Meaning of Oh, Pretty Woman by Roy Orbison & Song Story

Most modern music lovers and film lovers are familiar with the song Oh, Pretty Woman based on the melodrama Pretty Woman with Richard Gere and Julia Roberts. But the history of the composition’s worldwide fame began a quarter of a century before its inclusion in the film soundtrack. She became a hit back in 1964, when she was at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks, and the famous picture only reminded the public of this masterpiece by American singer Roy Orbison.

The history of the creation of the song Pretty Woman

Roy Orbison co-wrote Oh, Pretty Woman with Bill Dees while they were at Roy’s house working on new material. Orbison’s wife Claudette came in and said she was going shopping. Roy asked if she had money, and Diz joked: “Pretty woman doesn’t need money at all.”

Orbison immediately began to hum the first line of the upcoming song, and Bill pounded his hand on the table, imitating the clicking of heels on the sidewalk. In an hour or two the song “Oh, Pretty Woman” was ready. A week later it was recorded, and a week later it was released as a single. Roy later said that they wrote the song no longer than it sounds.

The meaning of the song Pretty Woman

Orbison explained what the song is about:

The middle part of the song is a ballad: seeing the girl for the first time, he has no doubt that he will conquer her; then he is no longer so sure of it; later he falls into despair; finally, he decides to forget about it; and then she comes back.

Song Achievements

After his death, Roy Orbison was awarded the Grammy.

Oh, Pretty Woman was later ranked #224 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, as well as the 500 Greatest Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll.

Cover versions of Pretty Woman

In addition to “Pretty Woman”, the song Oh, Pretty Woman sounds in many other films, and the number of cover versions for it is in the dozens.

Interesting Facts

  • The songwriters admitted that their “yeah, yeah, yeah” was borrowed from The Beatles.
  • Exclamation Mercy! (“Have pity!”) came up with Bill Dees to insert into Oh, Pretty Woman. He himself constantly used this word, meeting spectacular girls.
  • The film Pretty Woman was named after the song. The absence of the word “oh” in the title of the melodrama allowed the producers to register it as a separate trademark.
  • Orbison’s relationship with his “beauty” Claudette was not easy. Once she cheated on him, after which they divorced, but then got engaged again. They later had an accident while riding a motorcycle, and Claudette died in her husband’s arms.

Oh, Pretty Woman Lyrics

Pretty woman walking 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

Pretty woman, won’t you pardon me
Pretty woman, I couldn’t help see
pretty woman
That you look lovely as can be
Are you lonely just like me?

Pretty woman, stop a while
Pretty woman talking 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 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 walking back to me
Yeah, she’s walking back to me
Oh, oh, pretty woman

Oh, Pretty Woman lyrics by Roy Orbison

Pretty woman walking down the street
The beauty that I want to meet.
Beautiful girl,
I don’t believe you, you’re not real.
Nobody can look as good as you
Have pity!

Pretty girl, I’m sorry.
Beauty, I can not understand.
Beautiful girl,
That you look stunning.
Are you as lonely as me?

Pretty girl, stop for a minute.
Pretty girl, talk to me a little.
Beauty, smile at me.
Beauty, yes, yes, yes
Pretty girl, look how I am.
Pretty girl, tell me you’ll stay with me
After all, I need you, I will carry you in my arms.
Come with me baby, be mine tonight

Beauty, don’t miss it.
Pretty girl, don’t make me cry.
Pretty girl, don’t go, hey… okay.
If that’s the way it’s supposed to be, fine.
I think it’s time for me to go home, it’s getting late
Tomorrow will also be evening, but stop.
What do I see?
Is she coming back to me?
Yes, she comes back to me.
Oh oh beauty

Song quote

We wrote Oh, Pretty Woman on Friday. We recorded it the following Friday and it was released a week later on Friday. I have never seen anything faster.

Bill Deese

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