Originally American Woman was somewhat controversial. Americans weren't used to this sort of defiance from our neighbors to the north (The Guess Who are Canadian). The line "I don't need your war machines / I don't need your ghetto scenes" was enough to get the song banned from some radio (along with another Guess Who standard, Share The Land) and knocked from the playlist when The Guess Who played for Nixon at some cultural festival as representatives of the British Commonwealth.

Over the years, the song lost its edge, and eventually became thoroughly co-opted as a vapid anthem to vaguely sassy womanhood - so much so that conservative super-bimbo Barbara Olson approached the podium to its strains at the 2000 Republican national convention.

American Woman was covered pathetically, as pointed out above, by Lenny Kravitz, who turned this three chord song into a one chord song, and of course omitted the 'war machines / ghetto scenes' lines. The video was all hot chix and flags.

It was also covered in a punked-up way by Anal Cunt. That version rocks.


Some editions of American Woman put out by The Guess Who, including the one on The Greatest of The Guess Who and The Guess Who - Greatest Hits feature a bluesy John Lee Hooker-esque intro. The words are:

American Woman, gonna mess your mind
American Woman, gonna mess your mind
I say A, I say M, say E, say R, say I, then C, say A, N, mmmmmm
American Woman, gonna mess your mind
American Woman, gonna mess your mind
American Woman, gonna mess
your mind

Then the song goes into the main part noded previously.

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.