The Ballad of Lucy Jordan
|"The Ballad of Lucy Jordon"|
|Single by Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show|
|B-side||"Make it Easy"|
|Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show singles chronology|
"The Ballad of Lucy Jordan" is a song by American poet and songwriter Shel Silverstein. It was originally recorded by Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show, with the name spelled "Jordon". The song describes the disillusionment and mental deterioration of a suburban housewife, who climbs to a rooftop "when the laughter grew too loud."
Marianne Faithfull version
|"The Ballad of Lucy Jordan"|
|Single by Marianne Faithfull|
|from the album Broken English|
|Released||26 October 1979|
|Producer(s)||Mark Miller Mundy|
|Marianne Faithfull singles chronology|
In 1979, the song was also recorded by the English singer Marianne Faithfull. Taken from her 1979 album Broken English, it was released as a single in October 1979 and has become one of her highest charted songs. It is featured on the soundtracks to the films Montenegro, Tarnation and Thelma & Louise. Faithfull also performed the song during a guest appearance in the episode "Donkey" from the fourth season of Absolutely Fabulous, in which God (Faithfull) sings the song in a dream to a miserable, dieting Edina. In 2016, the Faithfull version was used in the finale of American Horror Story: Hotel.
In an interview on ITV's The South Bank Show aired on 24 June 2007, Faithfull said that her interpretation was that Lucy climbs to the rooftop but gets taken away by "the man who reached and offered her his hand" in an ambulance ("long white car") to a mental hospital, and that the final lines ("At the age of thirty-seven she knew she'd found forever / As she rode along through Paris with the warm wind in her hair ...") are actually in her imagination at the hospital. Thelma and Louise has a similar fatalistic theme.
There is also a darker interpretation. Claire Dederer, writing for The Poetry Foundation, takes it as a given that Lucy Jordan commits suicide and explains her view in an insightful piece lauding Faithfull’s version of the song. 
|Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)||2|
|Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)||7|
|Germany (Official German Charts)||5|
|Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)||19|
|New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)||20|
|South Africa (Springbok Radio SA Top 20)||4|
|Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)||5|
|UK Singles (Official Charts Company)||48|
Other cover versions
- 1976: Lee Hazlewood, on his album 20th Century Lee
- 1980: Ruthi Navon
- 1996: Belinda Carlisle, on her album A Woman and a Man
- 1996: Barra MacNeils, on their album The Question
- 2000: Dennis Locorriere, on his album Out of the Dark (as the singer for Dr. Hook, he performed on the original version of the song)
- 2000: Andi Sex Gang, on his album Faithful Covers
- 2003: Liv Marit Wedvik, on her album Then He kissed Me
- 2004: Patricia O'Callaghan, on her album Naked Beauty
- 2005: Bobby Bare, on his album The Moon Was Blue
- 2007: Nicki Gillis, on her album Lucy's Daughter (a remixed version appears on her 2011 album Woman of Substance)
- 2007: Hanne Boel, on her album Private Eye
- 2009: Wiwa, Swedish pop duo
- 2010: Lucinda Williams, on the Shel Silverstein tribute album Twistable Turnable Man
- 2017: Kikki Danielsson, on her album Portrait of a Painted Lady.
- Podcast The South Bank Show Archived 14 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
- Bernie Cook, Thelma & Louise live!
- Claire Dederer, Bad Poem, Great song
- "Australian-charts.com – Marianne Faithfull – The Ballad of Lucy Jordan". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 15 April 2016.
- "Austriancharts.at – Marianne Faithfull – The Ballad of Lucy Jordan" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 15 April 2016.
- "Ultratop.be – Marianne Faithfull – The Ballad of Lucy Jordan" (in French). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 15 April 2016.
- "Lescharts.com – Marianne Faithfull – The Ballad of Lucy Jordan" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 15 April 2016.
- "Musicline.de – Marianne Faithfull Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH. Retrieved 15 April 2016.
- "Nederlandse Top 40 – Marianne Faithfull" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 15 April 2016.
- "Charts.org.nz – Marianne Faithfull – The Ballad of Lucy Jordan". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 15 April 2016.
- "Swisscharts.com – Marianne Faithfull – The Ballad of Lucy Jordan". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 15 April 2016.
- "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 15 April 2016.
- http://www.wiwa.se/ Wiwa, official site
- Per Magnusson (22 September 2017). "Kikkis självhjälpscountry urstark" (in Swedish). Aftonbladet. Retrieved 31 March 2018.