Oh, Pretty Woman

November 20, 2021

Today’s song is the classic by rock ‘n roll legend Roy Orbison, “Oh, Pretty Woman.”

Fun Facts

  • The song was released on August 1, 1964 and was Orbison’s biggest hit.
  • It was the #4 songs on Billboard for 1964.
  • Orbison co-wrote the song with Bill Dees. The song was largely based on an interaction between Orbison and his wife.
  • According to Dees, Roy’s wife was leaving their home to do some shopping, and Roy asked her if she had enough cash. Dees quickly said, “Pretty women never needs any money.”
  • The opening guitar riff was an early example of the guitar as a compositional element, and it helped inspire songs such as “Satisfaction” by the Rolling Stones and “Daytripper” by the Beatles.
  • Billy Sanford played the opening guitar riff. He also played for Elvis Presley and many other successful musicians.
  • The drumbeat was intended to simulate the sound of high heels on the pavement.
  • The song was deemed controversial following its release as it was very suggestive. The line “come with me baby” was altered when Orbison sang the song on the Ed Sullivan Show.
  • The Julia Roberts movie Pretty Woman took its name from this song after originally being called 3000.
  • The 1991 Grammy Award for best male vocal was awarded to Orbison posthumously for his live recording of this song.
  • The song is honored in the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame, the Grammy Hall of Fame, and the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry.

Lyrics:

(Musixmatch)

Pretty woman, walking down the street

Pretty woman, the kind I’d 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, you look lovely as can be

Are you lonely just like me?

Rwar-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r

Pretty woman, stop a while

Pretty woman, talk a while

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 to 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 walking back to me?

Yeah, she’s walking back to me

Oh, oh, pretty woman (Thank you)

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