Women in Songs Theme Week: Tragic Figures

Women in Songs Theme Week: Tragic Figures

Today Lists That Actually Matter is kicking off another Theme Week  and this theme is Women in Songs. With today’s list being Tragic Figures.

I decided not to rank these because I didn’t want anyone to feel like a loser here since they are already tragic enough, I didn’t want to heap-on to their burdens.


1. Brandy from Brandy, You’re a Fine Girl by Looking Glass

All the sailors tell Brandy she’s a fine girl, and what a good wife she’d be and how her eyes could steal a sailor from the sea. Except for the one sailor that she actually loves, she couldn’t steal him from the sea but she stays faithful to him anyway.


2. The narrator from Jolene by Dolly Parton

In this classic, Dolly Parton tells us of a woman who is fearful that the lovely Jolene will steal her man just because she can and pleads with her not to.


3. The subject of Cameltoe by FannyPack.

Dolly’s video reminded me of this song and the tragedy discussed in this turn-of-the-century ballad. The fashion choice made by our subject is tragic not only for her, but also for us as witnesses and for fashion in general. Fix yourself, girl.


4. Jackie Brown by John Mellencamp

This is one of the saddest songs I’ve ever heard (lyrics here).


5. The narrator from Rehab, by Amy Winehouse

I’m not sure if Dolly Parton’s Jolene was based on her own life or not, but we are all sure that Amy Winehouse wrote Rehab about herself. This song itself isn’t particularly tragic in and of itself- a woman is in denial about needing alcohol rehabilitation and refuses to go; but when viewed through the lens of a singer, songwriter who died of alcohol withdrawal, this song becomes historically tragic


6. Mandy by Barry Manilow

Mandy came and gave without taking and our narrator still dumped her anyway and then regretted it. We hope that Mandy is in a better place now, but if not, this song has two tragic figures as a result of our narrator’s boneheaded decision to send Mandy on her way prematurely.


 7.  The girl from She Talks to Angels by the Black Crowes

Most people assume this song is about a charmed little girl who is visited by Angels. In fact, it’s about a woman addicted to heroin. Kinda tragic.












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