Headlights (Cat Power song)

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Single by Cat Power
from the album Dear Sir
B-side "Darling Said Sir"
Released 1993 (1993)
Format 7"
Recorded 1993
Genre Lo-fi, alternative rock, indie rock
Length 10:23
Label The Making of Americans
Writer(s) Chan Marshall
Producer(s) Craig Flanagin
Cat Power singles chronology
"Nude as the News"

"Headlights" is a song by American singer/songwriter Cat Power, released as her debut single in 1993 by The Making of Americans. The song is a first-person narrative that tells of a girl dying on the road after a car accident.[1] Chan Marshall later revealed that she wrote the song about a friend of hers who had died.[2] The song was re-recorded by Cat Power in December 1994 with guitarist Tim Foljahn and drummer Steve Shelley, and was placed on her debut album, Dear Sir (1995).

The photograph featured on the front cover of the single was taken by photographer Emmet Gowin in Danville, Virginia in 1969, titled "Nancy".[3] The single received a limited 500 pressings[4] on 7-inch vinyl.


The song was written by Marshall, with the addition of Bob Bannister (guitar, violin) and Glen Thrasher (drums). The lyrics are a first-person narrative about a young woman dying on the side of a road after a car accident.[1] It alternates between the scene of the woman dying as her friend stands over her, and the conversation that took place moments prior to the accident.[1][5]

The version of the song featured on the single includes a violin in addition to guitar and drums, whereas the later version of the song that appeared on Dear Sir was recorded with guitar and drums only, and featured more distortion.

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Headlights"   Chan Marshall 5:42
2. "Darling Said Sir"   Marshall 4:41
Total length:



  1. ^ a b c "Cat Power and The Glory". Matador Records. Retrieved 2 December 2011. 
  2. ^ Marshall, Chan. Interview with KCRW (2003). YouTube
  3. ^ "Emmet Gowin: "Nancy"". Masters of Photography. Retrieved 2 December 2011. 
  4. ^ "Headlights (Vinyl) at Discogs". Discogs. Retrieved 2 December 2011. 
  5. ^ Marshall, Chan (1996). Cat Power and the Glory. Magazine interview with Tignor, Steve. Puncture. Portland, Oregon.