Tag Archives: Helen Reddy

In truth, though perhaps Joanna and I may have felt like it was us against the world when were first were married, we haven’t felt that way for a long time. But “You and Me Against the World” is here for reasons besides the fact that we like Helen Reddy’s voice and feminism.

First, the song captures the spirit of always being there for each other, having each other’s backs so to speak, and I’ve always known that Joanna was my strongest ally.

A second reason is more humorous: the lines, “Remember when the circus came to town; how you were frightened by the clown.” One of the many things that my wife and I share is some coulrophobia (which in our case extends beyond being disturbed by clowns to being a bit freaked out by ventriloquist’s dummies and many dolls). We’re not the only ones, of course — even Alice Cooper and Bart Simpson know that clowns can’t be trusted.

Finally, I like how the last verse of the song describes part of what I hope this blog will help do, for Joanna or me, should we not someday die together:

And when one of us is gone,
And one of us is left to carry on,
Then remembering will have to do,
Our memories alone will get us through
Think about the days of me and you,
Of you and me against the world.

Lyrics here, with video below (or one of her singing it with Kermit the Frog here).

It seems to me that this time of year — a time of eager anticipation for kids and football fans, and again more exciting for Joanna and me now that we have a young grandchild  — may be the most difficult time to be a woman. In addition to the normal household and work chores, there’s the making or buying of gifts, getting out the cards (and remembering who gets them), kids’ Christmas plays, concerts and/or church pageants, and lots of cooking.

Yes, I know that none of those things fall only on women in most households, including ours. But though I’ve honestly been trying to improve for three decades, our home is like most in that my wife does most of the housework. And yes, I know there are households where the workload is evenly split or a man does more, but women usually do more. That’s also true in Great Britain and the rest of Europe, by the way.

With all of that in mind, today’s song is a just a small way of saying that I acknowledge and appreciate the many, many things that my wife does to make our lives work as well as they do. Helen Reddy’s “I am Woman” (live video here) would also fit Joanna, particularly with the words, “I am invincible; I am strong; I am woman.”

But Peggy Lee’s jazzy “I’m a Woman” — despite the fact that probably more people have heard a perfume commercial version than the original — seems more down-to-earth, more realistic (even if the song mentions grits, which Joanna had never tried until our most recent visit to the South). And my wife can still give me “the shiverin’ fits.”

Lyrics here, with video below.