Surely you have heard urban legends about mysterious women dressed in all black. Ken Hensley, a member of Uriah Heep, was also visited by a beautiful stranger in a dark dress, who inspired him to create the famous song Lady in Black, but there was nothing mystical in this story.
The story of creation and the meaning of the song Lady in Black
The girl who unexpectedly knocked on the door of his house in Bradford in the fall of 1970 turned out to be the daughter of a local vicar. But on Ken, who was then in a deep depression, her appearance made an indelible impression. Thinking about what it could mean, he wrote Lady in Black.
In the text Lady in Black, the narrator tells how he wandered in darkness, constantly participating in battles with enemies, until he met either an earthly woman or a goddess who eased his suffering and helped him find peace. The main idea of the song is that only good can defeat evil.
Many fans of the rock band Uriah Heep find cultural archetypes, references to ancient beliefs, Buddhism and even Celtic mythology in the words of the composition. Actually, various characters fit the description of the woman from Lady in Black.
Release and achievements
For the album Salisbury, the song was performed by its author, Ken Hensley. The single “Lady in Black” was not released in the US and UK, but it was released in Germany, where it stayed at the top of the charts for about three months.
In the former republics of the USSR, Lady in Black remains the most famous song of Uriah Heep, and many of our fellow citizens recognize the group only by it.
Video of Lady in Black
Below is the official text video clip from Uriah Heep’s channel.
- Sweden Rock Magazine once claimed that the very simple guitar parts of “Lady in Black” were played by the band’s technical staff when necessary.
Lady in Black Lyrics by Uriah Heep
She came to me one morning, one lonely Sunday morning,
her long hair flowing in the mid-winter wind.
I know not how she found me, for in darkness I was walking,
and destruction lay around me from a fight I could not win.
She asked me name my foe then. I said the need within some men
to fight and kill their brothers without thought of love or god.
And I begged her give me horses to trample down my enemies,
so eager was my passion to devour this waste of life.
But she wouldn’t think of battle that reduces men to animals,
so easy to begin and yet impossible to end.
For she the mother of all men had counseled me so wisely that
I feared to walk alone again and asked if she would stay.
“Oh lady lend your hand,” I cried, “Oh let me rest here at your side.”
“Have faith and trust in me,” she said and filled my heart with life.
There is no strength in numbers. Have no such misconceptions.
But when you need me be assured I won`t be far away.
Thus having spoken she turned away and though I found no words to say
I stood and watched until I saw her black cloak disappear.
My labor is no easier, but now I know I`m not alone.
I find a new heart each time I think upon that windy day.
And if one day she comes to you drink deeply from her words so wise.
Take courage from her as your prize and say hello for me
Lyrics Lady in Black by Uriah Heep Alternate
She came to me one morning, Sunday morning, when I was alone.
Her long hair fluttered in the January wind.
I don’t know how she found me ’cause I was walking in the dark
Wreaking havoc around me in a battle I couldn’t win.
She asked me to name my enemy. I said I need men
Who will fight and kill brothers without thinking about love or god.
And I asked her for horses to trample the enemies with their hooves,
So passionately I wanted to end this waste of life.
But she didn’t want to think about the battle that turns people into animals,
So easy to start and almost impossible to finish.
After all, she, the mother of all humankind, gave me such wise advice,
That I was afraid to continue wandering alone and asked if she would stay with me.
“Oh lady, give me a helping hand,” I pleaded. – Oh, let me stay by your side.
“Believe and rely on me,” she said, and filled my heart with life.
There is no strength in quantity. There is no need to be confused about this.
But when you need me, don’t hesitate, I’ll be around.”
Having said this, she turned away from me, and although I did not find what to say,
I stood and looked at her until the black cloak disappeared into the distance.
My work has not become easier since then, but now I know that I am not alone.
I am encouraged again every time I think about that windy day.
And if one day she comes to you, drink in full her such wise words.
Collect courage from her as a reward and say hello for me.