Neil Diamond – Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon

This song had a resurgence in the 90s because of the movie Pulp Fiction. Urge Overkill did a cover that was included in the movie and soundtrack.

Neil Diamond is protective of his songs, initially refused to let Tarantino use it as he hated the violent script. However, he was probably glad he relented as the success of the song put Diamond back on the radar after a period when he wasn’t having hits. Urge Overkill’s version reached #37 in the UK, and Diamond’s back catalog got a huge bump in sales.

Urge Overkill didn’t fare as well. After serving as the opening act for both Nirvana and Pearl Jam, they got a major label deal with Geffen Records and released the album Saturation. Their next album flopped, and they disbanded in 1997. They reformed in 2004 and have performed from time to time.

The song peaked at #10 in the Billboard 100 in 1967. For Urge Overkill it peaked at #59 in the Billboard 100, #37 in the UK, and #19 in New Zealand in 1994.

From Songfacts

Diamond wrote this one for the ladies, which made up most of his fan base. David Wild wrote in his book He Is…I Say: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Neil Diamond, “When Diamond first recorded the slow, seductively sensitive song in 1967, it solidified his growing connection with his female fan base, many of whom are apparently still following him all these years later, even if they are no longer properly addressed as ‘girl.’ Diamond has said that the song was written for all those teenaged girls who would show up at his earliest tour dates and vocally express their tremendous support.”

In 1994 a cover by alternative rock band Urge Overkill appeared prominently in Quentin Tarantino’s movie Pulp Fiction. 

Tarantino recalled to Rolling Stone that he found the Urge Overkill version “on an EP in a little record store in Holland, so I picked it up and thought, ‘Wow, that’s a really cool track.’ And it just kept staying with me and staying with me. So then I worked the scene out with Uma [Thurman] and it ended up working fantastic, it became very iconic.”

Urge Overkill’s Eddie “King” Roeser recalled to Mojo magazine: “We did our version of ‘Girl You’ll Be A Woman Soon’ from memory. The lyrics, I don’t even know if they go that way. It speeds up, the fills are all over the place, it’s out of tune.”

In addition to Pulp Fiction, these movies have used the song:

War Dogs (2016)
The Upside of Anger (2005)
Sorority Boys (2002)

And these TV series:

Supernatural (“Our Little World” – 2015)
Friends (“The One with the Stoned Guy” – 1995)
Family Ties (“The Fugitive: Part 1” – 1983)

Girl You’ll Be A Woman Soon

Love you so much, can’t count all the ways
I’d die for you girl, and all they can say is
“He’s not your kind”

They never get tired of puttin’ me down
And I never know when I come around
What I’m gonna find
Don’t let them make up your mind
Don’t you know

Girl, you’ll be a woman soon
Please come take my hand
Girl, you’ll be a woman soon
Soon you’ll need a man

I’ve been misunderstood for all of my life
But what they’re sayin’, girl, just cuts like a knife
“The boy’s no good”

Well, I finally found what I’ve been looking for
But if they get the chance, they’ll end it for sure
Sure they would
Baby, I’ve done all I could
It’s up to you

Girl, you’ll be a woman soon
Please come take my hand
Girl, you’ll be a woman soon
Soon you’ll need a man

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

20 thoughts on “Neil Diamond – Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon”

  1. I heard the Urge Overkill version before I heard Neil’s original.. like the ’90s one better, but it’s surprisingly edgy even when played by Diamond. He was a very good songwriter and quite a good singer back in the day– which was a bit before I began listening . By the ’70s, let alone the ’80s, songs weren’t quite that memorable (or if they were , for the wrong reasons like “I am I said,” where he’s talking to a chair.)

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The polyester days… that is when he looked so out of place in the Last Waltz… I do like Neil though.

        I wanted to ask you a question about WordPress if you don’t mind. Both of our blogs are about music…
        Have you noticed a drop in views since the first of the year? Not counting likes. It could just be mine.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I get most of my views from Google/links, as opposed to within WordPress. I’ve felt like blog comments/engagement within WordPress has been down a little, but I think partially because I’ve been focusing on newer music (trying to review everything I’ve heard from 2019 so I can make a best of 2019 list) which has more of a niche appeal generally.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yea that does cut it down. My powerpop songs didn’t get much either…but I enjoy it the most. I’m going to start hunting again for songs.
        Thanks…I was just curious. It does go in cycles also.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I think it’s good to do a bit of a balance between what you think your readers will enjoy and what you enjoy writing about it. If you just chase the hits all the time you’ll burn out and/or exhaust the supply of high profile artists to write about.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I want to do more album cuts. When I did Paint It Black last week and followed it up with Magic Bus I caught myself and didn’t like it.

        What I tried to do on the powerpop songs was to have at least one where most people knew (to draw them in)…and the other more rare. It worked on a few and sometimes got more comments on the rare one.
        I agree with you 100 percent.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I knew Urge Overkill’s version first because of Pulp Fiction (of course!), and this is my first time hearing Diamond’s version. I would say they’re both equally good – and actually very similar. But no way can I hear this song and not picture Uma Thurman.


  3. I enjoy all of Neil Diamond’s music. It’s comfy. The only one I am suspicious of is “Sweet Caroline” which I’ve read is about a young Kennedy, Caroline. Creepy if it is true. I like the cover a lot and only remembered it was in Pulp Fiction when watching the video.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Amazing singer. Amazing songwriter. His songs are so good. Loved his early stuff a tad bit better than the later stuff. He began to get “branded” a ballad singer toward the end. Brother Love’s Travelling Salvation Show, Cherry Cherry, You Got To Me, and Thank the Lord for the Night Time are all amazing cuts!!

    Liked by 1 person

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