What Is It About Men

Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • This song co-written by Amy Winehouse is about the breakup of her parents' marriage. She was asked by Mojo magazine January 2008 why she would reveal such things in a Pop song. Winehouse replied: "I don't know what my mum feels about it, but I felt it was important to write that song. I was 9 or 10 when my dad left. My mum was upset every night, falling apart. I thought she was weak until I realized that my dad was the weak one, 'cos he couldn't make something work. My mum was the strong one."
  • Amy Winehouse's taxi driver father, Mitch, spoke to the BBC about an extramarital affair that he had with a work colleague, Jane, which carried on for almost a decade before he eventually left his family to move in with her. It was an open secret in the family home and Amy and her older brother Alex even had a special name for their father's mistress: 'Daddy's work wife.' After his daughter wrote this song, the taxi driver realized that the line in this song "All the s--t my mother went through" referred to his affair. Mitch said: "The children used to call Jane 'Daddy's work wife.' I did not leave home until Amy was ten, so the situation occurred for another eight or nine years before I left home. It was difficult. I should have left earlier, I should have left sooner. There was not really a negative response from Amy (when I left), but she definitely became a lot more independent. Perhaps deep down she felt her parents were splitting up, she could not rely on them to stay together and that it was about time she learned to look after herself. I thought Amy was over it pretty quickly - in fact it felt at the time Amy felt no effect at all. Maybe she could not articulate it in words, but she certainly did it with music."

Comments: 2

  • Sadie from Atlanta, GaI think she's also talking about how in the end she realizes she's doing what her father did to her mother. She's cheating on someone she cares about.
  • Tiffany from Little Rock, ArPeople should really listen to and study this one, because it's one of Amy's more raw and realistic songs, and it gives us a glimpse into where her mistrust of men comes from. Her father was duplicitous, she became "the other woman" in a relationship with Blake when she got older, and she seems to feel that sex is the only thing she'll ever need from a man. To Amy, men can't be trusted to be true.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake & Palmer

Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake & PalmerSongwriter Interviews

Greg talks about writing songs of "universal truth" for King Crimson and ELP, and tells us about his most memorable stage moment (it involves fireworks).

Ian Anderson: "The delight in making music is that you don't have a formula"

Ian Anderson: "The delight in making music is that you don't have a formula"Songwriter Interviews

Ian talks about his 3 or 4 blatant attempts to write a pop song, and also the ones he most connected with, including "Locomotive Breath."

Timothy B. Schmit of the Eagles

Timothy B. Schmit of the EaglesSongwriter Interviews

Did this Eagle come up with the term "Parrothead"? And what is it like playing "Hotel California" for the gazillionth time?

The End Of The Rock Era

The End Of The Rock EraSong Writing

There are no more rock stars - the last one died in 1994.

George Clinton

George ClintonSongwriter Interviews

When you free your mind, your ass may follow, but you have to make sure someone else doesn't program it while it's wide open.

Waiting For The Break of Day: Three Classic Songs About All-Nighters

Waiting For The Break of Day: Three Classic Songs About All-NightersSong Writing

These Three famous songs actually describe how they were written - late into the evening.