Oh, Pretty Woman

Roy Orbison

About Oh, Pretty Woman

"Oh, Pretty Woman" or "Pretty Woman" is a song recorded by Roy Orbison, written by Orbison and Bill Dees. It was released as a single in August 1964 on Monument Records and spent three weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 from September 26, 1964, the second single by Orbison to top the US charts. It was also Orbison's third single to top the UK Singles Chart (for a total of three weeks). The record ultimately sold seven million copies and marked the high point in Orbison's career. Within months of its release, in October 1964, the single was certified gold by the RIAA. At the year's end, Billboard ranked it the number four song of 1964. "Oh, Pretty Woman" was eventually the basis for the 1990 film Pretty Woman starring Julia Roberts and the 2018 Broadway musical Pretty Woman: The Musical. 


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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, OK
If that's the way it must be, OK
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.

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Roy Orbison

Roy Kelton Orbison (April 23, 1936 – December 6, 1988), also known by the nickname 'The Big O', was an American singer-songwriter, best known for his distinctive, powerful voice, complex compositions, and dark emotional ballads. Orbison grew up in Texas and began singing in a rockabilly/country and western band in high school until he was signed by Sun Records in Memphis. His greatest success came with Monument Records between 1960 and 1964, when 22 of his songs placed on the Billboard Top Forty, including "Only the Lonely", "Crying", and "Oh, Pretty Woman". His career stagnated through the 1970s, but several covers of his songs and the use of "In Dreams" in David Lynch's Blue Velvet revived his career in the 1980s. In 1988, he joined the supergroup Traveling… more »

6 fans

Written by: Bill Dees, Roy Orbison

Lyrics © Orbi-Lee Music, Barbara Orbison Music Company, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, R-Key Darkus

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind

10 facts about this song

"Oh, Pretty Woman" is a song by American singer-songywriter Roy Orbison, released as a single on August 1, 1964 on Monument Records.
Writing Process
Orbison wrote the song with Bill Dees, who claimed that it was written in less than forty minutes while the two were sitting in Orbison's 1963 Ford Galaxie car.
Chart Success
The song became a major hit, topping the Billboard Hot 100 chart for three weeks in 1964, and also reached No.1 on the UK Singles Chart.
The song eventually earned Orbison a 2x Platinum certification in the US for sales exceeding 2 million copies.
Rolling Stone magazine ranked it No.222 on its "500 Greatest Songs of All Time" list in 2004.
Inspiration for Movie Title
The title and the song itself served as the inspiration for the 1990 romantic comedy film "Pretty Woman," starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere.
Cultural Impact
The song's lyrical premise of a man being smitten by a woman's beauty spawned plenty of parodies and tributes, asserting its place in pop culture.
Over the years, the song has been covered by numerous artists, including Van Halen who included their version on their 1982 album "Diver Down."
Legal Controversy
There was a significant legal battle over the song's distinctive guitar riff when 2 Live Crew sampled it in their 1989 parody song "Pretty Woman." The case escalated to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled in favor of 2 Live Crew's fair use right.
Inclusion in Orbison's albums
Even though "Oh, Pretty Woman" remains one of Orbison's most popular songs, it was not initially included on an album. It was later added to Orbison's album named "More of Roy Orbison's Greatest Hits" which was released in 1964.

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    "Oh, Pretty Woman Lyrics." Lyrics.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 30 Nov. 2023. <https://www.lyrics.com/lyric/2584367/Roy+Orbison/Oh%2C+Pretty+Woman>.

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    Oh, Pretty Woman

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