Brandy Clark Explains “Girl Next Door”

"Even Marcia Brady Ain’t Marcia Brady," She Says in Genius.com Annotation

This really is genius: the way that Brandy Clark analyzes nearly every line of her new song “Girl Next Door” on the Genius.com page dedicated to her upcoming album, Big Day in a Small Town.

As usual, I love every word Clark writes. But what she says in her annotations about the bridge in this song is just so dead on.

In the song, she sings, “The thing that turns you on is what you wanna change/But you have a better chance of slowing down a train.”

[Bridge]<br> The thing that turns you on is what you wanna change<br> But you have a better chance of slowing down a train
― Brandy Clark – Girl Next Door

The song came from a phone call Clark had with Jessie Dillon about a guy she was dating. And then when they wrote the song with Shane McAnally, their idea was always to write a song that represented the anti-girl next door. Hence the hook, “If you want the girl next door, then go next door.”

Of the “Virgin Mary metaphor” line, Clark says: “This goes against that Virgin Mary metaphor. Growing up, I felt pressure to be a good girl.”

On the Barbie doll comparisons, Clark says: “We’re all pretty imperfect, so I think that all of us at some point feel that pressure. For a guy, their guy next door would maybe be Tim Tebow. Or Ken doll.”

On that great line when she sings, “Sorry I ain’t sorry that I ain’t your Marcia Brady,” Clark says Brady is the ultimate girl who is always in control.

“Who wouldn’t want to be Marcia? All girls wish they were that, starting with Jan Brady. Everything’s easy for her. The football player wants to date her, all the girls want to be her friend. But that character doesn’t exist, she’s a made up character in a TV show,” Clark says.

“Maureen McCormick (who played Brady from 1969-1974) tweeted at me that she’s no Marcia Brady either. That’s funny,” Clark writes. “Even Marcia Brady ain’t Marcia Brady.”

The rest of Clark’s annotations will be on Genius.com in June when the full album is released.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.