She Thinks His Name Was John

Album: Read My Mind (1994)
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Songfacts®:

  • Written by Sandy Knox and Steve Rosen, this song is about a young woman who contracts AIDS after a one-night stand. She "let a stranger kill her hopes and her dreams" and can barely remember his name. The beginning of the song made a point of how she was usually very cautious and got to know her sexual partners well, and that the one-night stand was out of character. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Lily - Argyle, TX
  • Sandy Knox drew inspiration for this song from her brother, who died in 1984 after receiving a blood transfusion. Knox also co-wrote McEntire's duet with Linda Davis, "Does He Love You."

Comments: 3

  • Arianna from AtlantaI wasn't even alive when this and I but I would and still do listen to this song all of the time and when my dad explained what it was about it broke my heart
  • Lori B from GeorgiaAs a nurse of many years who was a very young woman myself back then (20-21) when the song was released, I remember how scary HIV/AIDS was during that time period. I am glad this song is still around, because as a nurse, I have worked during the years before we had and have the treatments for HIV, AIDS, Hep C and even most recently the COVID-19 Pandemic. I'm telling you straight from someone on the inside who has seen and cared for individuals with these different illnesses, never take for granted the blessings we now have with these treatments and advancements. People truly need to know the truth and that these developments didn't just suddenly fall from the sky. Back then, a diagnosis of HIV and later Hep C was an automatic death sentence - carrying way over well beyond the year 2000. If a person was diagnosed with HIV, they were immediately sent for psychological help with a licensed psychologist and/or psychiatrist because many would go straight home and commit suicide, and that's the sad truth. People today - especially our younger generations - need to know this history and appreciate life each day to the fullest.
  • James from New JerseyTouching song, but the implications are very much outdated. "What a pity, what a loss." These days, people with HIV live long and healthy lives with proper treatment and live full lives. "She won't know love, or marriage, or sing lullabies." Nope. Wrong. People with HIV are having it easier these days with that. Babies can successfully be born to mothers with HIV without the baby getting infected. The CDC and NIH also now know and have stated that when an HIV+ is on treatment well, they cannot transmit it to their partner.

    Not to spoil anything. It's a wonderful and touching song. But it's only right to take into account proper context. When this song was written in 1994, it wasn't as treatable and was much scarier than it is today. Although I do see the song today as a good tribute to those in the past who have lost their lives today (and the few today that still do).
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