Lady In Black

Album: Salisbury (1971)

Songfacts®:

  • From the liner notes of the Salisbury LP: "Lady in Black, written early in November in Bradford, was inspired by the vision of an unknown girl."
  • In Cheltenham, England, about 20 people saw a mysterious "Lady In Black" in the years 1882 to 1889. In Texas a story is told that the lady in black was the wife of a rich man from Spain that was hung one day. Since that day, her ghost visits the area near Highway 281 in Alice, Texas. Many drivers reported that they have seen a mysterious woman, a lady in black. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    David - Berlin, Germany, for above 2
  • In his interview with Songfacts, the song's writer, Ken Hensley, addressed the question about the real-life experience that inspired this song.

    "It's true, I did see this young lady and she was dressed in black and her hair was blowing around in the 'mid-winter wind,'" said Hensley. "But she wasn't 'coming to me,' she was just walking up the street outside of my hotel in northwest England during a tour.

    I just picked up my guitar and let my over-active imagination run with this vision and, as is often the case, let the lyric go wherever it wanted to go."
  • David Byron usually sang Heep's songs, but Hensley sang this one. Hensley has stated that this was because Byron didn't like "Lady in Black" to such a degree that he refused to perform on it. After producer Gerry Bron suggested Hensley sing it himself, he did so. The song ended up being one of Heep's best and most loved.
  • According to Sweden Rock Magazine #16, the guitar parts of the song were so simple, two of the recording's four acoustic guitars were played by roadies. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Jon - Sweden

Comments: 7

  • Ricktor from Boca Raton I've waited for her for her for 50 years now, and will wait past death if i'm allowed.
  • Vladimir from Moscow, Russia FederationIn 1977 Lady In Black topped the German charts for 13 weeks, keeping Paul McCartney's Mull of Kintyre off the number one spot, a feat which earned Uriah Heep the Golden Lion award, the German equivalent of a Brit Award [http://www.uriah-heep.com/librel.html.] - Vladimir, Moscow, Russia
  • Mariana from Timisoara, RomaniaWhat a great song! I have been a fan of Uriah Heep since I was in High School back in Timisoara. I actually saw them after the years of glory a couple of times; one time in Chicago and the last time they played in a bar in Aurora, Illinois. What a great treat that was for I was just a few steps away. Great band, great music!
  • Kadir Köz from Istanbul, TurkeyVery catchy..Deep in concept
  • Rob from Ashland, OhI love this song! I really like some of their other stuff like East Living and the Wizard but this song rocks! The AHH in the chorus is so catchy. Too bad this isn't mre popular as it should be...
  • David from Wilson, NyKen Hensley does the lyrics on this, not David Byron
  • Ash from Cary, Ncthis song is f***in awsome
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Gavin Rossdale of BushSongwriter Interviews

On the "schizoid element" of his lyrics, and a famous line from "Everything Zen."

Lajon Witherspoon of SevendustSongwriter Interviews

The Sevendust frontman talks about the group's songwriting process, and how trips to the Murder Bar helped forge their latest album.

Hawksley WorkmanSongwriter Interviews

One of Canada's most popular and eclectic performers, Hawksley tells stories about his oldest songs, his plentiful side projects, and the ways that he keeps his songwriting fresh.

Amanda PalmerSongwriter Interviews

Call us crazy, but we like it when an artist comes around who doesn't mesh with the status quo.

Wherefore Art Thou Romeo LyricMusic Quiz

In this quiz, spot the artist who put Romeo into a song lyric.

Dexys (Kevin Rowland and Jim Paterson)Songwriter Interviews

"Come On Eileen" was a colossal '80s hit, but the band - far more appreciated in their native UK than stateside - released just three albums before their split. Now, Dexys is back.