“Turn to Stone” by Electric Light Orchestra

The lyrics of this Electric Light Orchestra’s “Turn to Stone” are not the easiest to understand in their entirety. But the chorus (as well as third verse) does make it pretty clear that what we’re dealing with here is a song of heartbreak. In other words, “turn to stone” is a metaphor pointing to how screwed up the vocalist feels when the addressee ‘is gone’. 

And perhaps it should be noted that the nature of their relationship is never specified. But the clearest indication that this is a romance probably comes in the third verse, when Jeff has reflections of the two of them dancing together. 

In the bridge, what he proceeds to do is question the addressee as to why she is torturing him, i.e. remaining absent even though she knows that doing so puts him in his feelings in such a manner.

All in all, the singer ‘turning to stone’ is another way of saying that he’s thoroughly in his feelings when his sweetheart isn’t around.

Lyrics of "Turn to Stone"

Release Date of “Turn to Stone”

Electric Light Orchestra is a band from the English city of Birmingham, who have been around since 1970. They’ve taken some extended breaks, including the entirety of the 1990s and most of the aughts, throughout the years. But ELO, as they are called, is still extant to this day and have dropped 15 studio albums between 1971 and 2019.

Meanwhile “Turn to Stone”, which was officially made public on 3 October 1977, served as the lead single (and opening track) for their 1977 LP “Out of the Blue”. 

“Turn to Stone” and its album are products of Jet Records, a British label that has since gone defunct.

Song Credits

The song’s author and producer is Jeff Lynne, who is the frontman of this band. And to note, on its original B-side is a track called “Mister Kingdom”.

Electric Light Orchestra

More Facts about “Turn to Stone”

“Turn to Stone”, which broke the top 20 of the UK Singles Chart and Billboard Hot 100, isn’t the biggest hit in Electric Light Orchestra’s discography. But it is apparently one of the most enduringly-recognizable, as for instance it earned the distinction of becoming a BMI Million-Air, i.e. a song that has been played a million times on radio, as recently as 2008. 

It also just received RIAA gold certification in 2021. And to note, this song did chart in over 10 countries when it was first released.

In 2019, Jeff Lynne did reveal that “Turn to Stone” is one of his favorite songs to play live.

This song was notably featured in a 1999 film titled Detroit City Rock.

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