Tunes of Women’s History Month

Jules Hanisee, Staff Writer

Women’s History Month, originally started as Women’s History Week in 1987, is a celebration intended to recognize women’s inspirations and contributions to history. Since its inception, it has been celebrated in a variety of ways. 

This and every March, the female-identifying people in your life deserve to be honored: one way you can do this is through celebrating the works of female-identifying musicians. 

Here are some of my favorite works performed by female- identifying people. All of these songs and more can be found using the QR code linked to a Spotify playlist. 

Brittany Howard, the lead singer and guitarist of the American rock band Alabama Shakes, boasts the rare ability to make every song sound distinct. Alabama Shakes wrote “This Feeling,” a song characterized by light drums, guitar and Howard’s powerful vocals. Up for interpretation, I find that “This Feeling” is about working too hard, but finding the beautiful realization that everything is going to be alright. 

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart are an American indie pop band that originated in New York City. They wrote two of my favorite songs called “A Teenager in Love” and “Laid.” Peggy Wang, one of the band’s vocalists, is an Asian-American woman who sings eloquently and produces masterfully. 

“A Teenager in Love” is an upbeat song whose lyrics in particular deserve your attention. Upon researching this band, I was ecstatic to find that Wang graduated from Tulane University, was born in Metairie, Louisiana and is the founding editor of Buzzfeed

Haley Heynderickx, a Filipino-American alternative singer-songwriter from Portland, Oregon, boasts beautiful, enveloping lyrics especially in “The Bug Collector.” This song takes listeners through a variety of bugs that Heynderickx removes for the comfort of the subject of the song. 

“The Bug Collector” describes the pains of realizing that sometimes, you cannot fix someone’s situation or guide them through it. Her body of work is well worth a listen, no matter your interpretation.

Patti Smith is one of the best lyricists I have heard in my lifetime and a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Her song entitled “Land: Horses/ Land of a Thousand Dances/ La Mer(de),” is a prime example of Smith’s lyrical and vocal capabilities. 

Released in 1975, this nine-minute punk song almost seems to defy genre, taking listeners through different techniques and experimentation. Once again up to interpretation, I see this song as the spiritual journey of a young person, and how he awakens to his true, incorporeal existence. 

Up next: The Cranberries and their lyrical masterpiece entitled “Linger.” Their second-most-streamed song, “Linger” takes us through the heartbreak of a woman, sung by Dolores O’Riordan

O’Riordan, an Irish musician, was one of the most influential women of 90s rock and still influences the lives of those whose ears have the fortune of coming across her voice. 

Blondie’s hit song “Rapture” was the first rap song to ever top music charts. This is far from the extent of Blondie’s capabilities. Their discography surpasses genre, ranging from punk to rap to rock. One of my favorite songs performed by them is entitled “Hanging On the Telephone,” a song about a woman waiting at a phone booth. 

Say Sue Me is an indie-rock band from South Korea that wrote one of my favorite songs of all time, “Old Town.” “Old Town” reminds me of the long summer drives you take when you’re young and experiencing freedom for the first time. 

Say Sue Me has tones of garage rock and indie pop and is perfect to listen to when you are getting ready for a fun night, or when you want to feel like the main character walking across campus. 

Next, we have Indigo de Souza, who wrote a beautiful song called “Boys”. De Souza is a mixed- race musician that grew up in North Carolina and started writing music when she was just 9 years old. “Boys” is an incredible song with rich, heart-wrenching lyrics that deserves to be played during your next night in. 

Finally, this article would be incomplete without a song by the infamous Stevie Nicks, the lead singer of Fleetwood Mac. Although the entire Fleetwood Mac discography is worth listening to, “Rhiannon,” in my opinion, is the best of what Nicks’ vocals and lyrics have to offer. Not only is she a talented musician and was the first woman to ever be put in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, but she is also an activist for women, speaking out numerous times on how important feminism is. 

Although just a fraction of my favorite songs are performed by female-identifying people, these artists deserve your attention. They highlight the importance of diversity and intersectionality in art around the world and make your walks to class a bit brighter. 

What better way to celebrate March’s newly-found warmth than by listening to these songs that are overflowing with female expression and empowerment?

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