Kayleigh

Album: Misplaced Childhood (1985)
Charted: 2 74

Songfacts®:

  • Lead singer Fish wrote this about his former girlfriend Kay whose middle name was Lee, and their painful breakup. Fish altered the name slightly.

    The song was the first single released from the Misplaced Childhood album, and when it was released, British tabloid journalists went on a quest to ascertain the identity of Kayleigh. The resulting publicity helped send the song to #2 on the UK charts and push the album to #1. The three previous Marillion albums even returned to the UK chart around this time.
  • Quite a few girls born in that time were given this name in Britain. Years after this was released, Fish was flabbergasted by the wish of an autograph-hunter asking him to sign his new solo album with a dedication to his daughter Kayleigh. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Thorsten - Heidelberg, Germany, for above 2
  • The song originally came about when guitarist Steve Rothery developed a catchy riff on his guitar. Fish put some lyrics to the riff and Marillion had their biggest ever hit on their hands. Said Rothery: "My wife to be, Jo, asked me to explain how I came up with my musical ideas, picking up a nearby guitar I started improvising what later became the 'Kayleigh' riff whilst explaining that I tried to combine melody and rhythm. I sometimes wonder if we would still have written 'Kayleigh' if she had asked me if there was anything good on the telly instead!"
  • This was Marillion's only chart entry in America. The band was wildly successful throughout most of the world (especially in Europe), but never cracked the US nut. Their first American tour was in 1983, and despite a handful of fervent Stateside fans trying desperately to spread their gospel, it was a disaster ("our morale wasn't so much punctured as totally lacerated," said Fish).

    They tried again in 1986 after Misplaced Childhood took off, this time opening for Rush. Once again, they got little attention, making them one of the biggest British acts to be almost completely ignored in the US.
  • The girl in the video is Tamara Nowy, a German model Fish married in 1987. The couple split up around 2001.
  • This was Marillion's most successful song, but that success led to turmoil. Lead singer Fish ended up leaving the band a few years later, blaming "self-inflicted paranoias" and negligent management. They regrouped with new lead singer Steve Hogarth, who first appeared on their 1989 album Seasons End.

Comments: 40

  • Groovus Maximus from Boston, MaAbsolutely brilliant song from an amazing album... saw the "Misplaced Childhood" tour (and bought the T-shirt!) when they were hand-picked to open for RUSH on the "Power Windows" tour in 1986, at a general admission (gasp!) show at the Springfield Civic Center. My friends and I got there a couple hours early & staked out our spot on the hockey boards right in front of the bass bins on Alex Lifeson's side of the stage -- we stood on the wall ALL night, low frequencies actually vibrating & shaking our bodies, as Marillion performed "M.C" front to back in its entirety (we got a big thumbs-up from Fish for going crazy LOL). I was a college freshman, my dad was still alive (though, sadly, not for long), and life was good -- what a time...
  • Darren from Bedford, United Kingdomfrom wikipedia
    In late 2005, 96% of Kayleighs living in the United Kingdom were born after 1985. It seems likely that the song had inspired the rise in popularity of the name, and studies of girls' first names show that it was not in the top 100 most popular names in Scotland before 1975. By 1997, however, twelve years after the song's release, the name was the 30th most popular girls' name in the country. By 2001, Kayleigh had become the 75th most popular girls' name in England and Wales.
  • Shawn from Minneapolis, Mncool song, the only reason I heard it was I'm a Disc Jockey & play video games and this song is on the GTA IV The Lost and Damened Biker soundtrack.
  • Lani from Jo'burg, South AfricaI think I know how he felt when he wrote this ...
  • Scott from Orwigsburg, PaI was a big fan of Marillion in the 80's and always said if I would ever have a daughter I would name he Kayleigh. Well I finally adopted one and yes I named her Kayleigh and she is now two and half. She's the best, Thanks Marillion.
  • Wojciech from Zgierz, PolandWhen Fish was leaving Marillion 1989 I was studying hard for my normal anatomy exam. I remember the night when they played some greatest Marillion's hits at 1 or 2 a.m. on the radio. Kayleigh was my favourite than and still is.
  • Jeffrey from Las Vegas, NvI named my daughter Kayleigh (meaning "pure meadow") on the island on Okinawa, Japan - 11 September 1988 (yes, 9/11). Not knowing Marillion's song at the time, I had misinterpreted the SOUND of the name from Mister, Mister's "Kyrie." I'm glad I made the mistake.
  • Kayleigh from Groveton, NhThat is awesome my name is Kayleigh Riff no joke! haha awesome..
  • Kayleigh from Dubai, United Arab EmiratesI was named after this song.My Mum fell in love it.I reckon that its all she could think of since it was a hit at the time and played over and over on the radio.It holds a special meaning for me!Feel real chuffed that I share it with several other Kayleigh's all over the world, whose parents named them after it for the same reason my Mum did for me!And hey!not many people can baost that their named after a hit that's popular even today!
  • Kayleigh Meek from Leeds, United KingdomMy names Kayleigh and my ex bf sed he never wanted to talk to me again but a couple of days ago he sent me this song over an email, i didnt read it till today and now i rly need to talk to him :(
  • Ed from Quakertown, PaWow, this really IS a popular name. Some much so, I'm changing MY name from Ed to Kayleigh.
  • Rob from Glasgow, United KingdomI too was smitten by this song away back in the eighties and also had to have my first girl called by KAYLEIGH. Every time i call her name it always remembers me of a really good time in life.
  • Kayleigh from Essex, United KingdomIm gonna jump on the bandwagon and say im also named after this song :P.
    Was either this song, or Lavender, also by marillion! lol.
    its cool that i have a story like this to tell when people ask about my name.
    its also awesome that i share this fact with hundreds of other Kayleighs out there!
    It sort of connects me to music, which is cool cuz music is my life :D
  • Brian from Alliston, OnWhen I first heard the song I decided that if I had a daughter, that her name would be Kayleigh. Her middle name (Michelle) is also from a song title.
  • Kayleigh from Woodbridge, NjI was named after this song, also - totally awesome!
  • Kay-leigh from Durban, SpainHey,I was named after this song,I had no idea that so many people were named after it as well,thats so wierd. It was my dad who had heard this song and loved the name, odd that its the fathers that are all naming thier daughters this.This song is really cool though.
    Peace...
  • Kayleigh from Oswestry, United KingdomHello im Kayleigh im 15 and my dad is a lover of this song kayleigh which made him pick my name my mum wanted to call me somethink else but my dad was very fond of the name and im glad that they both went with it. the story behingd the song is good but imagine being called kay for your fiorst name and being called lee for your middle name sounds confusing.
  • James from Westchester, EnglandAnd yet, despite all the lauds here, I'd regard this as some of Fish's worst work, in terms of lyrics.

    As a part of a larger whole (The Thieving Magpie CD is wonderful), it works, but not as a stand-alone entity.
  • Kayleigh from Denton, TxI was named after this song as well. My mom saw the music video on MTV in the hospital. My dad still loves the song.
  • Kayleigh from Eastbourne, United Kingdommy dad named me after the song 19 yrs ago he heard it playing on the radio and really loved the name i first herd the song last year im proud to be named after the song KAYLEIGH .
  • Kayleigh from Denver, CoMy dad heard this song and decided that when he had a daughter that he would name her Kayleigh. My mom told me later that when she found out she was pregnant with me that my dad said that my name would be Kayleigh and that she had no choice in the matter. I guess it's a good thing she liked the song too!
  • Peter from Huddersfield, EnglandUS chart number 74...wake up America,,,one of the best songs ever recorded.
  • Kayleigh from Manchester, EnglandKayleigh is my name and my mum introduced me to this song because Marillion was her favourte band! This song was made before i was born (1993) I am 14 years old and really like Marillions music definetly make more please! from Kayleigh Mary x
  • Kayleigh from Basildon, Lai was named after this song and i LOVE it kayleigh
  • Porsia from Murrysville, PaWhen I first heard the song in 1985 I thought Wow! What a song. I knew if I had a daughter her name would be Kayleigh. In 1993 I had a son (Daniel) and in 1996 another son (Jeremy). In 1998 my daughter was born her name is Kayleigh Marie. I wanted her middle name to be Rose but my mother-in-law suggested I use Marie (a family name). Now all my children have song names, Danile (Elton John), Jeremy (Pearl Jam) and Kayleigh who was really named for a song.
  • Donna from Winthrop Harbor, United StatesI love this song. I had it picked out as a name that in the future if I had a girl that would be her name. 15 years ago I did and her name is Kayleigh Rose.
    Donna, IL.
  • Chris from Colonia, NjI've been a Marillion/Fish fan since the very early 80's. Followed Fish and Marillion (Not a huge fan of Hogarth). I knew the first time I heard Kayleigh that I would name my first girl after it. I did. FISH.........Come to the US.
  • Kayleigh from Nottingham, Englandi would just like to comment that i was also named after this song, its kind of freaky really i was born exactlly a year after the realese, it is a pretty good song. the only thing is i feel real stupid when i hear it!
  • Sarah from Buffalo, NyI first saw Marillion in when they opened for Def Leppard in Buffalo, NY. As soon as I heard the song Kayleigh, I knew if I had a daughter, that would be her name (I changed the spelling to Cailee)! She just turned 21 in April.
  • Kayleigh from Wolverhampton, EnglandI was named after this song 18 years ago, it is my dad favorite song and band, keep the music coming.
    Kayleigh Dean Wolverhampton
  • Kayley from LondonMy mum named me after this song, I grew up listening to it and it's nowoneof my favourite songs!
  • Kathleen from Milwaukee, WiI love the song "KAYLEIGH"! I play it for my grandaughter who has this same name. Just found out about MARILLION a few months ago....better late than never!!!
  • Andrew from Honolulu, Hi"Kayleigh" was the first sound of Marillion I had ever heard. Back in 1985, there was an Import Hour radio show. I heard this track, tracked down the record, and listened to it for a straight month! My favorite album ever!
  • Jenjen2112 from Aberdeen, OtherI think Steve was good for Marillion although Fish has a unique voice and attitude i don't think Marillion were looking for another Fish. I do think Steve is exellent though and performs just as well.
  • Jeanette from Irvine, Cai'm naming my daughter kayleigh after this song. great album.
  • Alberto Colonna from Turin, Italya very beautiful song
  • Pinkie from Surrey, CanadaFish actually left the band in 1989, sorry. I love this song, was my fave song by Marillion for a while, then Sugar mice started to become popular in my life, now I think it would have to be cinderella search, but this song is amazing! I prefer Fish to Steve (sorry Steve), I think he sounds like Annie Lennox a bit.
  • Real from Atlanta, GaGreat pop track. Not much airplay here in U.S., but glad I got a copy of it. Nice vibe and feel.
  • James from Westchester, EnglandFish is slightly over 2 metres tall (about 6'8").
  • Dave from Cardiff, WalesFish (real name Derek Dick) left the band in 1990, and was replaced by Steve Hogarth. Although the commercial sucess dwindled away (the scored 12 UK hits under Fish's leadership), they remain cult favourites in the UK, and have had a colossal influence on modern rock bands like Radiohead.
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