Book Review: The Girl In The Song, The Stories Behind 50 Rock Classics


Muses make the music world go round. Without them, there would be no songs to play or listen to. This book tells the story behind 50 classics and the women that inspired them. 

It definitely has stories on the more known muses like Pattie Boyd, Judy Collins and Linda McCartney. But also more obscure, surprising backstories like Buddy Holly’s “Peggy Sue” and The Beatles singing about Meter Maid Meta.

 And it’s a very short-read. It took me only one day to finish it.

 My 3 favorite stories involve, “Maybe Im Amazed” by Paul McCartney, “Diana” by Paul Anka and “Sara” by Fleetwood Mac.

One thing you can really takeaway from is studying the different themes. Whether it’s all about “hey, lets get together” or “love sucks”, these songs are what people are really feeling.

 “Maybe, Im Amazed” is the very definition of a classic. Gigantic melodies anchored by some powerful piano playing, you can really feel Paul’s love for Linda. My favorite line “Baby, Im a man, maybe Im a lonely man who’s in the middle of something that he doesn’t really understand“. Referencing the Beatles breakup. This is a perfect example of the “This is something special” theme.

 “Diana” by Paul Anka is the blueprint for that unrequited love song. We’ve all been there. We’ve all had a crush on someone who wants nothing to do with us. And we’ve all experienced the painful agony of get her attention.

 “Sara” by Fleetwood Mac. Relationships can get really messy. One person is dating one person. That one person starts cheating on that one person. And the other person starts cheating on that person with someone else. It’s all very complicated and very human. Stevie Nicks enjoys the kind of lyrical symbolism that only she would understand. And because of that, she kind of gives us a rorschach painting in which to make our own meaning.

 Creating songs can be a daunting task But being around the presence of a real muse can be really energizing. So it’s good to see other artists who have been there. Who knows what it’s like to struggle with that feeling of beautiful helplessness when thinking of that certain someone.

 These tales help guide you in being able to describe, or at least attempt to, that special girl. Hell, I am getting all sentimental right now.

 Songwriting is built on muses. Whether it’s a real or imagined conversation with a certain someone. Or telling a friend about a girl, these songs make you feel like someone else gets “it”.

The Girl in the Song: The Stories Behind 50 Rock Classics



Filed under Books

3 responses to “Book Review: The Girl In The Song, The Stories Behind 50 Rock Classics

  1. I’m recently back from rio and did you know that the “girl from impanema” was inspired by a real woman? (I know it’s not classified as ‘rock,’ but it’s still a favorite. The woman is alive and well and about 70 now and still receives attention.

  2. Pingback: Music Documentary: The Beatles and The Making of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band | How To Write And Play Great Music

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