The Ballad of Lucy Jordan
|"The Ballad of Lucy Jordan"|
|Single by Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show|
|B-side||"Make it Easy"|
|Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show singles chronology|
"The Ballad of Lucy Jordan" is a song by American poet and songwriter Shel Silverstein. It was originally recorded by Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show, with the name spelled "Jordon". The song describes the disillusionment and mental deterioration of a suburban housewife, who climbs to a rooftop "when the laughter grew too loud".
Marianne Faithfull version
The song was recorded by the English singer Marianne Faithfull for her 1979 album Broken English. This version was released as a single in October 1979, and became one of her highest-charting songs. It is featured on the soundtracks to the films Montenegro, Tarnation and Thelma & Louise. Faithfull also performed the song during a guest appearance in the episode "Donkey" from the fourth season of Absolutely Fabulous, in which God (Faithfull) sings the song in a dream to a miserable, dieting Edina. In 2016, the Faithfull version was used in the finale of American Horror Story: Hotel.
In an interview on ITV's The South Bank Show aired on 24 June 2007, Faithfull said that her interpretation was that Lucy climbs to the rooftop but gets taken away by "the man who reached and offered her his hand" in an ambulance ("long white car") to a psychiatric hospital, and that the final lines ("At the age of thirty-seven she knew she'd found forever / As she rode along through Paris with the warm wind in her hair ...") are actually in her imagination at the hospital. Thelma and Louise has a similar fatalistic theme.
Smash Hits said, "The Debbie Harry of the sixties returns to vinyl with an honestly outstanding offering, a version of an old Doctor Hook number related over a swimming synthesiser. If you can handle this, it sounds like Dolly Parton produced by Brian Eno. Only better.""
AllMusic noted Faithfull's "faint vocal approach accompanied by the lone synthesizer emanates an eerie candor throughout the song's duration. This wispiness helps to build the fantasy/reality concept of the song, and shows Faithfull at her most sincere." Pitchfork mentioned the, "pain in her fractured voice".
|Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)||2|
|Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)||7|
|Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)||19|
|New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)||20|
|South Africa (Springbok Radio SA Top 20)||4|
|Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)||5|
|UK Singles (OCC)||48|
|West Germany (Official German Charts)||5|
Discover more about Marianne Faithfull version related topics
Other cover versions
- 1975: Johnny Darrell, on his album Water Glass Full Of Whiskey
- 1976: Lee Hazlewood, on his album 20th Century Lee
- 1980: Marie Bottrell, on her album The Star, reached #10 in the Canadian country charts
- 1995: The Barra MacNeils, on their album The Question, reached #50 in the Canadian AC charts
- 1996: Belinda Carlisle, on her album A Woman and a Man
- 2000: Dennis Locorriere, on his album Out of the Dark (as the singer for Dr. Hook, he performed on the original version of the song)
- 2005: Bobby Bare, on his album The Moon Was Blue
- 2010: Lucinda Williams, on the Shel Silverstein tribute album Twistable Turnable Man
- 2017: Kikki Danielsson, on her album Portrait of a Painted Lady.
Discover more about Other cover versions related topics
Source: "The Ballad of Lucy Jordan", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, January 26th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ballad_of_Lucy_Jordan.
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A Boy Named Sue
Me and Bobby McGee
Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show
Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You're Going To)
The Memory Remains
Human Nature (Michael Jackson song)
As Tears Go By (song)
Broken English (album)
Stay (Shakespears Sister song)
What a Fool Believes
A Woman & a Man
The Cover of "Rolling Stone"
Broken English (song)
- Podcast The South Bank Show Archived 14 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine
- Bernie Cook (January 2010), Thelma & Louise live!, ISBN 9780292782501
- David Hepworth (14 November 1979). "Singles". Smash Hits. No. 25.
- Mike Degagne. "The Ballad of Lucy Jordan". AllMusic.
- Lindsay Zoladz. "Broken English: Deluxe Edition". Pitchfork.
- Kieron Tyler. "Reissue CDs Weekly: Marianne Faithfull, Françoise Hardy, Pia Fraus". The Arts Desk.
- "Marianne Faithfull – The Ballad of Lucy Jordan". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 15 April 2016.
- "Marianne Faithfull – The Ballad of Lucy Jordan" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 15 April 2016.
- "Marianne Faithfull – The Ballad of Lucy Jordan" (in French). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 15 April 2016.
- "Marianne Faithfull – The Ballad of Lucy Jordan" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 15 April 2016.
- "Nederlandse Top 40 – Marianne Faithfull" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 15 April 2016.
- "Marianne Faithfull – The Ballad of Lucy Jordan". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 15 April 2016.
- "Marianne Faithfull – The Ballad of Lucy Jordan". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 15 April 2016.
- "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 15 April 2016.
- "Offiziellecharts.de – Marianne Faithfull – The Ballad of Lucy Jordan". GfK Entertainment charts. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
- "RPM Top 75 Country Singles - October 25, 1980" (PDF).
- "RPM Top 60 AC - April 8, 1996" (PDF).
- Per Magnusson (22 September 2017). "Kikkis självhjälpscountry urstark" (in Swedish). Aftonbladet. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
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