share in a sense of strength and self-sufficiency.
5. “Can’t Hold Us Down” – Christina Aguilera Featuring Lil’ Kim
“Can’t Hold Us Down” came out in 2003. Despite that, its message remains relevant. For those unfamiliar, it sees Christina Aguilera taking shots at double standards about the sexes. One example would be the way they are expected to behave, while another example would be the way they are treated for having sex.
It isn’t known what specifically motivated Aguilera to release the song. However, there is common speculation that she was responding to Eminem, who had mentioned her in a couple of songs released around that time.
4. “I’m Every Woman” – Chaka Khan
“I’m Every Woman” is one of the greatest dance songs ever released. Indeed, it went on to inspire several well-known covers, with Whitney Houston’s version being the most famous. A considerable number of people also see “I’m Every Woman” as an anthem for women, which makes sense considering the implications of its iconic line.
3. “Just a Girl” – No Doubt
Gwen Stefani embarked on a successful career as a solo pop artist in the mid-2000s. Interested individuals should know she was no newcomer to the music industry. By that point, Stefani was already a well-known musician, seeing as she had already served as the lead singer and primary songwriter of No Doubt. The latter took some time to break through.
Still, when it did, it became one of the greatest rock bands of the 1990s. “Just a Girl” was the lead single off of No Doubt’s most successful release Tragic Kingdom. It is loaded with sarcasm, which came through wonderfully because of Stefani’s incredible delivery.
The lyrics make more sense when interested individuals realize the song was inspired by her upbringing by strict parents. As such, “Just a Girl” combines girl power with the spirit of youthful rebellion that permeates so much of rock and roll as a genre.
2. “9 to 5” – Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton has released numerous hits. Even so, “9 to 5” stands out, not least because it earned her an Oscar nomination and two Grammy Award wins. The song has long been an anthem for American workers, which makes sense because it is easy to connect with its message that people are being overworked, underpaid, and otherwise treated poorly.
That said, “9 to 5” has particular resonance for women. The movie it was sung for was more-or-less a power fantasy in which three working women managed to get even with a boss who was bad in every way.
1. “Respect” – Aretha Franklin
Aretha Franklin wasn’t the first artist to perform “Respect.” However, she made it her own, not least because her seemingly minor changes produced a world of difference in the song’s meaning.
The original comes off as more than a bit misogynistic from a modern perspective. Meanwhile, Franklin’s version sees the female narrator demanding the respect that she deserves from her partner. “Respect” went on to become a powerful symbol of not just the civil rights movement but also second-wave feminism. It is no exaggeration to say that it is one of the most influential songs ever released in the United States.
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