The Elusive Julia

Earlier this month, one of my favorite artists, Ray LaMontagne, released his 5th studio album “Supernova”. As I got to track 5, a familiar name crooned out of Ray’s signature drawl, my very own, Julia. OH RAY, YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE. I have been blessed with so many wonderful artists using my name in their songs. I haven’t quite figured out what it is about Julias around the world that inspire songs of love, tragedy, mystery, and anger. It’s like we leave a trail of affected musicians in our wake that are only left with the option to immortalize us via song. That, or our name just rhymes really easily.

In honor of all the non-fictional, or very real Julias, that have prompted musical creations, below is a list of  the top 10 songs, in my personal ranking, from when you search “Julia” as title within iTunes. And Ray, thanks for the song, you majestic beast of a musician.

Conway Twitty

Rating: 2 Julia’s out of 10

Inspired lyrics:

You were always there for me, Julia

I was so afraid to fall in love

I thought you’d wait for me

Is it too late for me now? Have you given up?

Well gee Conway, I guess I will give up if you ever thought it was a good idea to leave a Julia in the first place. We’re amazing, don’t you know? I guess you learned your lesson since later you sputter “Just in case it matter, I love you”. IT’S TOO LATE FOR US NOW CONWAY. The only reason you get points is because this is cheesy country at its best. But if you can’t see the fabulous in front of you right away, then you don’t deserve a Julia in the first place.

Amelia Curran

Rating: 4 Julia’s out of 10

Inspired lyrics:

Julia, pages have been turned

On book of poems your lover learned

Did you praise the lines and blame the words

For if you have taken every phrase

And bled them all a rage

You’ve mistaken

Amelia kicks off the trend of soft spoken female singers on piano or acoustic guitar singing woefully about Julias. We seem to have an effect on these ladies. I appreciate her working in such words as “nightingale”, but these lyrics are a tad too metaphoric for my taste. But she has a lovely voice.

Chantal Kreviazuk

Rating: 5 Julia’s out of 10

Inspired lyrics:

Do they use you and then they lose you

When you get scared again?

They could never forget you

But they could say they said your name


I’ve never been a fan of this song, even when it was an actual hit. Maybe it’s because Chantal hits a little too close to home concerning our issues with commitment, or the vile sunny pop tone of the overall song. Either way, it doesn’t rank high in my books. But I’ll give points for making the public aware of the importance of the name Julia on the radio. SPREAD THE WORD.

Our Lady Peace

Rating: 5.5 Julia’s out of 10

Inspired lyrics:

Mother, and she’s only yours tonight, mother

Oh she never cries, mother

But I know there’s hurt inside, mother, Julia

Followed right after his wife (Chantal, right above us), here comes Raine Maida, lead singer of Our Lady Peace, belting out some 90’s grunge edition of Julia. This song is terrible, but I have to rank it higher only because I find it hilarious that both Raine and Chantal seem to have an obsession with me, and also I have a soft spot for Our Lady Peace.



Rating: 6 Julia’s out of 10

Inspired lyrics:

How could you forget that I’m the one who

Forgot all your mistakes, and dirty drawers

You know I care for you

When hell over earth came

I stood for you, will you stand for me?

This has a great dreamy dance tone that I’m a sucker for, and fits the aloofness that some Julia’s possess. Sza brings to light the loyalty a Julia can have. If you are so lucky to rope in a Julia, we will stand by you and love you, faults and all, and expect nothing in return. Unless you take advantage of it, and if we notice, it’s bad news for you.

Sally folk

Rating: 7 Julia’s out of 10

Inspired lyrics:

Julia we all got our little misery

Julia no one said it would be easy

When all these years are over

Will we still complain about it

Julia no one said that it would be easy

This has a great working class Bruce Springsteen vibe to it, and if I had a dick boyfriend or husband while working shitty hours at a diner, I could relate more to this, but alas that is not the type of Julia I am. But I do appreciate the honesty of this song.

Taken by trees

Rating: 7.5 Julia’s out of 10

Inspired lyrics:

Julia, you’re not the talking kind

Julia, I’ve been your kind

I hope you know, hope you know, hope you know,

You can tell me all that’s on your mind

We rarely speak but I think of you a lot

This is an adorable bittersweet ballad. The melody is a beautiful accompaniment for any Julia, and they hit on some deeper meanings that I can relate to. Hard to put into words why this one strikes a chord with me, so since they warmed this old Julia heart, I got to score them high.

Ray LaMontagne

Rating: 8.5 Julia’s out of 10

Inspired lyrics:

Julia, she’s no ordinary color

Not quite blue in hue, nor grey, but something other

She says, says to me

I can see, we were meant to be together you and me

Spending all our lives together

Yes Ray, I would say that to you. And I AM no ordinary color! But for real, Ray paints a pretty picture for Julia’s everywhere, and we thank him. He marries it with a psychedelic bluesy summer feel on top of that, so I raise my summer of 2014 beer pint to him, and his ode to us.

The Beatles

Rating: 9 Julia’s out of 10

Inspired lyrics:

Julia, Julia, morning moon, touch me

So I sing a song of love, Julia

When I cannot sing my heart

I can only speak my mind, Julia

Probably the most famous Julia song of all, by arguably the world’s biggest band (although it was written, performed, and sung solely by John Lennon). What a treat and honor. To be honest, this song has never resonated much for me, but its importance amongst Julia songs cannot, and will not, be denied. It truly is a lovely song dedicated to the memory of John’s mother who died when he was 17, and for Yoko.

The Very Best

Rating: infinite Julia’s out of 10

Inspired lyrics:

Julia! Julia!

I obviously have no idea what this song is about because it is sung in Chewa (at least I assume since the singer was born in Mzuzu, Malawi). But it does not matter, there is something so joyous and infectious about it, that every time the chorus hits with the chanting of my name, my whole body convulses in dance and happiness. This is my anthem. Nothing makes me happier. My name is Julia, I am a positive and optimistic person, and this song represents that more than any other song I know. Bonus points that it’s about me. I mean Julias. Or maybe Julia means something else in Chewa? Who knows. I’ll be over here, dancing.










A Tale of Self Worth

The following is based on true events. No names or places have been changed to protect identities. There are no embellishments, no exaggerations; only the true hard facts of how I lost my innocence. We learn life’s hardest lessons in the cruelest way; this is the true tale of how I learned my sense of worth.

1994, suburban Calgary, I am in the third grade. We have just moved from Edmonton and my English is passable, enough to stick me in the regular class as opposed to English immersion. That being said, the school year thus far with my new peers had not been as successful as hoped. I was the only immigrant child in my class; rumors of multiculturalism in Canada had failed me. I still had no foreign kids to bond with, or at least be my partner in crime in mingling and adapting to North American culture. Although Germany wasn’t too strange of a place to be from, it was enough to stamp me as “the weird girl” or “that girl related to Hitler”. My only hope of assimilating into my new surroundings was to take advantage of a concept that still eluded me: recess. I had yet to master the art of Double Dutch, or know by heart the rhymes of the songs chanted by the popular girls clapping their hands together (something about patty cake? A baker’s man? WHAT DID IT ALL MEAN?). What was left was either kickball or tether ball, which were played by boys who did not understand yet that girls enjoyed those games as well. But I had made one keen observation that I knew was my only way in, my way to gather acceptance, my way to integrate; the recess snack. Such hierarchy! I would watch from the corner as a child would open a bag of ramen noodles (ramen? What in sweet fancy Moses was ramen?), UNCOOKED, and have the peasants beg for a handful. They were instantly deemed the King or Queen of the playground. A pack of crackers shaped like kangaroos, with a sauce made entirely of sugar for dipping, was exchanged hastily for gummies filled with syrupy juice. Granola bars that were borderline candy bars were considered healthy and not tradable. The Holy Grail, in my mind, was the leather fruit deemed “The Fruit Roll Up”. I would watch as a pudgy kid wrapped the entire sweet nectar around his or her finger, and spend the next 10 minutes sucking on it as it discolored their finger. Oh how they would stand, so proud and smug, as they sucked and sucked whilst jumping in their hopscotch square, throwing a punch to the tether ball, or easily kicking a ball. Such envy from onlookers. I knew this was my golden ticket. I needed a proper recess snack.

I begged my mother. She refused. “What do you need a snack for? I pack you a lunch! It’s a waste! Fine, you want a snack? You NEED a snack?” The next day I greedily opened my lunch box as the bell rang to unleash us, only to find a bag of baby carrots. I quickly disposed of my cursed offering before anyone could see. My mother didn’t understand. We went to the grocery store and I entered the aisle of forbidden fruit. I saw the box of Fruit Roll Ups. I put it into the cart while my mother didn’t look. I watched as it traveled down the conveyer belt discreetly under a bag of rice. The cashier grabbed the rice first. NO. NO GRAB THEM TOGETHER. PLEASE. Too late. My mother spots the colorful box amongst her plain choices. She discards it without even looking at me. BLASPHEMY. Why must I be cursed with a stubborn German mother who refuses to accept her new life? In order for us to move forward, we have to BECOME them mother, to THINK like them! We don’t mention it on the car ride home. The next day I attempt for the 10 billionth time to approach a group of girls with perfect blonde hair in matching pink scrunchies. I open with the casual “hey what’s up?”, which I knew was the common phrase of choice. They stare blankly back at me, their hands holding dry noodles, I have nothing to bargain with. I retreat back as they giggled. I come home and throw a tantrum to my mother that I can’t make any friends. Two weeks later I spot the colorful box amongst her grocery bags. I’ve finally cracked her. My heart begins to race.

The next day I can barely sit still all morning. I look at my classmates and smile. They do not know that they will soon accept me as their equal. The bells rings, hoards of children run through the halls towards the light of the outdoors. I linger back. I want to make a grand entrance. I retrieve the pack that will be my savior from my packed lunch and slowly walk to my new future. The sun is shining, hundreds of children are screaming in delight, I make sure to stand in the middle of the madness so that they have a clear view of my unveiling. The pack opens like butter, I take out the multicolored sugar, my mouth salivating. Then, a blur, a sensation of betrayal, someone grasps at my hand and runs before I can see his face. But I see the grey sweater with the turtle on the back wearing a purple eye mask. I look down at my hand, my snack is gone. A boy has stolen my one chance of true happiness. At once my vision blurs and all sounds drone out as I feel a wave of heat rise from my feet to the top of my head. This was not my destiny. This was not how it was supposed to go. This is not the day I fail. I cannot fail anymore. Naturally, I did what any normal child would after they had their heart ripped out of their frail body, I begin to cry. The loud wail of a dying animal. All heads turn to Hitler’s daughter standing in the middle of ground zero baring her soul. Surely they would help, surely they would see the injustice that had been done to me? But of course, crying only alienates me further. There was no hope now. Not even a bag of dry ramen noodles would help me overcome this, I have branded myself beyond the weird kid, I have sinned with my tears and squashed any hope of joining their animal kingdom. I run away as the laughter begins. I run back into the safety of the school until I encounter a teacher. She tries to get the story out of me, but my sobs are atrocious. Finally something like “theboywiththeturtletookmyfruitrollup” emerges, and to her credit she smiles kindly, brushes back my wet hair, and agrees with me that it’s not nice when someone steals your food. I look back at her warm eyes, how do I explain to this angel that it’s not about the snack? It was never about the snack. She asks me about the turtle. I explain his sweatshirt. “Donatello?” she asks. I stare blankly back at her. She tells me she knows this boy, he is in her class, and he is wearing a Donatello sweater today. My heart begins to race again, but for a different reason. Would this woman take me to my traitor? Would I be able to seek revenge? I knew I had burned all chances to assimilate, so I might as well go down in flames. She takes my hand and guides me to her classroom where her students mingle about the desks. As soon as she enters they all scatter to their spots and wait in silence for further instruction. I spot him right away. I point, but she is already calling for him to stand up. “Kevin? Did you steal this young lady’s snack?” Kevin looks down, embarrassed. I had not expected this. I thought he would have flaunted his win to the cheers of his peers. I don’t know how to react to this admit of guilt. She calls him to the front, we stand in front of everyone, unable to make eye contact. I couldn’t further guilt my enemy, when he was so keen to do it himself. She makes him apologize, to which he complies, although it’s done in mumbles. I suddenly realize he just wanted the Fruit Roll Up, it was nothing personal. That’s what this all comes down to, don’t we all just want a fucking Fruit Roll Up? My savior brings me back to my classroom. Snickers and pointing do nothing to me as I sit down, my chin raised high. Let them define their worth via recess snacks.