Ready or Not

Album: For Everyman (1973)

Songfacts®:

  • Browne wrote this about Phyllis Major, a model and actress for whom he had ended a relationship with Joni Mitchell. Major was also pregnant with Browne's child at the time. When Major heard it for the first time, she was furious as she thought it unfairly cast her as somebody who had designs on domestic life. "She hated that song, Browne recalled to Mojo. "She said, 'I wasn't having a baby to get you. And the bulls--t about the washing machine is just insulting. So f--k you.'"

    "And she was right," he added. "I should have said in that song, Oh s--t, I'm about to become a parent and I have no idea how to do this.' But I was not emotionally mature enough."
  • Browne and Major later married, but she took her own life in 1976. After her suicide, the singer-songwriter stopped singing this number out of respect for his late wife because she hated the song. Many years later he started singing it again but he still leaves out the part that she didn't like.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Guy ClarkSongwriter Interviews

Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris and Lyle Lovett are just a few of the artists who have looked to Clark for insightful, intelligent songs.

Barney Hoskyns Explores The Forgotten History Of Woodstock, New YorkSong Writing

Our chat with Barney Hoskyns, who covers the wild years of Woodstock - the town, not the festival - in his book Small Town Talk.

Chad Channing (Nirvana, Before Cars)Songwriter Interviews

Chad tells tales from his time as drummer for Nirvana, and talks about his group Before Cars.

Richard MarxSongwriter Interviews

Richard explains how Joe Walsh kickstarted his career, and why he chose Hazard, Nebraska for a hit.

80s Video Director Jay DubinSong Writing

Billy Joel and Hall & Oates hated making videos, so they chose a director with similar contempt for the medium. That was Jay Dubin, and he has a lot to say on the subject.

Cy Curnin of The FixxSongwriter Interviews

The man who brought us "Red Skies" and "Saved By Zero" is now an organic farmer in France.