I guess this post is for all the fellas in the house - recognise your woman (or at least open your eyes to those women around you! :-) It's also for all the ladies in the house - be who you want to be in this song. I've already made notes about my favourite lines. I could tell you which lines are me - but it's more fun if you can hazard a guess in the comments section below!
The opening verse with the block chords soon give way to the second verse which expands with the arpeggiated chords in the right hand, punctuated by the bass line played by the guitar. The rhythm guitar shadows the arpeggiated line as well. The bridge brings forward a new instrument with the flute. It joins in to add some harmony with the lead vocal before providing a pretty countermelody in the sequence that occurs immediately afterwards. The humming seems to suggest that Billy may be thinking about what he has sung about, like a subtle affirmation, agreeing with everything he has described about the woman (or having a quiet chuckle to himself). The bridge returns with the flute. The use of the flute in pop music (or ballads) at this time was what the alto saxophone did for love ballads in the 80s (cue Careless Whisper).
She can kill with a smile, she can wound with her eyes
And she can ruin your faith with her casual lies
And she only reveals what she wants you to see
She hides like a child but she's always a woman to me
She can lead you to love, she can take you or leave you
She can ask for the truth but she'll never believe
And she'll take what you'll give her as long as it's free
Yeah she steals like a thief, but she's always a woman to me
Ooh she takes care of herself
She can wait if she wants, she's ahead of her time
Ooooh and she never gives out, and she never gives in
She just changes her mind
And she'll promise you more than the Garden of Eden
And she'll carelessly cut you and laugh while you're bleeding
But she'll bring out the best and the worst you can be
Blame it all on yourself, cos she's always a woman to me
Hmmmmm Mmmmmmm Hmmmmmm Mmmmmmm
Return to bridge*
She is frequently kind and she's suddenly cruel
But she can do as she pleases, she's nobody's fool
And she can't be convicted, she's earned her degree
And the most she will do is throw shadows at you
But she's always a woman to me.
The resilience of a woman who is all things to all men, that despite what she might do, say, think or feel, people will always be fascinated by her. There's that old adage of "women want to be her and men want to be with her".
But at the end of the day, she only reveals what she wants you to see . . .