The feminine mystique has been one of the main motivations for the creation of art of all genres, especially music. Sought after, fought for, loved and left behind, women have always managed to arouse the genius in creatives over the centuries. With the advent of pop music in the 50’s, the world was awakened as a massive influx of songs about women flooded our lives via records, radio and television, giving us further insight into the mystery and lure they offer.
Everything from teenage crushes, unrequited love, to the ‘one that got away’, can be found in the hundreds of song catalogs by various artists over the years. So, pull up a chair, grab a cup of java and take a look at some our favorite songs with girl in the title. While doing so, consider how vastly different each one is psychologically and emotionally, and marvel at the infinite, never ending allure of the feminine.
10. “Bad Girls”—Donna Summer
When it came to songwriting, Donna Summer was fearless. “Bad Girls” was composed by her in 1977, along with rock band Brooklyn Dreams. The song is a refers to ladies of the evening, otherwise known as prostitutes. However, due to issues with her label, she had to keep the song in the dark until 1979 when engineer Steve Smith found the tape. Thanks to the efforts of Smith, “Bad Girls” became Summers biggest hit, heading off all contenders and enjoying the number one spot for 5 weeks.
9. “Fat Bottomed Girls”— Queen
Composed by Brian May, “Fat Bottomed Girls” is a fun song with a simple theme: There are guys out there who enjoy larger women. This rollicking and vibrant rock song was quick to find its fans. Today, it’s doubtful a band could get away with composing and performing this type of song due to the risk of being canceled due to references to big bottoms. Speaking of big bottoms, actor Michael McKean who starred in “This is Spinal Tap” stated that the Queen number was the influence for Spinal Taps song, “Big Bottoms”.
8. “My Girl”—The Temptations
Composed by Smokey Robinson and Ronald White, with lyrics by Robinson “My Girl” was written inside that great, historic venue, the Apollo Theater. Here’s an interesting fact, that Smokey Robinson wrote a song for singer Mary Wells called “My Guy”. According to Smokey Robinson, “My Girl wasn’t written with any girl in mind. It was written with all the women in the world in mind.
7. “Waiting for a Girl Like You”—Foreigner
Often recognized as one of the best power ballads of all time is “Waiting for a Girl Like You” by rock band, Foreigner. Composed by band members Lou Gramm and Mick Jones, “Waiting for a Girl Like You” this song about the magic of new found love brought people together. In fact, Mick Jones stated, “I hear these days that it’s a song that a lot of people play at their weddings. It’s the kind of song that the pen does the writing, and you don’t even know where it came from.”
6. “Georgy Girl” ”—The Seekers
A fun, energetic and catchy tune, “Georgy Girl” seemed to have what it took to be a fan favorite. Written and performed by The Seekers, a popular Aussie pop group from the sixties, the song did well on the charts, reaching number 2 in America, number three in Britain and number 1 in Australia. With Tom Springfield composing the music with lyrics coming from Jim Dale, “Georgy Girl” even scored an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song. “Georgy Girl” was chosen as the title song for a film by the same name.
5. “Beautiful Girl”—INXS
“Beautiful Girl” came off of INXS 1992 album Welcome to Wherever You Are. Having just become a father to a newborn baby girl, band member Andrew Farriss became inspired by her arrival. “I just had the birth of my first daughter, Grace, and I was very much realizing that life had changed for me dramatically because I became a parent and I’d just gone that next step in my life. I was writing lyrics like ‘Baby Don’t Cry’ and ‘Beautiful Girl’ … and I was trying to write very positive happy songs at a point in my life.” As an interesting side note, the song was chosen for a Television campaign against the dangers of anorexia.
4. “That Girl”—Stevie Wonder
Smooth as silk: That’s how Stevie does it here. “That Girl” is an anthem to strong women and those men who are brave enough to love them,
- She doesn’t use her love to make him weak
- She uses love to keep him strong
- And inside me there’s no room for doubt
- That it won’t be too long
Composed and produced by Stevie Wonder under the Tamla label, it was released as a single in 1982, “That Girl” hit number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100, and stayed on the charts for nine weeks. The song came off Stevie’s 1981 album, Stevie Wonder’s Original Musiquarium I.
3. “Girl like Me”—Black Eyed Peas and Shakira
Shakira lights up the stage with her rendition of the Black Eyed Peas song, “Girl Like Me’. Seen as a tribute to fabulous Latin women everywhere, Shakira and the Peas join forces to give us a powerful, strong yet feminine view of these ladies. According to the multi-talented Will.i.am, “This girl is the definition of music. I’ve worked with everybody – Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson. I’ve never experienced that detail. And she conducts the session like she’s teaching!”
2. “Girl”—The Beatles
“Girl” is known to be one of John Lennon’s favorite compositions. Though credited to Lennon and McCartney, the song is a Lennon only composition. According to Lennon, “‘Girl’ is real. There is no such thing as the girl; she was a dream, but the words are all right. It wasn’t just a song, and it was about that girl – that turned out to be Yoko, in the end – the one that a lot of us were looking for.” As a side note, if you listen carefully, you can hear John and Paul repeat the word “tit” in the background! That’s the Beatles for you, creative, imaginative and yes–mischievous at times.
1. Girls Just Want to Have Fun”—Cyndi Lauper
“Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” was Cyndi Lauper’s first single as a standalone artist, and was it a great choice for this effervescent singer. Cyndi’s style burst into the world with that song. Her authenticity flooded homes via MTV. This song of hers became the anthem for girls everywhere in the 80’s, as they raced to the malls to purchase bling from Claire’s in order to emulate Cyndi’s look. Kudos to Cyndi’s producer, Rick Chertoff who convinced her to record and release it.
As you can see by our small list of songs with girl in the title, we have been, are, and always will be attracted to the feminine. Some worship it, others romanticize it, and sadly still others express extreme dislike over it. Yet, with all this, we haven’t even cracked the surface of what it means. Perhaps that’s the charm, its fluidity. The ability of the feminine to cascade gently and effortlessly into a fine goblet one minute, and the next, come crashing into our psyche with the force of a hurricane the next.