Boys write songs about girls. As I was in the lab researching this, I was struck by how often geography plays a major role in the process. These days with the cost of fuel being so expensive, it's more important than ever for a boy to choose his prospective mate by proximity. Closer is better. Unless you don't like each other. Then further is better. Absence makes the heart grow fonder and helps you forget how freakin' annoying the other person actually is.
Billy Joel--"Uptown Girl": I nominated this as my least favorite Billy Joel song and now it's come back to haunt me here as well. This is one of those songs that once it gets in your head, it does not leave. It's impervious to orders. Much like its author, the inimitable Billy Joel, who has always reminded me of the drunk uncle who insists on singing at the wedding. Am I alone in this perception?
Jethro Tull--"The Girl From Ipanema": I know what you're thinking. Jethro Tull recorded a version of "The Girl From Ipanema"? Turns out tons of people have done versions of this song, including Nova Mob, Frank Sinatra, Nervous Little Dogs and Severe Tire Damage. I never want to hear this song again in my lifetime. But I'm sure that my request will be denied and that people reading this blog will make sure I hear this song quite frequently. Thank you.
Bob Dylan--"Girl From The North Country": I've never liked winter. I've never understood it. It's cold and gray and bleak and scares all the old people into moving to Florida. Bob Dylan grew up in Minnesota and he got out. But he'll always remember the good people he left behind. Supposedly this is about a girl named Echo, or another named Bonnie (we'll let them fight it out). You have to wonder did they relocate?
Iggy Pop--"China Girl": David Bowie and Iggy Pop wrote this tune together. After years of torturing Iggy with the possibilities of making some real money if only "China Girl" was made a hit, Bowie finally obliged and in 1983 commanded radio to begin playing his Nile Rodgers-produced Let's Dance album and this snazzy little tune. Iggy's version appears on an album called The Idiot, which most people did not want in their collections, lest someone think the title was referring to them. People are so sensitive.
The Beach Boys--"California Girls": I like Brian Wilson's thinking here. He wishes they could all be California Girls. He wants to import all the girls from all over and stick them in his home state, making the male to female ratio so lopsided he has to get a date out of the deal. That's a hoggishness I can get behind.