Coolsville

Album: Rickie Lee Jones (1979)
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • Rickie Lee Jones was reared on beat poetry and developed a bohemian look and style in the process. "Coolsville," is probably her best example of this poetry put to music. The song tells a vague tale of a conflicted relationship, using card games as a metaphor:

    I jumped all his jokers
    But he trumped all my tricks
  • Jones gave off a saucy swagger in this song that played up her image as the coolest chick in town. It was included on her debut album, which showed her wearing her beatnik beret and smoking a skinny cigarette. The album was wildly successful, earning Jones a Grammy Award for Best New Artist. In one of the first national stories on Jones, Time magazine called her "The Duchess of Coolsville" in praising her work. Jones carried that moniker throughout her career, even using it as the title of her 2005 anthology album.
  • In a 2011 interview with Mojo, Jones explained that the character in this song represents one side of her personality. "The persona that you're creating is made up of you - but it's the best you think you are, the coolest you think you are," she said.
  • Jones performed this song (and her big hit "Chuck E.'s In Love" when she was the musical guest on Saturday Night Live, April 7, 1979. She started the song smoking a cigarette, presumably a Winston to go with the line, "In the Winston lips of September."

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Did They Really Sing In That Movie?

Did They Really Sing In That Movie?Fact or Fiction

Bradley Cooper, Michael J. Fox, Rami Malek, Reese Witherspoon, Gwyneth Paltrow and George Clooney: Which actors really sang in their movies?

Gilby Clarke

Gilby ClarkeSongwriter Interviews

The Guns N' Roses rhythm guitarist in the early '90s, Gilby talks about the band's implosion and the side projects it spawned.

Gentle Giant

Gentle GiantSongwriter Interviews

If counterpoint and polyrhythms are your thing, you might love these guys. Even by Progressive Rock standards, they were one of the most intricate bands of the '70s. Then their lead singer gave us Bon Jovi.

Susanna Hoffs - "Eternal Flame"

Susanna Hoffs - "Eternal Flame"They're Playing My Song

The Prince-penned "Manic Monday" was the first song The Bangles heard coming from a car radio, but "Eternal Flame" is closest to Susanna's heart, perhaps because she sang it in "various states of undress."

Narada Michael Walden - "Freeway of Love"

Narada Michael Walden - "Freeway of Love"They're Playing My Song

As a songwriter and producer, Narada had hits with Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey and Starship. But what song does he feel had the greatest impact on his career?

dUg Pinnick of King's X

dUg Pinnick of King's XSongwriter Interviews

dUg dIgs into his King's X metal classics and his many side projects, including the one with Jeff Ament of Pearl Jam.