“Gloria” by Laura Branigan

Laura Branigan’s “Gloria”, tells the story of a woman named Gloria who is in a rush to get a man irrespective of the consequences. She relentlessly puts up a certain appeal to please the men she wants, but is unaware her desperation is seen by them. Apparently, this woman believes she is very attractive and as such every man she meets must be interested in her. Her disposition unknowingly drives many men away. Interestingly enough, she doesn’t seem to realize her approach is the problem.

Her Character

The singer describes Gloria in the first verse as a lady who chases after men. Two things could account for why she keeps chasing after guys for an affair. The first one could be because she is growing older and has still been unable to settle down. The second could simply be because of financial reasons. The latter is likely her reason for her promiscuous behavior.

She uses all means to signal her potential lover that she’s interested in him but the narrator strongly advises her against it. She is asked to slow down and be careful not to show her intentions to the man at such a fast pace. Traditionally, most men lose interest in such women because men are more committed to a woman they chase, not the other way round.

Gloria’s Mindset

Her mindset that she’s so good-looking she can jump off and on to the next guy is her excuse for all her failed relationships. The writer (who’s a friend of Gloria’s) is reminding her that this mindset is obviously not doing her any good.

The Narrator speaks frankly to Gloria

Towards the middle of the song, the narrator strongly rubs the reality of the issue into Gloria’s face. She tells her that if she believes she can easily attract a man, why is nobody calling her? Why is she rather in a hurry to chase them? 

Lyrics of the song "Gloria"

What do we think?

Many think the lyrics of this song tell the tale of a woman engaged in prostitution. However, it is also very likely it’s just about a woman bent on getting married to a man primarily for financial benefits and not because she loves him. So Gloria is basically playing games with men. And it is for this reason she finds it difficult settling down with any of them. The men abandon her the moment they realize the game she’s playing.

What did Laura Branigan say about this song?

According to Branigan, the lyrics center around a girl who is “running too fast for her own steps”.

Facts about “Gloria”

  • Umberto Tozzi, Trevor Veitch, and Giancarlo Bigazzi are the authors of this song.
  • Greg Mathieson and Jack White teamed up for the production of this classic tune.
  • The track became Laura Branigan’s signature song after its release as a single in June 1982. “Gloria” was included on Laura’s maiden album titled Branigan. It is the second song on that album.
  • The original version of this song was performed by Italian pop singer, Umberto Tozzi, which he released in 1979.
  • Laura’s version of “Gloria” was used in the 2006 popular video game, titled, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories. The song was also used in an episode (“Splatty Tomato”) of the hit TV series, South Park.
  • Australian Pop girl group, Young Divas released a cover version of this track in 2006. Glee Cast (Feat. Adam Lambert) also performed a version of this tune in 2014.

How did “Gloria” perform on the charts?

It performed admirably on the charts of numerous nations. It soared to No.2 on the Billboard Hot 100. It also peaked at No.1 in Canada and in Australia. In the UK, this tune ranked at No.6.

Did “Gloria” earn Laura Branigan a Grammy Award?

No. However, it was nominated for the Grammy for the Best Pop Vocal Performance Female at the 1983 Grammy Awards. The track was however, beaten to the award by “You Should Hear How She Talks About You”, a song by American singer, Melissa Manchester.

24 Responses

  1. Robert Nelson says:

    I think it’s a great song, beautifully sung by great artist. It is with such sorrow she left this world at such a young age. She is still missed a lot

  2. r says:

    I think the song is darker than that.

    Gloria (Gloria), I think they got your number
    (Gloria) I think they got the alias
    (Gloria) That you’ve been living under
    (Gloria) But you really don’t remember
    Was it something that they said?
    Are the voices in your head calling, Gloria?

    I think she may be a drug addict or someone with mental issues. Someone trying to get married wouldn’t need to go through the motions of hiding, changing their names and numbers. And I also don’t always trust what a singer says about their song, because they may have to say such things to deflect from the fact that it was written about someone they know.

    • Charms says:

      interesting Input, makes me think a bit deeper, love this song as well, i warm up my voice singing it in a steam shower. Thanks for your thoughtful comment!

    • Adam says:

      There’s a problem with this, Laura Branigan wasn’t the first to sing it.

      Also why would a person with mental illness hide their identity? I work in mental health. It’s not common for someone to change their identity because of it.

      “I think they’ve got your number” colloquially means people are on to your scam. It’s not literally about her phone number in this line.

      This is supported by the contention that she’s living a lie about herself – her alias.

      And it suggests that the many suitors she claims might be imagined or fantasy.

    • Terence says:

      Yeah, really. I mean, how can the lyrics be discussed without dealing with the voices in the character’s head??

  3. Fery says:

    She meant what she said, do not step ahead or rush before u find the right Man,let them work hard to gain you.but it is not possible all easily.go , wait , go , wait

  4. Henry (Hank) Matallana says:

    No, I wrote the lyrics. It’s true I was a friend of Gloria. She was being swept away by 2 phenomenas, one right after the other within a few days. Word got out that Gloria was starting to date again after loosing her husband several years prior. She was extremely bright, intelligent and wanted to work, so I suggested she doesn’t use her famous last name. Top men on the Forbes’ list figured it out and started calling the office non-stop. It was amazing to see how middle age men can quickly turn back into adolescent boys. They were all hailing her up to the heavens. Then, Gloria unfortunately lost most of her legendary fortune, or that’s what it seemed at the time. The men stopped calling her, but then it was the press who were viciously attacking her instead with pitch forks to descend down to Dante’s inferno. They also figured out where she was working (because of a mole,) using what seemed like an alias of a common last name. The office building was quickly surrounded by the press hungry for a story. “You really don’t remember,” was me voicing my sadness because it all got in the way with my standing appointment with Gloria. I was a high school students and she was mentoring me on poetry writing and the arts in general. My own parents were a bit absent in my life and never read to me other than kindergarten books because they had yet to learn English. Her innocence slipping away was just that: her involvement with children, even her own. One of which got to see me during those mentoring sessions. He was the best thing that ever happen to me as a teenager. I was someone’s object of affection. and I never slept so well in my life. It was truly a time of innocence and she was holding all the cards (that’s a different poem.) Gloria read my poem; which by then I had tracked it as lyrics to a tape of a recording I had overheard in one of those “phone call conversations,” and she edited it to make it sound like an old fashion music box when you recite it out loud or in your head. You can wind it around and around. That was her genius at a touch. She did it within a few seconds and then she handed it over to some men from Atlantic Records. To my surprise, she really did remember!

    It’s new year’s eve and no one is mentioning her passing, so I’m finally speaking up! This is “the night Spanish Eddie cashed it in” and OMG, Gloria was right. It’s the most sane thing to do; although sorry everyone- I had to do it on my own terms.

    Please continue to enjoy the song and remember Gloria’s spirit.

    • Ann says:

      That is a great song. I was visiting my mom and her sweet neighbor Gloria and had to play the song that was still in my head. I can still sing it but thought the lyrics now were a little dark. I’m so glad that I read your explanation and hope “Gloria” is at peace. I will remember Gloria’s spirit now especially since I won’t be able to get the tune from my brain for a while 😉

    • Anonymous says:

      So…Gloria Vanderbilt?

  5. Ken says:

    Umberto Tozzi wrote this song with the Italian composer Giancarlo Bigazzi. The Canadian songwriter Trevor Veitch, who wrote some of Sheena Easton’s hits, worked on Branigan’s version and is credited as one of the writers.

  6. Steve L says:

    I always heard this song is about Gloria Wandrous, the character in Butterfield 8. She is an alcoholic and a hooker who tries to convince a wealthy guy to leave his wife and marry her. Things don’t end well. That being said the song seems to fit and I can’t hear this song without thinking about the movie. (It’s also a book by John O’Hara for those who like to read).

  7. Anonymous says:

    I find it more than just a coincidence, that the Trumps were dancing to this song in the White House on Jan 6th while the Capital buildings were under attack, from the insurrectionists. People were trying to get help from the President to stop the raid and keep Mike Pence from being hung.
    I think their choice of THIS song PROVES that Donald Trump had it ALL planned and was laughing about what he had done.
    The words:
    If everybody wants you
    Why isn’t anybody calling?
    You don’t have to answer,
    Just leave them ‘hanging’ on the line.

    Strange why they ‘just happened’ to have this song already cued up, before the raid started.

  8. Glo says:

    REALLY?????

  9. Kevin - I think I dated Gloria longer than anyone else;) says:

    Whatever the song is about, the line “I think they got your number” is brilliant as it works both literally and figuratively.

    My interpretation is that it’s by a friend warning Gloria because Gloria is a bit “off”. I might be bias because I’ve known some women (and men) who fit this description. Gloria is still extremely active in pursuing relationships but comes across as fake, overbearing and obsessive to anyone she meets. She goes out on a lot of first dates and acts like she’s super popular, but in reality nobody ever calls for a second date. She’s trying to “fake it ’til she makes it”, but is confused by the level to which she’s actually faking it.

    The lines following “Gloria, how’s it gonna go down?” are all about Gloria fantasizing about her “relationships”. Gloria must be always telling her friend about some guy she’s considering marrying for money, or someone else who doesn’t exist (or isn’t into her).

    If this song were written today, it would have a line or two that would question why Gloria is on every online dating site if she’s too busy with her many suitors.

  10. Dave C says:

    I thought this was a song about a woman who has adopted a persona to advance in life, but has stopped being true to herself. She is on the verge of a breakdown because she is losing herself. I feel like her subconscious is in turmoil and keeps calling out to her. She doesn’t see it yet, but others are beginning to realize that she’s just putting on an act. She has this desperate need to grab onto something. She reminds me of an addict. So, not surprising that Trump was dancing to this song on January 6. I wish he would listen to the lyrics.

  11. Brenda "Nef" Clay says:

    It seems the movie “Gloia Bell” was made for this song.

  12. Rose says:

    I think the song is about drug addiction, with “Gloria” meaning euphoria, and the reference to a “man” personifying a drug. “Meeting on the Main Street” could be alluding to injection of drugs or “main-lining”. The use of an alias could be going by a “street name”

  13. Dr Strangelove says:

    Clearly this is about a woman with comorbid covert Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) along with hypersexual Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).

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