Sixty for 60: 21. Loud Women

To celebrate my 60th birthday, I asked my social media friends to nominate a favourite song from 2021 – 60 to commemorate the fact I am 60. This isn’t one of them, though – this is way more important and vital than that. God, it makes me so happy to witness this. So proud, so passionate, so strong. So beautiful. The sound of myriad voices coming together to protest something that should never have needed protesting in the first place. If ever anyone says to you they don’t understand the need for – and the power of – feminism… play them this. I have no idea why this isn’t already front page news across all the varying cultural media outlets right now. A sweet fuck-you to anyone who doesn’t understand the need for urgent change RIGHT NOW.

It’s not easy as it looks, writing a protest song. I know. I’ve tried – once (reasonably) successfully, once not so successfully. This song is just incredible. An anthem for the non-binary and new feminist generation, put together by London collective Loud Women, ‘Reclaim These Streets’. Feminist Aid.

From the age of 13
I’ve known the fear of dark streets
I’ve known my body’s danger
Can he hear my heart beat?
Every woman’s got a story
Breaks silence with a whisper
Daring to tell her truth
Calling to her sisters

Text me you when get home
Keys between your fingers
Staying close to streetlights
Fear of shadows lingers

Till every woman’s safe from harm in her own home
Till every woman’s safe to live her truth
Till every woman’s safe to walk on every street
Ooo-aah
Reclaim these streets! (Reclaim these streets)
Reclaim these streets! (Reclaim these streets)
Reclaim these streets! (Reclaim these streets)
Ooo-aah

Buy a copy here. All proceeds to Women’s Aid.

Brix Smith: You know, I’d been told that Reclaim These Streets was in some ways a bit similar to Band Aid’s ‘Do You Know It’s Christmas’? When I heard that, I thought, let me call my friend Siobhan [Fahey] from Bananarama and Shakespears Sister. Back in the day, she was one of only four women on that Band Aid single out of everybody in the 1980s. They had only four women. Three of them were Bananas and one was Jody Watley. And I said, wouldn’t it be a wonderful circle to have Siobhan sing on this as well? Siobhan said, absolutely I’ll do it! So we went to her house and recorded there. She’s the last vocal with the last words “texts me when you get home”—the most haunting, throaty, emotional vocal. (Louder Than War)

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