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

Charlotte Caffey of The Go-Go's

Charlotte Caffey of The Go-Go'sSongwriter Interviews

Charlotte was established in the LA punk scene when a freaky girl named Belinda approached her wearing a garbage bag.

Stand By Me: The Perfect Song-Movie Combination

Stand By Me: The Perfect Song-Movie CombinationSong Writing

In 1986, a Stephen King novella was made into a movie, with a classic song serving as title, soundtrack and tone.

Bob Daisley

Bob DaisleySongwriter Interviews

Bob was the bass player and lyricist for the first two Ozzy Osbourne albums. Here's how he wrote songs like "Crazy Train" and "Mr. Crowley" with Ozzy and Randy Rhoads.

Grammar In Lyrics

Grammar In LyricsMusic Quiz

Lyrics don't always follow the rules of grammar. Can you spot the ones that don't?

The 10 Bands Most Like Spinal Tap

The 10 Bands Most Like Spinal TapSong Writing

Based on criteria like girlfriend tension, stage mishaps and drummer turnover, these are the 10 bands most like Spinal Tap.

Gary Louris of The Jayhawks

Gary Louris of The JayhawksSongwriter Interviews

The Jayhawks' song "Big Star" has special meaning to Gary, who explains how longevity and inspiration have trumped adulation.