Nov 28

“Sophie” (Dying To Be Like All the Other Girls)

For the first time in years, I recently heard the song “Sophie“—released on Eleanor McEvoy‘s album Snapshots in 1999—and it really caught my attention. First, it’s so achingly poignant. “A Customer” on Amazon, for instance, called it “… the saddest song I’ve ever heard.”

Second, I wondered if it had ever found an audience among a certain population, namely those with eating disorders. Because this track by McEvoy, a 44-year-old Irish singer/songwriter, is the tale of a young female’s anorexia nervosa and its effects on her family.

What I discovered was quite an awesome revelation. As McEvoy’s Amazon bio states, this song “…has touched the hearts of people around the globe who suffer from eating disorders, thus leading to over one million hits on YouTube.”

Although it had apparently taken a while to catch on, by 2009 an article in the U.K.’s newspaper The Observer was able to report, “…in the era of the internet ‘Sophie’ has been rediscovered and grown into a sleeper hit, an anthem that is touching, inspiring and consoling thousands of anorexic girls around the world.”

Indeed, go to YouTube and you’re faced with choices: many uploads of various little films set to the song’s music and lyrics—by those for whom the meaning of ‘Sophie’ is all too personal.

Lyrics to “Sophie”:
Sophie cannot finish her dinner
She says she’s eaten enough
Sophie’s trying to make herself thinner
Says she’s eating too much
And her brother says, “You’re joking, ”
And her mother’s heart is broken
Sophie has a hard time coping
And, besides, Sophie’s hoping
She can be like all the other girls
Be just like all the other girls
Living in an ordinary world
Just to fit in, in the ordinary world
Just to fit in like an ordinary girl.
Sophie’s losing weight by the minute
How did things get this bad?
Sophie’s family, they don’t understand it
Gave her all that they had
And her sister won’t stop crying
‘Cause her father says she’s dying
Sophie says she’s really trying
Problem is, Sophie’s lying.
She can be like all the other girls
Be just like all the other girls
Living in an ordinary world
Just to fit in, to the ordinary world
Just to fit in like an ordinary girl
How did she get this way?
How did she get this way?
Through trying to hide it.
What does it take to say,
What does it take to say
She’s dying, Sophie’s dying too­
… Be like all the other girls
Be just like all the other girls
Living in an ordinary world
Just to fit in, to the ordinary world
Just to fit in and be like all the other girls
Be just like all the other girls
Living in an ordinary world
Just to fit in, to the ordinary world
Just to fit in like an ordinary girl.