Song Lyric Sunday — It’s All Relative

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday, Jim is focusing on siblings, with “brother,” “sister,” and “sibling” as our theme words. I remember back when I was a younger (much younger) man and I was madly in love with a beautiful blonde (well, bleach blonde) who had flowing golden hair. And even though, when this song came out, we were no longer dating, I always thought of her when I heard it. The song? “Sister Golden Hair” by America.

“Sister Golden Hair” was written by Gerry Beckley and recorded by the band America for their fifth album, Hearts, in 1975. It was their second single to reach number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. Their first number one hit was “A Horse with No Name.”

According to Beckley, there was no actual Sister Gold Hair. He said that the song was based on a composite of different girls. When asked if it was written to anyone, Beckley said, “No, this is all poetic license. With ‘Sister Golden Hair,’ as far as my folks were concerned, I was writing a song about my sister. They must not have listened to the lyrics.”

Beckley also pointed out that the song’s lyrics were largely inspired by the works of one of my favorite recording artists, Jackson Browne. Beckley noted that “Jackson has a knack, an ability to put words to music, that is much more like the L.A. approach to just genuine observation as opposed to simplifying it down to its bare essentials.” Beckley also said that he found that Jackson’s lyrics could depress him a little bit, but only through his honesty; and it was that style of Browne’s that led to the song, “Sister Golden Hair.” The band previewed the song for Browne while touring together with the singer, and Browne suggested the lyric originally written as, “Will you meet me in V.A.” — referring to Virginia — be changed to “Will you meet me in the air.”

Beckley said that all of America’s songs, including “Horse,” are open to interpretation. But “Sister” was a relationship song and contained a variety of elements. He said that the band always combined the elements of a song, as songwriters, so that they were not verbatim, word for word, for a particular circumstance. I love the sounds, the harmonies, and the flow of most of America’s hit songs. But many of their songs’ lyrics are, well, almost nonsensical — to me, anyway.

Here are the lyrics to “Sister Golden Hair.”

Well I tried to make it Sunday, but I got so damn depressed
That I set my sights on Monday and I got myself undressed
I ain’t ready for the altar but I do agree there’s times
When a woman sure can be a friend of mine

Well, I keep on thinkin’ ’bout you, Sister Golden Hair surprise
And I just can’t live without you; can’t you see it in my eyes?
I been one poor correspondent, and I been too, too hard to find
But it doesn’t mean you ain’t been on my mind

Will you meet me in the middle, will you meet me in the air?
Will you love me just a little, just enough to show you care?
Well I tried to fake it, I don’t mind sayin’, I just can’t make it

Well, I keep on thinkin’ ’bout you, Sister Golden Hair surprise
And I just can’t live without you; can’t you see it in my eyes?
Now I been one poor correspondent, and I been too, too hard to find
But it doesn’t mean you ain’t been on my mind

Will you meet me in the middle, will you meet me in the air?
Will you love me just a little, just enough to show you care?
Well I tried to fake it, I don’t mind sayin’, I just can’t make it

Doo wop doo wop …

6 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday — It’s All Relative

  1. newepicauthor September 27, 2020 / 6:53 am

    Nice music Fandango, perfect for the prompt and you could have saved this for your own prompt suggestion which will be on November 8, 2020 being Days of the Week.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lisa Coleman September 27, 2020 / 7:25 pm

    I could see how America was inspired by Jackson Browne. I never knew that, but certainly can understand it. Great song choice today! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Christine Bolton, Poetry for Healing September 28, 2020 / 7:27 pm

    I just listened to this song the other day! It’s great. I did not know the band was inspired by Jackson Browne but I can understand why they were. He is one of my favorite artists too!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. leigha66 October 5, 2020 / 11:27 pm

    This song reminds you of an ex-girlfriend, it reminds me of an ex too. Just a friend of mine who was into America and said this was one of his favorites. Interesting to know the background of it now.

    Liked by 1 person

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