Woman in Chains is another one of those famous exceptions. Just like Nobody’s Hero, it carries a message that is unfortunately still very topical, even now almost 30 years later. There has been improvements, but there is no real gender equality, not even in countries like Sweden. It is from this aspect that I interpret the song, but it was interesting to read on the Wikipedia page that the song could also talk about how men need to get in touch with their feminine side.
What I think about when hearing the song is the patriarchal societies around the world, where women are seen as inferior human beings. Societies where parents are disappointed by the birth of a daughter. Where women are objects that can be traded. Where women don’t have the right to vote, or even go to school. It is just so difficult to see how we can be such an advanced race and capable of seeing inside an atom and a galaxy billions of light years away, but not give women the same opportunities that men get. There is this duality in humanity where our intellectual growth has far exceeded the emotional growth. We are cavemen with nuclear bombs and space travel.
And yes, I get all of that from this one song. But I wouldn’t be me if I only loved the song for its message. In Woman in Chains, it is delivered with such beauty and such agony that there are times when I see past the lyrics and lose myself in the incredible craftsmanship and just simply bow my head in admiration. From the leading bass to the haunting melody to the vocals that speak straight to your heart, from the acoustic guitar to the harmonies and the strings and finally the drums and I can barely breathe. So free her, so free her, so free her… This song was wasted on a world that men rule.
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