Song Lyric Sunday — Lady In Red

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday theme, Jim Adams is focusing on a suggestion from Paula of Light Motifs II regarding attire, specifically Suit, Pants, Dress, or Shirt. I decided to go with the Chris de Burgh’s song, “Lady in Red.”

“Lady in Red” was a written and recorded by British-Irish singer-songwriter Chris de Burgh. It was released in June 1986 as the second single from the album Into the Light. The song was a huge worldwide hit, going to number 1 in 25 different countries. De Burgh was never able to duplicate the success of this song, but he developed a loyal following in Europe, where there was modest but lasting demand for his music. In the U.S., the song peaked at number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. His only other song to reach the Top-40 was with his 1982 song “Don’t Pay The Ferryman.”

De Burgh started writing this song about his wife Diane, after an argument, but he was having a hard time finishing it. Part of the problem was that he needed a title. He didn’t want to use “The Way You Look Tonight,” because there there was already a song with that name. As de Burgh tells it, five months later he saw Diane wearing a red dress across a crowded nightclub, which gave him the idea for the title.

In the U.K., “Lady In Red” became a huge part of the cultural landscape, with listeners divided over whether it was the sweetest love song ever written or a pile of excessively sentimental musical mush. I’m with this latter group. I thought that Eric Clapton’s 1976 song, “Wonderful Tonight,” was a far superior song capturing much the same sentiment as de Burgh’s song, but in a more intimate, less mushy way.

I’m including a video of Clapton’s song at the bottom of this post and I’d be interested in hearing which of these two songs you like better.

Here are the lyrics to “Lady In Red.”

I've never seen you looking so lovely as you did tonight,
I've never seen you shine so bright,
I've never seen so many men ask you if you wanted to dance,
They're looking for a little romance, given half a chance,
And I have never seen that dress you're wearing,
Or the highlights in your hair that catch your eyes,
I have been blind;

The lady in red is dancing with me, cheek to cheek,
There's nobody here, it's just you and me,
It's where I want to be,
But I hardly know this beauty by my side,
I'll never forget the way you look tonight;

I've never seen you looking so gorgeous as you did tonight,
I've never seen you shine so bright, you were amazing,
I've never seen so many people want to be there by your side,
And when you turned to me and smiled, it took my breath away,
And I have never had such a feeling,
Such a feeling of complete and utter love, as I do tonight;

The lady in red is dancing with me, cheek to cheek,
There's nobody here, it's just you and me,
It's where I want to be,
But I hardly know this beauty by my side,
I'll never forget the way you look tonight;

I never will forget the way you look tonight.
The lady in red, the lady in red,
The lady in red, my lady in red,

I love you

Here’s Clapton’s “Wonderful Tonight.”

18 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday — Lady In Red

  1. bushboy May 1, 2022 / 3:14 am

    Lady in Red is a good song but I do prefer Eric Clapton

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nope, Not Pam May 1, 2022 / 3:24 am

    For me this song is Days of our Lives. Patch and Kayla had their first romantic interlude to it. And given that was 35 years ago and I still remember it clearly, it certainly worked for me 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Marleen May 1, 2022 / 5:15 am

    I have a son who has stated, more than once, that he’s looking for a powerful [and Latin] woman. I don’t know if he’s ever heard this song, but this is the one I thought of — I knew somone would post it. It’s fun, to me that Ben’s Grandma included an omage to The Avengers, a memory with my closest cousin (a show we watched late at night together). Short Skirt, Long Jacket w/ lyrics

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Gr8BigFun May 1, 2022 / 5:42 am

    Both are great songs. I am partial to the de Burgh track. It was part of my musical generation/decade. Lady in Red was huge in the mid 80s. Wonderful Tonight was something played on classic rock radio.

    That said it is a tad mushy but think of the brownie points he must have scored with the Missus.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango May 1, 2022 / 7:34 pm

      I’m more of a classic rock guy. Not so much 80s music.


  5. newepicauthor May 1, 2022 / 6:20 am

    In my opinion, mush is a soggy mess, but some people enjoy eating it and I will go with Clapton any day of the week.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Terveen Gill May 1, 2022 / 6:23 am

    I have loved this song since I was a kid. Good taste, I suppose. Haha. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Christine Bolton, Poetry for Healing May 1, 2022 / 10:15 am

    Yes there’s not much of a comparison with Clapton but like both songs. They take me to different places and times which is what music usually does.
    Nice picks Fan ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Outside Perception May 1, 2022 / 5:36 pm

    I know the song but my Memory of it was With Gene Wilder from Woman in red. I enjoyed my time here this April 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Maria Michaela May 2, 2022 / 3:06 am

    I love both songs but I’d prefer Wonderful Tonight if I’d pick one

    Liked by 1 person

  10. leigha66 May 4, 2022 / 12:12 pm

    I would say that Clapton has the better song, but having graduated in 85 the music of the 80s has a special place in my heart.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Carol anne May 15, 2022 / 2:34 am

    I was never a big fan of this song! I agree its far too mushy!

    Liked by 1 person

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