Nothing can ruin a good song faster than bad lyrics. That’s a fact. For all the claims that it’s all about the music, or that a certain vocalist could sing the phone book and it would still be compelling, one lame lyric will override every other component of a song. Besides, it’s 2018; who uses phone books anymore?
That said, Adele’s “Aaronson, Aaron, (123) 555-4899; Abrams, Alex, (456) 555-2361…” is a straight-up masterpiece.
Enter “She’s a Woman.” It’s a brash, bluesy rocker with an infectious beat. It also contains by far the worst rhyme in the Beatles’ catalog, with its opening couplet, “My love don’t give me presents / I know that she’s no peasant.” (It might be a career low for Paul McCartney if not 1983’s “The Other Me,” another song defined and subsequently ruined by his inane use of the Cockney slang “dustbin lid.”)
Once you move past that, there’s actually a lot to appreciate. I could easily hear a heavier version of “She’s a Woman” on Led Zeppelin’s debut album–the music and lyrics would complement songs like “You Shook Me” perfectly, and it’s not hard to imagine Robert Plant wailing like a madman and maybe even selling the peasants line (as well as one could, I suppose). McCartney’s vocal is pretty awesome on its own though, and he no doubt felt a smirking sense of pride sneaking in the line, “Turn me on when I get lonely,” onto the b-side of a 1964 #1 single.