Why Do We Need Traditional Songs to Encourage Women?
Google is full of lists of songs that empower women. That’s not surprising since those are the tunes that drive radio stations and movie soundtracks. The women’s movement has done a fine job of convincing womankind that women need to be more and more empowered, but is that really true?
Has “empowering” women by telling them they can bring home the bacon as well as a man led to stronger, happier families and more fulfilled women? Apparently not. Studies suggest that rates of female happiness have declined significantly since the 1970s. If the Women’s Liberation movement and feminism have not brought happiness to women, maybe it is time to return to the more traditional lifestyle that seems to have made women happier prior to feminism.
The media has had a profound impact on how people view culture and what we think is “normal.” Thanks to decades of fake news stories and titillating immoral plot lines in movies and television shows to push the liberal agenda, we have abandoned our traditional culture for the empty promises of liberalism.
But don’t overlook the importance of the music we listen to in determining how we think and feel about society and culture in general as well as our own lives. What we listen to on a daily basis has a great deal of influence on how we think and behave.
But what songs will encourage women to be more traditional women? It is almost impossible to find a music list for women comprised of songs that encourage them to pursue a more traditional, (one could say “old-fashioned”) lifestyle.
Christian music has provided a library of songs from Amy Grant’s “Father’s Eyes” to the Twila Paris song “The Warrior Is a Child” to Lauren Daigle’s “You Say” that encourage women to turn to God for their security and identity. However, not enough Christian music or secular tunes have been written that encourage women to embrace traditional gender roles and values.
Originally, I could only come up with seven traditional songs to encourage women. Then I added a song that represents Christian musics, and two readers suggested the last two songs. Here is the Christian Activities Top 10 Traditional Songs for Women.
Top Ten Traditional Songs for Women
1. Wives and Lovers
The song “Wives and Lovers” (see video below) was written in 1963 by Burt Bacharach and Hal David to help promote a movie of the same name about infidelity, although the song is not part of the movie soundtrack. It has been recorded by a Who’s Who of recording artists through the years including Frank Sinatra, Dick Van Dyke, Andy Williams, Wayne Newton, Ella Fitzgerald, Jack Jones and more.
The catchy tune is a song of advice to married women, to stay attractive and attentive to their husbands to help prevent infidelity. “Wives and Lovers” enumerates a few things traditional women did at that time, including primping for dinner when their husbands came home from work.
Where are the songs that teach women how to empower their husbands and how to be attractive to them? “Wives and Lovers” lyrics.
Hey! Little girl
Comb your hair, fix your makeup
Soon he will open the door
Don’t think because there’s a ring on your finger
You needn’t try anymore
For wives should always be lovers tooWives and Lovers by Burt Bacharach
Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you
I’m warning you
2. Stand By Your Man
Recorded in August of 1968 during a 15-minute session with Tammy Wynette and songwriter Billy Sherill, “Stand by Your Man” became singer Tammy Wynette’s signature song. The tune about a woman who chooses to look past her man’s faults and remain with him was almost immediately attacked by the women’s liberation movement who claimed the lyrics were anti-feminist.
Women should be encouraged to support their husbands, in spite of their flaws. We need more songs that encourage women to support and stand by their spouses. “Stand by Your Man” lyrics.
Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman
Giving all your love to just one man,
You’ll have bad times
And he’ll have good times,
Doin’ things that you don’t understand,
But if you love him, you’ll forgive him,
Even though he’s hard to understand.Stand by Your Man by Tam Wynete
3. Where Have You Been?
This lovely song was released by Kathy Mattea in 1989. “Where Have You Been?” tells the story of a woman who doesn’t find love right away, but when she does, it’s the kind that lasts through 60 years of life, snoring, and even illness.
There should be more songs about women staying with their husbands for a lifetime. “Where Have You Been” lyrics.
They’d never spent a night apart,
For sixty years, she heard him snore.
Now they’re in a hospital,
In separate beds on different floors.
Claire soon lost her memory,
Forgot the names of family.
She never spoke a word again,
Then one day, they wheeled him in.
He held her hand and stroked her hair,
In a fragile voice she said:
“Where’ve you been?”
“I’ve looked for you forever and a day.”
“Where’ve you been?”
“I’m just not myself when you’re away.”“Where Have You Been?” Kathy Mattea
4. I Enjoy Being a Girl
Although this frivolous ditty is not very deep, it is a celebration of being a woman and all things feminine, including hoping to find a man who will enjoy her feminine ways. “I Enjoy Being a Girl” was written in 1958 by Rodgers and Hammerstein for the musical musical “Flower Drum Song.” It has been recorded by many female artists over the decades including Doris Day, Peggy Lee, and Florence Henderson.
Femininity is a virtue in a woman. There is nothing wrong with being a tomboy, but a woman’s feminine side should be encouraged and celebrated. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. Genesis 1:27 KJV We need more songs that encourage femininity. “I Enjoy Being a Girl” lyrics.
I flip when a fellow sends me flowers,
I drool over dresses made of lace,
I talk on the telephone for hours
With a pound and a half of cream upon my face!
I’m strictly a female female
And my future I hope will be
in the home of a brave a free male
Who’ll enjoy being a guy having a girl like me.I Enjoy Being a Girl, the Flower Drum
5. Can’t Help Lovin Dat Man
“Can’t Help Lovin Dat Man” was written by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein for the 1927 musical Show Boat. The musical centers around two couples where the men don’t live up to everything they should, but the women still continue to love them in spite of their flaws.
So why should songs be written that encourage wives to stand by their men and to remain with husbands who might be a bit lazy, or slow, or who might come home late after work or hanging out with the guys? Doesn’t this encourage women to settle for second? Not at all. These are the traditional wedding vows most couples take:
“I, _____, take thee, _____, to be my wedded wife/husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part, according to God’s holy ordinance.”
(Flawed) women who remain by their flawed men’s sides are strong women who follow God’s plan and not popular culture. We need more songs that celebrate these virtues. “Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man” lyrics.
Tell me he’s lazy, tell me he’s slow,
Tell me I’m crazy, maybe I know).
Can’t help lovin’ dat man of mine…
He kin come home as late as can be,
Home without him ain’t no home to me,
Can’t help lovin’ dat man of mine.Can’t Help Lovn’ Dat Man of Mine, Show Boat
6. If You Have to Go Away
“If You Have to Go Away” was the B side of the Amy Grant single “1974,” a 1988 single that found its way to her popular Lead Me On album. The song speaks to women whose husbands must travel and who are left at home alone, dealing with loneliness while remaining faithful and loving. “If You Have to Go Away” lyrics.
If you have to go away
I’ll leave your shoes beside the bed
And if you have to go away
I’ll want to be with you
I’ll be with me instead
If you have to go away
I won’t be sleeping very well
But if you have to go away
I’ll be loving youIf You Have to Go Away by Amy Grant
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7. Wouldn’t It Be Loverly
“My Fair Lady” tells the story of Eliza Doolittle who spends her days selling flowers but dreams of the security of a home with a fire and a chair and someone loving to take care of her. “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly” was written for the 1956 Broadway play by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe. Another similar song is Ella Fitzgerald’s “Someone To Watch Over Me” written in 1926.
What’s admirable about a woman who wants someone to take care of her and watch over her? It’s Biblical. There were many strong women in the Bible, but a married woman was almost always under the protection of a husband who took care of her and whom she obeyed. There is nothing wrong with songs that encourage women to seek the care and protection of a husband. We need more songs like that. “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly” lyrics.
Someone’s head restin’ on my knee
Warm and tender as he can be
Who takes good care of me
Oh, wouldn’t it be loverly?Wouldn’t It Be Loverly, My Fair Lady
8. My Guy
“My Guy” was recorded in 1964 by Mary Wells. It has a similar theme to “Soldier Boy” by the Shirelles, in that it speaks of remaining true but “My Guy” develops the theme more. This woman is going to remain true to her man no matter what other people do or say.
Nothing you could do could make me untrue to my guy,
Nothing you could buy could make me tell a lie to my guy.
I gave my guy my word of honor to be faithful, and I’m gonna,
You best be believing I won’t be deceiving my guy.My Guy by Mary Wells
9. I Will Follow Him
The song “I Will Follow Him,” first recorded in 1961 by Franck Pourcel and made popular by 15-year-old Peggy March, is not only about loving a man but being willing to follow him wherever he may lead.
In the feminist culture the woman doesn’t always follow. Often she reverses the roles and leads. It can be complicated when the woman works longer hours and/or brings home more money.
To find out what God’s plan is for relationship, just turn to Bible scriptures on marriage. We need more songs that encourage women to follow and let the man use his God-given authority to lead. I Will Follow Him lyrics.
I love him, I love him, I love him
And where he goes I’ll follow, I’ll follow, I’ll follow
He’ll always be my true love, my true love, my true love
From now until forever, forever, foreverI Will Follow Him by Peggy March
10. You Say
Recorded by Lauren Daigle and released in 2018, “You Say” was recommended by a reader. “To me being a Christian woman is about knowing my identity in Christ, so I like ‘You say’ by Lauren Daigle,” wrote our reader Rhonda Rammage.
This song represents all the Christian songs for women that encourage women to find their identity in Christ. “You Say” lyrics
I keep fighting voices in my mind that say I’m not enoughYou Say, Lauren Daigle
Every single lie that tells me I will never measure up
Am I more than just the sum of every high and every low?
Remind me once again just who I am, because I need to know, ooh oh
Traditional Songs to Encourage Women: Honorable Mention
These songs didn’t make the top ten cut, but are still worth listening to.
He Wears a Pair of Silver Wings
This is a sweet song by Dinah Shore about a woman who loves a soldier and is proud of him and his career. Much like “Stand By Your Man,” the song encourages women to be proud of their men. “He Wears a Pair of Silver Wings” was recommended by reader Janet Anderson. “He Wears a Pair of Silver Wings” lyrics.
Other Honorable Mention songs include: Ella Fitzgerald’s “Someone To Watch Over Me,” and “Soldier Boy” by the Shirelles.
More Traditional Songs to Encourage Women Needed
Most of these more traditional songs for women were written in the 1960s or earlier. Women’s happiness has reportedly been on the decline since the 1970s. The second wave of the feminist movement of the 1960s and 1970s has impacted our culture negatively, including our music.
We need more traditional songs to encourage women. Our society needs music that helps women to be happier and more fulfilled, not more empowered. Our culture needs new songs with deeper messages for women who may want to find fulfillment returning to a more traditional lifestyle. We need better songs than the ones on this list to encourage women to aspire to be Proverbs 31 women, to fulfill their wifely duties and in turn, be fulfilled.
Readers: Can you think of other songs recorded by either a Christian or secular artist that approach being a woman from a traditional point of view? Please post them in the comments below. Special thanks to our readers Janet Anderson, Beth Miller Bradshaw, Carolyn Dover Norman and Rhonda Rammage for submitting song ideas.
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- Proverbs 31: A Wife of Noble Character
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