Choice Cuts: Joy Lynn White, “Just Some Girl”

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November 23, 2007

“Just Some Girl” by Joy Lynn White
From the 2005 album One More Time.

When Brad Paisley released the single “Online” earlier this year, I had a visceral reaction to it.  A good friend of mine shared my distaste for the song, but noted that she had expected it to turn out differently the first time she heard it.    She assumed that by the third verse, the character would end up a computer mogul or such, and would become the ladies man he was pretending to be.

Of course, that didn’t happen, but when “Just Some Girl” popped up on shuffle one day, comparisons to “Online” immediately came to me.   The Joy Lynn White track also talks about a character living on the margins of society, not quite fitting in, but the portrait  painted is far more sympathetic, even as it is made clear that this is not the kind of girl that the world embraces wholeheartedly:

She was just some girl
She was plain and stout
She was nobody’s dreamboat
Nothin’ to write home about
Her hair was not like silk
Her skin was not like milk
To the civilized world
She was just some girl

White then contrasts this with the girls who seem to have everything going for them from the start:

Some girls are born holding the aces
Ya never see tears
Rolling down their faces
And some girls have dreams
And some girls get choices
Encouraging voices
Assure their place in the world

That was the line that got my attention: “Encouraging voices assure their place in the world.”   It is so easy for young people to slip through the cracks, to skate by unnoticed.  As a teacher, I am fully aware of how dangerous that can be.   As White sings, it can result in this:

She was just some girl
She was painfully shy
Sometimes for no reason
She’d sit at home and cry
With no one to touch her
And no one to tell her
I’ll see ya tomorrow
I love ya, sleep tight

As the character’s isolation builds, hope begins to fade for a happy ending.   After a small instrumental break, the fate of just some girl is revealed:

Face down in the shadows
Of a willow
They found her
So wasted away
No one could say
What it was

It was just some girl
Someone no one would kiss
Somebody no one would cry for
Someone no one would miss

And with that, she’s gone.  Just as the listener is feeling weighed down by the cruelty of this poor girl’s entire life having no value or meaning to anyone, a girl who is “someone no one would miss”, the final lines reveal there’s more to the story than we suspected:

But her mama’s gonna cry some though
Her papa’s gonna miss her so
There’s a hole in their world
She was just some girl

“Just Some Girl” raises many questions for me.   Was the isolation this girl felt real, or was most of it imagined in her head?  Was she surrounded by love but unable to feel it? Or did the people who loved her just fail to make that a little more clear?   It’s a challenging song, one that resonates long after hearing it.  For me, it’s a reminder to pay closer attention.   It makes me remember back to what one of my teachers said when I was in junior high school: “The cruelest way to hurt someone  is not to make fun of them, it’s to ignore them completely.”

Buy: Just Some Girl

Buy: One More Time

This is the second in a series of posts spotlighting lesser-known album cuts, inspired by the icF Music Blog.

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  1. Paul W DennisNo Gravatar says:

    Ugh – as another lyrical cliche’ . There was a time when Joy Lynn White (or Joy White as she originally was billed) was a vital artist, but she lost me somewhere along the line. I’ve heard this theme done better many times

  2. KevinNo Gravatar says:

    When has the theme been done before? I’m trying to think of another similar song but I’m drawing a blank.

  3. CFNo Gravatar says:

    I really like this one. I’m listening to clips of the album and it doesn’t sound bad – she definitely has a voice (a good one) that distinguishes itself from others. “Love Sometimes” sounded familiar b/c it’s on Pinmonkey’s last album, and I didn’t know she co-wrote it, so that’s pretty cool. I think my favorite song, beside the Choice Cut, based on the clip, is probably “Girls With Apartments In Nashville” because of how country it sounds, but I like the different styles showcased in the album. I’ve never heard of her before, so thanks for introducing us all to her and her music.

  4. Lucky Few was my favorite Joy Lynn White album. I did like several of her earlier songs including her version of Cold Day in July. I’ve lost track of her over the past few years.

    I’ll have to search the archives to see if you’ve reviewed the Lucky Few album. I think you would like it.

  5. d ackersNo Gravatar says:

    I do enjoy her licks on this tune, but I enjoy the Phil Lee version,

    It seems he’s a litle bit more the narrator less personal which I think makes the song ring truer.

  6. scotty meltonNo Gravatar says:

    Joy Lynn White is the real deal, that loses people who listen to pop cuntry crap. Maybe that’s why she’s bigger in Europe where they have some culture.

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