“Jessie’s Girl”

“Jessie’s Girl”

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Story Behind the Song

Rick Springfield
“Jessie’s Girl”

Written and Recorded by Rick Springfield

I was in between writing songs and, as I usually do during those times, I wanted to do something with my hands — work with clay, paint, draw. I decided to take a stained glass class in Pasadena, California.

There was a girl in the class I really fell for — until I found out that her boyfriend was also in the class. His name wasn’t Jessie, it was actually Gary but that name didn’t fit in the song. Besides, Jessie is tougher sounding.…

Nothing happened with her, and the song lasted longer than the relationship would have, I’m sure.

I generally have my writing sessions at home. I was in my music room and originally was going to title this song “Don’t Talk To Strangers.” After I changed the title to “Jessie’s Girl,” I wrote another song entitled “Don’t Talk To Strangers” that also became well known, fortunately.

I wrote “Jessie’s Girl” in pieces and held on to it a bit, then put the pieces together over time. I thought it would only be an album track, but I played several cuts for Keith Olsen, who produced Fleetwood Mac, Foreigner, Pat Benatar and many others, because he expressed interest in doing a song with me. “Jessie’s Girl” stuck out to him, so that’s the one we worked on together. It’s hard for me to select a song — they’re all my babies. I had recorded the demo in my home studio and we followed it pretty closely except there was a long guitar solo part in the demo that we took out.

The song took a long time to become a hit. It took a year to reach #1 on the charts. Those were the days when songs were still meaningful to record companies and they stayed on them.

It was a serendipitous time of my life. “Jessie’s Girl” was a catalyst for me and my career. It has become my “Thanks For the Memories” that I’ll be performing until I’m 106.

“Jessie’s Girl”

Jessie is a friend.

Yeah, I know he’s been

A good friend of mine

But lately something’s changed

That ain’t hard to define.

Jessie’s got himself a girl

And I want to make her mine

And she’s watching him with those eyes

And she’s lovin’ him with that body,

I just know it.

Yeah, he’s holding her in his arms late,

Late at night.

You know, I wish that I had Jessie’s girl

I wish that I had Jessie’s girl.

Where can I find a woman like that?

I’ll play along with the charade,

There doesn’t seem to be a reason to change.

You know, I feel so dirty

When they start talking cute.

I wanna tell her that I love her

But the point is probably moot

’Cause she’s watching him with those eyes

And she’s lovin’ him with that body,

I just know it

And he’s holding her in his arms late, late at night.

You know, I wish that I had Jessie’s girl

I wish that I had Jessie’s girl.

Where can I find a woman,

Where can I find a woman like that?

And I’m lookin’ in the mirror all the time

Wondering what she don’t see in me.

I’ve been funny

I’ve been cool with the lines.

Ain’t that the way

Love supposed to be?

Tell me, where can I find a woman like that?

You know, I wish that I had Jessie’s girl,

I wish that I had Jessie’s girl,

I want Jessie’s girl.

Where can I find a woman like that, like

Jessie’s girl?

I wish that I had Jessie’s girl,

I want,

I want Jessie’s girl.

Words and Music by Rick Springfield. © 1981 UNIVERSAL - SONGS OF POLYGRAM INTERNATIONAL, INC. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.

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