Interpretations:How Can I Sing Like A Girl?

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Feminist song[edit]

I believe this is a feminist song about how women are treated unfairly, both stigmatized and objectified. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:54, July 9, 2004

I disagree. I believe that if you take it literally, it's about a guy that wants to sing like a girl without being seen as girlish, or gay.
Tell me how can I sing like a girl
And not be objectified
As if I were a girl?
This isn't meant to stigmatize women, because according to this there is nothing wrong with singing like a girl if you are one. If you sing like a girl and are not one, then you are traditionally labeled as gay. He wants to sing like a girl without the spotlights being trained on him; in other words, society's label.
Otherwise it could be about any person that wants to be different without being labeled/treated differently. 01:15, August 7, 2004

Interpretation 2[edit]

Self-referentially, the song begs to be sung with falsetto voice. Like the narrator who denies his true talent and desire, it is not sung that way. (Ironically, in concert it would still be performed with spotlights and everyone watching - sung falsetto or not.) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Rljenk (talkcontribs) 17:03, January 4, 2005

Interpretation 3[edit]

I think you're both right. I definitely think there is a pro-feminist angle to the song. But on a more superficial level, I think the song is a nod to Beach Boys/Brian Wilson typically falsetto type songs. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:21, February 28, 2005

Singing in a chorus[edit]

I always just thought the song had more to do with singing in a chorus. he doesn't want to do it, and he's asking why you would even think of it, [who ever suggested it]! ~~ doog 01:37, March 7, 2005

I think this song is about a teenager who is in chorus and his voice hasn't fully matured yet. He has to do a solo in a song and he thinks he his peers might poke fun at like saying his a girl because of his high voice. In raising the freak flag he is trying to find people like him or have his problem after his peers mock him so he will never be alone. Well weird huh? -Ben G. Rogers I 21:34, November 20, 2005

Freak flags[edit]

After talking good talk about freak flags in this song, I thought John and John were disingenuous at best in their references to a Milwaukee/GenCon performance in this 1998 Onion AV Club interview.

The AV Club interview link is broken - can anyone elucidate the above comment? I also note the lyrical reference to a watchtower, an icon also strongly linked with Hendrix. Dr Raygun, Nov. 14th 2014
I found the 1998 article and fixed the link above. See John Linnell's section for his semi-disparaging remarks on geek culture, which I admit are a smidgen unsettling. I think the guys have long since come around on the nerdy aspect of their music and are much more willing to embrace those types of fans who "let their freak flags fly". --MisterMe (talk) 11:37, 27 August 2015 (EDT)
I think Linnell was just joking around. He's obviously quite nerdy himself. As for his reaction to cosplayers at the gaming convention show, you have to remember that what is now called geek culture was still way underground in 1998. He just hadn't seen anything like that before. -- Thread Bomb (talk) 01:19, 2 April 2020 (EDT)

The line about letting his freak flag fly, is a reference to David Crosby's Almost Cut My Hair, which appeared on CSNY's 1970 album Deja Vu and contains those very lyrics. In that case it was having long hair, in this case it's singing like a girl. Obviously. ASL 21:05, March 3, 2006

High school[edit]

The narrator wants to be unique, but is afraid of actually acting any different from anyone else and being ridiculed. Like me in high school. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:34, September 9, 2006

Simple song[edit]

A simple song about singing like a girl. They messed around with this theme on the second "She's a Hotel Detective". A good song that is spoilt for being two/three minutes too long. Too samey and Flans trying to write a commercial song for Factory Showroom, the Electra make or break album. It broke! (Mr Tuck) 13:25, November 6, 2006

Gender issues[edit]

The normal range version (on factory showroom) sounds like a pretty genuine song about gender inequality. The falsetto version (from tours, At Large) seems a lot more satirical, especially after listening to Anal Cunt's "I Respect Your Feelings as a Woman and a Human Being", which pretty heavy-handedly parodies the hypersensitive nature of today's media and people. I think this is just a matter of your frame of reference, but it's hard to take seriously going from the pretender to the real thing.

Maybe it is a parody, but of the insecurities of heteronormative men rather than of gender equality activists. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:37, October 25, 2013


To me, the song is about a closeted transgender person. They are afraid to come out due to various reasons, due to transphobia or maybe they can't safely be out where they are. They still wish to find others like them so they don't have to go through this alone. Ever since I myself came to terms with being trans, this song has had a whole new meaning for me. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:23, December 28, 2017

I think the song is more broadly about the problems of society's gendered expectations, but I like the idea that it could be of particular encouragement to m->f trans people. I'm sure Flans would be happy with that too. -- Thread Bomb (talk) 01:09, 2 April 2020 (EDT)