BitchTapes: Hey Dude, don't make it bad.

Shaamini Yogaretnam
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A recently revived obsession with Dolly Parton’s ‘Jolene’ inspired me to share my fave songs penned with a named woman in mind. But of course, the mix has been done, and quite well. So I got to thinking (yes, in that Carrie Bradshaw kind of way) and wondered what the general feeling was of songs penned by women about men. Conclusion? Unlike the lovelorn narrators of Mandy, Help Me Ronda, and Roxanne, the songs on this BitchTapes deal not only with the kind of love that makes you want to scream another’s name until someone calls the police, but engage also with the other relationships that women can have with men – from concerned anti-drug sister to a pupil of punk rock to the naïve straight girl who just doesn’t get Johnny. Enjoy!


Blondie - Denis

Denis is a French cutie. We don’t know much about him other than his being perfect, duh! He walks, talks, and even smiles, and basically we’re smitten.

Lily Allen – Alfie

Does your brother smoke copious amounts of ganja? Are you worried about him and his lack-lustre enthusiasm for life? Stop Wikipedia-ing the effects of prolonged marijuana use and play this for the tree-lovin’ fella.

Concrete Blonde – Joey

A song about an enabling kind of love that takes hold and clouds everything else. Joey, why can’t you just get your act together?

Erykah Badu – Tyrone

It’s no secret that we here at Bitch love Erykah Badu. While she laments about her inattentive, loser boyfriend who would rather spend time with his boy Tyrone, we fall at her musical goddess feet.

Janis Joplin – Me and Bobby McGee 

Bobby McGee is BFF quality. Lover, soul-reader, traveling companion and one hell of a Blues singer - Bobby makes us happy.

Josie Cotton - Johnny, Are You Queer?

I prefer the Go Go’s version myself, but Josie Cotton is asking the same question. Wondering if Johnny is weird, wondering if Johnny is queer, Josie can’t figure out why he acts so “strange.” The answer, my friend, is that he’s just not that into you (or other girls)! While this song may have set the precedent for a generation of young girls wondering if the reason their male crush didn’t reciprocate their feelings was a similar interest in cute boys, it also helped bring this possibility to high schools everywhere. Yes, framing Johnny’s sexuality in only the eyes of a girl who pines after him is rather problematic. But, in my fantasy, Johnny has written a song in reply entitled “It’s none of your business, leave me alone, you stalker girl!”

Sleater-Kinney – I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone

Carrie Brownstein wants to be our Joey Ramone. She wants her picture on our walls and she wants me to know she’s the Queen of Rock n’ Roll. I want to be your Sleater-Kinney!

Cat Power - Willie

I love me some Cat Power.

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5 Comments Have Been Posted

Hate to be a pedant, but...

"Denis" was originally a doo-wop song called "Denise," and "Me and Bobby McGee" was written by Kris Kristofferson—so unfortunately, not all these songs were <i>written</i> by women about men. :( I don't know about the others.

You're right!

Thanks for the clarifying info! I should have been more clear - songs about men written and/or performed by women.

I'd Love A "Stalker Girl" Song About Me (Josie Cotton)

I'd Love it if a woman sang a "stalker girl" song like that directed at me. I think that's hot! That Josie Cotton song "Johny, Are You Queer?" turned me on.

Zack Attack!

Um, is that a photo of Zack Morris on this BitchTape? Amazing! Now I am inspired to write a song about him.

Another One

Amanda Palmer- Blake Says:
quite a sad one, I think it's supposed to be about a paranoid, narotic type guy, possibly on drugs, very alienated and lonely. "Blake says no one ever really loved him/ they just faked it to get money from the governemnt". Apparantly supposed to be very Velvet Underground influenced, as said by Palmer, I'm guessing mostly modeled after "Lisa Says" by them.

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