Don't Cry Ilene

Album: Vonda Shepard (1989)

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

Jim Adkins of Jimmy Eat World

Jim Adkins of Jimmy Eat WorldSongwriter Interviews

Jim talks about the impact of "The Middle" and uses a tree metaphor to describe his songwriting philosophy.

Creedence Clearwater Revival

Creedence Clearwater RevivalFact or Fiction

Is "Have You Ever Seen the Rain" about Vietnam? Was John Fogerty really born on a Bayou? It's the CCR edition of Fact or Fiction.

Grunge Bands Quiz

Grunge Bands QuizMusic Quiz

If the name Citizen Dick means anything to you, there's a chance you'll get some of these right.

Who's Johnny, And Why Does He Show Up In So Many Songs

Who's Johnny, And Why Does He Show Up In So Many SongsSong Writing

For songwriters, Johnny represents the American man. He has been angry, cool, magic, a rebel and, of course, marching home.

Steve Morse of Deep Purple

Steve Morse of Deep PurpleSongwriter Interviews

Deep Purple's guitarist since 1994, Steve talks about writing songs with the band and how he puts his own spin on "Smoke On The Water."

Kiss

KissFact or Fiction

Kiss is the subject of many outlandish rumors - some of which happen to be true. See if you can spot the fakes.