She's a Woman

Album: Past Masters, Vol. 1 (1964)
Charted: 4

Songfacts®:

  • It was a big deal for John Lennon and Paul McCartney to use the phrase "Turn Me On" in the lyrics, as it was a drug reference. Years later, they used the line "I'd love to turn you on" in "A Day In The Life."
  • The woman in the title apparently gets the singer high on marijuana. This is the first time The Beatles used a direct reference to pot in a song. Bob Dylan introduced the band to marijuana when they met on August 28, 1964 in a New York City hotel. Dylan was surprised The Beatles hadn't tried it before, as he thought the line "I Can't Hide" in "I Want To Hold Your Hand" was "I get high." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • Written and recorded the same day, this song was used as the B-side of "I Feel Fine."
  • McCartney has acknowledged Little Richard as big influence, which is apparent on his vocals for this song.
  • A chocalho, which is a type of metal shaker, was used for percussion.
  • In 1965, a Tex-Mex group called the Sir Douglas Quintet released a song called "She's About A Mover" which was a direct rip-off of this. That song hit #13 in the US.
  • The British new wave pop band Scritti Politti recorded a cover with Shabba Ranks, which peaked at #20 on the UK singles charts in 1991. Scritti Politti frontman Green Gartside recalled to Mojo magazine March 2011, the ragga star turned up at the studio, "mob-deep with guns, everything. His manager Clifton 'The Specalist' Dillon would physically get a hold of Shabba while Shabba was on the mike and thump him so he could feel the rhythm."

Comments: 34

  • Jr565 from UsaTurn me on when I get lonely, is not a drug reference. It's a sex reference.
  • Jr565 from Usa"My Love Don't Give Me Presents
    I know that she's no Peasant"
    Always thought that was a weird line. But its actually pretty straightforward. Presents are babies, and not being a peasant means she uses birth control. He can have sex with her and shes' not going to get pregnant.
  • Babbling Babette from Tulsa OkWay back in 1964, I bought the 45 rpm single (Capitol Records) with She's A Woman on one side & I Feel Fine on the opposite side. I loved both songs, but gave the nudge to "Woman" because of the instrumentals and lyrics. She's A Woman is also on The Beatles: Past Masters. The notes in the CD booklet remark that this song is termed a "progressive rock" song. Progressive? What is meant by that? Or was it just the liner-note author's term? Well, anyway, back in '64 I recall a lot of teens in high school were tryiing to learn and play this song in their local bands here. It just drew you into it's music & message. I still am a Beatles fan, but outside of this song, I prefer their later works----especially Lennon's.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn December 27th 1964, "She's A Woman" by the Beatles peaked at #4 (for 1 week), it had entered the chart on November 29th and spent 9 weeks on the Top 100...
    The same week it peaked at #4 the record's flip-side, "I Feel Fine" was in the 2nd of its 3 weeks at #1...
    R.I.P. John & George.
  • Deethewriter from Saint Petersburg, Russia FederationThis seems to have been inspired by the recordings of Little Richard and Larry Williams tracks shortly before, and is an attempt by McCartney to write in that vein. The lyrics are genial gibberish, but the recording itself is fascinating. The switch from chords on the on-beat in the intro to the off-beat in the verses sounds like one of Lennon's musical ideas, while the verses themselves sound like another, much more successful, attempt to incorporate some ska influence into the band's music.
    The piano part here is also much more intelligently worked out than on the earlier covers, sounding influenced by Fats Domino - unsurprisingly, this was played by McCartney rather than Martin.[The Beatles In Mono by Andrew Hickey]
  • Daryl from Woodbridge, VaLennon clearly messes up at 1:32 by staying on the same A chord when he should have gone up to D which he does 2 beats later.
  • Carl from Apg, MdI find "This song was recorded before the beatles Met Dylan or had anything to do with pot."
    Huh? We see Aug. 28, 1964 for the Beatles meeting Bob Dylan. Weren't this song and "I Feel Fine" done later.
  • Sean from Collinsville, IlThere is something that should be amended earlier on top, and that is that She's A Woman actually borrows a riff from the Sir Douglas Quintet and not the other way around. The song Sugar Bee was heard by Paul, who at the time couldn't remember the name, but the riff was in his head all day as he went to record the new version of this song. If you look up Sugar Bee by SDQ you will hear it for sure. The Beatles were the borrowers here, as they often were in the early 60's. I feel Fine was also a case of "borrowing" riffs, as well as many other songs.
  • Marie from Manila, PhilippinesThis was also covered by Green Gartside [of Scritti Politti] back in the early 1990's. He collaborated with Shabba Ranks on this one, giving their version a somewhat reggae feel.
  • Marie from Manila, PhilippinesWas also covered by Green Gartside [of Scritti Politti], who collaborated with Shabba Ranks on this back in the early 1990's.
  • Ron from Houston, TxThis was always one of my favorite of the "middle of the pack" Beatle tracks. Those of us of a certain age probably first heard the reverb drenched version on Beatles 65 way back when. To this day, that's the one I prefer. Others may prefer the cleaner British moxes. Either way it's a great track. If you can get your hands on a Beatle bootleg called Bactrack you can hear an extended jam on this song just as they are beginning to run it down in the studio. It's well worth seeking out.
  • Joe from Chicago, IlConstant requests to raidio stations catapulted it to #4.
  • Lucyinthesky from Philadelphia, PaI have loved this song from the first time I heard it at age 9 on my Beatles 65 album,and I was in the womb literally when it was recorded! It was recorded in October 1964,*after* Bob Dylan introduced The Beatles to pot in August 1964. Paul wrote this song about his then lover and girlfriend beautiful red haired British movie star Jane Asher who he became romantically invloved with in April 1963 when she was just 17 and he was 21.And they lived together for several years in their own house they bought and they became engagged to be married on Christmas day 1967. But in the Spring of 1968 Jane came home early to surprise Paul and she found him in bed with another woman so she left him for good! So the turn me on when I get lonely was sexual as well!
  • Lucyinthesky from Philadelphia, PaOh, and this song is a great blues rocker,with Paul's great strong blues vocal,the chommping guitars,a piano and Paul's booming bass! It's a million times better than garage rock!
  • Liam from New York, Nyoldies.about.com/od/thebeatles


    Some consider "She's A Woman" an important early ska song, due to its heavy accented backbeat, or a rare Beatles stab at "garage rock," due to its rough nature and three-chord structure, or an important step in the evolution of Tex-Mex rock, since the band uses an instrument called a chocalho, a rhythmic shaker native to samba music.
  • Dave from Bronx, NyThis sounds as close to the Beatles got to gargage music to me.
  • Joe from Montvale, NjI have read in Q Magaizine that this song was Ska influenced way before it became popular with rockers . The also read that one of lines of this song was actually drug influenced.
  • Joe from Lethbridge, CanadaApparently some people only get turned on by drugs! Amazing. Thank God for viagra!
  • Robb from Hamburg, NyTurn me on in as a drug reference
  • Robb from Hamburg, NyThis song was recorded before the beatles Met Dylan or had anything to do with pot. Up until they met Dylan, they were fairly innocent. They first used the "Turn me on" phrase in "A Day In The Life"
  • Barry from New York, NyThe version of this song that appeared on the LP "Live At The Hollywood Bowl" totally blows away the studio version. Lots more energy and Paul's singing is amazing.
  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, ScBob Dylan thought the line was "I get high?" That's funny!
  • Calum from Edinburgh, ScotlandBeing high on pot can make a person repetitive in speech apparently. Has anyone suffered from this?
  • Michael from Kearny, NjActually, the Beatles met Bob Dylan in 1964 while on tour in America. Dylan was unaware that the Beatles never smoked marijuanna before, in fact he thought they were potheads because he mistook the lyic from "I Want To Hold Your Hand" as "I get high, I get high", when we all know it was, "I can't hide". So it was in 1964 in a famous NYC Hotel that the Beatles first got high (on pot).
  • Steve from Salt Lake City, UtTwaz late 1964 when the song was released & the common use was for something like, "Wow! That chick really TURNS ME ON!

    I know that the Beatles were, up to 1965,into speed pills. Sometime that year they hung out with Bob Dylan & passed the joints around.
  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, ScI agree with you alan. I never heard any drug references in the song. I think the song is about a girl one of them likes, and the turn me on line is a reference to that. Plus, this was in 1965, people. Surely, the Beatles wouldn't have been writing about drygs then. Would they have? If they were, the songs weren't released then. Anyway, I think the song's about a girlfriend one of them has. Maybe John's wife? I don't know. It's definitely not about drugs though.
  • Pete from Nowra, Australiahere we go another song about drugs.......give it a miss, i haven't got a clue what this song is about besides i like it
  • Loreena from Rio Negro, Argentinahm...I know alot of stoners, so the turn me on thing is an obvious drug reference. drug use as mind expansion; turn you on/turn me on=turn your mind on and open it up.
  • Criag from Lake City, Mnby the way this is also a very good song, and one of my favorite beatles songs.
  • Criag from Lake City, Mnthis song was written about a year before the beatles got into drugs so i dont see how "Turn me on" can be a drug referance. i would agree with Alan in his comment about it
  • Alan from City, MiI think getting someone turned on at this juncture still meant getting them to like you.
  • Johnny from Hilo, Hithis song can be heard in the movie HELP! however it is not on the sound track. Ahme, played by Eleanor Bron, the woman who was trying to help Ringo thoughout the movie, hid a tape recorder playing "she a woman" in the underground bunker to throw off the listening devices of the would be assassins.
  • Matto from Time Bomb Town, IrelandWas later covered by Jeff Beck on his "Blow by Blow" album.
  • Adrian from Wilmington, DeA great blues track that flows from start to finish.
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