“Wooden Woman” is the second song on side 2, and 8th song overall, on the album The World In A Sea Shell, Strawberry Alarm Clock‘s third album from 1968. The ballad has a rather lugubrious air about it, as does virtually the entire album, and is highlighted by a heartbreaking chord sequence and delicate vocals.
The band makes use of its oft-employed distorted-electric-guitar-as-wallpaper technique here, underscoring the gentleness of the song while giving it a slightly addled and acrid air — that classic SAC dichotomy (SAChotomy?). The song’s lyrics reveal a sad old woman (‘wooden’ apparently having a dual meaning — both the woman’s wizened face and her pitiable broken heart) staring at the sea and recalling with bitterness the lies of the lovers from her youth — yet lamenting that she now has no lover at all. At the song’s end she decides to “leave the world”, jumping into the sea; the song fades away as her body floats off into the ocean.
“Wooden Woman” has a fantastic, emotive guitar solo from Ed King, with a deliciously fuzzy tone and a zesty composition. The song is only two minutes long but, with its sorrowful tale and beautiful musicianship, stands as one of the album’s best.
LP: The World In A Sea Shell (1969)