Song Lyric Sunday — Movie Time

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday, Jim Adams has asked us to select a song featured prominently in a movie. Well, for me this was a no brainer. My wife’s all-time favorite movie is “Pretty Woman” with Richard Gere and Julia Roberts. And the 1964 Roy Orbison song, “Oh, Pretty Woman,” was eventually the basis for that 1990 film.

Written by Orbison and Bill Dees, “Oh, Pretty Woman” spent three weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in September 1964. The record ultimately sold seven million copies and was ranked the number four song that year.

Orbison was writing with his songwriting partner, Bill Dees, at his house when he told Dees to get started writing by playing anything that came to mind. Orbison’s wife, Claudette, came into the room and said she was going to go into town to buy something. Orbison asked if she needed any money, and Dees cracked, “Pretty woman never needs any money.” Inspired, Orbison started singing, “Pretty woman walking down the street.”

The song tells the story of a man who sees a pretty woman walking by. He yearns for her and wonders if, as beautiful as she is, she might be lonely like he is. At the last minute, she turns back and joins him.

“Oh, Pretty Woman” was Orbison’s last big hit. His career faded fast, but was revived in the ’80s when prominent musicians like Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, and George Harrison cited him as an influence and invited him to join various projects. He was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and joined The Traveling Wilburys with Dylan, Tom Petty, Harrison, and Jeff Lynne. As he was enjoying this career revival, he died of a heart attack on December 6, 1988 at age 52.

Here are the lyrics to “Oh, Pretty Woman.”

Pretty woman, walkin’ down the street
Pretty woman the kind I like to meet
Pretty woman I don’t believe you, you’re not the truth
No one could look as good as you, mercy

Pretty woman won’t you pardon me
Pretty woman I couldn’t help but see
Pretty woman that you look lovely as can be
Are you lonely just like me

Pretty woman stop awhile
Pretty woman talk awhile
Pretty woman give your smile to me
Pretty woman yeah, yeah, yeah
Pretty woman look my way
Pretty woman say you’ll stay with me
‘Cause I need you, I’ll treat you right
Come with me baby, be mine tonight

Pretty woman don’t walk on by
Pretty woman don’t make me cry
Pretty woman don’t walk away, hey, okay
If that’s the way it must be, okay
I guess I’ll go on home, it’s late
There’ll be tomorrow night, but wait
What do I see?
Is she walkin’ back to me?
Yeah, she’s walkin’ back to me
Oh, oh, pretty woman

14 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday — Movie Time

  1. Keith's Ramblings July 28, 2019 / 6:05 am

    A couple of weeks ago I went to the theatre to see the Travelling Wilbury’s Experience and this wonderful song was the highlight of the evening for me.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango July 28, 2019 / 7:21 am

      It’s too bad that three members of that original group: Orbison, Harrison, and Petty, are no longer with us.

      Liked by 4 people

  2. sca11y July 28, 2019 / 8:19 am

    I love George Harrison stuff, got to know Orbison through the Wilburys.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. ghostmmnc July 28, 2019 / 8:34 am

    He had a lot of really good songs, and I really like this one. The movie was wonderful, too. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. msjadeli July 28, 2019 / 10:04 am

    This video of the timeless classic is mesmerizing. Roy’s backup band here can’t be beat. WOW. He never lost his oomph.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Marleen July 28, 2019 / 10:51 am

    It was a little disorienting to see that in black and white, but ultimately quite good.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. JT Twissel July 28, 2019 / 1:53 pm

    I like the song more than the movie – and no one has ever been able to sing it better than Orbison. Thanks for sharing the story of how the song came to be. I always love those back stories.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. leigha66 July 28, 2019 / 11:29 pm

    Did it hit the charts again in the 80’s when Roy’s career got the boost from other artists?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Marleen July 30, 2019 / 3:56 am

    The black and white aspect got me to thinking of a concert I enjoyed in the later eighties. You can see a version of it if you search “Linda Ronstadt & Nelson Riddle Orchestra Complete youtube” — over an hour, I’m pretty sure. Below is one song (cover) from back then.

    Linda Ronstadt / Nelson Riddle and his Orchestra / Am I Blue

    When I was in the process of looking for examples of that memory, I ran across the following music video. And it does happen to be associated with a favorite movie — “An American Tale”

    Linda Ronstadt & James Ingram – Somewhere Out There – MTV classic (80’s)

    Liked by 1 person

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