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No Doubt - Just A Girl

No Doubt - Just A Girl - Meaning of the song

This was written by Gwen Stefani after her brother Eric, No Doubt's primary songwriter up to then, left the band. She wrote it about being frustrated at her father being overprotective due to her gender, saying at the time:

"I wouldn't trade being female, for anything, but the guys don't understand what a burden it can be sometimes."

The song became a girl-power anthem, but that wasn't what Stefani had in mind when she wrote it. "I was in this all-guy band and all my friends were guys," she explained in a video. "I just had this point of view and I wanted to play on that. I thought it was really appropriate and really real to who I was."

"Just A Girl" was No Doubt's first single, ending years of hardship and turmoil as they tried to break through. The band formed in 1986 and nearly broke up when their original lead singer, John Spence, committed suicide the following year. After some lineup changes, they signed with Interscope in 1991 and released their debut album in 1992, which flopped hard. Gwen's brother Eric, who formed the band, bailed in 1994, leaving Gwen the last original member. The Tragic Kingdom took over two years to make, during which time Gwen and bass player Tony Kanal ended their seven-year relationship. When they finally had a hit, it was a huge relief. It was especially gratifying when the powerhouse Los Angeles radio station KROQ began playing the song, fulfilling the band's dream.

Stefani was often asked to explain this song by reporters wondering if she was painting a bigger picture or hiding a secret meaning.

"I hate it when I'm asked what that song is about. The lyrics are so obvious. If you don't think it's sarcastic, you've got to be like an idiot."

Just A Girl - Lyrics

Take this pink ribbon off my eyes

I'm exposed, and it's no big surprise

Don't you think I know exactly where I stand?

This world is forcing me to hold your hand

'Cause I'm just a girl, oh, little old me

Well, don't let me out of your sight

Oh, I'm just a girl, all pretty and petite

So don't let me have any rights

Oh, I've had it up to here

The moment that I step outside

So many reasons for me to run and hide

I can't do the little things I hold so dear

'Cause it's all those little things that I fear

'Cause I'm just a girl, I'd rather not be

'Cause they won't let me drive late at night

Oh, I'm just a girl, guess I'm some kind of freak

'Cause they all sit and stare with their eyes

Oh, I'm just a girl, take a good look at me

Just your typical prototype

Oh, I've had it up to here

Oh, am I making myself clear?

I'm just a girl

I'm just a girl in the world

That's all that you'll let me be

Oh, I'm just a girl, living in captivity

Your rule of thumb makes me worrisome

Oh, I'm just a girl, what's my destiny?

What I've succumbed to is making me numb

Oh, I'm just a girl, my apologies

What I've become is so burdensome

Oh, I'm just a girl, lucky me

Twiddle-dum, there's no comparison

Oh, I've had it up to

Oh, I've had it up to

Oh, I've had it up to here

No Doubt - Just A Girl - Live


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