Alice Cooper – Only Women

I had this single in the 70s. I was a kid and I knew every word. I had no clue what it meant…just thought it was a pretty song and the words were powerful. On my single, it was listed as “Only Women” it was shortened from “Only Women Bleed” by the record company because of protests by feminist groups.

Alice Cooper is singing about how women bleed from the heart, mind, and soul. Several feminist groups protested this song, but it was actually a sympathetic look at domestic abuse. It’s a rare song where Cooper doesn’t try to shock.

This ballad was on Alice Cooper’s Welcome To My Nightmare album. The song peaked at #12 in the Billboard 100, #1 in Canada, and #21 in New Zealand in 1975.

The song was written by Cooper and Dick Wagner. Wagner had the melody since the sixties but didn’t like the lyrics.  He played the riff for Cooper, and the two developed new lyrics for the song.

The song was produced by Bob Ezrin using a demo that was recorded at the home studio of Micky Dolenz of The Monkees. Cooper and Wagner were able to walk to Dolenz house to record the demo.

Dick Wagner: “It’s really a song about domestic violence. It was misunderstood when it first came out. It was supposedly about a woman’s period, but it wasn’t. It was about a woman’s subservient position in society to a man. I’m a firm believer that women are the superior sex. ‘Only Women Bleed’ was a liberating kind of song.”

 

Only Women Bleed - Alice Cooper.jpg

From Songfacts

Contrary to what many listeners believed, this is not about menstruation and it does not advocate domestic violence. 

Alice Cooper and his guitarist Dick Wagner also wrote the ballads “You And Me” and “I Never Cry” together. Alice called this style “Heavy Metal Housewife Rock,” and explained in an interview with Creem: “I did those songs totally out of spite. I kept reading so many interviews and articles that I said I was never considered musical. Best rock show they ever saw, but musically lacking. They kept saying I was a performer but didn’t write anything. So I said, ‘Oh yeah? Yeah? Wait till you hear this!'”

Cooper performed the song with a single dancer, and it remained a part of his stage show for many of his concerts in the ensuing years. Alice told Mojo: “I didn’t realize it would end up as a woman’s anthem. I just needed a ballad for Welcome to my Nightmare.”

Dick Wagner wrote what would become the music for this song in 1968 when he was with a band called The Frost. Wagner wasn’t happy with the lyrics he wrote for the song, so he never recorded it. When he teamed up with Cooper in 1975, he played the music for Alice, who attached it to a title he was looking to use: “Only Women Bleed.” Based around that title, he and Wagner came up with the rest of the lyrics.

Only Women Bleed

Man’s got his woman to take his seed
He’s got the power – oh
She’s got the need
She spends her life through pleasing up her man
She feeds him dinner or anything she can

She cries alone at night too often
He smokes and drinks and don’t come home at all
Only women bleed
Only women bleed
Only women bleed

Man makes your hair gray
He’s your life’s mistake
All you’re really lookin’ for is an even break

He lies right at you
You know you hate this game
He slaps you once in a while and you live and love in pain

She cries alone at night too often
He smokes and drinks and don’t come home at all
Only women bleed
Only women bleed
Only women bleed
Only women bleed
Only women bleed
Only women bleed
Only women bleed

Black eyes all of the time
Don’t spend a dime
Clean up this grime
And you there down on your knees begging me please come
Watch me bleed

Only women bleed
Only women bleed
Only women bleed
Only women bleed
Only women bleed
Only women bleed
Only women bleed

Author: badfinger20

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

27 thoughts on “Alice Cooper – Only Women”

  1. I just Googled songs about menstruation and found that several artists actually covered this subject.
    ‘PMS Blues’ by Dolly Parton, ‘My Red Self’ by Heavens to Betsy, ‘Blood in the Boardroom’ by Ani DiFranco, ‘Crimson Wave’ by Tacocat, ‘Red Tide’ by Neko Case, ‘Red Red Rose’ by The Weepies, ‘Period Sex’ by Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Cast, ‘That Time of the Month’ by Harley Poe, ‘I Love You Period’ by Dan Baird and ‘Time to Flow’ by D-Nice.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I was 10 in 1977 so unfortunately I wasn’t a teen in the seventies but I sure preferred them to the 80s.
        I bought singles and watched SNL but I do wish I would have been older.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Great song, like I said not long back, that and “You and Me” would be my two favorites of his, and they are probably the least typical of his body of work. Always thought the lyrics were good and quite sympathetic to women but he (probably deliberately to provoke and grab attention) picked a terrible title for it which made him an easy target.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. If I’ve ever heard this, I don’t remember it. It pulls no punches & it’s sad. I’ve never been hit by a man but, I’ve suffered bad marriages.

    I can see how the feminazis would lose it. I’m all for girl power but, I’m striving for balance, not domination.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You mean there is not a SJW hidden in you? Just joking…
      It’s a good song and uncharacteristic for him. This one and You and Me were really big.

      Like

      1. LOL…
        Alice had an odd career…hard rock and then totally pop hits and then in the 80s when Poison and others were out…he started the hard music again.

        Like

      2. *sigh*

        We SO need some real, new rock on the radio. The music industry has just ignored them. When Ken saw the Superbowl show, he looked at me, rolled his eyes & said “weird-ass tribal music”. I had to laugh. These kids today know NOTHING.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. That stuff bored me to tears…to tears. I just want someone to play music…it’s not about the music though…it’s about sex and dancing.

        Like

  4. I was oblivious to the meaning other than the literal title at the time it came out — too busy being a wild child to look beyond the surface — but oh do I understand now. I commend Alice Cooper for putting this song out at the height of his popularity. Stars have a lot of sway with the masses and I feel there should be some obligation to use that spotlight for good when they are in it. I think that idea has been lost on many these days. Great selection, Max. Appreciation from one of those who have bled enough to last several lifetimes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was hesitant about posting it because of what the title says…but I’m happy people listen to the words and see what he meant.
      I think I liked it as a kid after seeing what my mom had to go through.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. This was a hit in the UK in a cover by Julie Covington – the original singer of Don’t Cry For Me Argentina, which she followed up with this, having an interest in women’s rights. It’s transformed into a bit of a feminist anthem, she’s a great singer (and actress)

    Liked by 1 person

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