Your Woman

"Your Woman" is a song by British one-man band White Town. It was released in January 1997 as the lead single from the album Women in Technology. It features a muted trumpet line taken from "My Woman" by Al Bowlly.[1] The song peaked at No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart. Outside the United Kingdom, the single reached No. 1 in Iceland and Spain, peaked within the top 10 on the charts of at least 12 countries, and reached No. 23 in the United States.

"Your Woman"
Your Woman single.jpg
Plain slipcase with opening
Single by White Town
from the album Women in Technology
B-side"Give Me Some Pain"
Released13 January 1997
Songwriter(s)Jyoti Mishra
Producer(s)White Town
White Town singles chronology
"All She Said"
"Your Woman"
Audio sample
"Your Woman"
Music video
"Your Woman" on YouTube

In the booklet of their 1999 album 69 Love Songs, The Magnetic Fields' frontman Stephin Merritt described "Your Woman" as one of his "favourite pop songs of the last few years."[2] In 2010, the song was named the 158th best track of the 1990s by Pitchfork.[3]

Background and writingEdit

White Town's sole band member and writer of "Your Woman", Jyoti Prakash Mishra had garnered some notoriety within the United Kingdom's underground music scene in the years leading up to the mainstream release of "Your Woman". The song was heard by BBC Radio 1 DJ Mark Radcliffe, who played it on the radio station in 1997, helping Mishra gain recognition in a short space of time.[1]

Mishra has stated that the lyrics could stem from or be related to multiple situations. He says "When I wrote it, I was trying to write a pop song that had more than one perspective. Although it's written in the first person, the character behind that viewpoint isn't necessarily what the casual listener would expect".[4]

Mishra wrote that the themes of the song include: "Being a member of an orthodox Trotskyist / Marxist movement. Being a straight guy in love with a lesbian. Being a gay guy in love with a straight man. Being a straight girl in love with a lying, two-timing, fake-arse Marxist. The hypocrisy that results when love and lust get mixed up with highbrow ideals."[4] Mishra admitted that being signed to a major label (EMI) didn't allow him to express creative control, and the loss of his anonymity due to the song's popularity drove him "mad".[1]

The '>Abort, Retry, Fail?_' message that appeared on some inlay cards was explained by the artist: "Well, this cheerful message became a kind of shibboleth for me and sort-of characterizes what's been going on for me the last few years." The song was created using free MIDI sequencing software for the Atari ST and a cheap multitrack cassette tape recorder.[5]


J'na Jefferson of Billboard summarized the song's production as a juxtaposition of the sampled track's ("My Woman" by Al Bowlly), "despondent sound with upbeat, enduring energy", which Mishra said was inspired by the 1970s BBC drama-comedy series Pennies From Heaven. He labeled it "alt-pop", adding that it combines the Bowlly sample with "George Clinton-style funk from the '70s, Depeche Mode-inspired '80s electro pop, and '90s boom-bap hip-hop."[1]

The song's lyrics contain various perspectives about love and relationships, and is, according to Mishra, a "flip" of Bowlly's original "anti-woman" theme. Regarding the song's concept and the perspective of which it is sang from, Mishra said "When you love somebody, it's not logical, it's not rational, and you think 'This is ridiculous, I can never be with you, I can never be the person you need, why am I even feeling these feelings?' So, I was trying to write from all these different sides… I wanted people to go 'this is catchy' and sing it, but then be like, 'What the hell?' at the same time".[1]

Critical receptionEdit

Larry Flick from Billboard wrote that "the lines dividing electronic dance music and hip-hop are blurred on this instantly infectious ditty, Actually, the real creative inspiration here appears to come from "Good Times" and other classic hits by Chic. It's evident in the jangly guitar licks and the bounce of the backbeat." He added that "those with no historical reference will probably find the distorted vocals and mind-numbing horn samples good fun."[6] Dave Fawbert from ShortList said, "It’s one of those classic, not-quite-sure-why-it-works-but-it-definitely-does tunes, so lo-fi that the song was actually mixed [sic] on an Atari ST."[7] Gina Morris from Smash Hits commented that "what's cool is that he recorded his debut single in his own room and then watched it go to number one."[8]

Music videoEdit

The music video was produced in black and white silent film style. Most of the outdoor scenes were filmed in Derby.

In the video, there are numerous elements of acting, cinematography and editing that suggest an old fashioned film style. The exaggerated gestures of Chloé Treend, the hat wearing woman, helpless and fearful, and those of her quick tempered lover hint at the acting style from 1920s expressionist films. The ostensive metaphors, such as the use of hypnosis on the woman by the man or the recurring shots of crossroad signs bearing names of romantic relationship related attitudes, remind of the 1920s and 1930s efforts to express subjectivism in film.

The use of circular masks, as to emphasise focal points or for a mere elegant look, also belongs to the aforementioned period. At the point where the woman first enters the man's bedroom and in the final rope scene, match cuts are used in a manner resemblant of that from silent experimental films. Mishra can be seen for brief moments on television screens in the background.

There is also a scene where the woman closes the door on the man's arm, as she tries to escape from his advances. This is a direct reference to scene from Salvador Dalí and Luis Buñuel's surrealist film Un chien andalou (1928).

Charts and certificationsEdit

Tyler James versionEdit

"Your Woman"
Single by Tyler James
from the album The Unlikely Lad
Released22 August 2005
Tyler James singles chronology
"Your Woman"
"Single Tear"

British singer songwriter Tyler James released a cover of the song. It was released as the third and final single from his debut studio album, The Unlikely Lad (2005). It was released as a digital download in the United Kingdom on 22 August 2005. The song peaked at No. 60 on the UK Singles Chart.

Track listingsEdit

Digital download
1."Your Woman"3:45


Chart (2005) Peak
UK Singles (OCC)[55] 61

Release historyEdit

Region Date Format Label
United Kingdom 22 August 2005 Digital download[56] Island Records

Princess Chelsea versionEdit

"Your Woman"
Single by Princess Chelsea
Released6 February 2009
LabelLil' Chief
  • Chelsea Nikkel
  • Jonathan Bree
Princess Chelsea singles chronology
"Your Woman"
"Monkey Eats Bananas"

New Zealand musician Princess Chelsea released a cover of the song in 2009. It was released as her first single, and was a non-album single. It was released as a digital download.[58]

Other coversEdit

  • Polish hip hop duo Peel Motyff sampled the song in "Nie jest tak źle" in 2001, on their album Sieć.
  • Naughty Boy, featuring Wiley and Emeli Sandé, sampled the song in "Never Be Your Woman" in 2010.
  • Finnish band Cats on Fire covered the song in 2010, on their album Dealing in Antiques.[59]
  • Australian singer songwriter Darren Hayes performed an acoustic version of the song, in a BBC Radio 2 live session with Jo Whiley in November 2011.
  • Australian indie rock band British India performed a version live on radio station Triple J's weekly segment Like a Version in October 2013.[60]
  • German electronic duo Kush Kush sampled the song in "Fight Back With Love Tonight" in 2017, which peaked at number 1 on the Russian music charts on 23 October 2017.[61]
  • White Town released a new version of the song on its twentieth anniversary named "Your Woman 1917", which is recorded with instruments common in 1917.[62]
  • Canadian freak pop band Fake Shark released a version in November of 2020.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e Jefferson, J'na (30 March 2020). "White Town's Jyoti Mishra on Dua Lipa Lifting 'Your Woman' Hook For 'Love Again': 'There's Magic in Old Samples'". Billboard. Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  2. ^ Ewing, Tom (15 January 2000). "An Interview With White Town's Jyoti Mishra". Freaky Trigger. Retrieved 3 June 2017.
  3. ^ "The Top 200 Tracks of the 1990s: 200-151 - Page 5". Pitchfork. Retrieved 24 January 2020.
  4. ^ a b "White Town – Your Questions Answered!". Retrieved 16 March 2012.
  5. ^ "Bedroom to Big Time" – via
  6. ^ "Single Reviews: New & Noteworthy" (PDF). Billboard. 1 March 1997. p. 60. Retrieved 6 February 2020.
  7. ^ Fawbert, Dave (19 July 2017). "29 classic songs that are somehow 20 years old this year". ShortList. Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  8. ^ "Review: Albums". Smash Hits. No. 476. 26 February 1997. p. 60. Retrieved 8 March 2020.
  9. ^ " – White Town – Your Woman". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  10. ^ " – White Town – Your Woman" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  11. ^ " – White Town – Your Woman" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  12. ^ " – White Town – Your Woman" (in French). Ultratop 50.
  13. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 3217." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  14. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 3232." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  15. ^ "Top RPM Dance/Urban: Issue 3233." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  16. ^ "Top RPM Rock/Alternative Tracks: Issue 3188." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  17. ^ Billboard – Google Books. 12 April 1997. Retrieved 31 March 2014 – via Google Books.
  18. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 14 no. 6. 8 February 1997. p. 19. Retrieved 25 January 2020.
  19. ^ "White Town: Your Woman" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  20. ^ " – White Town – Your Woman" (in French). Les classement single.
  21. ^ " – White Town – Your Woman". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  22. ^ a b "Top National Sellers" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 14 no. 21. 24 May 1997. p. 14. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  23. ^ "Íslenski Listinn Topp 40 (NR. 209 Vikuna 20.2. '97 – 26.2. '97)". Dagblaðið Vísir (in Icelandic). 21 February 1997. p. 16. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
  24. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Your Woman". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  25. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 10, 1997" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  26. ^ " – White Town – Your Woman" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  27. ^ " – White Town – Your Woman". Top 40 Singles.
  28. ^ " – White Town – Your Woman". VG-lista.
  29. ^ "Notowanie nr 795" (in Polish). 25 April 1997. Retrieved 23 November 2019.
  30. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  31. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  32. ^ " – White Town – Your Woman". Singles Top 100.
  33. ^ " – White Town – Your Woman". Swiss Singles Chart.
  34. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  35. ^ "White Town Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  36. ^ "White Town Chart History (Adult Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 25 January 2020.
  37. ^ "White Town Chart History (Alternative Airplay)". Billboard. Retrieved 25 January 2020.
  38. ^ "White Town Chart History (Dance Club Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 25 January 2020.
  39. ^ "White Town Chart History (Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 25 January 2020.
  40. ^ "1997 ARIA Singles Chart". ARIA. Retrieved 18 November 2020.
  41. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 1997" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  42. ^ "Rapports annuels 1997" (in French). Ultratop. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  43. ^ "RPM '97 Year End Top 100 Hit Tracks". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  44. ^ "RPM '97 Year End Top 50 Alternative Tracks". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  45. ^ "Year in Focus – Eurochart Hot 100 Singles 1997" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 14 no. 52. 27 December 1997. p. 7. Retrieved 5 February 2020.
  46. ^ "Tops de L'année | Top Singles 1997" (in French). SNEP. Retrieved 18 November 2020.
  47. ^ "Árslistinn 1997 – Íslenski Listinn – 100 Vinsælustu Lögin". Dagblaðið Vísir (in Icelandic). 2 January 1998. p. 25. Retrieved 15 February 2020.
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  51. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 1997 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. Archived from the original on 10 August 2020. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  52. ^ "French single certifications – White Town – Your Woman" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  53. ^ "New Zealand single certifications – White Town – Abort, Retry, Fail/Your Woman". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
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  55. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  56. ^ "iTunes - Music - Your Woman - Single by Tyler James". 22 August 2005. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
  57. ^ " - Tyler James - Your Woman". Retrieved 23 April 2014.
  58. ^ "Your Woman by Princess Chelsea". Retrieved 31 March 2014.
  59. ^ "Cats On Fire with compilation of older songs". 23 March 2010. Retrieved 16 March 2012.
  60. ^ British India cover White Town 'Your Woman' for Like A Version, retrieved 3 February 2020
  61. ^ "City & Country Radio – Top Week Hits – Tophit Music Charts". Retrieved 28 December 2017.
  62. ^ "White Town: Your Woman 1917 - single review - Storge". Storge. 23 December 2017. Retrieved 28 December 2017.