The Ballad of Lucy Jordan

"The Ballad of Lucy Jordon"
Single by Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show
B-side "Make it Easy"
Released 1974
Length 3:53
Label CBS
Writer(s) Shel Silverstein
Producer(s) Ron Haffkine
Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show singles chronology
"Life Ain't Easy"
"The Ballad of Lucy Jordon"
"The Millionaire"

"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.

Marianne Faithfull version

"The Ballad of Lucy Jordan"
Single by Marianne Faithfull
from the album Broken English
B-side "Brain Drain"
Released 26 October 1979 (1979-10-26)
  • May–July 1979
  • Matrix Studios, London
Genre New wave
Length 4:09
Label Island
Writer(s) Shel Silverstein
Producer(s) Mark Miller Mundy
Marianne Faithfull singles chronology
"The Way You Want Me To Be"
"The Ballad of Lucy Jordan"
"Broken English"


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.[1] Thelma and Louise has a similar fatalistic theme.[2]


Chart (1979–80) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[3] 18
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[4] 2
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[5] 7
France (SNEP)[6] 17
Germany (Official German Charts)[7] 5
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[8] 19
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[9] 20
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[10] 5
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[11] 48

Other cover versions


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