Sugar, spice and everything nice. Most of us have known this rhyme since the days of being chased by girls on the playground, sweet trails of bubblegum and candy floss left in their wake. Girls are beautiful, magical and wonderful, even when they’re breaking hearts. Over the years, boys and girls alike have written lovely songs inspired by their female muses. Here’re a few:

“Michelle” by the Beatles

A classic song for a timeless name. This tune penned by the legendary McCartney-Lennon duo is centered around the simple phrase, “Michelle, my belle.” Not even a minute into the song, Paul McCartney is tenderly pleading with Michelle in French to understand how much he wants, needs and loves her.

“Amy” by Ryan Adams

Ryan Adams paints a picture of himself sitting by a window, wondering if Amy still loves him after countless seasons have passed. The subtle strings and acoustic finger-plucking in the background of the song awaken the bittersweet nostalgia that the thoughts of past loves can bring.

“Sherill” by Mac Demarco

In this psychedelia-tinged track, Mac Demarco croons to Sherill, promising to never leave her side. It’s lush, but not overly so, showcasing his effortless mastery in the art of simple love songs.

“Matilda” by alt-j

In the ’90s classic, “The Professional,” a young Natalie Portman stars as Matilda. Her character forms a strong bond with a hitman named Léon after her parents are killed by drug dealers in New York City. “This is for Matilda,” this chilly track opens, which are the last lines Léon utters before the film’s grisly end. 

“Valerie” by Amy Winehouse

In this cover of a track by indie band the Zuttons, British songstress Amy Winehouse brings soulful tenor and English charm to her own version. She’s lonely, and implores her pretty, red-haired friend Valerie to come over and spend some quality time with her.  

“Laura” by Girls

In this beach-pop gem, lead singer of Girls Christopher Owens begs for Laura’s forgiveness. With sweetly sincere lyrics and a breakdown of guitars and scat singing at the end, Owens beckons to her in this lyrical apology letter. If Laura is half as dreamy as this song, it’s no surprise that he needs her back.


Zoe Jones
Zoë has been an Artsweek Editor since the 2016-17 school year and enjoys it much more than she lets on. In her free time, she enjoys reading Pitchfork and drinking chai lattes with almond milk (because, of course).