Girl power was strong in the 70s.
Welcome to the 70s baby! 70s music was its own separate genre, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t have some really amazing girl power songs! If you want a real blast from the past and you’re feeling nostalgic for some classic girl anthems, here are your must-listen to girl power songs from the seventies.
1. “There Are Worse Things I Could Do” — Rizzo, from the movie Grease
Rizzo is, of course, the resident bad girl and leader of the Pink Ladies in the iconic movie, Grease. Stockard Channing has a grungy, truly bad girl vibe. This song is about Rizzo’s reputation, her limits, and her want to be more than what people peg her for. This scene is also happening during her pregnancy scare with Kenickie, so it’s a really powerful ballad about perception and image in the world of Rydell High.
“I could hurt someone like me
Out of spite or jealousy
I don’t steal and I don’t lie
But I can feel and I can cry
A fact I’ll bet you never knew
But to cry in front of you
That’s the worst thing I could do”
2. “I’m Every Woman” — Chaka Khan
Chaka Khan is a quintessential female voice within the 1970s music scene. She has a big, powerful voice that exudes confidence. Chaka’s personal style on stage is very 70s as well, utilizing the bright colors and natural beauty that defined the decade.
“I’m every woman,
It’s all in me
Anything you want done, baby,
I’ll do it naturally
I’m every woman,
It’s all in me
I can read your thoughts right now,
Every one from A to Z”
3. “The Pill” — Loretta Lynn
If you like feminist anthems, this is definitely one that you should give a listen to. “The Pill” by Loretta Lynn is a song all about a woman gaining back her independence once she gets on ‘the pill’ — also known as birth control. She doesn’t want to be tied down to someone or to children while her baby daddy wines and dines the rest of the young eligible ladies. The lyrics alone are a total 70s baby-free love anthem.
“This old maternity dress I’ve got
Is goin’ in the garbage
The clothes I’m wearin’ from now on
Won’t take up so much yardage
Miniskirts, hot pants and a few little fancy frills
Yeah I’m makin’ up for all those years
Since I’ve got the pill”
4. “I Am Woman” — Helen Reddy
This is a fun country style empowerment song. Helen Reddy has a classic country voice with a 70s flare. This is a collective women’s empowerment song. She isn’t just representing herself in her situation, she is singing about all women who are beaten down, but rise back up to the top.
“I am woman, hear me roar
In numbers too big to ignore
And I know too much to go back an’ pretend
‘Cause I’ve heard it all before
And I’ve been down there on the floor
No one’s ever gonna keep me down again”
5. “Piss Factory” — Patti Smith
Patti Smith is the precursor to the iconic rocker chicks of the 1980s. This song has Patti’s sassy and grungy voice telling us the story of a woman’s journey through a menial job where she’s told to stay in her own lane and follow the rules. She tells them all to basically shove it, and either take her better way or hit the road. She isn’t afraid to speak her mind and she’ll stand up for herself, no questions asked.
“Hey sister, you just movin’ too fast,
You screwin’ up the quota,
You doin’ your piece work too fast,
Now you get off your mustang sally
You ain’t goin’ nowhere, you ain’t goin’ nowhere.”
I lay back. I get my nerve up. I take a swig of Romilar
And walk up to hot shit Dot Hook and I say
“Hey, hey sister it don’t matter whether I do labor fast or slow,
There’s always more labor after.”