Ain’t I A Woman? (with Julie Christensen)

In the ritual of this album this song is the invocation of the goddess.

But that’s not how it began…

Since I was a teenager I’d had this idea it would be great to hear Joe Cocker sing “You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman”.

When Mary’s Danish guitarist David King invited me to write a song for a “Schoolhouse Rock”-type project I asked my friend Amy to direct me toward a great woman who was left out of most American history. She suggested Sojournor Truth.

Julie Christensen sang lead on the recording of “Ain’t I A Woman” that appeared on David’s project and Darlene Sovran recorded her own version on her “Motel Darlene” album.

Appropriately, this track begins with a mis-communication.

When I refer to an “illustrious woman in the house”, Julie thinks I am mocking her when in fact I am referring to Sojournor Truth.

There are no accidents in a ritual so we can make of this what we will, including the possibility that Julie is unwittingly speaking on behalf of Sojournor Truth herself.



“Where there is
so much racket
there must be something out of kilter”
That’s what Sojourner Truth said
as she rose to the lecturn
She was a six foot tall black woman
in a church full of white faces
a 55 year old preacher
but she still looked out of place
Y’see it was
in a church in Akron, Ohio
a convention on women’s rights
which was a pretty radical idea at the time
She sat quiet through the first day
and half of the next day
listening to what the other preachers had to say
And one of ’em said…
that women were less…
because God made Christ a man
whatever that meant
and another one said
that women were less
because Eve enjoyed an apple
every now and then
and another one said
that women were less
because they are so weak….


Well, Sojournor Truth had heard quite enough of that bull
so rising and rolling up her sleeves
she addressed the crowd
and this is what she said…

“That man over there says
that women need to be helped into carriages and lifted over puddles
and given the best place everywhere.
Well ain’t I a woman?
No one’s ever helped me into a carriage
or lifted me over a puddle
or given me the best place anywhere
and ain’t I a woman?
I could work
and eat
as much as any man
when I could get it
and I could bear the lash as well
Ain’t I woman
I’ve borne 13 children
and seen most of ’em sold into slavery
Ain’t I woman?
Ain’t I a woman?

And now old Sojournor ain’t got nothing more to say


Written by Andras Jones
Recorded live and engineered by
Colin Mahoney & John Nason

Andras Jones – Lead Vocals & Acoustic Guitar
Julie Christensen – Featured vocalsist
John Nason – Lead Guitar & Vocals
Marshall Thompson – Keyboards & Vocals
Clay Goldstein – Harmonica
Steve Taylor – Banjo on
Randy Kaplan – Backing Vocals
Brian Mastalski – Bass Guitar
Colin Mahoney – Drums