Certain Songs #955: Lloyd Cole – “Ice Cream Girl”

Album: Lloyd Cole
Year: 1990

My favorite song on Lloyd Cole’s solo debut, and quite possibly the prettiest song he’s ever written is also one where the crack band he assembled for that record — primarily Robert Quine and Matthew Sweet — are nowhere to be found.

But that’s OK, as “Ice Cream Girl” is almost folk-rock, featuring co-writer Blair Cowan doing the thin wild mercury organ vs. piano duet and only Fred Maher’s very early 1990’s drum beat contemporizing the song at all.

“Ice Cream Girl” is one of those songs where after you’ve heard the chorus the first time, all you want is to get back to it.

D’you want to crucify my feelings with your fingernails
And leave the loneliest boy in the Western world
Cruising the streets for an ice cream girl, hey

Sure, I didn’t quite know what an “Ice Cream Girl” was, but at the same time I didn’t really care, not when Lloyd’s voice broke the way it did or when I concentrated on how Cowan’s piano gavotted on the top of the song. And besides, maybe I did.

Either way, I absolutely did know what the loneliest boy in the Western world was, or at least who, and that was more than enough to sing along with “Ice Cream Girl” every time it came up.

“Ice Cream Girl”

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