“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.

8 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.

  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).

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