James Brown “It's a Man's World”

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .
this is a man's world
but it wouldn't be nothing, nothing
without a woman or a girl

logically perplexing

James Brown and Luciano Pavarotti - It's a Man's World
It's a Man's World

“It's a Man's Man's Man's World”(1966), by James Brown (1933 to 2006).

this is a man's world
this is a man's world
but it wouldn't be nothing, nothing
without a woman or a girl

you see,
man made the car
to take us over the road
man made the train
to carry the heavy load
man made the electric light
to take us out of the dark
man made the boat for the water
(that my Bible says)
like Noah made the ark

this is a man's man's man's world
but it wouldn't mean nothing
without a woman or a girl

man thinks about the little baby baby girl, and baby boys
man makes them happy
cause man makes them toys
after a man makes everything everything he can
you known man makes money
to buy from other man

this is a man's world
but it would be nothing, nothing
not one little thing
without a woman or a girl

he's lost in the wilderness
he's lost in bitterness

The silliness of the lyrics must have contributed significantly to the song's success. The lyrics, amounts to how men need women, but expressed in a illogical way. Let's look at some of the lines.

this is a man's world
but it wouldn't be nothing, nothing
without a woman or a girl

Note the addition of “or a girl”. The difference between “woman” and “girl” is age. But it didn't say “this is a man or boy world”. From this we can extract a few implications about human animals's age and sex relations and attitudes. 1. The world is run by men, not boys. 2. a man needs a woman, but emphatically, a young woman. Nubility is the key word here.

man made the car,
to take us over the road.
man made the train,
to carry the heavy load.
man made the electric light,
to take us out of the dark.

The car is made, for ease of transportation. Road or not is not what car is for.

Train, is not exactly for “carry the heavy load”.

You have to wonder what angle exactly made someone say these things.

The line “to take us out of the dark.” is funnier even.

It signifies, that man's invention leads us to enlightenment.

man made the boat for the water
(that my Bible says)
like Noah made the ark

Now, bible comes in. This lyrics is not meant to be facetious.

man thinks about the little baby baby girl, and baby boys
man makes them happy

girl, gets qualified by 2 babies. This signifies that girls are cuter.

note, the way this is said, is not about caring and loving, but thinking and doing. Think, and Make.

Also note, it's not plural, men. But singular, man, is used to signify all men. This subtlety highlights the competitiveness of men.

cause man makes them toys

from taking us out of the dark to making toys for children.

we have a gamut of comprehension.

after a man makes everything everything he can
you known man makes money
to buy from other man

this is where things get complex.

the invention goes meta.

but is money actually man-made?

are we talking about the concept of money, or the coins and dollar bills?

and, historically, money is something like a “i owe you” note, and physically, it was made by nature, such as seashells.

Then, money isn't really made to create the possibility of “buying” things from other man. We get things from each other first by giving, then follows the concept of money. Also, here, attribution of money as invention of male, is a bit unfair. As for exchanging things as gifts for mutual benefit, perhaps females had a equal or primary role.

this is a man's world
but it would be nothing, nothing
not one little thing
without a woman or a girl
he's lost in the wilderness
he's lost in bitterness

A man without a woman or a girl, is a man without a sexual mate, and as such, he is a loser, lost in the wilderness, and bitterness. Most men, have this problem, because only the rich and powerful, the alpha males, get girls.

(The reason for this development is the biology of the sexes, in short: women bear babies, the cost is very high. The benefit is that women don't need to earn to have sex. Males, have to compete to mate.)


so who wrote this outlandish lyrics?

turns out, it's a woman. James Brown's then girlfriend Betty Jean Newsome.

“It's a Man's Man's Man's World” is a song by James Brown and Betty Jean Newsome. Brown recorded it on February 16, 1966 in a Tamworth, Staffordshire studio and released it as a single later that year. It reached No. 1 on the Billboard R&B chart and No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100. [2][3] Its title is a word play on the 1963 comedy film It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.

The song's lyrics, which Rolling Stone characterized as “biblically chauvinistic”,[4] attribute all the works of modern civilization (the car, the train, the boat (“Like Noah built the ark”), and the electric light) to the efforts of men, but claim that it all would “mean nothing without a woman or a girl”.[1] The song also states that man made toys for the baby boys and girls, and comments about the fact that “Man makes money” to buy from other men. Before the song's fade, Brown states that man is lost in his bitterness and in the wilderness. Brown's co-writer and onetime girlfriend, Betty Jean Newsome, wrote the lyrics based on her own observations of the relations between the sexes. In later years, Newsome would claim that Brown didn't write any part of the song and argued in court that Brown sometimes forgot to pay her royalties.[5]

2017-11-04 Wikipedia It's a Man's Man's Man's World

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