Wouldn't it be nice if they gave PHDs / For strokin' me with hypotheses
July 20, 2010 9:47 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for references to (and especially celebrations of) smart girls in music.

I kind of love The-Dream's "Love King" (video) and, while you could argue that I am totally missing the point of the song, I am tickled by the line "A girl outta college, sorry ladies but there ain't nothing like a smart bitch."

But I can't think of many other songs or parts of songs that champion smart girls! I'm not looking for any particular genre here, just songs that mention intelligent girls in a positive way.


(title is a reference to this treasure)
posted by troika to Society & Culture (33 answers total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
Le Tigre's Hot Topic is a literal shout out to dozens of influential feminists, artists and musicians.
posted by yellowbinder at 9:50 PM on July 20, 2010

While the rest of the song chronicles an epic dysfunctional relationship, Of Montreal's "The Past Is a Grotesque Animal" includes this:

I fell in love with the first cute girl that I met
Who could appreciate Georges Bataille
Standing at a Swedish festival
Discussing Story of the Eye
Discussing Story of the Eye
posted by naju at 9:54 PM on July 20, 2010

Short Skirt/Long Jacket -- Cake
posted by corey flood at 9:56 PM on July 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

brain so good/could've swore you went to college

--T.I.'s Whatever You Like
posted by acidic at 9:57 PM on July 20, 2010

She's not wrapped in flash
all she wants is her java and a shell to bash

Coder Girl - lyrics
Coder Girl - video
posted by iconomy at 10:00 PM on July 20, 2010

"I don't wanna be a stupid girl"

Pink, Stupid Girls
posted by ErikaB at 10:03 PM on July 20, 2010

Ugh, I came in here wanting to recommend Love King.

Instead, here's Belle and Sebastian's Marx and Engels.
posted by oinopaponton at 10:03 PM on July 20, 2010

Richard Thompson, Hots for the Smarts
posted by Crane Shot at 10:04 PM on July 20, 2010

one of my favorite song lyrics EVER: "watch me make up my mind instead of my face"
from Sleater-Kinney, #1 Must Have (ignore the first 1:20 or so of chatter from the tv hosts)

S-K has a lot of other excellent songs in this vein!
posted by so_gracefully at 10:11 PM on July 20, 2010

Man Smart, Woman Smarter - Harry Belafonte
posted by iconomy at 10:12 PM on July 20, 2010

From "Closer to Fine" by the Indigo Girls.

I went to see the doctor of philosophy
With a poster of Rasputin, and a beard down to his knee
He never did marry, or see a b-grade movie
He graded my performance, he said he could see through me
I spent four years prostrate to the higher mind
I got my paper and I was free

posted by rw at 10:30 PM on July 20, 2010

Not an exact match, but Wear Clean Draws (youtube, lyrics) by the Coup is in an adjacent ballpark. And it's a great song, so I'm going to mention it anyway.
posted by kprincehouse at 10:35 PM on July 20, 2010

Utopia, Love With A Thinker.
posted by treblemaker at 10:36 PM on July 20, 2010

One of my favorites is Vivien, by the Nerf Herders.

Has a bunch of great lines, including the chorus:

"Come on, Vivien,
put your glasses on
yeah you're going away to med school
and I'm going out of my mind"

and my personal favorite:

"We'll take on the world and MTV
we'll rock the math club christmas party"
posted by danceswithanonymity at 10:38 PM on July 20, 2010 [2 favorites]

I feel like Jens Lekman has a *ton* of songs along these lines, but this is the closest I can come right now.
posted by drjimmy11 at 10:44 PM on July 20, 2010

Science Genius Girl by Freezepop
posted by shaun at 10:49 PM on July 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

Myla Goldberg, by the Decemberists.

Though it's more about a smart woman writing about a girl who also happens to be smart. I don't know that any of the lyrics in particular bluntly state "smart chix R ahsum" or anything.

I'm also reminded of pretty much anything the All Girl Summer Fun Band did, but I can't think of a song in particular that is about smart women. Most of them are written from the perspective of smart women.
posted by Sara C. at 11:07 PM on July 20, 2010

Nrrrd Girl by MC Chris.
posted by greycap at 11:26 PM on July 20, 2010

Well, Brian Wilson's rap song was called Smart Girls.
posted by fishmasta at 1:06 AM on July 21, 2010

and I didn't read close enough. Ignore me comment.
posted by fishmasta at 1:07 AM on July 21, 2010

The old ballad The Elfin Knight (collected by Child) is one of several similar celebrating clever maids using their wits to disarm ill intentions.
posted by Abiezer at 2:20 AM on July 21, 2010

Ferraby Lionheart's A Crack in Time is a bit fey but contains the commendably humble lines "You'll think I'm in a rock band / And I'll wonder if you're too smart for me".

I'll be interested to see other responses to this question, because I'm having to reach for even one reference. When it comes to music, women mostly seem to win points for being beautiful, irrational and/or absent.
posted by stuck on an island at 3:11 AM on July 21, 2010

Thomas Dolby's "She Blinded Me With Science", of course!
posted by Sublimity at 4:27 AM on July 21, 2010

not a song, but if you haven't heard Ernie Cline's Nerd Porn Auteur, you really should give it a listen. To whit:
Guys who know that the sexiest thing in the world
is a woman who is smarter than you are.

posted by namewithoutwords at 5:17 AM on July 21, 2010

Old 97s immediately came to mind, though now that I check the lyrics, it's more by inference: Four-Eyed Girl (I'm a rock-and-roller, she's a science teacher) and Singular Girl (Talking to you, girl, is like long division).

My high-school favorite along these lines, Marshall Crenshaw's Cynical Girl (I guess it's easier to talk about smart women if you call them girls!):
Well I'm goin' out
I'm goin' out lookin' for a cynical girl
Who's got no use for the real world
I'm lookin' for a cynical girl

Well I hate TV
There's gotta be somebody other than me
Who's ready to write it off immediately
I'm lookin' for a cynical girl

Well I'll know right away by the look in her eye
She harbors no illusions and she's worldly-wise
And I'll know when I give her a listen that she
She's what I've been missin'
What I've been missin'
posted by libraryhead at 5:36 AM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

Latyrx, Lady Don't Tek No

The best set of lyrics I could find quickly are here.
posted by fuse theorem at 5:58 AM on July 21, 2010

Nerdy Girls by Marc With a C. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJ3Hfc0Qjz4

He is pretty well known in Orlando by certain circles, and he is a really nice guy to boot.
posted by d13t_p3ps1 at 6:27 AM on July 21, 2010

Mary Moon, she's a vegetarian
Mary Moon will outlive all the septuagenarians
Mary Moon, she's an intellectual
Mary Moon despite that fact remains quite sexual

- Dead Eye Dick - New Age Girl
posted by ManInSuit at 7:01 AM on July 21, 2010

Possibly a bit overtly sexual which you may not be chasing, but I Know What Boys Like is sung from the PoV of a smart girl who's totally in control.

Also, the lass who sings Love Song has always struck me as being v.intelligent.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 7:51 AM on July 21, 2010

Women are Smarter by the Grateful Dead?
posted by workerant at 2:15 PM on July 21, 2010

Roger Day's Sara Bellum. A kids' song, but cute and catchy.
posted by Jasper Fnorde at 6:06 PM on July 21, 2010

Katell Keineg's Leonor, about surrealist painter Leonor Fini. Lyrics here, of which a sample:
She joined the cafe meetings of Breton and Cartier Bresson, Max Ernst, Paul, Eluard, Georges Bataille
Their misogyny really irritated her but she wasn't one to let it cramp her style

The Unlovables' Samantha, which makes me cry. MP3 here.
Well she's smart, smart as a whip
and if you need advice you won't get better from anyone
and she's short, only 5 foot 2
but what she lacks in height she makes up for in guts and spunk

And of course Moxy Fruvous' My Baby Loves A Bunch of Authors!
posted by nicebookrack at 9:20 PM on August 15, 2010

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