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August 26: Brandy, You’re a Fine Girl

August 25, 2015

elliot-lurie-1970Looking Glass, a one-hit wonder band, achieved #1 status with “Brandy (You’re a FIne Girl)” on this date in 1972. The vaguely literary song was written by the band’s lead guitarist and vocalist, Elliot Lurie, who went on to become head of the music department at 20th Century Fox, supervising the scoring of several hit films. “Brandy” sold over a million copies and continues to sell some 100,000 downloads per year. It also increased the popularity of the name for baby girls from 353rd in 1971 to 82nd in 1973. The song tells the story of a young woman doomed for spinsterhood by her love for a sailor, for whom his “life, lover, and lady is [sic] the sea” — essentially a young man’s fantasy of an ever-loyal and adoring woman who interferes not a whit with male freedom and prerogative. The song has been covered by the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Kenny Chesney, among others. To see Looking Glass performing it, look below.

“He came on a summer’s day
Bringin’ gifts from far away
But he made it clear he couldn’t stay
No harbor was his home.” —Elliot Lurie