Track of the Day: 'Sister Christian'

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

Last weekend I rewatched Boogie Nights for maybe the fifth time and have since been unable to get this song out of my head (it provides the backdrop to the intense scene with the coked-up, Russian-roulette playing Alfred Molina):

The band, Night Ranger, revealed just this August the story behind the title of the 1983 song:

Lead singer and bassist Jack Blades revealed who inspired his bandmate Kelly Keagy’s lyrics. “Kelly’s sister’s name is Christy and so he was writing a song about his little sister growing up in a small town in Oregon and cruising up and down the street on a Friday, Saturday night, you know, motoring, everything like that, but it was sister Christy. He’s singing ‘sister Christy oh the,’ and we all thought it was Christian.” Keagy cleared up the confusion, but it was too late—Christian just sounded better to the band. ...

Fans have also debated the meaning behind the song. The band dished a woman from Minnesota once approached them and asked, “’Is that about a nun who sells dope to school kids?’ We were like, ‘yes ma’am’… never destroy the dream.”  

Any good song stuck in your head right now? Drop us an email. The archive is here.