FMD: Songs About Real People

On Wednesday of this week I heard The Vaccine's "Norgaard" (not a new song, and not new to me either), and I got caught up in who this person was that they were singing about. It felt like there had to be a specific muse, at a minimum. Turns out, there's a whole story there, and the person's name actually was Amanda Norgaard.

It was pretty fun to track this down, learn a little bit about a person I had previously been unaware existed, etc. I had kind of the same experience once upon a time with Leonard Cohen's "So Long Marianne". And while there are plenty of songs about people who are famous or otherwise known to the public, I think there's something especially engaging in a song about a real person who is unknown to you.

Anyway, talk songs about real people, especially the unknowns, and drop lists if you got them.

26 thoughts on “FMD: Songs About Real People”

  1. 1. Merle Haggard & the Strangers “If We Make It Through December” 40 #1 Hits
    2. Lucy Dacus “I Don't Want to Be Funny Anymore” No Burden
    3. Lana Del Rey “Cola” Paradise
    4. Eric Copeland “Babes in the Woods” Joke in the Hole
    5. Shackleton “Twelve Shared Addictions” Devotional Songs*

    6. Sturgill Simpson “In Bloom”* A Sailor's Guide to Earth
    7. Neneh Cherry feat. Michael Stipe “Trout”* Homebrew
    8. Gang Gang Dance “Dust” Saint Dymphna
    9. The Breeders “New Year” Last Splash
    T. Ray Charles “Careless Love” Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music

    *Notes:
    5. The only album I've heard that sounds almost a bit too much like Coil. I believe that was Shackleton's intent though. If this were Coil, it would not be among their best; mostly due to the vocals and lyrics. Like if Coil had continued after Jhonn Balance's death. Nowhere near as mystical or mysterious as Balance's lyrics.

    6. Nirvana cover

    7. Sample lyric from Stipe, in the background behind Cherry:
    "A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S E X E D U C A T I O N"

  2. 1. Bohemian Rhapsody--Queen
    2. Wildfire--Michael Martin Murphey
    3. Mr. Bojangles--Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
    4. Do Ya--Electric Light Orchestra
    5. Back Home Again--John Denver
    6. Diamond Girl--Seals and Crofts
    7. If Not For You--George Harrison
    8. Sail On--Commodores
    9. Carefree Highway--Gordon Lightfoot
    10. Come Monday--Jimmy Buffett

  3. 01. "Faith" – Bon Iver i,i
    02. "Afraid" – Neko CaseThe Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You
    03. "Comin Up" – Caitlin RoseOwn Side Now
    04. "Black Tongue" – Yeah Yeah YeahsBlack Tongue
    05. "Jaywalkin'" – Urge OverkillExit The Dragon
    06. ”いまさらわたしにはなしってなんえ" – おとぼけべーばーいてこまヒッツ
    07. "Untouchable Face" – Ani DiFrancoDilate
    08. "Velvet 4 Sale" – U.S. GirlsIn A Poem Unlimited
    09. "Vol. II" – Chromatics Plaster Hound
    10. "Crab, Clam, Cockle, Cowrie" – Joanna NewsomWalnut Whales

    b. "Nashville" – Liz PhairWhip-Smart

  4. "So Can I" by Audio Adrenaline.

    If I remember correctly, the first verse is about the girl from the famous picture of her running naked away from fire bombing in Vietnam. The final 2 lines of the chorus are, "If you can love, then so can I."

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