A few months back we dug into lyrical misogyny so this February we’re balancing it with empower choons. Blast these into your eardrums for a pick me up or gather your crew and sing-along
1. We Don't Need Another Hero (Thunderdome) - Tina Turner 1985
Tina’s right isn’t she? We need to be the heroes of our own stories, our own fights. No more waiting in the sidelines for the knight in shining armour to save us. We’re going to save ourselves. From Tina’s husky tones flow powerful messages:
Out of the ruins
Out from the wreckage
Can't make the same mistake this time
We are the children
The last generation
We are the ones they left behind
Oh and the drums in the chorus are just spectacular!
It’s worth noting here too that Tina made her career comeback at 45 fighting ageism, sexism and racism along the way. And boy are we glad she did, with classics like What’s Love Got To Do With It? And the chilling Private Dancer.
2. Girl on Fire (Inferno remix) - Alicia Keys 2012
This version with Nicki Minaj has a lot more sass than the original and that opening drumbeat will have you marching before the chorus hits.
We got our feet on the ground
And we're burning it down
Ohhhh oh oh oh oh
Got our head in the clouds
And we're not coming down
This girl is on fire
3. Sisters Are Doin’ It For Themselves - Eurythmics 1985
This video is just epic. Annie Lennox AND Aretha Franklin. Need we say more.
Now this is a song
The conscious liberation
Of the female state
4 & 5. Independent Woman Part 1 & Survivor - Destiny’s Child 2001
How could we just narrow it down to one! Destiny’s Child surged into our consciousness in the late 90s and introduced many of us to feminism.
We know you know the lyrics to these.
6. No Man Is Big Enough For My Arms - Ibeyi 2017
Ibeyi’s album Ash has been described as “an empowering soundtrack to the elements and the fight for equality.” We’ve selected a track with Michelle Obama’s forceful words over the harmonies from these talented twin sisters.
There’s no official video of this tune yet but here it is on Spotify
The measure of any society is how it treats its women and girls
The smart, powerful, creative, accomplished young women
We can fight
I'm here because of you
I'm here because girls like you inspire me
H3: 7. Phenomenal woman - Laura Mvula 2016
The unforgettable voice of Laura Mvula twinned with the inspiration of the Maya Angelou poem of the same name. Yes this tune makes our top ten.
She battled through in every kind of tribulation
She revelled in adventure and imagination
She never listened to no hater, liar
Breaking boundaries and chasing fire
8. L7 - Shitlist
Feeling enraged by “double agents of the patriarchy” from time to time, here’s some cathartic punk by the 90s grunge band.
When I get mad and I get pissed
I grab my pen and I write out a list
Of all the people that won't be missed
You've made my shitlist
9. Beyoncé - ***Flawless ft. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - 2014
QueenB had to appear again on this list. This time with the words of author and activist, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie interweaving the song, reminding us the definition of a feminist.
We teach girls to shrink themselves
To make themselves smaller
We say to girls,
"You can have ambition
But not too much
You should aim to be successful
But not too successful
Otherwise you will threaten the man."
10. I’ll fight - Jennifer Hudson - 2018
All the feels with this epic anthem and soundtrack to Ruth Bader Ginsburg inspired film On The Basis of Sex.