The 6 Most Baffling Classic Rock Songs About Women


Something about earnest love songs -- rooted in their lost and desperate appeal to emotion, in their universal struggle against unrequited affection -- always makes me reflect on my own life and think "Man, I am a way better storyteller than musicians." The trouble is that they get ahead of themselves, jumping right to the heartache and the yearning while only throwing out a few rushed metaphors and cloying imagery to describe the girl or the guy they love. Well, if I'm going to commiserate, I need some indication that the person is worth all that longing to begin with, and the best place to start is with physical beauty. I don't care if Bell Biv DeVoe's love is poison or if Poison's love has thorns if no one's going to assure me from the start that the women they're singing about are hot. And if they're not, then honestly, what's the point of all this?

I can't see what she looks like in that spacesuit, Air Supply.

For anyone else who's spent a lifetime frustrated by love songs so vague they might as well be about our own relationships, I have built this reference guide for you. I have culled the few popular love songs that make even a halfhearted effort at describing the objects of their affection and, through the medium of my spectacular imagination (and six colored pencils), I have enhanced each story by doing what I do best: drawing composites of hot chicks based on song lyrics. Now I gift them to you. I hope some lonely night, as these classic songs trickle from your car radio, that you think of the pictures I drew for you, and that they remind you of what love really looks like.

"Sweet Child O' Mine" -- Guns N' Roses

Pertinent Lyrics:

She's got a smile that it seems to me

Reminds me of childhood memories

Where everything

Was as fresh as the bright blue sky ...

She's got eyes of the bluest skies

As if they thought of rain

I hate to look into those eyes

And see an ounce of pain

Her hair reminds me of a warm safe place

Where as a child I'd hide


The 6 Most Baffling Classic Rock Songs About Women

I'm pretty proud of this one. I think I really nailed the nostalgia in the mouth and the way it reminds us all of our favorite moments as children. If memory serves, that's a mouth I saw on a lot of adults when I was a kid. Additionally, the color I chose for the eyes was a crayon fortuitously labeled "sky blue." I think you'll agree that as you look into those stunning windows, you wouldn't wish an ounce of pain on the soul behind them. If you find them piercing, I assure you, that was intentional. The shadowing on the face really allows them to pop. Perhaps the most important part for me to capture, as an artist, was the hair. I struggled with how to convey a safe place children might hide, particularly when that place had to be on the head of a human. Ultimately, I landed on the idea of drawing an awesome fort in her hair. Hopefully, it reminds you of the best fort you ever made and that you could see yourself crawling into her scalp for warmth and security.

"Maneater" -- Hall & Oates

Pertinent Lyrics:

She'll only come out at night

The lean and hungry type ...

The woman is wild, a she-cat tamed by the purr of a Jaguar ...

She's deadly, man, she could really rip your world apart

Mind over matter

Ooh, the beauty is there but a beast is in the heart


The 6 Most Baffling Classic Rock Songs About Women

Now you may look at that picture and say "But Soren, that's just some expertly drawn jungle plant, where is the maneater you promised?" to which I would say,
look again. (If you still don't see her, here's a hint: She's wearing pink.)By drawing a woman who is only visible after a second or third glance, I've given the impression that you are being stalked as you look at the picture. Startling, isn't it? That's good, your heart should be beating faster to fully appreciate it. The hunger in her eyes should feel as though, at any moment, her love could rip out your ventricles and slake her thirst for human blood. There are also several allusions in the song to her catlike nature, which I've accounted for in a cat-ear headband. I suppose some artists would have opted for a full cat suit, but instead I gave her normal clothes for the sake of realism. I'm also not very good at doing animal costumes.

"Bette Davis Eyes" -- Kim Carnes

Pertinent Lyrics:

Her hair is hollow gold

Her lips sweet surprise

Her hands are never cold

She's got Bette Davis eyes ...

She'll expose you

When she snows you

Off your feet with the crumbs she throws you ...

All the boys think she's a spy


The 6 Most Baffling Classic Rock Songs About Women

I just want to preface this by saying that drawing Bette Davis eyes was much harder than just cutting out Bette Davis' real eyes and Scotch taping them to this beauty's face. Which I did. Seeing them, I think it's pretty clear why they were deserving of an entire song. Also, it's possible that those are both the same eye from different photographs; I cut out a lot of them and got confused.Additionally, I wasn't entirely sure what hollow gold hair actually looks like, so I gave her a blonde beehive, which seems to work nicely. Her ability to create flames in her hands and trip people with bread crumbs are all self-evident from listening to the song, but once you compile all her powers together in a single image, the woman really comes to life on the page. I'm almost positive this is exactly the image Donna Weiss and Jackie DeShannon had in their heads when they wrote the song.

"She's Always a Woman" -- Billy Joel

Pertinent Lyrics:

She can kill with a smile

She can wound with her eyes ...

She'll carelessly cut you

And laugh while you're bleeding ...

Oh, she takes care of herself

She can wait if she wants

She's ahead of her time


The 6 Most Baffling Classic Rock Songs About Women

For the sake of this picture, I'm going to ask that you pretend that this woman just stabbed you with a kitchen knife, and now she's having a good laugh about it. If I've done my job properly, your attraction to her just went up a few points, or whatever metric you use to measure that kind of thing. I've painstakingly tinkered with her eyes and mouth to make them look as deadly as possible. The eye shadow is supposed to be reminiscent of Daryl Hannah's character in
Blade Runner, who was also sexually treacherous and ahead of her time.

The 6 Most Baffling Classic Rock Songs About Women

You may have also noticed the open jars on the table behind her. Excellent observation. You show remarkable attention to detail. Artists like me love that kind of thing. Those jars are there to indicate her ability to take care of herself. She opened all those jars without the help of a man because she is self-sufficient. Most important, however, was inserting a reminder in the picture that she is and will always be a woman (to me), which I accomplished cleverly with boobs. They are still plenty visible, even with her arms folded. In the end, isn't that
really what all women have to contend with? They are capable of stepping out of oppressive gender roles, but never out of their own breasts. It's sad, but also beautiful.

"Rio" -- Duran Duran

Pertinent Lyrics:

Moving on the floor now babe you're a bird of paradise

Cherry ice cream smile I suppose it's very nice ...

Her name is Rio and she dances on the sand

Just like that river twisting through a dusty land

And when she shines she really shows you all she can

Oh Rio, Rio dance across the Rio Grande



The key to the visual representation of a Duran Duran song is capturing the same subtlety for which the band is renowned. You might look at this picture and get the
flavor of a bird of paradise without really understanding why. Well, I inconspicuously modeled her hair after a bird of paradise flower. I also captured the idea of a cherry ice cream smile by adding bits of smeared cherry ice cream on her face. Above all else, it was important for me to really capture her fluidity. Even in a still drawing, you can see her glimmering form wind and shimmer like a body of water across the sand. She is dancing. She is dancing a kind of sexy dance that girls have to practice before they look comfortable doing it. I've left it open to interpretation whether she is dancing at sunset or sunrise depending on whether it's easier for you to romanticize her as a tragic figure at the end of her relevance or a young girl discovering her womanhood. But while you're deciding, please don't forget to admire the powerful reflection of sunlight I drew in the ocean. It's pretty good.

"Drops of Jupiter" -- Train

Pertinent Lyrics:

Now that she's back in the atmosphere

With drops of Jupiter in her hair, hey ...

Since the return from her stay on the moon

She listens like spring and she talks like June, hey, hey ...

Tell me, did you fall for a shooting star?

One without a permanent scar ...

And tell me, did Venus blow your mind?

Was it everything you wanted to find? ...

But tell me, did you sail across the sun?

Did you make it to the Milky Way

To see the lights all faded

And that heaven is overrated?


The 6 Most Baffling Classic Rock Songs About Women

First of all, re-entry into the atmosphere without a spaceship is completely impractical. Even musicians should know that. Train ought to make an effort to be a little less sloppy with their metaphors. I also have no idea what "talks like June" is supposed to sound like. Bees, maybe? I wasn't sure, so I just gave the melting woman a sundress and some flowers in her burn trail to signify summer as she careens toward Earth. Frankly, I'm a little disappointed Train didn't do any homework before writing this song. It's reckless, with no consideration for logic or physics. In fact, drawing this whole thing felt disingenuous. If you look closely, her suitcase is covered with the proof of her travels to Venus and other planets in the solar system, despite the fact that I know Venus' atmosphere is made up primarily of sulfuric acid, so it would be impossible to make novelty stickers there. I hate to end on a sour note, but Train needs to read an issue of Scientific American before they're allowed to write any more songs. They need to get their facts straight and hope that they are never responsible for whole gaggles of young girls firing themselves into space. I'm mad just thinking about it.

You can follow Soren's one-man attack on Train's negligence via Twitter or light a few candles, start a bath and follow him on Tumblr.

For more from Soren, check out 8 Letters from the Elementary School Where I Guest Lectured and 4 Steps to Staying Relevant as a Bully In the Modern World.

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