Della Brown

Album: Empire (1990)
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • "Della Brown" was co-written by Geoff Tate and Scott Rockenfield; the 4th track on the 1990 Empire album, it runs to a full 7 minutes 4 seconds. In a 1990 interview with Hit Parader, frontman Tate said of this lachrymose electric ballad:

    It's "one of the more interesting tracks on the record, and one I enjoyed singing. It's a look into the life of a woman who had it all - beauty, brains and success. But things didn't work out for her, and it all slipped away. She ended up homeless - living on the street. It's a very moody song that gets into a groove and stays there all the way through.

    That song also means a lot to Chris and me because we see the homeless people all the time in Seattle. Most of the time you just fly by them in your car, but I remember once when we were caught in traffic and just watched them. How sad it was. They were just living in doorways with cardboard boxes for covering. It really moved us."
  • In June 1991, Chris DeGarmo told Music Express this was "A song about a woman who bought the advertisement that looks are what's most important and never really worked to develop the inner character."
  • Had the song been recorded 10 years later it could have become a murder ballad, because coincidentally there was at this time living a real Della Brown who would suffer an even sadder fate. In 2000, a psychopath named Joshua Wade battered the Alaska native to death then boasted about it to two acquaintances. Incredibly he was cleared of her murder though convicted of a lesser charge. Seven years later he murdered another woman. To avoid the death penalty in federal court, he confessed to the Della Brown murder as well. Later, he would confess to murdering three men, one when he was just 14 years old. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England, for all above

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Laura Nyro

Laura NyroSongwriting Legends

Laura Nyro talks about her complex, emotionally rich songwriting and how she supports women's culture through her art.

Marvin Gaye

Marvin GayeFact or Fiction

Did Marvin try out with the Detroit Lions? Did he fake crazy to get out of military service? And what about the cross-dressing?

Top American Idol Moments: Songs And Scandals

Top American Idol Moments: Songs And ScandalsSong Writing

Surprise exits, a catfight and some very memorable performances make our list of the most memorable Idol moments.

They Might Be Giants

They Might Be GiantsSongwriter Interviews

Who writes a song about a name they found in a phone book? That's just one of the everyday things these guys find to sing about. Anything in their field of vision or general scope of knowledge is fair game. If you cross paths with them, so are you.

Bible Lyrics

Bible LyricsMusic Quiz

Rockers, rappers and pop stars have been known to quote the Bible in their songs. See if you match the artist to the biblical lyric.

Janet Jackson

Janet JacksonFact or Fiction

Was Janet secretly married at 18? Did she gain 60 pounds for a movie role that went to Mariah Carey? See what you know about Ms. Jackson.