Don't Cry Ilene

Album: Vonda Shepard (1989)
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • Most people think they have Vonda Shepard's "Don't Cry Ilene" figured out. Most people are wrong. The singer explains in a Songfacts interview:
    "Yes. There was a real Ilene. And you know what's funny, it is like documented fact that the song is about an interracial relationship; that's not true at all. I don't know who made that up. It's not about that. It cracks me up, because people say it, like, you know, very educated, interesting smart people think that's what it's about."

    So what is the song really about? Shepard says it was inspired by a guy she was "kind of in love with" who already had a girlfriend. (Here's the full Vonda Shepard interview.)
  • Vonda Shepard got her first taste of fame when she appeared on the hit "Can't We Try" with Dan Hill in 1987. This led to a deal with Reprise Records, who released her debut, self-titled album in 1989. "Don't Cry Ilene" was the most popular song on the set, getting some airplay on Adult Contemporary radio and a few spins on VH1. She parted ways with Reprise in the mid-'90s, but emerged on the pop culture landscape in a big way when she got a regular role on the show Ally McBeal, which ran from 1997-2002. "Don't Cry Ilene" remained a staple of her live shows and appears on her 2012 acoustic set, Solo.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Yoko Ono

Yoko OnoSongwriter Interviews

At 80 years old, Yoko has 10 #1 Dance hits. She discusses some of her songs and explains what inspired John Lennon's return to music in 1980.

Krishna Das

Krishna DasSongwriter Interviews

The top chant artist in the Western world, Krishna Das talks about how these Hindu mantras compare to Christian worship songs.

Sub Pop Founder Bruce Pavitt On How To Create A Music Scene

Sub Pop Founder Bruce Pavitt On How To Create A Music SceneSong Writing

With $50 and a glue stick, Bruce Pavitt created Sub Pop, a fanzine-turned-label that gave the world Nirvana and grunge. He explains how motivated individuals can shift culture.

Lita Ford

Lita FordSongwriter Interviews

Lita talks about how they wrote songs in The Runaways, and how she feels about her biggest hit being written by somebody else.

Yacht Rock Quiz

Yacht Rock QuizFact or Fiction

Christopher Cross with Deep Purple? Kenny Loggins in Caddyshack? A Fact or Fiction all about yacht rock and those who made it.

Marc Campbell - "88 Lines About 44 Women"

Marc Campbell - "88 Lines About 44 Women"They're Playing My Song

The Nails lead singer Marc Campbell talks about those 44 women he sings about over a stock Casio keyboard track. He's married to one of them now - you might be surprised which.