Lonely Girl

Album: Hard Bargain (2011)
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Songfacts®:

  • Since divorcing in 1993 from her third husband - the English songwriter and musician Paul Kennerley - Emmylou Harris remained unmarried. At the time of the recording of her 2011 album, Hard Bargain, the country-folk singer was living with her older brother Walter and her mother Eugenia. The record finds Harris offering two different takes on the single life, whilst the subject of "Nobody" finds herself ready to face, and embrace, the world on her own, "Lonely Girl" is about a woman still yearning for someone else even at the end of her life.
  • The song began as a melody without words, when Harris was sketching out songs in her Nashville home months before she went into the studio. She explained that it, "started with me noodling around in that open tuning. It kind of wrote itself. Having the melody carried me to the end."
  • Harris told Spinner UK the song doesn't necessarily mean that she feels lonely herself: "I have a wonderful life filled with family, friends, dogs and children, but I'm not in a relationship," she said. "I mean, I have so many relationships, but not the type that people feel you need to complete yourself. I don't hold to that. We all feel that something is missing, when there probably isn't. I got the melody and started reflecting, but it wasn't like I wanted to tell the world: 'Feel sorry for me, I'm lonely.'"
  • Emmylou penned the tune, and the other songs on Hard Bargain, in her writing room in her home in Nashville. "For some reason I felt very comfortable in here, like a little nest or something up in the trees, you know?" she told Associated Press writer Chris Talbott. "I just said, 'Well, I need to try to write,' so I just literally locked myself away like the character in 'Rumpelstiltskin:' 'Don't come out of there till you spin all that straw into gold!' So I got a big bunch of straw."

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