I’m a (West Coast) Womyn

A few years ago, I helped teach a drop-in jug band music program for seniors. The other teachers and I performed together as Dr. Phil Harmonic’s Jug Band on a few occasions. At one of our rehearsals, someone suggested I learn Maria Muldaur’s I’m a Woman.

The original lyrics celebrate the joys of waking up early to do housework all day and getting prettied up by the time your man comes home from work. Before I knew anything about the origin of this song, I knew no woman, living or dead, ever wrote anything like it. So I looked it up on Wikipedia. Sure enough it was written in the sixties by a couple of men.

I updated the lyrics to reflect a more insightful perspective on what it means to be a woman – particularly a West Coast woman. We played the song at Errington Community Hall to celebrate the community centre’s 90th anniversary.

In this video, I’m inexpertly playing an awesome cigar box guitar made by Dean Williams, the very talented bloke who is sitting immediately to my right.

I’m a (West Coast) Womyn

Music by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, Lyrics by Kerri Coombs

Found a place to keep the compost heap

Where the smell doesn’t get out of line

I’m a total Houdini at growin’ zucchini,

My tomatoes are divine

I can howl at the moon and play a couple of tunes

By the fire at the end of the day

And I do my shoppin’ at a clothing swap

To save up for a solar array

Cuz I’m a woman, W-O-M-Y-N

I’m a woman, W-O-M-Y-N

I can lie in bed ’til nine AM

And still make it to work by ten

‘Cuz I’m not too strict about shavin’ my pits

But it don’t seem to bother the men

I can have a good time with my blackberry wine

And a couple of my girlfriends

Then sober up real fast for yoga class

And get my kundalini movin’ again

Cuz I’m a woman, W-O-M-Y-N

I’m a West Coast woman, W-O-M-Y-N

I need time to myself for my mental health,

But if I like your company

If we get along and you turn me on,

I’m gonna give you my lovin’ for free

And if the kids approve, maybe I’ll let you move in

Without much hullabaloo

And you can hold me tight through the rainy nights

And I’ll hold on to you

Cuz I’m a woman, W-O-M-Y-N

I’m a West Coast woman, W-O-M-Y-N

The affirmation on my ‘fridgerator

Says there’s nothin’ that I can’t do

So if you stick with me, I can guarantee,

I’ll make a West Coast Man outta you

Cuz I’m a woman, W-O-M-Y-N

I’m a West Coast woman, W-O-M-Y-N


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About the Artist

In her youth, Kerri created a prodigious repertoire of over 60 original songs, nearly all of them relating to how she felt personally and how her relationships were going.  Despite positive feedback, college radio appearances and numerous gigs in folk clubs, festivals and songwriter showcases, her well of youthful angst eventually ran dry.  Unsure what else there was to write about, she spent the next decade collecting and performing traditional songs from a wide variety of genres and cultures. This project is an integration of her “songwriter” and “traditional music” backgrounds.