And She Was

Album: Little Creatures (1985)
Charted: 17 54


  • According to David Byrne, who is the only writer credited on the track, this was written about a girl he knew who used to take LSD in a field next to the Yoo-Hoo drink factory in Baltimore. "Somehow that image seemed fitting, the junk food factory and this young girl tripping her brains out gazing at the sky," he told Q magazine in 1992. "But it wasn't a drugs song at all and I don't think people took it that way. I think it gives the impression of a spiritual or emotional experience, instantaneous and unprovoked. The sublime can come out of the ridiculous." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Monica - New Orleans, LA
  • The video was the first created by Jim Blashfield, who pioneered a collage-animation style with his short film, Suspicious Circumstances. That got the attention of Talking Heads, which wanted a similar motif for their "And She Was" video. The resulting clip earned MTV Video Music Award nominations for Best Group Video and Best Concept Video. Blashfield was commissioned for more videos in this style; his work can be seen in "The Boy in the Bubble" (Paul Simon), "Sowing the Seeds of Love" (Tears For Fears) and "Leave Me Alone" (Michael Jackson).
  • This was used in these TV shows:

    Young Sheldon ("A Research Study and Czechoslovakian Wedding Pastries" - 2018)
    My Mad Fat Diary ("Inappropriate Adult" - 2014)

    And in these movies:

    Storks (2016)
    Sky High (2005)
    Bewitched (2005)
    Look Who's Talking (1989)
  • Talking Heads never performed this live: They stopped touring in 1984 after their Stop Making Sense concert film was released.
  • This is one of the first songs David Byrne brought to the band that was comfortably within his vocal range. On most earlier Talking Heads songs, he stretched on his vocals, which became a signature sound.
  • There's a pretty prominent cowbell on this one. Steve Scales, who toured with Talking Heads and often added percussion to their studio recordings, played it.

Comments: 24

  • Susan from ChicagoNo mystery, since Byrne told us what it was about, and the acid-trip meaning did occur to me, but my original thought was: suicide. For a couple of reasons: the repetition of the song title "And She Was" (in other words, she IS no longer, or no longer is alive), and the line "joining the world of missing persons." I was kind of sorry to hear it was a mere psychedelic experience, since it presented a rather nice and joyous picture of an afterlife.
  • Melinda from AustraliaThis song reminds me of my friends in the mid 1980’s. Who loved taking drugs.
    We all loved Talking Heads tho. In fact their cover of the song Take Me To The River is my absolute fave. And I used to it dance by myself in our share house, in my pastel 1980’s clothes. And a big Madonna style scarfe, like a headband, in my hair.
    For some reason I didn’t work then.
    Fact is, All we were interested in was seeing bands, music and sex....And take away food.
    Around this time too I remember driving the neighbours crazy with the Simple Minds iconic album, Once Upon A Time. The song Alive And Kicking is one of best songs of the 1980’s. And the decade defining movie The Breakfast Club, did well to include the Simple Minds classic song, Don’t You Forget About Me.
    I always thought the Talking Heads song, Stop Making Sense, was the funniest ever. David Byrne used to intrigue us. Cause he was older than us. We were more used to 80’s Synth Pop bands our age. Talking Heads were always there, but they had a breakthrough album, that totally appealed to young 1980’s teens. Or early 20’s.
  • Matt from Rochester NyCan't argue with Byrne, he wrote the song! Before I read the explanation here on this site re the girl and LSD, I entertained the idea that the girl was experiencing what Zen Buddhists call kensho as she sat in meditation. Her "dress" would be an allegory for her body, ie, she sheds her physical being as her consciousness expands first so that she isn't limited to being on the earth, then expands to fill the universe, losing awareness of her selfhood, which the lyrics all describe. And the experience is very happy-making for her, which explains the lyrics about her feeling so pleased at the experience.

    But it appears to be about an acid trip. So there goes that theory. :)
  • Gail from Hamden, NyWoW!! I thought this song was about suicide!
  • Suzanne from Ventura, CaFunny, I heard an interview with David Byrne who said it was about a particular chapter of the book "So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish". Wierd...
  • Bob from Derby, KsLove it. I agree, classic Talking Heads. Listen to the drums, makes me want to take them up!
  • Jj from Manassas, VaAwesome song!
  • John from Grand Island, NyMan, I love this song, classic Heads. Get back together, please!
  • Mike from Verona, NjWhen I heard this years ago I totally thought it was about an "out of body experience." I have had several myself and could relate to the "checking out if she was dreaming" line and others. WHen they would happen I had to ask myself that question and when I realized I wasn't dreaming I would consciously try to do things like leave my room. I vividly remember going through my roof and out into the air above and then floating down my street. While I did LSD on occasion back then, I never had an OOBE while on it.

    I do believe that the song could be about both taking LSD and leaving the body.
  • Niles from Belpre, OhI try not to analyze songs, it just ruins them.
    listen to the melody and instruments.
    you'll love them more
  • Susan from Westchestertonfieldville, Vaalso in the movie: "Look Who's Talking"
  • Susan from Westchestertonfieldville, Vai heard my dog sing this in the shower, he was a rottweiler
  • Guy from Charlotte, NcWas this not about an unfortunate 737 incedent where the top ripped off of the cabin & a stewardess was sucked out into free-falling space?
  • Patrick from Portland, OrIn David Byrne Live at Union Chapel (on DVD), just before performing this song, David says, "This is a song I wrote about a girl I knew in high school in Baltimore, Maryland who used to take LSD and lie out in a field behind the Yoohoo chocolate drink factory." Astral travel experiences aren't uncommon with LSD. But I always thought of this song as being about an experience of astral travel induced by young woman's stumbling accidentally upon powerful Tantric sexual techniques, perhaps (quite extraordinarily) during her first sexual experience.
  • Johnny from Los Angeles, CaYeah, this is about LSD. Chris has some truth in his comment, the only reason ciggerettes are legal is because big Tobacco has a lot of money to give to the government. If illegal drug dealers actually CARED about becoming legitimate they could have became so many years ago, but a product is harder to find- making it more expensive- if it is illegal, an more people want it. I'm not saying illegal drugs are good for you, but this subject is made very shady by the government. Anyway, I didn't know this was by the talking heads before now! The talking heads are great, david byrne is great! Go talking heads!
  • Sebastian from Providence, RiThis song reminds me of somebody that I wanted to have a relationship with, but it didn't happen. My stomach feels the "acid" everytime I think about it. :-(
  • Rob from Vancouver, CanadaIn the liner notes for the "Sand in the Vasaline", Byrne says this song is about a girl he knew who claimed she could "astral travel", which, just in case you don't know, is when your spirit temporarily leaves your body.
  • Victoria from Gaithersburg, Md"why do you insist on making ever song about illegal drugs"--well, if you know anything about drugs or acid tripping, you'd know that this song is about that--"and she was looking at herself" when you are on acid, oftentimes you can step outside yourself and look at yourself."She's making sure she is not dreaming", many lsd users feel that they step into another world.
  • Henna from Los Angeles, CaWhoaaaaa......wait a minute, what's with the angry book here. Of course, its about drugs. But no need to talk about the government or call anyone a "fool". Artists know that its up to the listener to make their own interpretaions anyway. Just enjoy the song.
  • Chris from Toronto, Canada"Why do you insist on turning all the best songs into references to illegal drugs?"
    "Illegal" drugs were a big influence to The Talking Heads, go read some interviews if you doubt this.
    Furhtermore your absurd fear of so-called "illegal" drugs is offensive. Just because the government deems a drug legal makes it good? just because the government deems a drug illegal makes it bad? your a fool if you believe this. You know prozac (the drug your on)? Did you know that cases of suicide are actually higher in depression patients who take prozac? You think putting your kids on ritalin is going to help them? How about you try parenting. Maybe you need a psycadelic experience to aid in your ability to look at this issue from a different perspective. Drugs aren't for everyone, but obviously they have an infintely more positive effect than negative. You merely only hear about the negative--well you hear about the positive (like with this song)yet you eiter edit out the truth or are too simple to figure it out.
    "My wife has heard that the song is really about 'astral travel.' " --Your wife heard wrong. There isnt a single reference to astral travel. And this isn't and example of how a song can be interpreted depending on individual perception, it's blatant fact what its about and your a fool if you think its anything different.
  • Sandy from Newburgh, InI like the drums on this song.
  • Jude from Thomasville, GaAn "acid trip" happens after you eat fried food. Then you wake up before daylight and fumble your way to the bathroom to get to the Maalox. Why do you insist on turning all the best songs into references to illegal drugs?
  • Eric from Cincinnati, OhThe "acid trip" interpretation is correct, at least according to the Talking Heads (and the album insert in the CD case).
    Seriously, this is one of my favorite songs, although I can't clearly explain why (like most T.H. songs, it doesn't make tons of sense). It must be the catchy instrumentals...
  • Pat from Las Vegas, NvMy wife has heard that the song is really about "astral travel."
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Jonathan Cain of Journey

Jonathan Cain of JourneySongwriter Interviews

Cain talks about the divine inspirations for "Don't Stop Believin'" and "Faithfully."

George Harrison

George HarrisonFact or Fiction

Did Eric Clapton really steal George's wife? What's the George Harrison-Monty Python connection? Set the record straight with our Fact or Fiction quiz.

Kim Thayil of Soundgarden

Kim Thayil of SoundgardenSongwriter Interviews

Their frontman (Chris Cornell) started out as their drummer, so Soundgarden takes a linear approach when it comes to songwriting. Kim explains how they do it.

Let Me Be Your Teddy Bear: Teddy Bears and Teddy Boys in Songs

Let Me Be Your Teddy Bear: Teddy Bears and Teddy Boys in SongsSong Writing

Elvis, Little Richard and Cheryl Cole have all sung about Teddy Bears, but there is also a terrifying Teddy song from 1932 and a touching trucker Teddy tune from 1976.

Judas Priest

Judas PriestSongwriter Interviews

Rob Halford, Richie Faulkner and Glenn Tipton talk twin guitar harmonies and explain how they create songs in Judas Priest.

Justin Timberlake

Justin TimberlakeFact or Fiction

Was Justin the first to be Punk'd by Ashton Kutcher? Did Britney really blame him for her meltdown? Did his bandmates think he was gay?