Ten ridiculously captivating 'Valerie' songs

There was a recent list posted on the internet about "Mary" songs so we thought we would do one about Valeries.
Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson at the Brit wards
Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson at the Brit wards / JMEnternational/GettyImages
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Thompson’s exceptional acoustic guitar is on full display here. The song has become a staple of his live shows, during which he often goes off some seen-to-be-believed solo pyrotechnics. On the album cut, from his Daring Adventures disc, you still get plenty of guitar, along with some of his most pointed co-dependent lyrics. Valerie is what we might call a high-maintenance girlfriend. “Well, I’m soft in the head, I give her hard cash – She spends money on junk and trash – Nylon fur, plastic shoes – And fifty-seven things she’s never gonna use.”

Thompson also gets the prize for the most creative rhymes with the heroine’s name. “Playing to the gallery” – Never gets home 'til five or four or three” – “One more calorie” – “On my salary” – they all get rhymed with “Valerie. Not to mention “Running on nervous energy,” which he doesn’t even use as a rhyming line but is there just the same.

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NO. 1: “VALERIE” by MARK RONSON (2007)

The song is credited to producer Ronson, and I have little doubt that he is behind the “Town Called Malice”-inspired drum/bass groove and the upbeat horns and the strings, but really, this is Amy Winehouse. She would continue recording songs for several more years before her death in 2011, but this may be her last great vocal performance on record. The song was originally released in a somewhat slower version by the Zutons.

Winehouse’s slinky, jazzy interpretation took a good rock & roll song and elevated it to cult status. At the MTV Music Video Awards in 2011, shortly after her death, Bruno Mars performed this song, interpolating a few lines near the end – “Amy, Amy, I love you darling – Amy, Amy, we’ll miss you baby.” For a fleeting moment, Valerie and Amy were one and the same.

OK, so are these the equal of the ten best “Mary” songs? That’s a high hill to climb because there are some iconic Marys out there. But think of it this way. There are also a lot more Mary’s out there. So, on a per-Mary versus per-Valerie basis, I think you can make the case that Valerie has more great songs per-capitally speaking.

And in case you were wondering, "sistren" is indeed a word. Somewhat archaic, but still a word.

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