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March 2, 2019

This Song: Meredith Goldstein

By: Elizabeth McQueen

Meredith Goldstein is host of the Love Letters podcast, the love advice columnist and entertainment writer for the Boston Globe and one of host Elizabeth McQueen’s oldest and dearest friends.  In this episode she explores all the reasons she loves the sexy, pleading desperation of “Father Figure” by George Michael.

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And now, for Meredith Goldstein’s “Pleading Playlist!”

George Michael was particularly incredible at writing songs about pleading for physical (or emotional) intimacy. On some tracks, he begs for it, usually while building to a great crescendo. “Father Figure” is my favorite (for many complicated reasons discussed on the podcast), but there are others that make their way onto my playlists. These are some of my favorite songs that feature George Michael asking, begging, and pleading to get love of some kind.

I Want Your Sex (Part 2)

The first installment of this very literal (and wonderful) pop song is all about lobbying for sex. But Part 2 adds new hooks, more begging, and my favorite lines: “I’m not your brother. I’m not your father.” I mean, he’s not technically a father … just a father figure.


I always thought it was weird that Adele chose to cover this song to honor George Michael on the Grammys (I figured she’d opt for “One More Try,” which seems very much in her wheelhouse). But this song is quintessentially George. It’s another hit that lyrically is one big request for intimacy, although in this case it’s more about distraction. It’s not so much about fast love, but more about seeking intimacy for a break from emptiness. “In the absence of security, I made my way into the night. …So why don’t we make a little room in my BMW …  searchin’ for some peace of mind.”


I love the lyrics: “When you know what to do, I’ll be in the next room.” What an invitation.


This is the most overtly sexual George Michael song there is, and in it, he’s still pleading. Aggressively. “Can I come on in, my sweet baby? Can I move on in? Can I come on in, my sweet baby? Can I move on in?” I highly recommend revisiting this music video.

A Last Request (I Want Your Sex Pt. 3)

Yes! There was a Part 3! George is shooting his shot one last time. “My cards are on your table, my dreams are in your bed. If I was able, I’d be there instead.” He ends it with a last plea: “Sleep with me tonight.”

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April 30, 2020

This Song: Beth Ditto (Rerun)

In this rerun from 2018, Beth Ditto, former lead singer of the band Gossip, talks about how Nina Simone’s “Mississippi Goddam” helped her grapple with complex feelings about her home state, Arkansas. She also talks about returning home after heartbreak and explores making her first record “Fake Sugar.”


April 16, 2020

This Song: Liz Phair (Rerun)

In this rerun from 2018, Liz Phair talks about hearing The Soft Boys “I Wanna Destroy You,” revisiting her 1991 Girly-Sound Tapes and 1993 debut album, and parenting realities.


April 2, 2020

This Song: John Prine (Rerun)

John Prine explains how Bob Dylan’s “The Lonsesome Death of Hattie Carroll” changed his life and goes in depth about his own songwriting process for his album “The Tree of Forgiveness.”


March 26, 2020

This Song: Thao and The Get Down Stay Down

Thao Nguyen from Thao and the Get Down Stay Down talks to host Elizabeth McQueen about the inspiration behind her new song “Temple,” and about what it was like to release music during a pandemic. She also shares how making the new album helped prepare her to address her sexuality publicly and to create a safe space in her life where she could exist as her full self.


March 19, 2020

This Song: Kathy Valentine

Kathy Valentine, bass player in the seminal 80s all-girl rock group the Go-Go’s, recently wrote a memoir titled All I Ever Wanted. In this episode of, Kathy explains what “Sunshine of Your Love” by Cream taught her about herself when she was 9 years old,  describes how she found her creative process as an author and details how music and storytelling intersected in her new book.


March 2, 2020

This Song: St. Vincent (Rerun)

In this episode, St. Vincent explores how music from early Disney films helped her lay the foundation for beauty and wonder in her life and work. She also explains why she approached the songs on Masseduction with a Disney-esque lack of irony.


March 2, 2020

This Song: Metric

Emily Haines and Jimmy Shaw from  Metric talk about  hearing “Teardrop” by Massive Attack early in their musical partnership and how it inspired them, terrified them and helped them find a collaborative way of making music that still works for them today.


March 2, 2020

This Song: Jackie Venson (Rerun)

In this episode of This Song, originally published last February, Jackie Venson talks about how “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina” from Evita changed the way she listened to music and thought about herself.