Babe
by Styx

Album: Cornerstone (1979)
Charted: 6 1
  • songfacts ®
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  • Lyrics
  • Dennis DeYoung wrote this as a birthday present for his wife Suzanne. He didn't envision it as a Styx song - just something personal for Suzanne - but when his record company heard it, they pegged it as a hit and insisted it be on the album.
  • DeYoung recorded this song as a demo to play for his wife with bass player Chuck Panozzo and drummer John Panozzo. It sounded so good that when they decided to put it on the album, that demo recording was what they used, with just a Tommy Shaw guitar solo added on. All of the vocals are DeYoung, who recorded himself to create the harmonies.
  • This is the only #1 US hit for Styx, and by far their biggest hit in the UK, where it was their only song to make the Top 40.
  • Dennis DeYoung sang lead on this track and also played keyboards on the track. The opening bit was done on a Fender Rhodes electric piano, a very popular instrument in the '70s that can be heard on Paul Simon's "Still Crazy After All These Years" and many Steely Dan songs.
  • Many songwriters compose a beautiful tune for a girl and have to sing it over and over long after the relationship has dissolved, but DeYoung didn't have that problem with "Babe" - he and his wife Suzanne stayed together. The couple met in 1964 when they were both in high school; they married in 1970.
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Comments: 39

  • Cassie from OklahomaIcing Styx last night in concert they were pretty awesome although I was a little disappointed because they did not do the song babe but after reading some of the comments I understand why.
  • Shandroise De Laeken from Davao City, PhilippinesStyx's songs are still played regularly in many radio stations in the city where I live (here in Philippines) , this one being the most played. There is a Filipino singer who revived this song but the original version is still the most popular. The other songs regularly played here are The Best of Times, First Time and Show me the Way.
    I'm quite surprised this song's released in 1979! I was born in 1993!! I wish I saw what this song's impact (or Styx's) was here back in '79 and 80's... but I remember in mid-90's, this is very much played in the afternoons.
    Those tones which sound like Babe played whenever trains arrive at their stations in Japan is a solid example that Japan was already welcoming USA songs back then. They understand what Babe's lyrics mean so they adopted some part of its instrumental version. Western songs are warmly welcomed anywhere in Asia, most particularly here in the Southeast and East Asia.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn December 9th 1979, "Why Me" by Styx entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #75; and eight weeks later on February 3rd, 1980 it peaked at #26 {for 1 week} and spent 13 weeks on the Top 100...
    The week it entered the Top 100 the quintet's "Babe" was in its 2nd and last week at #1 on the chart...
    Between 1972 and 1991 the Chicago-based band had twenty-three Top 100 records; eight made the Top 10 with three of them peaking at #3, "The Best of Times" in 1981, "Mr. Roboto" in 1983, and "Show Me the Way" in 1991.
  • Randy from Battle Creek, MiThis song is so terrible, John Peel requested that the original master tapes be spliced up and buried with him upon his death.
  • Thelastdj from San Diego, CaI was in college, a broadcasting major with a desperate crush on a girl who preferred towtruck drivers. Never would have worked. She liked stuff like this, I liked the Ramones and The Jam.
  • David from Atlanta, GaI'm a big Styx fan but not a fan of this song and wasn't a fan even when it was released when I was around 11 years old. Not a big ballad fan so my Styx favs are the rockers which are mostly Tommy and JY songs. Dennis DeYoung did have a pension to rock though in the early years. Ironically, Suite Madame Blue is my favorite Styx song and it's a DDY song. It totally rocks! Lady is a great song...starts like a ballad but then really kicks in.
  • Ron from Pittston, PaAccording to a past interview, Tommy Shaw admitted that himself and James Young sometimes would sing during the chorus "It's You Dave" instead of "It's You Babe" just to add levity to their grueling tour schedule.
  • Jorge from Bronx, NyI believe the only tune i liked about this band is Renegade,,,Sail away had some impressive effects,but i guess the name wasn't to great,lol
  • Randy from Colerain Twp., OhBabe was actually recorded without J.Y. and Tommy. The backing vocals were performed by the Panozzos and Tommy added the lead guitar fill to the track.
  • Bill from Marieatta, BahrainRegarding Dave's comment: I believe the notes are f#,g,f#,d b
  • Ellen from Chicago, Ilyes Pete, love this and The Best of Times, and the rest of Styx!
  • Drew from B'ham, AlIn the refrain to this song, just before the "Babe, I love you!" lyric, is some unknown instrument playing a pattern of 5 notes (4 notes, one played twice), & the pattern played multiple times. It's perfectly identical to that note pattern at the end of the refrain of "I Go Crazy" by Paul Davis. Same time signature in fact. Only a different key & octave, & probably a diff. instrument. But whenever I hear one, I always think of the other. Coincidence or not? Of course, "Babe" also has the same time signature & very similar melody to "The Best of Times", which I'm *quite sure* was no coincidence, since it's by the same group. Again, when I hear one, it reminds me of the other.
  • Harold from San Bernadino, CaRandy,OH------sorry to say dude, but styx crashed and burned years ago. it's probably just as well.
  • Sabrina from Corvallis, OrThis was my first husband and I's "song"...it took a very long time after the divorce that I could hear it without wanting to either cry or throw something. Now I appreciate the song for what it is without all the personal emotional baggage.
  • Jennifer Harris from Grand Blanc, MiThis song takes me back to Kindergarden.It always heard it on the radio.One of my favorite songs.
  • 5cats from Winnipeg, MbI cannot believe no one has mentioned this factoid! During the great "backwards masking" scare era (1980 apx) this song had the clearest backwards mask of them all! Played backwards, the chorus refrain of "Babe I love you" clearly says: "are you laughing". Well, not Satanic, but creepy to hear it, lolz! I love Styx, they have a weird mix of catchy tunes and (mostly) mindless lyrics.
  • Annabelle from Eugene, OrTo James in Atlanta, GA, do you perhaps have a little sound recording of those Japanese Railroad tones being played at the train station?
  • Farrah from Elon, NcDennis DeYoung sounds like such a sweetheart. Suzanne is so blessed to have him in her life.
  • Kelmark from Jackson, MsKent, for Real RnR fans they had peaked with pieces of eight, then they turned commericial for you canadian fans
  • Shawn from Woodbridge, VaBabe was so popular the lyrics didn't even matter. It was a popular song at school dances and Roller Rinks for quite a long time... despite lyrics that talk about leaving and such.

    It was unquestionably my favorite song... until I turned the album over and played: "First Time."

    For a male teenager, in the early eighties, I can think of no better song for getting laid. Hey, it worked for me! 8-)

    Overall, I would say that my tastes have changed over the years, but STYX songs have always been in my eight track, casette player, and CD player, not to mention on my turntable. I have mint copies of every vinyl record they ever produced. Of course it goes without saying that is the same case for every CD they put out.

    "Critics" always crack me up. If it's "popular," then it sucks. Actually, I probably hate people who read or hear what the "critics" have to say, then repeat it ad nauseum, as if it were more meaningful than actual worldwide success even more. (Whew! What a sentence!)
  • Kent from Toronto, CanadaStyx was always much bigger in Canada than in their native U.S. At the time that they were considered a supergroup here, playing in the largest venues, they were not major crowd-drawers south of the border. They in fact used to sell more albums and singles in Canada than in the entire U.S., which implies over tenfold success, as Canada's population is about one tenth of the USA's. Besides "Babe" hitting #1, they had at least two further #1 singles here: 1981's "The Best Of Times" and 1983's "Mr. Roboto".
  • Liquid Len from Ottawa, CanadaBabe is a standard 70s ballad, not the best song ever written but not the worse either. Since Dennis was pushed out of the band, Styx has released a dozen 'greatest hits' compilations, leaving out all the songs Dennis wrote (and has to take album tracks that weren't actually hits to flesh them out, because Dennis wrote most of their biggest hits). To me, Styx tops even Van Halen in terms of what egos can do to ruin a band (Gowan is a fine musician but he's not much of a replacement for a heavyweight like Dennis). And the supreme irony is, Tommy Shaw is pushing his 'Crystal Ball' song which is not even as good a ballad as Babe and has much more pretentious lyrics.
  • James from Atlanta, GaI came to love this song as it was played for me by my first girlfriend who I'd met on a church retreat. We were riding on a bus going to a train station for my group to ride back to Belgium from Germany. One of the few songs I learned most of the lyrics by heart. Now I'm in Japan and noticed that the tones played when a train is arriving by the Japanese Railroad (JR) at their train stations sounds just like the opening notes of Babe. I know Styx was quite popular in Japan and I wonder if Dennis heard those notes and wrote the son? I still love this song.
  • Michelle from Wilmington, DeGreat song, sad and dramatic at the same time. Also love the harmony!
  • Randy from Colerain Twp., Oh People can say negative things about Dennis DeYoung, but 'Cyclerama' is about the worst album of original material that STYX have ever made. In my opinion, I think Lawrence Gowen is more of a session musician than anything. And Tommy Shaw is carrying the band like George Bush is carrying the United States...and I will let you draw your own conclusion. But seriously, I think STYX should reform with Dennis, Tommy, JY, Chuck, and Todd in the lineup. However, I don't know whether or not Chuck is capable of touring full-time with the band. Otherwise, STYX will eventually crash and burn. A band can only perform the same classic songs for so long... maybe with the exception of The Rolling Stones, before they will begin to lose popularity.
  • Pete from Nowra, Australiaactually "The Best Of Times " was another great Styx song , anybody heard that one
  • Suzanne from White Rock, CanadaI love this song, it is great and such meaning.
  • Matt from Haddon Hieghts, NjOf all the Come Sail Away and Grand illusion i dont no how they made this great slow song
  • Tommy from Ridley, Pathis is the ultimate slow dance song!
    tom lesko, guitar center cherry hill NJ
  • Robbie from Whitby, Canadalove this song, Styx is a great group even now with out Dennis (with Lawrence Gowen instead), they do not include this song in the shows they do now. This was mine and my first loves song
    Robbie, Whitby,Ont.
  • Dawson from Draper, UtThis song is one of my favorite songs by Styx, but Renegade is my favorite. I love when the music changes and it goes "And I'll be lonely, without you". I just love it. : )
  • Rob from Las Vegas, Nvbabe and first time killed the rock of that band
  • Joe from Ocala, FlTommy Shaw and Nugent did indeed make fun of this song because I saw it done. I also heard that tommy was getting into an elevator and behold the doors open and there is Dennis deYoung and the only thing they said to each other was from dennis....Please don't make fun of a song that was a great hit for us and in respect tommy obliged
  • Sack from Arlington, Txthis song was always a "couples only" skate at the roller rink.
  • Dave from Cardiff, WalesUndoubtedly the biggest hit for Styx in the UK, but it wasn't their only song that did well over here, they also had a hit later on in their career with "The Best Of Times".
  • Geo from Eugene, OrI saw a show on A&E about a crazy murderer in Georgia who read the lyrics to this song as his final statement at his sentencing. It was surreal, a 300 plus pound african-american earnestly reading the lyrics to a stunned courtroom!
  • Pete from Nowra, Australiaone of the greatest love songs i've ever heard and i'm a radio announcer so i've heard a few
  • Annabelle from Eugene, OrI was actually told that Dennis DeYoung wrote this song for his wife and child as he was leaving to go on a tour with his band.
  • Paul from Newark, DeStyx member Tommy Shaw, when he was a member of Damm Yankees, along with Ted Nugent, would make fun of this song on stage. It was the cause of quite a bit of bitterness between Dennis DeYoung, and Tommy Shaw.
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