I want to be a good woman
And I want, for you to be a good man.
This is why I will be leaving
And this is why, I can't see you no more.
I will miss your heart so tender
And I will love
This love forever

I don't want be a bad women
And I can't stand to see you be a bad man
I will miss your heart so tender
And I will love
This love forever
And this is why I am leaving
And this is why I can't see you no more
This is why I am lying when I say
That I don't love you no more

'Cause I want (to) be a good women
And I want for to be a good man

Lyrics submitted by Brutin, edited by underwires, ifkd

Good Woman Lyrics as written by Chan Marshall

Lyrics © Hipgnosis Songs Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Good Woman song meanings
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  • +5
    General Comment

    I think it could also be a song about a passionate relationship that obviously is loving, but also brings out the worst of the two involved. They do really love eachother, but she doesn't like the "bad woman" and "bad man" they sometimes become. Leaving him is her way of saving the beauty that is still left between them, keeping it all a memory she will be able to cherish.

    "I will miss your heart so tender And I will love This love forever And this is why I am leaving"

    She fears that if she stays they might reach a point where they won't be the same man and woman who once fell in love anymore. If those people disappear, their love will be lost too.

    They won't see eachother fave to face anymore, but they "will love / This love forever".

    Marajaon July 28, 2005   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    It's about the impossibility of being in love with someone who is married. She wants him to be a good man and she wants to be a good woman, but at the same time she wants to be with him, and she can't have all three.

    One of the reasons she loves him is that he is a good man, but by being together he is being a bad man. She can't have her way.

    ks001on October 11, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    This song is absolutely beautiful and is one of my favourite relationship songs ever. It's amazing the complexity it conveys considering how relatively simple the lyrics are.

    For me, it is about being with someone you love and who loves you back but for whatever reason, the relationship is not viable. It's simply not meant to be in this time and place and the narrator sees this and is trying to be the bigger person and right the situation, even though it breaks her heart (and his).

    I think it differs from other relationship songs with the line "I will miss your heart so tender." I think Chan is talking about a very specific type of love here, one filled with tenderness and sweetness, perhaps bittersweetness, as she says that she will "love this love forever." It is something she will take with her for the rest of her life and possibly a love that changed her at the core of her person, never to be the same again. I sense no malice or needy co-dependence here in this song (compared to so many typical pop love songs). It's very pure and unadulterated in its sentiment and I suspect the lyrics came from a very deep place...made deeper by a very deep love. You're very lucky if you get to experience this kind of love even once in your lifetime, even luckier if you're able to survive its demise.

    I've never really looked at it from the cheating angle. I had always assumed that it was doomed for other reasons, either for personal conflicts or circumstantial, such as a conflict of interest or something similar.

    For me, I look at it through the lens of my own personal experience. I broke up with the only person I've ever loved and had to move out of the country to pursue my education and career. We loved each other dearly and still do but it was and is for the best that we not be together. He was my professor and I was his student and in the relatively small city in which we lived, it would have only been a matter of time before it had gotten out that we were together. He would have lost his job. I would have been kicked out of my university. We both would have been ostracized by our friends and family. Everything we had worked for in our personal and professional lives would have been taken away from us and I couldn't let that happen. He was too brilliant to be taken down by a scandal and I couldn't let my potential be snuffed out by the relationship's discovery by the wrong people. We parted ways romantically and we are doing better every day in our respective lives with more time to focus on other things, but it is still hard and my heart still breaks every time I speak to him. I suspect this is how it will always be and I have to learn to accept that sometimes love is not "all you need." I will always miss his "heart so tender" and yes, "I will love this love forever."

    Because I want to be a good woman And I want him to be a good man, I am lying when I say I don't love him anymore.

    Phanta5manicon October 07, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    I actually feel this song is about her seeing a bonafide "bad boy"-- a guy who is no good for her. She loves him, she is attracted to him, she wants him, but she knows that it is not a healthy relationship for her.

    She wants to be a good woman, not getting into trouble and having a good relationship. She wants him to be a good man, one who won't drink every night or have one-night stands or what-have-you. She wants to have a good relationship, essentially.

    But it's not going to happen. She realizes that she can't change him. He's going to forever be a bad man, and she in turn does not want to turn into a bad woman--by either taking on his bad habits, or by holding herself back from finding a good man.

    She obviously sees past his faults, yet she cannot hide from the fact that the faults could someday grow stronger than their love, and thus overtake the relationship and send it into ruins. She is ending it before it gets out of hand and before that happens, so she can keep her good memories. She's preventing the bad.

    mandolinon February 20, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    A lot of great relationships go sour, you still remember the deep love that you had for this person and that's what keeps you together. The passion that you had for them in the beginning even though things aren't the same now. It's hard for you to let that feeling go and you keep trying to admit to yourself, through the constant fighting, that one day it will be that way again, but you're just in denial. There's a point where you have to realize that the two of you just weren't meant for eachother and this is what's making you a bad woman/man to the other, and you have to let go.

    I also agree with fasterpussycat that it could be about a mistress as well.

    pyroannieon May 02, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    Oh yes fasterpussycat and requiemforadream, I agree with your interpretations entirely... She wants to be with this guy, but if she is, he will be a bad man because he will be cheating, and so she must leave...and oh, have I been there, which makes this song all the more heartbreaking. It's stunning stuff...

    missmeon May 26, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    "i will miss you heart so tender, and i will love this love forever."

    so beautiful.

    myhomeistheseaon November 29, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    my interpretation is that she is singing of someone she is very much in love with but their differences keep them apart. She leaves him, not because she doesn't love him, but because she doesn't want to hold him or herself back. I guess it's pretty self explainitary. My favorite song of Chan's. <3

    theonleethingon April 21, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    i always thought of it as being about someone who is really into someone, but they're seeing someone else.. he's seeing whoever behind the other persons back, and even though she loves him she can't continue to betray everyone. ya know?

    fasterpussycaton October 19, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    awww i never thought of it like that fasterpussycat but i kinda do now, i always thought of it like his abusive and despite this she loves him and blames herself as much as him and shes saying i dont want u to be a bad man like i dont want u to do this anymore but i forgive u cos i know deep down your better than that

    bishyon November 09, 2004   Link

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