River City

TAYLOR: When standards slip, families flee and in comes the seedy crowd. You got trouble, my friends.
LORELAI: Right here in River City!

A reference to the 1962 musical film The Music Man, adapted from the hit 1957 Broadway musical of the same name, written by Meredith Willson. Directed by Morton DaCosta, and with Robert Preston in the title role, the film is set in River City, Iowa (based on Mason City) in 1912.

The film is about a conman named Harold Hill who tries to swindle a town by claiming he is raising funds to pay for a marching band. In the song Ya Got Trouble, Harold convinces the townspeople that the pool hall is seducing their boys into sin and vice so that they will sink money into the marching band to save them. The song says repeatedly, “Ya got trouble right here in River City!”.

The Music Man was the #5 film of 1962, and won an Academy Award for its score. Critically acclaimed, it is regarded as one of the best musical films of all time. It was filmed on the same Warner Brothers lot as Gilmore Girls.

Sister Suffragette

LORELAI: She’s [Donna Reed] medicated.
RORY: And acting from a script.
LORELAI: Written by a man.
RORY: Well said, Sister Suffragette.

Sister Suffragette is a song from the 1964 Disney film Mary Poppins, written by Richard and Robert Sherman. Sung by Glynis Johns in the role of Mrs. Winifred Banks, it is a pro-suffrage song as Mrs. Banks is a supporter of votes for women. The song’s chorus ends with the words, “Well done, Sister Suffragette!”.

Mary Poppins was loosely based on the children’s book of the same name by Australian author P.L. Travers, and directed by Robert Stevenson, with Julie Andrews in the title role. The story is about a magical nanny who comes to care for two children in Edwardian London, and improves the lives of all the family.

Mary Poppins was the #3 film of of 1964 and received universal acclaim from critics. It won five Academy Awards, including a Best Actress for Julie Andrews, and is generally seen as Walt Disney’s crowning achievement. It was released on home video three times during the 1990s, suggesting that Lorelai may have bought it for Rory the previous decade.

Eternal Flame

This is the second song The Bangles play at the concert. It plays while Lorelai questions Sookie about Luke’s ex-girlfriend Rachel, up to the scene where Madeline and Louise tell Rory they are ditching the concert to go with Jess and Sean.

Eternal Flame was a 1989 hit for The Bangles when it was released as a single from their 1988 album Everything. A love song, it was partly inspired by the eternal flame at Elvis Presley’s grave site. The song went to #1 in the US and other countries around the world, and was the number 32 song of 1989.

“I almost named you Susanna”

LORELAI (to Rory): Oh you’re going to have a great time. The Bangles are the best! They were my favorite band in high school. I almost named you Susanna.

We find out here that not only was The Bangles Lorelai’s favourite band as a teenager, but she almost named Rory after Susanna Hoffs (born 1959), their lead singer. Susanna’s middle name is Lee, very similar to Rory’s middle name of Leigh.

Walk Like an Egyptian

LORELAI: Okay here [offers concert tickets, but pulls them back] Ah! With these tickets you are about to enter sacred space, you will be treading on hallowed ground, you will be walking like an Egyptian.

Walk Like an Egyptian is a 1986 song by The Bangles, from their album Different Light. It was written by Liam Sternberg, who was inspired to write it after seeing the stiff, stylised way passengers on a ferry were walking to keep their balance, reminding him of figures in Ancient Egyptian pictures.

Walk Like an Egyptian was the #1 song of 1986, and sold millions of copies; it helped make Different Light The Bangles’ most successful album, and is their best known song. It plays as they arrive at the Pastorella Theatre.