Josephine

Album: Shamrock Diaries (1985)
Charted: 67

Songfacts®:

  • This song sounds like it's about a wife or girlfriend (as portrayed in the music video), but Josephine (Josie) is Chris Rea's first daughter, born in 1983. She is the blue in his sky who gave his life meaning.
  • Rea makes a strong connection with this song every time he performs it. "When I'm on stage, I kind of shut my eyes when I'm singing and I'm always where I wrote the song," he said in a Songfacts interview. "I'm always on the third floor of the Intercontinental Hotel in Dusseldorf in Germany and it's raining. That's where I am when I sing that song, every time."
  • This song became an unlikely dance hit when Rea made a new version with a dance groove. That story begins in Paris, where Rea was enjoying some adult beverages with a French representative from Warner Bros., a competing record company (Rea was signed to the British label Magnet). The Frenchman told him that the chord patterns in "Josephine" sounded like early Chic material, so when Rea returned to England, he recorded it in that style on a lark and sent it to his new friend in France. From Rea's demo-quality recording, the song was mastered and made the rounds in French dance clubs. The DJ Paul Oakenfold heard the song and brought it back to England, where it took off in the acid house scene there and prompted Magnet to issue it as a single. The song became a huge UK club hit in 1990 as "Josephine (La Version Française)."
  • Rea's youngest daughter got her own song in 1993, which was an even bigger hit. "Julia," from his Espresso Logic album, reached #18 in the UK.

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