Released on: Everything Must Go (Album #4) Epic Records, 20 May 1996
‘The Girl Who Wanted to Be God’ is often described as a song which no-one, including Nicky Wire, understands the meaning of. This isn’t entirely true – although the lyrics are certainly quite vague and open to interpretation, this late Edwards/Wire collaboration does have a title which can be traced to a specific quote by American poet Sylvia Plath. Plath described herself in these terms in her diary when she was just 17.
This track is one of those in the discography most associated with a truly cathartic, uplifting and unabashedly positive sound. Within the context of Everything Must Go, with its themes of renewal and recovery, this ethic feels particularly relevant important. It’s significant also that the positivity and sense of excitement comes not so much from the strings but from the guitars, which have a tremendous surge to them which is the core musical component of the thrilling chorus. The strings really have their moment in the outro, where they unfurl from each other to form a really pleasant conclusion.
The relatively minor status of this song is probably explained by its being overshadowed by the singles from the album as well as the large degree of mystery surrounding the lyrics, which contrasts with the more singalong sentiments of other songs on the album. A cynic might also have some support for the argument that this is a song entirely driven by its chorus and which doesn’t have a whole lot else to offer – but in any case, it’s a thoroughly enjoyable effort while it lasts.
Choice Lyric (Full Lyrics)
“black out the words, for the blind have eyes”