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Marianne Faithfull — The Ballad of Lucy Jordan
Album: Broken English
Avg rating:
6.4

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1305








Released: 1979
Length: 4:01
Plays (last 30 days): 1
The morning sun touched lightly on
The eyes of Lucy Jordan
In a white suburban bedroom
In a white suburban town

And she lay there 'neath the covers
Dreaming of a thousand lovers
'Til the world turned to orange
And the room went spinning round

At the age of 37
She realized she'd never ride
Through Paris in a sports car
With the warm wind in her hair

So she let the phone keep ringing
As she sat there softly singing
Pretty nursery rhymes she'd memorized
In her Daddy's easy chair

Her husband he's off to work
And the kids are off to school
And there were oh so many ways
For her to spend her days

She could clean the house for hours
Or rearrange the flowers
Or run naked through the shady street
Screaming all the way

At the age of 37
She realized she'd never ride
Through Paris in a sports car
With the warm wind in her hair

So she let the phone keep ringing
As she sat there softly singing
Pretty nursery rhymes she'd memorized
In her Daddy's easy chair

The evening sun touched gently on
The eyes of Lucy Jordan
On the rooftop where she climbed
When all the laughter grew too loud

And she bowed and curtsied to the man
Who reached and offered her his hand
And he led her down to the long white car that waited past the crowd

At the age of 37
She knew she'd found forever
As she rode along through Paris
With the warm wind in her hair
Comments (126)add comment
Saw her in a three-woman show with Mary Wells and Merry Clayton at the Rainbow room in NY many years ago.  Really great performances by all the girls - I will never forget it
rating it a 9, more so for the great songwriting by Shel, and just a little bit of credit to MF's execution. 
My experience hearing Marianne Faithful up until Radio Paradise was the horribly overplayed Broken English single. That one's still a skip for sure, but this sing is amazing. I'm a sucker for the atmospheric backing track such as this one, and the lyric reminds me of Elton John's Ticking from the Caribou album.  Everything's fine, it's a lovely day, and now .. I'm dead.

Wicked.
 thewiseking wrote:
Marianne Faithfull, oy. I guess it paid to sleep with Rock Stars.
Funny , I used to think she was just another junkie star-xxxxer but she does have other talents. Her vocals chords may have been abused but her music is more interesting for it.

Marianne Faithfull, oy. I guess it paid to sleep with Rock Stars.
 alanb wrote:
Paris is overrated. The traffic is too heavy; it's not the best place to ride in a sports car. I would have told Lucy to rent a sports car and go find some back road to drive along. Better than running naked down the street screaming or jumping off the roof of her house.`


Paris is definitely NOT the best place to ride in a sports car...Especially if you're
Isadora Duncan...;-(

Tony in NJ
W.A.S.T.E.
 

I give it an 8 for Shel Silverstein. 
 kazoo wrote:
Is that Brian Eno doing the accompaniment?
 

I was thinking the exact same thing....
great song
I like this version, but I much prefer the original.
Terrific, world weary voice. Such a contrast with 'As Tears Go By'
I feel like this song would have been really awesome with drums that kicked in during the middle of the second verse.
Shel was a genious writer. Love how she owns this cover. The Dr Hook version is amazing.
Makes me think of listening to CBC Stereo (Canada)'s show "Nightlines" in the mid- to late-80s.  Some of the best radio ever.  Ralph Benmergui and David Wisdom - excellent radio hosts.  
From Thelma & Louise, towards the finale!
Starts well.  Goes downhill  very quickly.  
Showing only 2 plays in last 30 days. I just heard this on RP last week. Seems like there randomization is a little skewed
 LinThizzy wrote:
sounds like desolation row to me.
 

me too, but with video game music bed
soundtrack to my life! 
Is that Brian Eno doing the accompaniment?
At least she's better than Nico!
People bitch about her voice, but I like this record. What amazes me most is that she's still alive to tell the tale.  
Shell was remarkable. There are a couple of albums out there compiling songs that he’s written and it’s just amazing.

"There was green alligators and long-necked geese, "

10,000 cigarettes have had some effect, methinks.
Someone should take her the doctors to get that throat infection sorted before it stops her singing. 
Wow, my teeth hurt after that one!
 tfioreze wrote:
Could this song have been sung any worse?
 
Sing a few verses, poseur
 alanb wrote:
Paris is overrated. The traffic is too heavy; it's not the best place to ride in a sports car. I would have told Lucy to rent a sports car and go find some back road to drive along. Better than running naked down the street screaming or jumping off the roof of her house.

 
Looks like you didn't understand the question
.... FYI it's not about you and your dumb tourist advice

Dumb as a sack of rocks!
Ms. Faithfull's voice is, uh, an acquired taste. At best. But there's something about it I really like.
A tragic story, well-told by Mr. Silverstein.

Not everyone's cuppa, but an 8 for me.
c.
 tfioreze wrote:
Could this song have been sung any worse?
 
Well at least it has an annoying musical track to match.... 🤮 
This song reminds me of how jittery I feel after drinking a triple espresso. 
Was just watching Thelma and Louise and wondered who sings this song. Thanks, RP! 
Could this song have been sung any worse?
 LinThizzy wrote:
sounds like desolation row to me.

 
D - G - A "folk" chord progression; it's been used in thousands of songs.  This is an old Shel Silverstein song, not as old as "Desolation Row" though.
 LinThizzy wrote:
sounds like desolation row to me.

 
Same.
 Augustus wrote:
sounds like desolation row to me.

 
Thought so too. I like it
 nickmetalx3317 wrote:
Please, please, PLEASE. Stop playing this lady, her voice makes me vomit.

 
Get a bucket. 

You could also try stomping your feet, crying, and sticking out your lower lip.
Please, please, PLEASE. Stop playing this lady, her voice makes me vomit.
 blades wrote:
OMG had to stop and remember

 

OMG had to stop and PSD as desperately as possible
OMG had to stop and remember
sounds like desolation row to me.
 NCEyeballKid wrote:
There is more to singing than just sweet sounds.  This whole album exudes energy and passion.  Love to hear this song.  Title track is also fantastic.

 
{#Clap}

Great Artist
{#Boohoo}love the voice


Paris is overrated. The traffic is too heavy; it's not the best place to ride in a sports car. I would have told Lucy to rent a sports car and go find some back road to drive along. Better than running naked down the street screaming or jumping off the roof of her house.
 On_The_Beach wrote:

I'm with you, spacemoose!
This is a station for people that theoretically like "eclectic" music, but as soon as the music gets the least bit challenging, people immediately write such insightful comments as "This sucks!".
Kinda sad, IMO.

 
"This sucks!"
Really an earth-shaking album. Still have a Marianne Faithfull button on my Canadian Tuxedo.
 On_The_Beach wrote:

I'm with you, spacemoose!
This is a station for people that theoretically like "eclectic" music, but as soon as the music gets the least bit challenging, people immediately write such insightful comments as "This sucks!".
Kinda sad, IMO.

 
Yup.  But then on the other hand, despite the large numbers who chant "This sucks!" or "Kill it!", the DJ persists with the assortment.

If I already knew and liked all the songs I hear on RP, I would have probably stopped listening a long time ago.   

Not particularly enamoured with this number but it does sound a little better on subsequent listens.  Who the singer is IS interesting.  
Dr Hook originally recorded this Ballad  back in 1975: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFGQyYfhLsc 
Wow!  This is a flashback of 37+ years I didn't even know was possible.
 BBoyes wrote:
This is a strange recording: odd accompaniment (almost schmaltzy, sounds computer-generated), yet the lyrics and the smoky/whiskey voice make me stop and listen. Interesting... And look at the ratings: almost an inversion of the normal distribution curve! Lots of 1s and 10s and little in the middle.

 
Yes

The lyrics!  And the voice - matching the lyrics

Outstanding
This is a strange recording: odd accompaniment (almost schmaltzy, sounds computer-generated), yet the lyrics and the smoky/whiskey voice make me stop and listen. Interesting... And look at the ratings: almost an inversion of the normal distribution curve! Lots of 1s and 10s and little in the middle.
Aweful! Bloody Aweful. This is why no one listens to radio anymore.
great voice, great song. pxd
I've had days like Lucy. I'm just grateful for my friends and family that helped me get through those days and not take Lucy's option.
I'm feeling a bit like Lucy at the moment...
 jim1964 wrote:

I thought using this song in the movie was great, it really fit.
 

 

I'm completely with you on this.

I seriously think that Montenegro might be the best movie ever made (if such a thing can be measured.)  And I can't think of either the movie or this song without thinking of the other.  

Always makes me stop dead and listen when it comes up on RP.

 ziggytrix wrote:

Or Eno-produced Talking Heads.  I have no idea if Eno produced this track.  If not, the producer was clearly a big fan of his.

 
I just checked into the comments to see if anyone knew if Brian Eno Or John Cale had something to do with this. Certainly sounds like it.
Written by the great Shel Silverstein
Saw her in a coffee bar in South east Shagdom, before Mick became a household word. She was just another pretty waif, but this was before " As tears go by" and she gained stardom. And well before a thousand packs of smokes.
Awesome song.  Marianne Faithfull is awesome.  I need to get more of her material.  Very unique voice.  Very expressive.

Play more of her material.

Graham
Somewhere in the sandbox called Kuwait. 
{#Stop}{#Drunk}{#Fever}{#Taped-shut}

Millions of kids around the world who want to sing will be told "Don't - you do not have a good voice"!

I say SING! It cannot be worse than this!

If she would have gone as total nobody to a record company they would have asked her "seriously?" and told her to bugger off and would not have given her the time of day.

But then she could say "I shagged Mick Jagger in the last century" !

And all of a sudden  its "oh its Marianne Faithful"!

Cant sing, can't nothing, but was Mick's squeeze at one time, so its alright, give her a record deal!

Reminds me of that Paul Weller song, what was it? Shagged to the top?  Oh, sorry, no that was "shout to top" was it not?

Oh dear, my mistake! 

YUCK!  
 juul wrote:
Watch the movie Montenegro and this will have more meaning ;-)

 

 
I thought using this song in the movie was great, it really fit.
 
Just made my 9 a 10, since the lady really stands the test of time, that would include her very special voice.  Listen to the lyrics and you should get some wisdom from them.
 jhorton wrote:
Honestly, if she hadn't slept with Mick Jagger, would she have ever gotten a recording contract?
WOULD SHE?
 
It might be time to let it go, dude.
Honestly, if she hadn't slept with Mick Jagger, would she have ever gotten a recording contract?

WOULD SHE? 
Not sure why all the negatives for Ms. Faithfull.  She has produced CD after CD of interesting music with a weathered voice perfectly suited for her dark material.  She does not get her due.  Saw her live once and was mesmerized by her style and don't-give-a-crap attitude.  Too many can't get beyond her unique voice.
Glorious
Watch the movie Montenegro and this will have more meaning ;-)

 
There is more to singing than just sweet sounds.  This whole album exudes energy and passion.  Love to hear this song.  Title track is also fantastic.
Maybe she's channeling Judy Garland and Bette Davis. 
You sure can hear what all those decades of smoking did to her voice.
Wow. That's really bad.

Her ravaged voice was effective when this was recorded. However, I caught a brief bit on TV of her appearance at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass in SF recently, singing As Tears Go By. Imagine a worn out granny singing the song, with only slight attention to melody and less attention to being in tune. Also a heavy smoker and former junkie, with all that entails. Mick Jagger once scoffed at the possibility of performing at 60, but at least he maintains some credibility, of a sort, not cruddibility.
I just registered with Radio Paradise just so I could say...GOD I HOPE I NEVER HEAR THAT SONG AGAIN!
 Aud wrote:
Wiki entry says 1979. Maybe my drug haze caused me to forget that...
 1979 is correct.   I was playing this and the title track on the radio (back when that was possible) when it came out...

The AMG link up there on each song page can save you a lot of searching.

yikes.
 Pyro wrote:
Sounds like the newest Paul Simon (background electronic keyboards, etc.) with Eno.  Did Eno work with MF?
 
Or Eno-produced Talking Heads.  I have no idea if Eno produced this track.  If not, the producer was clearly a big fan of his.


The instrumental sounds like Eno/Cale.  I like this!
This is listed as an 1987 release. I have this and the last album I bought came out in 1985. I think this came out in 82 or 83
Wiki entry says 1979. Maybe my drug haze caused me to forget that...


 spacemoose wrote:
I haven't taken any real statistics (maybe I should) but it seems like about 90% of the time I hear a song on radio paradise, and think "wow, that's pretty good, who is that?", and then wind up coming here, I'm greeted with this kind of a comment.
Apparently I like the outliers.
 
I'm with you, spacemoose!
This is a station for people that theoretically like "eclectic" music, but as soon as the music gets the least bit challenging, people immediately write such insightful comments as "This sucks!".
Kinda sad, IMO.


This is such a great album. loved it when it came out. I understand people not liking it, but its great stuff nevertheless.
 Augustus wrote:
sounds like desolation row to me.
 
At first I thought it was a weird cover, and had to come look to find out it wasn't.

This sucks
Thelma and Louise - awesome.
Uhg! {#Eek}
I completely agree.  dboseman wrote:
I'm sorry, but this is just awful.
 

Why?
OMG... i haven't heard this since the 80s. a flush a memories...
It's odd how I can't stand any of Marianne Faithfull's music because of her voice but, Neil Young, AC/DC, and Guns and Roses are all fine. Janis Joplin is kind of iffy sometimes, whines too much. Even Bob Dillan is usually good enough.
 Some people are just weird...... maybe we're both weird?

But then, theirs no accounting for folks taste.

spacemoose wrote:

I haven't taken any real statistics (maybe I should) but it seems like about 90% of the time I hear a song on radio paradise, and think "wow, that's pretty good, who is that?", and then wind up coming here, I'm greeted with this kind of a comment.

Apparently I like the outliers.
 


 Sadfish wrote:
Kill IT!
 
I haven't taken any real statistics (maybe I should) but it seems like about 90% of the time I hear a song on radio paradise, and think "wow, that's pretty good, who is that?", and then wind up coming here, I'm greeted with this kind of a comment.

Apparently I like the outliers.


I'm sorry, but this is just awful.


Kill IT!
On a personal note it's interesting that when I listened to this song as a young woman, Lucy's fate seemed so poignant and sad. Now, at age 55 she strikes me as self-indulgent and stupid. Add to that, now I understand that peri-menopause begins at around age 35 (Lucy is 37), so the likelihood that she was simply a victim of her own hormones takes a great deal of the wind out of the sails of poetry... I guess I'd say Lucy needed education more than romanticisation. 8^) Ah how times change....

It's just hard to see what people don't like about this song.
 Alexandra wrote:
Never did like her voice...{#Headache}
 
then keep listening to neil young.


Does anyone know if this is the song she sang on Ab Fab?  I'm having flashbacks!!


 JavaJones wrote:
Oh hey, wow. Memories! I do believe this was on the Thelma and Louise sound track. Used to really love this a decade and a half ago. A bit rougher as time goes on, or more likely as my own emotional attachment to those times and all have faded. But still a beautiful song I think.
 
Ahhh, good call!  Now that you mention it, I believe that's where I "discovered" Marianne Faithful.

 paraclete wrote:
This is awful.  I am glad for RP's diversity, but my goodness, this one is just about unlistenable
 
Roger that.

Ehhhhhhhhhhh, nope.  Don't think so.
This is awful.  I am glad for RP's diversity, but my goodness, this one is just about unlistenable
 Alexandra wrote:
Never did like her voice...{#Headache}
 
i'm with you.

I remember first hearing this on the radio when it originally charted, back in early 1980... still brings back memories...
Sounds like the newest Paul Simon (background electronic keyboards, etc.) with Eno.  Did Eno work with MF?
sounds like desolation row to me.
I hate this, but don't know why.
YEAH {#Clap} Marianne!!

Thanks WIlliam.

Although it is a sad, sad song {#Cry}
After years of confusion about her, I now consider MF an institution in the history of rock and roll... not only for her recordings or that unmistakable voice, but for her role and her longevity as a sort of underground rock diva, a Warholian Mary Magdalene to Mick Jagger's drug-addled pop art 1960s Jesus. Her influence on the lives of those around her, and the music they created, is significant if not well recognized.

Check out the 1973 off-the-wall farcical cover of I Got You Babe with David Bowie (better yet, the whole The 1980 Floorshow) if you can find it... or if you prefer her on the wall, Roger Waters' brilliant casting of MF as The Mother in The Wall - Live in Berlin. It's like she spent her career preparing for that role, both through the music she made in the decades prior, and the life she lived up to that moment.

Props to Bill for following that with Johnny Cash's cover of Personal Jesus.

Oh hey, wow. Memories! I do believe this was on the Thelma and Louise sound track. Used to really love this a decade and a half ago. A bit rougher as time goes on, or more likely as my own emotional attachment to those times and all have faded. But still a beautiful song I think.
Never did like her voice...{#Headache}
We belong to the light
We belong to the thunder
We belong to the sound of the words
Weve both fallen under
Whatever we deny or embrace
For worse or for better
We belong, we belong
We belong together

Oh, wait.
Ughh!  My first "1" rating
In order for the rating scale to be meaningful, there must be some suck-o barf-o songs played every now and then.  This song reinforces the integrity of the Radio Paradise Ratings Scale, and as such we are very proud of its validation accomplishment.  

Unlistenable.
She recovered from all the skag usage to record this? (What a story of rapid decline from such a promising future!)
...this is interesting...
I was never really much of a MF fan, but this song took on special meaning for me and a dear bunch of Melbourne mates one wild weekend in November of 2000, down at Wye River past Lorne on the way to Apollo Bay, where Suzanne and Richard hosted my friends Geoff and Vicky and I at their amazing house on the hill, and we had feasted and drunk bottles and bottles of Shiraz, CabSav, and Pinot, and Suzanne played this, and — it was like The Big Chill came over us — and we all felt it too keenly, especially me, with my marriage back in the States having burned up on re-entry! and thankfully before I or anyone else could cry, she got up and put on some old Linda Rhondstat, which happened to be nearby, and the relief was all the more apparent as we all sang and danced our way down to put our toes in the icy water in the moonlight...
Without pain there is no joy; without undergoing some of life's heavy blues, there is no knowledge or appreciation of true merriment!

Yay, that was ages ago, so good. definite 8!
ballad of the mid-life crisis...