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Only Women Bleed (Welcome to My Nightmare, 1975)

“Only Women Bleed” Lyrics:

Man’s got his woman to take his seed
He’s got the power – oh
She’s got the need
She spends her life through pleasing up her man
She feeds him dinner or anything she can

She cries alone at night too often
He smokes and drinks and don’t come home at all
Only women bleed
Only women bleed
Only women bleed

Man makes your hair gray
He’s your life’s mistake
All you’re really lookin’ for is an even break

He lies right at you
You know you hate this game
He slaps you once in a while and you live and love in pain

She cries alone at night too often
He smokes and drinks and don’t come home at all
Only women bleed
Only women bleed
Only women bleed
Only women bleed
Only women bleed
Only women bleed
Only women bleed

Black eyes all of the time
Don’t spend a dime
Clean up this grime
And you there down on your knees begging me please come
Watch me bleed

Only women bleed
Only women bleed
Only women bleed
Only women bleed
Only women bleed
Only women bleed
Only women bleed

Welcome to My Nightmare was released in 1975. It was the first solo album released by Alice Cooper (all previous works were band efforts). Like many of Cooper’s solo works, Nightmare is a concept album. 

The album is the first time Steven, one of Alice’s most notorious characters, is introduced. This album is a journey through a collection of Steven’s nightmares.

Only Women Bleed” is one of Cooper’s greatest hits. In ’75, the song reached #12 on the US Billboard Hot 100. The ballad focuses on a woman trapped in an abusive marriage. Like a good portion of Alice’s career and music, the song caused some controversy.

“The (song) title came from something that someone said on TV that sounded like “only women bleed” but wasn’t. The song is, of course, about domestic violence. The women bleeding due to being beaten. Of course, the mainstream press didn’t (and sometimes still don’t) bother to understand the words and often just to the conclusion that sick, deprived Alice was talking about menstruation.” – Alice Cooper

Domestic violence is a serious issue. Alice does a beautiful job describing the life of a woman trapped in a broken relationship.

Man makes your hair gray, he’s your life’s mistake
All you’re really lookin’ for is an even break
He lies right at you, you know you hate this game
He slaps you once in a while and you live and love in pain

She cries alone at night too often
He smokes and drinks and don’t come home at all
Only women bleed

Interestingly enough, domestic abuse can be found in many different scenarios. Many believe or think that “religious” homes don’t struggle with such things. However, the lyrics in “Only Women Bleed” parallel the stories of many women.

Women trapped in marriages guided by misunderstandings and half-truths. Unions that are managed by men and not by God.

22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.Ephesians 5:22-33

These verses are infamous and have been twisted and perverted to depict women as possessions and doormats. Often, verse 22 has been used as a standalone verse – portraying the husband as an absolute authority, and the final say so – this verse destroys lives when used out of context.

Paul goes on to define the role of the husband in verses 25-33. Stating that “husbands should love their wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…”. The scripture also says that the love of a husband to the wife should be sacrificial in nature. 

Husbands being willing to lay down their lives for their wives. While this is profound and equals the playing field (in terms of the submission wives are required to give), it doesn’t wholly define the context being applied. 

Quite frankly, it’s often ignored as well. Wives should do as they’re told and not question their husbands – this is the age-old teaching for many still trapped in the lie of religion. 

However, just as Revelation means nothing without all the previous books of the Bible, verses 22-33 mean nothing without verse 21.

21Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.(NIV)

21Submitting yourselves one to another in fear of God. (KJV)

The NIV version of this verse is pretty self-explanatory, but the KJV version uses the terms “fear of God.”  Meaning submission to one another (wife to husband, husband to wife) is necessary and required in direct obedience to the Lord and His Will. 

There is NO hierarchy in terms of gender concerning this verse – both man and woman are equally called to submit themselves to one another. Ephesians 5:21 is the first verse in that infamous group of verses, yet it is conveniently omitted most of the time.

While it is easy to see and understand the uproar over these verses, the omission of verse 21 is more problematic. That verse, like Christ, equalizes the great divide. It explains what Paul was trying to convey. 

We, as spouses, are not called to submit to one another without Christ. We are called to submit to one another through Christ. That’s the key here. There’s no way for us to honestly know what love and submission mean unless we’ve allowed Him to show us. 

What does that mean – Submission to Christ? Submission to Christ means we are willing to follow His lead, learn by His example, and accept/yield to His authority.

We should think about it like this.  What does our relationship with Christ look like? Are we spending time with Him? Are we seeking to know Him more? Is He at the forefront of our thoughts and motives? 

If He is at the center of our lives, excellent! If not, we must seek Him first. Read, pray, and ask for the Holy Spirit to intercede in our lives – showing and teaching us more about the nature of Him and His Word.

We should also stop and think about our spouses. Does our relationship with them mimic our relationship with Christ? Are we spending time with them? Are we learning more about Christ together? Are we seeking His Will in our marriages? 

If yes, keep pressing on – knowing that the peaks are fantastic, and the valleys are where we truly learn more about Him and each other. If the answer to the above quest is no, make today the day. Start spending more time with our Lord and looking for Christ in your spouse as well.

Wrapping up this post, both Alice and Sheryl Cooper seem to have a firm understanding of what these verses mean. In several interviews, Sheryl has been quoted saying, “it’s not really 50/50 – it’s each person striving to give 100 percent of themselves.” 

She also admits that marriage is “two dysfunctional people who refuse to give up on one another.” Two people forged together by the Love of Christ – submitting to one another out of reverence for Him.

Let us pray that as we walk daily with our spouse, we also come to know Christ better through them. 

If you’re not married, begin praying over Ephesians 5:21. That when and if the day comes, you will accept nothing less than a partner willing to walk by faith in fear of God with Christ abiding in you. Amen.

In conclusion, Alice has written and performed many ballads during his career. He has mastered the art of tugging at the heartstrings and looking deep into what it means to love. Interestingly enough, ballads became the lifeline for many rockers during the late 70s.  

“I Never Cry” was a hit. The rest of that album was pure heavy rock. “How You Gonna See Me Now,” (released on) From The Inside, and “You and Me” from Lace and Whiskey… I think I’m getting these right. Even “Only Women Bleed” off Nightmare. Four ballad hits in a row, and everybody goes, “Alice is going soft.” I’m going, no I’m not; that’s just the only songs they’ll play from us.” – Alice Cooper

Alice will forever be known as the Godfather of Shock Rock. His stage show, concept albums, and persona will forever be stamped as a “vaudeville meets horror” performance.

However, his career would not be the same without his well-written, heartfelt displays of love and compassion. From deep down inside, he displays the perfect combination of a lover and a fighter.

That’s it for this week. Be well and catch you next Friday.

Until then, keep Walkin’ in Faith and Rockin’ with Alice!

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