Stupid Girl

Album: Garbage (1995)
Charted: 4 24
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  • In a 2013 Songfacts interview with Garbage drummer Butch Vig, he said that this song started when their guitarist Steve Marker sampled a drum loop by The Clash. "We started putting down this bass groove over it to try to get something kind of groovacious," said Vig. "And then Duke started playing... Shirley started singing, and the whole song was written in about 30 minutes."

    The Clash song Butch refers to is "Train in Vain (Stand By Me)," from their 1979 album London Calling. Joe Strummer and Mick Jones, who composed that song, received writing credits on "Stupid Girl" because of the sample.
  • The song was one of the first the band wrote together; demos were recorded during the informal studio sessions before vocalist Shirley Manson became an official member of the group. In a 1996 interview with Seventeen magazine, Manson said, "The song is really about squandering potential - kind of our version of Madonna's 'Express Yourself,' but a little more subversive."
  • Asked what she was talking about in the song, Manson said, "God, about a million girls and boys that we all know. I mean, it could just as easily be called 'Stupid Boy.' It's just a song of reproach to a lot of people we know." (Raw magazine, 1996)
  • In a 2013 interview with The Current (Minnesota Public Radio), Manson said, "I would sing 'stupid gur-rull' 'cause I came from Scotland... I don't say 'girl'... and the band kept on saying "it's sounding great...but can you say 'gir'l"' and I'd say "I'm saying 'gur-ull!'" And it just went on and on until eventually I finally clicked; I could hear it, you know, but it took forever and we couldn't communicate because of just the way that I was programmed and they were programmed."

    She added: "People make fun of me now 'cause I do say 'girl' now. People take the piss out of me at home in Scotland. They say 'You're so American.'"
  • Butch Vig told us that this and "Push It" were two of his favorite Garbage songs to perform.
  • The video was directed by Samuel Bayer, best known for Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit." To get the film damage effect, he used actual film and damaged it, dipping it in water and putting out cigarettes on it. He did the same thing on Green Day's video for "Boulevard Of Broken Dreams."
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