Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon

Album: Just For You (1967)
Charted: 10

Songfacts®:

  • Diamond wrote this one for the ladies, which made up most of his fan base. David Wild wrote in his book He Is...I Say: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Neil Diamond, "When Diamond first recorded the slow, seductively sensitive song in 1967, it solidified his growing connection with his female fan base, many of whom are apparently still following him all these years later, even if they are no longer properly addressed as 'girl.' Diamond has said that the song was written for all those teenaged girls who would show up at his earliest tour dates and vocally express their tremendous support."
  • In 1994 a cover by alternative rock band Urge Overkill appeared prominently in Quentin Tarantino's movie Pulp Fiction. Diamond, who is very protective of his songs, initially refused to let Tarantino use it as he hated the violent script. However he was probably glad he relented as the success of the song put Diamond back on the cultural radar after a period when his hits had dried up. Urge Overkill's version reached #37 in the UK, and Diamond's back catalogue got a huge bump in sales.

    As for Urge Overkill, they didn't fare as well. After serving as the opening act for both Nirvana and Pearl Jam, they got a major label deal with Geffen Records and released the album Saturation. Their next album flopped, and they disbanded in 1997. They reformed in 2004 and have performed from time to time. In 2010 they appeared at a roast for Quentin Tarantino.
  • Tarantino recalled to Rolling Stone that he found the Urge Overkill version "on an EP in a little record store in Holland, so I picked it up and thought, 'Wow, that's a really cool track.' And it just kept staying with me and staying with me. So then I worked the scene out with Uma [Thurman] and it ended up working fantastic, it became very iconic."
  • Urge Overkill's Eddie "King" Roeser recalled to Mojo magazine: "We did our version of 'Girl You'll Be A Woman Soon' from memory. The lyrics, I don't even know if they go that way. It speeds up, the fills are all over the place, it's out of tune."
  • In addition to Pulp Fiction, these movies have used the song:

    War Dogs (2016)
    The Upside of Anger (2005)
    Sorority Boys (2002)

    And these TV series:

    Supernatural ("Our Little World" - 2015)
    Friends ("The One with the Stoned Guy" - 1995)
    Family Ties ("The Fugitive: Part 1" - 1983)

Comments: 9

  • IrreverentJust throwing this out there for those who keep trying to call pedophile...pretty sure the guy in the song is supposed to be around the girl's age. Even says she was told "The boy's no good" indicating he, too, was young
  • Seventhmist from 7th HeavenIf the girl will "be a woman soon" (Safe to assume she's around 17-19), how does that make the singer a pedophile?
  • Carla Nolte from California Oh grow up Hugh Laurie from Cambridge.
  • Austin from United StatesI'm not finding any record of Urge Overkill's album Saturation containing the song Girl You'll Be A Woman Soon. As far as I can tell, it was on a Single CD and the Pulp Fiction soundtrack only.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn April 2nd 1967, "Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon" by Neil Diamond entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #68; seven weeks later on May 21st, 1967 it peaked at #10 {for 1 week} and spent 11 weeks on the Top 100...
    Between 1966 and 1988 he had fifty-six Top 100 records; thirteen made the Top 10 with two reaching #1, "Crackin' Rosie" for 1 week in 1970 and "Song Sung Blue" for 1 week in 1972...
    He just missed having a third #1 when "Love On the Rocks" peaked at #2* {for 3 weeks} in 1981...
    Plus he almost had three more records make the Top 10 when "Play Me", "If You Know What I Mean", and "Yesterday's Songs" all peaked at #11...
    * The three weeks that "Love On the Rocks" was at #2, the #1 record for those three weeks was "(Just Like) Starting Over" by John Lennon.
  • Violet from VirginiaI do not understand anyone thinking anything negative about this song. I really don't. As for Hugh Laurie, is that YOU, House? lol
  • Alistair from New York, NyHugh, I used to feel the same way about this song, but that was because I only heard the refrain and never really listened to the lyrics. Also, maybe I was too young to appreciate it. I actually listened to the lyrics of the song recently and suddenly it is a new favorite of mine.

    The use of the word 'girl' is a little bit misleading, but it reflects the way we use the term in our society, or at least in the States. A 'girl' who is 17,18,19, even 21 years old is not really referred to as a 'woman', these late teen and college age females are still 'girls'. There is some ambiguity in the way the terms are used, but typically people don't start referring to an adult female as a 'woman' until her mid to late 20s. If someone pointed at a 20 year old female on the street, for example, they would most likely say "that girl over there" not "that woman over there", but a 30 year old female they would usually say "that woman". I think that is more the way the terms are used in this song, but it is clear anyway from the lyrics that the song is referring to a 'girl' who is at least in her late teens, as the girl and the 'man' in the song have an apparently public romantic relationship: "and all they can say is, he's not your kind ... they never get tired of putting me down etc".

    The song poignantly describes the experience of many couples where a young woman and a man several years older fall in love with each other, but all the people in her life that care about her are naturally suspicious of him and want to break up the relationship. I think if the age gap is ten years or less then the relationship is within the range of 'normal', with ten years being close to the outer limit before 'abnormal', 'unhealthy', 'creepy' territory is reached, but for many couples where the man is 5-10 years older, they go through this situation where the family imagined their 'girl' falling in love with a 'boy', and suddenly she brings home a 'man' that she is in love with and it is hard on everyone involved. Just my thoughts.

    I feel kind of guilty for being a hater of this song in the past, when it is actually a really sweet song.
  • Hugh Laurie from Cambridge, United KingdomDon't know about you blokes but this song is creepy. It's almost as if the guy in the song is a pedeofile.
  • Mark from Dublin, IrelandCliff richard recorded a great cover of thiss track in the late sixties, cliff also recorded a number of other diamond classics "ill come running" "i get the feeling" "just another guy" and "put my mind at ease" amongst others...Cliff also sang "girl youll be a woman soon" during his wanted tour 2003/04 because the fans had requested it
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