She was a friend to me when I needed one
Wasn't for her I don't know what I'd done
She gave me back something that was missing in me
She could of turned out to be almost anyone
Almost anyone--
With the possible exception
Of who I wanted her to be

Running into the midnight
With her clothes whipping in the wind
Reaching into the heart of the darkness
For the tenderness within
Stumblin' into the lights of the city
And then back in the shadows again
Hanging onto the laughter
That each of us hid our unhappiness in

Talk about celestial bodies
And your angels on the wing
She wasn't much good at stickin' around--but
That girl could sing
She could sing...

In the dead of night
She could shine a light
On some places that you've never been
In that kind of light
You could lose your sight
And believe there was something to win
You could hold her tight
With all your might
But she'd slip through your arms like the wind
And be back in flight
Back into the night
Where you might never see her again

The longer I thought I could find her
The shorter my vision became
Running in circles behind her
And thinking in terms of the blame
But she couldn't have been any kinder
If she'd come back and tried to explain
She wasn't much good a saying goodbye--but
That girl was sane

Lyrics submitted by mikepauer, edited by mjsakers

That Girl Could Sing song meanings
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  • +2
    General Comment

    Rumours ran round that this was about Valerie Carter. I don't know, but she is an incredible singer.

    MMMerryon September 29, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    I know it's really cheesy and 80s, but I like the beat to this song. Lyrically, it's about this guy who knows a girl but she moves on (perhaps she's more of a freespirit type who is always moving?) and he just can't get her out of his mind.

    ferret111on November 07, 2007   Link
  • +1
    Song Meaning

    This was definitely about Valerie Carter. He mentions it in a video after she died. He said he was obsessed with her at one point.

    bluecollaron July 13, 2019   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I think we all have people in our lives that are there when we need them but eventually disappear and we want so much more from them.

    I love the line 'Hanging onto the laughter That each of us hid our unhappiness in'.

    My favorite JB song.

    Indie_Queenon April 22, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    In the first verse - I think that after the death of his wife, "she was a friend when I needed one..." refers to someone who befriended him in the difficult time...a diversion. I think that "with the possible exception of who he wanted her to be" refers to the exception of the possibility of her being his wife.

    Is the last line really "that girl was sane"? Guess I'll have to listen to it again.

    ELighton July 13, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    According to Wiki, Jackson Browne had a relationship with Laura Nyro and this song is about her. I can believe it. She really could sing too. One of the great singer-songwriters of that era.

    LuckyTownon August 28, 2010   Link
  • 0
    My Interpretation

    This song was written about Cassie Gaines, the back-up singer of Lynard Skynard who died in the plane crash along with her brother Steve Gaines and Ronnie.

    aleta10099on September 01, 2018   Link

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