White Town: Your Woman 1917 – single review

Twenty years after the track become the only song from a Derby artist to top the official UK Singles Chart Jyoti Mishra, under his White Town moniker, has released a new version of Your Woman.

Your Woman 1917 takes the song back in time and becomes a version, which Mishra says, “would have sounded pretty sweet 100 years ago!” The familiar muted refrain is melancholy, the re-recorded vocals higher in the mix and sounding more resigned to the plight, strings and picked guitar take the place of the electro-bloopery of the original version.

The familiar sample was originally taken from a 1932 song called My Woman (although the melody also formed the basis of Darth Vader’s theme in Star Wars) and the re-worked (and completely re-recorded track) brings out more strongly the chamber pop and neuveau classique sound of the ’20s and ’30s. The romance, the almost tragic grandeur, is heightened with the mournful weep of the melody managing to sound both introspective and cinematic as it brings the track once again to a close.

In twenty years, and a freshened up approach, this song has lost none of its pop potency.

On the ambiguous lyrics Mishra wrote some time ago on the White Town website: “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. I’d been reading a lot of Wilhelm Reich and Andrea Dworkin and they both influenced the lyrics in different ways. Yes, I’m a geek.

“So, these are *some* of the things it’s about: being a member of an Orthodox Trotskyist / Marxist movement (as I was for three years in the ’80s); being a straight guy in love with a lesbian (ditto); being a gay guy in love with a straight man (not tried this one yet); being a straight girl in love with a lying, two-timing, fake-ass marxist; the hypocrisy that results when love and lust get mixed up with highbrow ideals.”

Your Woman 1917 is out now digitally – find it on iTunes and Spotify.

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