Oughta be a woman

Washing the floors to send you to college

Staying at home so you can feel safe

What do you think is the soul of her knowledge

What do you think that makes her feel safe

Biting her lips and lowering her eyes

To make sure there’s food on the table

What do you think would be her surprise

If the world was as willing as she’s able

Hugging herself in an old kitchen chair

She listens to your hurt and you rage

What do you think she knows of despair

What is the aching of age

The fathers, the children, the brothers

Turn to her and everybody white turns to her

What about her turning around

Alone in the everyday light

There ought to be a woman can break

Down, sit down, break down, sit down

Like everybody else call it quits on mondays

Blues on Tuesdays, sleep until Sunday

Down, sit down, break down, sit down

A way outta no way is flesh outta flesh

Courage that cries out at night

A way outta no way is flesh outta flesh

Bravery kept outta sight

A way outta no way is too much to ask

Too much of a task for any one woman

Lyrics: June Jordan

Music: Bernice Johnson Reagon

If you’d like to hear Sweet Honey in the Rock sing it themselves, try this page.

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