Eloise

Album: released as a single (1968)
Charted: 2
  • This power-pop hit was written by Barry's identical twin brother, Paul Ryan. Their mother was Marion Ryan, one of the biggest pop stars in England in the 1950s, and a regular on British variety shows.

    As "Paul and Barry Ryan," the twins signed to Decca Records and released their first material in 1965, when they were just 17. In the UK, they had a string of modest hits from 1965-1967, including "Don't Bring Me Heartaches" and "Have Pity On The Boy." They were very much in the spotlight: Frank Sinatra was their godfather, and they performed on bills with The Hollies, Roy Orbison, Small Faces and Dusty Springfield. It took a toll on Paul, so in 1968 he took a behind-the-scenes role and Barry soldiered on as a solo artist. "Eloise" was his first single; it climbed to #2 in the UK, far surpassing any of his singles with Paul. Barry had a few more minor hits over the next few years, but none after 1972. Sinatra later recorded a song Paul wrote called "I Will Drink the Wine."
  • Loaded with vowels, "Eloise" is a great word to sing, and it rhymes with "on my knees." The lyric is rather vague, but it's rather mournful, with Ryan pining for Eloise, who's not there.
  • The Damned released a goth-rock cover of "Eloise" in 1986 that was the group's biggest hit, reaching #3 in the UK. "I was a big fan of that song when it first came out in the '60s," Damned lead singer David Vanian told Songfacts. "It seems at first that it's a standard, sugary-sweet ballad, but when you actually listen to the words, you realize it's not. I like that about it."

    "It has good memories for me," he added. "But it was a hard time because it was at a point when MCA - our record label - was having trouble, and they were getting co-opted. In the end, we ended up not having anybody at the label who actually signed the band, and we were completely forgotten, almost. They were going on promoting other things, and we were kind of left by the wayside. So, once again, The Damned were put out to pasture. But of course, that didn't stop us from continuing."
  • At the time this was a Top 10 hit in Australia, an eight-year-old girl named Eloise Worledge was abducted from her Melbourne home. Out of respect and consideration for her family, Melbourne Top 40 radio stations ceased playing the song for a period while the fruitless hunt for her abductor/s was carried-out. Eloise was never found. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Allan - Canberra, Australia

Comments: 1

  • Kerry from Melbourne. Australia.Always liked this. Thanks Paul and Barry.
see more comments

When Rock Belonged To MichelobSong Writing

Michelob commercials generated hits for Eric Clapton, Genesis and Steve Winwood in the '80s, even as some of these rockers were fighting alcoholism.

Rupert HineSongwriter Interviews

Rupert crafted hits for Tina Turner, Howard Jones and The Fixx.

Glen Phillips of Toad the Wet SprocketSongwriter Interviews

The "All I Want" singer went through a long depression, playing some shows when he didn't want to be alive.

CommercialsFact or Fiction

Was "Ring Of Fire" really used to sell hemorrhoid cream?

Joe ElySongwriter Interviews

The renown Texas songwriter has been at it for 40 years, with tales to tell about The Flatlanders and The Clash - that's Joe's Tex-Mex on "Should I Stay or Should I Go?"

Angelo Moore of FishboneSongwriter Interviews

Fishbone has always enjoyed much more acclaim than popularity - Angelo might know why.