The opening lyrical salvo on Swedish singer El Perro del Mar’s Walk on By – the first single from her forthcoming album, Pale Fire – is taken from a line delivered by drag artist Dorien Corey in Jennie Livingston’s seminal 1990 documentary Paris Is Burning: “Solitude’s my best friend, the one who sees me cry. Tells me I will never need another man to keep my head up and walk on by.” It’s a lyric about being happy with yourself and remaining strong until it arrives, themes prevalent in the documentary.
Of the song, Sarah Assbring (for it is she) says: “I love irony in a pop song. Irony gives you the chance to be deadly serious without necessarily being taken seriously. It’s also a really good way to write yourself out of a lousy love affair which is the case with Walk on By.”