"Pretty Girls" as written by William Charles Jordan, Clemmie Rishad Penton, Jonathan Reuven Rotem, Keidran Kenmore Jones, Marty James, Travis L. Mccoy and Jordan Witzigreuter....
Pretty girls
You're too good for this
How you break my heart
In this cold waiting room
Oh my pretty girls
You're too good for this
Don't let them tell you you're nothing
Don't let them break your hearts too

The TV is blaring and angry
As if you don't know why you're here
Those who walk without sin are so hungry
Don't let the wolves in pretty girls

Your hearts are so tried and so innocent
Wind your flimsy blue gowns tight around you
Around curves so comely and sinister
They blame it on you pretty girls

Oh pretty girls
You're too good for this
How you break my heart
In this cold waiting room
Oh my pretty girls
You're too good for this
Don't let them tell you you're nothing
Don't let them break your hearts too

My girls you're just like the heavens
Not a soul to take your hand in theirs
Your tears and wild constellations
Broad limbs and hard folding chairs

But there's millions to count you and keep you
And lovers that don't understand
Don't let them tell you you're nothing
'Cause you'll change the world pretty girls

Come chain yourself 'round my ankle
You'll see the world like a bird
Diving down low
Flying up high
Through all of these saccharine gutters
We'll ride and I
Won't say that I told you so
Won't say that I told you so
Won't say that I told you so
Won't say that I told you so


Lyrics submitted by _scandalous

"Pretty Girls" as written by William Charles Jordan, Clemmie Rishad Penton, Jonathan Reuven Rotem, Keidran Kenmore Jones, Marty James, Travis L. Mccoy, Jordan Witzigreuter

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Pretty Girls song meanings
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  • +1
    General Commenti tend to agree that this song is probably about girls getting abortions, but i also wonder if it could be about rape? more specifically, girls going to the hospital after being raped. even though the harsh condemnation these girls are receiving seems more fitted to abortion, think of how people will say "well, dressed like that she was just asking for it" or rapists will insist that "they wanted it" etc. Also, i think the lines about "lovers who won't understand" ties in better to the long lasting effects of the trauma of rape, and how it can affect later relationships.
    lilstacyQon July 07, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentNeko said in the NY Times a couple weeks ago that the song's about abortion, or more specifically about girls she saw waiting alone at a Planned Parenthood clinic to get abortions. I don't see the "TV... blaring and angry/ as if you don't know why you're here" line as an indictment of the girls, but of the TV/media: the girls aren't stupid, they get why they're there, and don't need a bunch of sanctimonious talking head pundits preaching at them.
    persimmonon March 07, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI've often thought that this song is about girls who've "been bad", and are now pregnant and possible getting abortions - the "cold waiting room", the "flimsy blue gowns" (hospital gowns?) - and they are alone, "not a soul to take your hand in theirs". Neko, or the speaker (I conflate them), is exhorting them to not let others shame them with what happened. "They blame it on you, pretty girls" I take as people saying it's these girls' faults for getting knocked up, and so Neko's determination to defy those who judge is similar to her earlier song "Mood To Burn Bridges", which is a great f**k you to smalltown busybodies.
    Ohhhhh Peacheson June 18, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'd agree with Peaches, and add about the TV verse -- I don't know if this is NC's intention, but I think that if there's a cultural culprit, it's the media (TV), and in particular the advertising that is constantly telling young girls they're not enough as they are, that their greatest commodity is their looks, and that being found attractive on the outside is the most important thing. The "blaring and angry" TV reminds them that they're not good enough, "as if [they] don't know" what's missing -- the lesson has been pounded in until it's second nature. And the logical conclusion must be that if you're not a superstar like girl X in the commercial, then it's your own fault and you should feel guilty. Guilt, of course, is the point, because if it's your fault, then you can do something about it, like buy those beauty products and those clothes! But the brains behind those TV jingles and enticing images never show themselves -- instead they hide behind the screen, immune to their own hypnotic spells, refusing to take responsibility for the influence they hold over young minds and emotions. "Those without sin" can then sit above it all, living vicariously, and then judge harshly while their victims suffer the consequences.
    Anyway, diatribe over, and now I have to work out just who and where is this person that says, "Come chain yourself from my ankles"? Ankles? A girl who died on the abortion table? Or is my imagination just a little too worked up at the moment?
    Gillianizmoon June 30, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGillianizmo, I've always thought the line was "Come chain yourself round my ankles", though I could be wrong, and so I pictured this as Neko's offer to let the 'pretty girl' attach herself to Neko and ride in her wake (figuratively, I pictured it as soaring freely over the land), seeing the world from Neko's perspective and thus freeing the girl from the hellish waiting room she's trapped in. I like your comments about guilt. Guilt is definitely a presence here, especially in the penultimate stanza with the 'and lovers who won't understand' - so Neko underscores her understanding of the girls and their feelings of guilt with the repeated "and I won't say that I told you so", because 'i told you so's are all about creating or encouraging guilt and shame.

    I never thought of the girls as dead, because this song is about overcoming the stigmas and restrictions people want to put on you, and it's hard to overcome this when you're gone.
    Ohhhhh Peacheson August 09, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti also think it is about abortion, possibly rape. the part about lovers not understanding could be in reference to the loneliness that girls often experience after an abortion. if you are still hurt about it afterwards, people often wonder why and say it's your fault for putting yourself in that situation.

    and i like the imagery of peaches' statement of neko rescuing the girls.
    imdizzyagainon May 13, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think is about calendar girls, pin-ups, and how their humanity is lost in the perception of the big public.

    But there's millions to count you and keep you

    I recently realized this line could refer to collecting pin-ups photos or playboy centerfolds.

    and also:

    Don't let them tell you you're nothing
    'Cause you'll change the world pretty girls

    could be a reference to those girls seen only as sexual objects but that end up being a symbol of a whole decade or generation.
    dorareeveron June 01, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti was thinking this song was about abortion too but
    i always thought this song was kinda bitter and sarcastic, like she was being ironic when she sings "your too good for this".

    but after reading all these comments it's now seems likey i was off about that. i especially agree that its about rape and the social stigma attached. the lines about not a soul taking your hand in theirs and "they blame it on you" a giveaways of this.

    but now i look at some of the other lyrics i'm a bit reluctant somehow to throw away my first theory. "as if you don't know why you're here" sounds a bit accusing. i dunno, i'm ambivalent about this. maybe so's niko and that's the point?
    scatter_brainon July 31, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"Those who walk without sin are so hungry" - this points to what persimmon said about religious pundits. I think this is a VERY powerful song about abortion and how messed up it is in the political and religious arena.

    "Curves so comely and sinister" - it is a woman's fault for being a woman and tempting men.

    This song is so, so incredible.
    nefresh85on September 13, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentNefresh, I totally agree with your calling this song "so, so incredible." This is one of my favorite songs by Case...on par with "Furnace Room Lullaby," "Hold on, Hold on," "Maybe Sparrow," and "People Got a Lot of Nerve."

    I agree with the general direction of this thread, but I think there's also another important facet of the song, which is that "pretty girls" should not allow themselves (both body and soul, so to speak) to be defined by parties so remote as religious pundits or the military/industrial/entertainment complex, which of course are the real "wolves" that shouldn't get in. Cultural systems like the media industry or the religion industry are such massive entities that they inevitably reduce people to slogans or ideological chess pieces.

    That line about the wolves, by the way, seems especially brilliant if we consider the warning in the New Testament in which Christ warns of hypocrites who appear as lambs, but are inwardly ravenous wolves (that's a paraphrase, of course). Christians who are really trying to live as Christ taught should, of course, be very tolorant of others and compassionate towards them, which is unfortunately exactly what we don't see in much of religious culture.

    Something I take away from Case's music is a profound sense of humanitianism, similar to other artists like Joni Mitchell, Billie Holliday, John Lennon (in his best moments), or Peter Gabriel.
    kmof64on December 18, 2009   Link

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