A little love for the OTHER 'I Kissed A Girl'

I’ve been hearing lately about a singer doing ‘I Kissed a Girl’. Apparently her name is Katy Perry?

I figured…‘Sweet, Jill Sobule’s getting some sweet songwriter money. Good for her!’ Except apparently not. It’s a different song, sadly.

So I just figure I’ll toss out some Jill Sobule love. And it even includes Fabio.

“They can have their diamonds and we’ll have our pearls”

Jill Sobule - I Kissed a Girl

One of the best videos ever, for all of me.

When I saw this for the first time, I gained a new respect for Fabio.

Jill Sobule’s song was a work of sharp social satire, perhaps more relevant 13 years ago but it holds up as a witty critique of the long history of defining female sexuality only in how it relates to men, otherwise being nonexistent.

The reasons why “Lesbian Chic” in the 90s preceded wider social acceptance of homosexuality were founded upon a nonrecognition of female sexuality- thus making lesbians a “non-threat” since they can’t really have sex- complimented by heterosexual male sexual fantasy that two girls getting it on is “hot”- though it doesn’t make them unattainable since they’ll eventually need a man when they finally want “real sex”.

Jill Sobule lampooned these notions with a playful tale of two square suburban women, thought to live and breathe only for the men in their lives, as they discover the greater complexities of their own sexuality- as they discover for themselves, behind closed doors, as they come to own their own sexuality.

And it’s funny!

Sobule’s song: Great on many levels.

Katy Perry. . .
Katy Perry, Katy Perry, Katy Perry . . .
I would rather listen to boring mindless crap as opposed to allow myself to be infuriated the way I get infuriated by someone who tip-toes up to the line, positions herself in such a way as to appear to be over the line when the light hits just right, to then receive praise for being “daring” while she is safely and calculatedly well on the appropriate side of the line to maintain commercial popularity.

Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl” is the radio equivalent of two women kissing in a bar because guys think it is “hot”. The lyrics have her repeatedly reasserting her own heterosexuality, this is not a story of a woman following her desire saying “Damn it all” to worrying what anyone else might think- this is a woman putting herself on display certain of reward. One would think that it came out 13 years before the Jill Sobule song rather than 13 years after- her sexuality, as expressed in the song, is defined not as a woman’s independent sense of self but rather as a service submitted for male approval.

Katy Perry’s entire image is about appearing to be ballsy, appearing to speak her mind without caring what anyone else thinks, when in fact her entire raison d’etre is to please please please. When you’re entire goal is to have people pat you on the back and say, “Wow, that was daring! You’re so cool!”, then daring is exactly what you are NOT.

Oh dear. I had been wondering why a really old song was suddenly being mentioned all over the place. I hadn’t realized there was a whole new “I Kissed a Girl.” I kind of wish I’d kept it that way. I got up to “I hope my boyfriend don’t mind it”, after the implied necessity of drinking to get the nerve up, and couldn’t go on. I have to agree with your analysis, bienville.

But the Jill Sobule video was cute and sweet and fun, and although I’d heard the song, I never saw the video before, so I’m glad to have seen it at least.

Jill Sobule rocks immensely even without “Kissed a Girl” (which I saw her do an acoustic version of lo, these several years back when she opened for Robyn Hitchcock) and can probably do little wrong as far as I’m concerned.

I have quite intentionally avoided the Katy Perry abomination.

I think Katy Perry is best enjoyed without trying to rationalize or defend her. Say what you will about the sociological implications, it’s a damned watchable video.

I wouldn’t get either too upset or too enthused about Katy Perry; the girl practically has the words “ONE HIT WONDER” written in flashing red neon letters on her forehead. “I Kissed a Girl” is one of those hugely-popular-but-immensely-annoying quasi-novelty songs like “I’m Too Sexy” and “The Macarena” that everybody hates and wonders how they became hits the second they fall off the charts. Within the next years, Katy Perry will do a “Playboy” spread and be a regular on some type of “Surreal Life” reality program before disappearing into celebrity oblivion.

I love that whole album - Kissed A Girl, Margaret, and Karen at Night are all remarkable witty songs.

Don’t forget “Trains”. Romanticism at it’s best.

If I may offer a little shoutout to another song that came out at about the same time, Sophie B. Hawkins’ “Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover”.

The Sobule song is a joy to listen to and the video is a delight to watch. I saw about 15 seconds of the what’sername version and felt like shooting the TV. Unfortunately it was at a bar so I couldn’t. Plus, no gun.


This is what I’ve been trying, inarticulately, to tell people.

I don’t even know why this song is popular. I honestly thought we were over this kind of thing by now.

And it’s even playing on MTVU and my local indie rock station. Geez! :mad:


The worse part about this new “I Kissed a Girl” is not once in the entire video does she kiss a girl!

Anywho, I like the song. The first time I did heard the title I thought it was the Sobule song

Justly holding those I like to the same standards to which I hold those I dislike, it is worth noting that there is no girl/girl kiss in the Sobule video either.

In Perry’s case though, considering the places her mouth has been in the past few years laying foundation for her career, I wouldn’t be surprised if they just coudn’t find anyone willing to make contact with her lips.

Why would there be a kiss in either video? They’re singing about having already kissed.

That’s not the point.

The Sobule video follows a narrative that closely mirrors the narrative from the lyrics. A kiss would make sense, but it gets skipped over.

The Perry video doesn’t really have the same narrative quality. Certain scenes suggest that she is at a bar or a party- a similar setting describe in the narrative of the song, the setting in which the described kiss took place. Still, it’s really just her singing to the camera, with the settings and extras really just there for atmosphere. The video doesn’t follow a narrative structure the way the Sobule video does.

Still, I think the absence of a girl/girl kiss is conspicuous in both videos. Any video for a song about motorcycles is going to feature visual representations of motorcycles.

Of course, I suspect RandMcnally’s criticism is less tied to any critique of narrative structure than it is tied to a personal preference for videos with chicks kissing.

This thread prompted me to look up the Sobule video, since I had neither seen the video nor heard the song in years, though I remember liking it when it was popular (and I was in 6th grade or something).

I’m actually quite astonished by how progressive the song is (to say nothing of catchy and absolutely delightful). It’s a bit odd to me in retrospect that I watched that video on MTV in the mid-90’s.

I generally agree with bienville’s analysis, and also agree with NDP that Katy Perry is almost certainly going to be a one-hit wonder (although so was Sobule, for that matter).

That said, Perry’s song is on my iPod, and I don’t mind listening to it, though I agree that its content leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

I don’t understand how it is possible for these two statements to both be true.


It might be that I’m just desensitized to lyrics I object to in some fundamental way, or at least am good at ignoring them and concentrating on aspects of a song that I do like.

I listen to a ton of hip-hop; such would not be the case if I didn’t listen to songs that have lyrics which I find distasteful.

I remember hearing Jill Sobule’s “I Kissed A Girl” maybe twice when it came out, and liked it. It’s remarkable that I heard it at all, considering that I was living in Bristol, down on the VA/TN line, but there was a top-40 station in Abingdon that would mix in some alternative music.

And on account of Katy Perry, now I’ve seen the video, which is great.