I am woman (Emily Wilding Davison)

Congratulations again to Ian F Ball for winning last month’s challenge and setting something quite new to me (Ive never written about an historic figure before).
Im not sure what the expectations are for this month’s challenge stylistically but Ive gone for something I think a bit different for me, just to see if I can.
Emily Wilding Davision was the woman who was trampled by the King’s horse in the 1913 derby.
She was an activist within the suffagette movement and by all accounts was a bit of a renegade for the time, spending periods of time in prison for setting fire to letterboxes and throwing stones at leading politicians amongst other things. Whilst in prison she would engage in hunger strikes to make her point.
Her cause of death was recorded as misadventure although it seems no-one knows for sure if it was intentional or just a misguided attempt to pin a suffregette flag on the king’s horse. Irrespective of intent, the suffragette movement seized the opportunity to galvanise opinion on changing the law and eventually succeeded in 1918.
Given her “edgy” approach to the cause (which for many suffragettes went too far) I wanted to try something a bit unsettling musically and for for the first time Ive tried a 7/4 timing on the verse leading to a 3/4 on the chorus bits. Im not sure it works, welcome views. I’ll post lyrics in the comments below. I didnt record this live – I havent the patience to learn how to hang onto a new timing and sing at the same time this month, but both playing and singing were captured in one take. My voice is recovering from a heavy cold so excuse the cracks, it was the best take! I added the harmonies in afterwards.
As always welcome comments and feedback


  1. Lyrics
    They say justice is blind
    I will be seen
    I am woman
    Set fire to the lies in your words
    starved of the truth
    from this woman
    I’ll prove Im all that you are
    and so much more
    I am woman

    And all the kings horses
    can’t trample my ambition
    freedom will be
    for the next generation
    We are woman

    I stands for deeds and not words
    white purple and green
    the bruises I keep
    I’ll stone the pomp and mighty
    you don’t speak for me
    I am woman
    protest for equality
    victory will free
    every woman

    You may not remember my name
    my price was worth the pain
    my legacy will remain
    You are woman

  2. Captivating, 7/4, 3/4, what for? because it works of course!. I love it, a great story, a super composition, I hope you add this to your live repertoire

  3. I listened before reading your post and at first had difficulty ‘nodding along’ in time (I have difficulty counting past 4 anyway), but as the song grew, I realised what you were doing timewise and the song grew on me so much that I did an instant replay.
    It is as you say ‘unsettling’ but in my opinion fits so well with your subject matter.
    I really like the way you keep pushing yourself to try something different, and using the challenges as they are intended, to be a challenge.
    Bravo once again Bec

  4. Congrats on setting such a challenge with atypical timing and pulling it off so well. Lovely song on such an important topic, and written and performed with such powerful emotive imagery and voice. That’s some talent you’ve got there Bec!

  5. Oh, Bec, this is fantastic in every way. The time signatures give it a slightly menacing, urgent feel which is appropriate for the song. The words are powerful, well-chosen and memorable. The introduction of harmonies works well. Emily Davison was one of the most important figures in the suffragette movement, and you’ve told her story with great emotion and resonance.

  6. Captivating in lyric, music, and song. Nice choice going with black and white video. That complements this tune so well and enhances its story much more effectively in combo with your thought-provoking cadence and keyboard play.

  7. On a personal level, you are the first person that has made me understand what 7/4 actually feels like – thank you! A great song , I love the justaposition of the ‘All the King’s horses’ which we know from the nursery rhyme with the horrible truth that Emily Wilding Davison was trampled by the King’s horse. A really powerful song.

  8. So much to enjoy here. There are some great changes which – like the time signature – genuinely serve the song rather than being shoe-horned in to be clever. S good choice of subject to whom you have truly done justice. Great job!