A WOMAN IS NOT THE RIGHT MAN

From

MAIDEN VOYAGE
An Australian Song Cycle

Scored for Mezzo-Soprano and Piano

Words and Music: Lorraine Milne
Copyright © 1997

The lyrics

1. A woman is not the right man for the job,
She hasn’t got the know-how to make it.
A woman is not the right man for the job,
She hasn’t got the with-all to take it.

So stay in the kitchen, peeling and slicing,
Leave all the thinking to men;
Touch up your make-up, put on your apron,
Never ask, ‘Why not or when?’
Never ask, ‘Why not or when?’

2. A woman is not the right man for the job,
She hasn’t got the know-how to make it.
A woman is not the right man for the job,
She hasn’t got the with-all to take it.

So stay in the nurs’ry, look after the baby,
Leave all the power to men;
Be a good mother, act like a lady,
Don’t pick up the sword or the pen,
Never ask, ‘Why not or when?’

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The story

A Woman Is Not the Right Man is where this song cycle began.

In a 1930s black and white film of The Threepenny Opera, when Mack the Knife has to leave town in a hurry, he gathers his boys and says to them:

“Boys, while I’m away, Pollie’s in charge.”

One of the boys quips back: “But boss, she’s not the right man for the job!”

That line became the genesis of Maiden Voyage.