Bette Davis Eyes

Album: Mistaken Identity (1981)
Charted: 10 1
Play Video
  • Her hair is Harlow gold
    Her lips a sweet surprise
    Her hands are never cold
    She's got Bette Davis eyes
    She'll turn her music on you
    You won't have to think twice
    She's pure as New York snow
    She got Bette Davis eyes

    And she'll tease you, she'll unease you
    All the better just to please you
    She's precocious, and she knows just what it
    Takes to make a pro blush
    She got Greta Garbo's standoff sighs, she's got Bette Davis eyes

    She'll let you take her home
    It whets her appetite
    She'll lay you on a throne
    She got Bette Davis eyes
    She'll take a tumble on you
    Roll you like you were dice
    Until you come out blue
    She's got Bette Davis eyes

    She'll expose you, when she snows you
    Offer feed with the crumbs she throws you
    She's ferocious and she knows just what it
    Takes to make a pro blush
    All the boys think she's a spy, she's got Bette Davis eyes

    She'll tease you, she'll unease you
    All the better just to please you
    She's precocious, and she knows just what it
    Takes to make a pro blush
    All the boys think she's a spy, she's got Bette Davis eyes

    She'll tease you
    She'll unease you
    Just to please you
    She's got Bette Davis eyes
    She'll expose you
    When she snows you
    'Cause she knows you, she's got Bette Davis Eyes
    She'll tease you Writer/s: Donna Weiss, Jackie De Shannon
    Publisher: BMG Rights Management, KAREN SCHAUBEN PUBLISHING ADMINISTRATION, Songtrust Ave
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 34

  • Seventhmist from 7th HeavenBette Davis eyes are nice, but I prefer Colonel Sanders thighs.
  • Paul from Long Island, NyScotty from Cheyenne - Barry McGuire also sung with the New Christy Minstrels, and he had a very gravely voice too.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn this day in 1981 {June 6th} Kim Carnes performed "Bette Davis Eyes" on the Dick Clark ABC-TV Saturday-afternoon program, 'American Bandstand'...
    At the time "Bette Davis Eyes" was in it's fourth of nine non-consecutive weeks at #1 on Billboard's Top 100 chart, it spent a half-year {26 weeks} on the Top 100 and was ranked as the #1 Record of the Year on the Billboard's Year-End Hot Top 100 Singles of 1981 chart...
    Between 1979 and 1984 the California native had nineteen records on the Top 100 chart, three* made the Top 10 with one reaching #1, the above "Bette Davis Eyes"...
    Four of nineteen charted records were duets; one each with Gene Cotton, Kenny Rogers, Randy Meisner, and Barbra Streisand...
    And one of her charted records was as a member of a trio, with Kenny Rogers and James Ingham, the song was "What About Me?" and it peaked at #15 in 1984...
    Ms. Carnes will celebrate her 74th birthday in one month on July 20th, 2019...
    * Besides "Bette Davis Eyes", her two other Top 10 records were "More Love" {#10 in 1980} and "Don't Fall In Love With A Dreamer" {a duet with Kenny Rogers, #4 in 1980}...
    In addition, after "Bette Davis Eyes" was at #1 for five weeks, it dropped down to #2 and the top spot was taken over by "Beatles Medley: No Reply/I'll Be Back/Drive My Car/Do You Want To Know A Secret/We Can Work It Out/I Should Have Know Better/Nowhere Man/You're Going To Lose That Girl" by Stars on 45, then "Bette Davis Eyes" regained the #1 spot for four more weeks.
  • Melinda from AustraliaJust for the record. Bette Davis was a bitch. Yes, she lured plenty of men to her with her amazing eyes. A film studio head called them, her ‘lamps’.
    But the men she attracted barely survived relationships with her.
    Bette Davis was highly promiscuous for the era. Not a biggie today. But Was then.
    Eddie Fisher, the singer, in his biography claimed Bette Davis was a friend of his then young wife, Debbie Reynolds. He claimed old Bette Davis tried to hit on him on a visit. And further in old age she was a shocking drunk.
    Bette Davis appears in biographies to have seen ALL women as rivals. Not just the actress Joan Crawford.
    Seems her friendship with Debbie Reynolds was an exception. But then again in old age she tried it on with Reynold’s young husband. Umm, not a nice chick.
    So from a feminist perspective. Does she really deserve to be a girl power Icon ?
    Yes she was highly rebellious.
    A total professional. And demanded fair treatment in the industry ... and a big salary and say in who she worked with. And what films.
    But she was a very abusive character. Who actively hated women.
    Her daughter wrote a book about the hell of her childhood with her.
    I think the person who wrote this song knew a thing or two about Bette Davis’. Particularly her famous manipulative ways.
    Another thing, she swore like a sailor. Maybe that’s why there’s the line a ‘make a crow/pro blush’.
  • Markantney from BiloxeApr18,

    Great song, loved it as a kid but BuckWheat's Version (Eddie Murphy SNL) is slightly better:):)
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn May 31st 1970, the top six records on Billboard's Top 100 chart remained in the same position on the chart for the second week in a row:
    #1. "Bette Davis Eye" by Kim Carnes
    #2. "Being with You" by Smokey Robinson
    #3. "Medley: intro Venus/Sugar Sugar/No Reply/I’ll Be Back/Drive My Car/Do You
    Want to Know A Secret/We Can Work It Out/I Should Hvae Known
    Better/Nowhere Man/You're Going to Lose That Girl" by the Stars On 45
    #4. "Sukitaki" by A Taste Of Honey
    #5. "Take In On the Run" by REO Speedwagon
    #6. "Living Inside Myself" by Gino Vannelli
  • Jeff from Columbus, GaBruce "Baby Man" Baum parodied this song; his version: "Marty Feldman Eyes," reached #108 on the national Record World charts in 1981. Kim Carnes called the song "Sub-par trash!"
  • Steven from Lincoln Park, MiThe demo given to the Carnes team by Donna Weiss sounded like a ragtimey honky-tonk song. It can be heard in the Val Garay interview on Taxi TV at the 21:35 mark. Garay siad, "See what a little imagination can do," referring to the Carnes record's arrangement.

    The discrepancy between the lyrics "make a pro blush" and "make a crow blush" are true. DeShannon recorded it on her 1975 album with the original "crow blush" line as it was written, which was an obscure and dated backwoods expression (playing on the fact crows are loud feisty birds and black in color, to imply behavior so outrageous it could actually make a crow blush. Some say it was a transcription error while others say it was a deliberate change on the Carnes record from "crow" to "pro" which gave it a more modern and even overt connotation. The term "pro" has long been used (especially through the 70s and 80s) in regard to a certain type of woman to imply she is a sexual pro meaning a professional, as in the world's oldest profession. So when when Carnes sings, "She's precocious and she knows just what it takes to make a pro blush," she is basically saying the character could make a hooker blush.
  • Esskayess from Dallas, TxAlways sounded to me like Carnes needed a cough drop. I also shuddered at the thought of her someday doing a duet with almost-as-gravelly-voiced Bonnie Tyler.
  • Sioraf from Macroon, IrelandThere was one year in the late 00's that this song was sampled 3 times! First in Waiting For A Star To Fall then there was something else then someone else covered Waiting For A Star To Fall. As if hearing the same song for 2 months straight on the radio isn't bad enough.
  • Keef from San Antonio, TxThe question of whether the lyrics "crow blush" or "pro blush" -- In the version of Jackie DeShannon from 1974 (a co-composer of the song), it is "crow blush." The colloquialism "he could make a crow blush" means that he could easily embarrass anyone or cause some other sort of discomfort, such as teasing you, or precociously uneasing you all the better just to please you. Kim Carnes sang "pro blush" from an error in the transcription of the lyrics from Jackie DeShannon's recording. The lyric "her hair is Harlow gold" refers to Jean Harlow being the most platinum of blondes, known as the Blonde Bombshell from starring in a successful 1933 movie entitled Bombshell.
  • Scotty from Cheyenne, WyIt was always a mystery to me, as a fan of the early New Christy Minstrels, that Carnes could have ever have sung with that band. Then I learned she had nodules removed from her vocal cords, giving her voice that raspy sound. Interesting way to have one's career revived, eh?
  • Myungduck from Jejudo, Koreait was in 1981 that i heard this song peaked number 1 through the tv news came on in. here in korea , the official language is of course korean. as korean local ,sometimes i feel difficult to make out the lyrics, especially for the words ' make a pro blush ' what or who do you mean by pro ?who is harlow as in harlow gold ?somepeople say maybe an actress. how many persons can you count in the song ? answer me. 고맙습니다 meaning thank you
  • Jennifer Harris from Grand Blanc, Miwhenever I watch a Bette Davis Movie,I have this song in my head.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn May 16th, 1981 "Bette Davis Eyes" by Kim Carnes reached #1 & stayed there for five weeks, then "Stars on 45" became #1 for one week. But "Bette Davis Eyes" reclaimed the #1 position and held it for four more weeks!!! {Nine total weeks at #1 and stayed in the Top 100 for 26 weeks}
  • Paul from Detroit, MiThe song is addictive. I heard it for the first time in 1981. I immediatley switched the station. The second time I heard it, I listened to about half of it. By the third time, I was hooked. #1 for 9 weeks and the 7th best selling single of all time, prove that others got hooked too!
  • Sara from Union City, TnI don't get it either but...I so love this song!
  • Camille from Toronto, OhSorry, but I never understood the mass appeal of this song. It's simply"okay" but to win two Grammys? Weird. Plus, I don't happen to think Betty Davis's "eyes" are that great to be compared to.
  • Shawn from Green Bay, WiOne of the all time great synthesizer hooks. Very unique sounding song from the hook to the subdued back up instruments to the almost schizophrenic vocals that alternate between high pitched talking and gravel-voiced singing.
  • Adam from Los Angeles, CaBrandon from IL---------have to agree dude, this chick voice royally sucks! it's like fingernails on a chalkboard---just horrible! A good thing she fell by the wayside when she did. i'm surprised she had a singing career at all.
  • Emily from Ocean Springs, MsThe disease that contributed to Bette Davis's famous eyes is called Grave's Disease, caused by overproduction of the thyroid. Actress Maggie Smith of "Harry Potter" also suffers from this disorder.
  • Madalyn from Greensburg, Pabeautiful song for girls who have lower voices....beautiful
  • Tom from Marble Falls, ArI remember this song was very popular with lesbians I knew back then. I liked it too, so what does that say?
  • Brandon from Peoria, IlHate Kim Carnes' voice. She sounds like Joan Rivers
  • Pete from Ny, NyJake has it right, a great song. One I want to hate... but can't. Always sounds good.
  • Jake from Spencer, NyKim Carnes' signature song, the 1981 mega-smash "Bette Davis Eyes," is easily one of the best pop songs of the 1980s in my opinion. The extremely catchy synthesizer hook, Kim's expressive vocals, the beat, the electronic Synare drum sound, the bass, and the understated guitar all work together to create a classic tune. It seems like this song was a trendsetter in pop music, blending synths and traditional pop/rock to create a sound that was rather unique for 1981 (synth pop didn't really kick into full gear in America until 1982). This was my favorite song for quite a while back in 1995 after hearing it on the radio for the first time (I was 14 back then), and today, 11 years and 215 or so CDs later, I would still rank it in my Top 200.
  • Nicole from Apple Valley, Mn"Bette Davis Eyes" won 2 Grammy Awards in 1981: Record of the Year (performance and production award) and Song of the Year (songwriting award).
  • Haim Anava from Hatzor The Galilean, IsraelHere is a better picture to demonstrate the unique shape of Betty Davies eyes and why "All the boys think she's a spy":,%20Bette
  • Amie from Fort Worth, TxDallas local band Space Cadet did an amazing cover of this should really listen too it
  • Sean from Adelaide, Australiago rob
  • Edward Pearce from Ashford, Kent, EnglandApparently Bette Davis admitted to being a fan of the song and approached Carnes and the songwriters to thank them for making her "a part of modern history"
  • Rob from Minneapolis, MnSung by Gwyneth Paltrow in the movie "Duets". This was a great movie.
  • Goofan from New York City, Kyi like this song alot..
    its a cool song!
  • Jack from Raleigh, NcBette Davis had a thryoid condition that caused her eyes to bug out.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Jim Adkins of Jimmy Eat World

Jim Adkins of Jimmy Eat WorldSongwriter Interviews

Jim talks about the impact of "The Middle" and uses a tree metaphor to describe his songwriting philosophy.

Tanita Tikaram

Tanita TikaramSongwriter Interviews

When she released her first album in 1988, Tanita became a UK singing sensation at age 19. She talks about her darkly sensual voice and quirky songwriting style.

Elton John

Elton JohnFact or Fiction

Does he have beef with Gaga? Is he Sean Lennon's godfather? See if you can tell fact from fiction in the Elton John edition.

Justin Hayward of The Moody Blues

Justin Hayward of The Moody BluesSongwriter Interviews

Justin wrote the classic "Nights In White Satin," but his fondest musical memories are from a different decade.

Jesus Thinks You're a Jerk: Rock vs. Televangelists

Jesus Thinks You're a Jerk: Rock vs. TelevangelistsSong Writing

When televangelists like Jimmy Swaggart took on rockers like Ozzy Osbourne and Metallica, the rockers retaliated. Bono could even be seen mocking the preachers.

Song Cities

Song CitiesMusic Quiz

Nirvana, Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen are among those who wrote songs with cities that show up in this quiz.