Lady In Red

Album: Into The Light (1986)
Charted: 1 3


  • De Burgh started writing this song about his wife Diane, after an argument, but he was having a hard time finishing it. Part of the problem was that he needed a title: he didn't want to use "The Way You Look Tonight," because there there was already a song with that name. As de Burgh tells it, five months later he saw Diane, wearing red, across a crowded nightclub, which gave him the idea for the title. On the British TV series This Is Your Life, de Burgh said that the song was inspired by the memory of when he first saw Diane, and how men so often cannot even remember what their wives were wearing when they first met. On his website, he said the song was not specifically about Diane, but about appreciating the most important people in our lives, who we often take for granted; how we often fail to notice what attracted us to another person in the first place. In this account, he was already married to Diane but didn't realize it was her when he spotted her across the room.
  • Some interesting stuff about Chris de Burgh: he was born in Buenos Aires but moved with his family to Ireland when his diplomat father retired. He and Diane had two sons and a daughter named Rosanna Davison (Chris uses his mother's maiden name for showbiz - his real name is Chris Davison) who was chosen Miss Ireland, 2003 and went on to win the Miss World pageant. De Burgh has talked about his "healing hands," and how he can sometime cure maladies by laying his hands on people as a form of alternative therapy.
  • "Lady In Red" was a huge worldwide hit, going to #1 in 25 different countries. In the UK, it became a huge part of the cultural landscape, with listeners divided over whether it was the sweetest love song ever written or a pile of treacly musical mush. De Burgh was never able to duplicate the success of this song, but he developed a loyal following in Europe, where there was modest but lasting demand for his music. In America, his only other trip to the Top-40 was with his 1982 song "Don't Pay The Ferryman."
  • Some of the movies this song appeared in are American Psycho, Dodgeball, Baby Mama and Working Girl.
  • The real life love story of this song took a hit in the mid-'90s when de Burgh revealed that he had an affair with the 19 year old nanny he employed while his wife was recovering from a horseback riding accident. After some public contrition, with de Burgh saying "I don't want to gamble with my marriage and my family," he and Diane remained together.

Comments: 32

  • Michael from Glenview IlYou're forgetting the great success of "A Spaceman Came Travelling". :-) Terrific song.
  • Gean from Dysart, Is.My wife and I dated all through highschool in this time frame and the first time we danced together she was wearing red and this song takes me back to that exact time when we were young and had nothing else to think of at that moment in time but each other. I fell in love with my wife that night and love her just as much today as I did then 34 years ago. I Love you Kath.
  • Chuggs from Williamsport, PaI just saw the video for this song and it took me straight back to the '80's! I've loved this song since the first time I heard it. I was wondering..does anyone know the name of the woman in the video? I'm just curious, I always thought she was so lovely. Thanks!
  • Tile from Laredo, TxLove this song!!
  • K Russell from 55438A devastatingly beautiful love song!
  • Jeanie from Alto, GaI saw him on The Today Show back in 80's. He explained to, I believe, Matt Lauer, the inspiration for the song. He said he and his wife were drifting and one evening while they were getting ready to go out, he saw her in the red dress and realized he hadn't really looked at her in a long time and it reminded him of when they fell in love. In every link I look now, the story is different. Am I having a false memory of this? I wish I could dig up a clip of that day's episode of Today. I've told many people over the years about his explanation of the song because I've always thought it was so sweet. Hmmm....
  • Les from London, United KingdomAnyone going to a Chris de Burgh live concert will be fantasically suprised at just how good he is and how he reacts to his audience. Also, one who replies to fans on his website. Lady in red is the tune my wife and I have as "our song"
    Les Partridge London
  • Clint from Mallaga, SpainAlthough, Dave, "Best Moves" was really a 'best-of' album with only one new song. I'd go so far as to say that the release of "Into the Light" (feat. 'Lady In Red') signalled the end of 'Middle Period' de Burgh, that glorious stretch from "Eastern Wind" through to "Man On the Line" (surely his best album) and ushered in something rather less interesting.
  • Alma from Laredo, TxMy husband dedicates this song to me everytime it plays on the radio. I wore red to our first date and he always reminisces when it plays.
  • Dave from Cardiff, WalesAt the time I wrote my original comment, Chris and his wife Diane had separated. They have since made up. Re: his name, his mother was born Maeve de Burgh and his father Charles Davison so Sara is right re: that point
  • Gina from Greenwich, CtThis song was used in the 1980's on the US daytime soap Days Of Our Lives for the couple Steve "Patch" Johnson and Kayla Brady Johnson. Who were the star couple on the show at that time. It was first used in a "fantasy scene" on the show.
  • Stormy from Kokomo, InI also have a great Chris De Burgh song from the 80s - "Don't Pay the Ferryman". The video for this was great also. I'd like to see it on Songfacts some time.
  • Fulu from Limpopo, South AfricaThis song can be heard playing in the movie American Psycho. i fell in love with it eversince i watched that movie.
  • Annabelle from Eugene, Or"De Burgh is Chris' mum's maiden name." If that's the truth, then how come so many sources list his birth name as Chris Davison?
  • Sara Webb from Hitchin, United KingdomDave - 'ex wife'??! They are still very much together. You clearly don't know him as well as you think!

    De Burgh is Chris' mum's maiden name.
  • Jay from Ottawa, CanadaI don't care what people think of this post but I think it's the most romatic song of all times.
  • Nicola from London, EnglandThis song is relaxing to listen to. And this is one off his best songs .
  • Jeff from Liverpool, Englandchris de burgh is argentinean by birth born in buenos aires and is also a lfc season ticket holder
  • Adam from Manchester, EnglandThis song was used on the movie Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story. It plays every time Average Joe's coach Owen sees the Purple Cobra's player Fran (who is horribly ugly). It's kind of like the sequence in Wayne's World when Wayne sees Cassandra and the dream sequence plays, & the song "Dream Weaver" by Gary Wright begins to play.
  • Dave from Cardiff, WalesBEC - It wasn't nice what he did to his wife, but I know Chris De Burgh (or Chris Davidson as he is known in real life) very well, and actually, far from being a nasty little man, he is a very likeable person, who is on good terms with his ex-wife having now patched up his differences with her...
  • Lisa from Jackson, MsI believe this song was played on the NBC soap "Days of Our Lives" many years ago. It was when Patch and Pauline were together (don't remember the real life names).
  • Elson from Los Angeles, CaA lot of people equate this song with sappy cheese, but the weeping fretless bass guitar on this song was performed by the legendary Pino Palladino, who's played fretless bass on songs by Paul Young, Elton John and recently toured with The Who as the stand-in bassist for the late John Entwistle.
  • Wing from Montreal, CanadaIn my opinion, The Lady in Red by Chris De Burgh is the musical Mona Lisa. The color of Chris De Burgh's voice blends perfectly with the soothing melody he has composed. The arrangement and the master recording compliment the beauty of its content. And it can set the ambient to just about any romantic moments in our lives. It is simply a master piece. Wing - from Montreal, Canada. Website: Email:
  • Ayns from Vancouver, CanadaThis song was blacklisted by The Vatican in 1986. Too suggestive a song for an Irish Catholic to be singing...
  • Bec from East Yorkshire, Englandapparently he ran off with the nanny and then claimed that 'lady in red' wasnt written about his wife at all! I now believe him to be a horrible nasty little man! good song though.
  • Dave from Cardiff, WalesRich, you're quite correct, 1982's "Don't Pay The Ferryman" was one of two hits for Chris before "The Lady In Red". The other was "High On Emotion" in 1984. A pity the critics nail him for this one song, because some of his early stuff is actually quite good, and he's recaptured this early form on some of his more recent stuff too.
  • Geri from Nova Scotia, CanadaChris DeBurgh is probably one of the best song writers in the sense that he should probably be writing books instead of songs. His historical themes bring an imagination to the music that not many artists can do, Sting also. The songs on the GetAway album and Spanish Train are amazing albums to listen to on a dark and stormy night. Your mind will be taken away to a faroff costal landscape.
  • Rich from Elkins, WvBefore this song he had another hit ...
    'Don't pay the Ferryman'
    ( at least I think it was him)
    anyway It a cool tune.
  • Helen from York, EnglandOn 'Into the Light' there's also a song for Rosanna. It's very sweet.
  • Dave from Cardiff, WalesChris also released a few albums before 1982 - his debut was "Far Beyond These Castle Walls" in 1974. He then released the critically acclaimed "Spanish Train and Other Stories" in 1975, followed by "At The End of a Perfect Day" (1977), "Crusader" and "Eastern Wind" (both 1979), and "Best Moves" (1981). His albums since 1992 are "This Way Up" (1994), "The Love Songs" (1997), "Quiet Revolution" (1999) and "Timing Is Everything" (2002).
  • Pete from Nowra, AustraliaI beleive Chris later ran off with his kids nanny
  • Sue from Perth, AustraliaChris's other albums are "The Getaway" 1982, "Man on the Line" 1984, "Flying Colours" 1988, "Spark to a Flame" 1989, "High on Emotion" 1990, and "Power of Ten" 1992.Lady in Red is also featured on two of these albums, Spark to a Flame, and High on Emotion.
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