Ariel (song)

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Ariel - Dean Friedman.jpg
Single by Dean Friedman
from the album Dean Friedman
B-side"Funny Papers"
ReleasedApril 1977
Format45 RPM
GenreSoft rock
Length3:22 (single version)
4:22 (album version)
Songwriter(s)Dean Friedman
Producer(s)Rob Stevens
Dean Friedman singles chronology
"Woman of Mine"

"Ariel" is a hit single written and performed by Dean Friedman, released in April, 1977. It was the first of two hits from Friedman's eponymous debut LP. "Ariel," however, was his only hit in North America. It reached number 26 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart, number 17 on the Cash Box Top 100,[1] and number 19 in Canada. The song spent 22 weeks on the Billboard chart and 24 weeks on Cash Box.

"Ariel" has been described as a "quirkily irresistible and uncategorizable pop song about a free spirited, music loving, vegetarian Jewish girl"[2] from Paramus, New Jersey, where Friedman grew up. The lyrics describe the young girl from "deep in the bosom of suburbia," who sang "mighty fine," with "'Tears on My Pillow' and 'Ave Maria'". It describes the girl Ariel, "standing by the [since dismantled] waterfall at Paramus Park", one of the many shopping malls in Paramus. The quarters she was collecting for "friends of BAI" refers to the New York radio station WBAI, and their listener association,[3] while the song also makes reference to "channel 2," which refers to local CBS affiliate WCBS-TV.

Chicago radio superstation WLS, which gave the song much airplay, ranked "Ariel" as the 60th most popular hit of 1977.[4] It reached as high as number four on their survey of August 20, 1977.[5]


The record label (Lifesong) that produced "Ariel" insisted Friedman change the song's second verse, which refers to the eponymous Ariel as "a Jewish girl", believing that radio stations might use it as an excuse not to play the record.[6] The management company received threats from the Jewish Defense League protesting against the edit in the single, which also varied from the album version by having the third verse removed to make the single shorter for radio.[7]

Chart performance[edit]


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-12-28. Retrieved 2015-06-12.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "Bio". Retrieved 2018-02-15.
  3. ^ "Newsletter - August, 1995". Retrieved 2014-08-06.
  4. ^ "The WLS Big 89 of 1977". Retrieved 2015-05-02.
  5. ^ "wls082077". August 20, 1977.
  6. ^ "Dean Friedman - "Ariel" : They're Playing My Song". Retrieved 2018-02-15.
  7. ^ "Dean Friedman - FAQS Q. Are there two different versions of Ariel?". Retrieved 2019-06-07.
  8. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2015-05-02.
  9. ^ Steffen Hung. "Dean Friedman - Ariel". Retrieved 2015-05-02.
  10. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-12-28. Retrieved 2015-06-12.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2015-05-02.
  13. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1977/Top 100 Songs of 1977". Retrieved 2015-05-02.
  14. ^ "American Top 40 - "The Top 100 Hits of 1977" (Part 2)" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  15. ^ "Cash Box YE Pop Singles - 1977". 1977-12-31. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2015-05-02.

External links[edit]