The Fascinating Stories Of The Real People Who Inspired Famous Songs
Ever wondered who the girl from Ipanema really was?
As the sad news of the death of the lady behind Pulp's legendary Disco 2000 was announced this weekend, we take a look at some great and little known heroines of classic tracks.
Blue Skies - Noah & The Whale
Noah & The Whale’s second album, First Days Of Spring, is about lead singer Charlie Fink’s split with fellow indie hero Laura Marling. Ms Marling went on to date Marcus Mumford, front man of Mumford and Sons, who subsequently went on to marry Carey Mulligan. Talk about love quadrangles. Blue Skies is one of the cheerier songs on the album, despite opening with the lines “This is a song for anyone with a broken heart / this is a song for anyone who can’t get out of bed”.
Jolene - Dolly Parton
Huge haired and big boobed country star Dolly Parton’s slammer Jolene shot back into the UK singles chart last summer when she performed at Glastonbury. Queen of southern storytelling explains the red headed wonder so keen to rob her man was in fact about a flirty bank clerk who made eyes at her husband. She’s probably still working in a bank and Dolly Parton has released forty-two albums, so no brainer on whose having the last laugh.
The Girl From Ipanema - Antonia Carlos Jobim
The song that launched a thousand Sims theme tunes, The Girl From Ipanema is about a tall, tanned 17 year old. Originally called Garota De Ipanema, its muse, Helô Pinheiro, became friends with the song’s writers, leading one of them to fall madly in love with her. She has since been taken to court by his family, for calling a boutique she opened Garota De Ipanema.
Me And Mr Jones - Amy Winehouse
It’s easy to assume that every lovelorn song by Amy Winehouse was directed at her erstwhile husband Blake Fielder Civil. However, rapper Nas confirmed that Me and Mr Jones was written about him, his full name being Nasir Jones. The song certainly name checks clues that might refer to Nas. The pair spent time together in 2006, collaborating on Nas’s track ‘Cherry Wine’.
Country House - Blur
The professional cynic with his heart not in it is the boss of Food Records, the label responsible for releasing many of Blur’s early singles. Named David Balfe, he told The Guardian that the song inspired by him was by no means “their greatest song, but it’s a good little pop song”, and added that Damon Albarn had never even visited his ‘great big house in the country’. More fool him.
Layla, Wonderful Tonight - Eric Clapton
Two of Eric Clapton’s big love songs were aimed at Pattie Boyd, his best friend’s wife. The two started making music together, resulting in in an eventual marriage, resulting in mutual drug addiction, resulting in divorce. Pretty bleak, though the songs that come from the period managed the test of time.
American Pie - Don McClean
The ultimate ‘drunk at the bar’ track, American Pie by Don McLean features the classic singalong line about "the day the music died" - in actuality, a reference to the death of Buddy Holly, who met his end in a plane crash.