Gloria

Gloria

performed by Umberto Tozzi (Italian) and Laura Branigan (English)
written by Umberto Tozzi and Giancarlo Bigazzi

English lyrics by Trevor Veitch
released 1979 (Italian) and 1982 (English)

Gloria,
manchi tu nell’aria,
manchi ad una mano,
che lavora piano,
manchi a questa bocca,
CHE CIBO PIÙ NON TOCCA
e sempre questa storia
che lei la chiamo Gloria.
Gloria,
sui tuoi fianchi
la mattina nasce il sole
entra odio ed esce amore
dal nome Gloria.

Gloria,
manchi tu nell’aria,
manchi come il sale,
MANCHI PIÙ DEL SOLE
sciogli questa neve
che soffoca il mio petto
t’aspetto Gloria.

Gloria, Gloria,
chiesa di campagna, Gloria,
acqua nel deserto, Gloria,
lascio aperto il cuore, Gloria,
scappa senza far rumore,
dal lavoro dal tuo letto
dai gradini di un altare
ti aspetto Gloria.

Ah,ah, Gloria,
per chi attende il giorno
e invece di dormire,
con la memoria torna
a un tuffo nei papaveri,
in una terra libera
per chi respira nebbia,
per chi respira rabbia,
per me che senza Gloria,
con te nuda sul divano
faccio stelle di cartone
pensando a Gloria.

Gloria,
manchi tu nell’aria,
manchi come il sale,
MANCHI PIÙ DEL SOLE
sciogli questa neve
che soffoca il mio petto
t’aspetto Gloria.

Gloria, Gloria,
chiesa di campagna, Gloria,
acqua nel deserto, Gloria,
lascio aperto il cuore, Gloria,
scappa senza far rumore,
dal lavoro dal tuo letto
dai gradini di un altare
ti aspetto Gloria.

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Gloria, you’re always on the run now
Running after somebody, you gotta get him somehow
I think you’ve got to slow down before you start to blow it
I think you’re headed for a breakdown. So, be careful not to show it

You really don’t remember, was it something that he said?
Are the voices in your head calling, Gloria?

Gloria, don’t you think you’re falling?
If everybody wants you, why isn’t anybody calling?
You don’t have to answer
Leave them hangin’ on the line
Oh-oh-oh, calling Gloria

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?

A-ha-ha, a-ha-ha, Gloria, how’s it gonna go down?
Will you meet him on the main line, or will you catch him on the rebound?
Will you marry for the money, take a lover in the afternoon?
Feel your innocence slipping away, don’t believe it’s comin’ back soon

And you really don’t remember, was it something that he said?
Are the voices in your head calling, Gloria?

Gloria, don’t you think you’re falling?
If everybody wants you, why isn’t anybody calling?
You don’t have to answer
Leave them hangin’ on the line
Oh-oh-oh, calling Gloria

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?

(Gloria, Gloria, Gloria, Gloria, Gloria)
(Gloria, Gloria, Gloria, Gloria, Gloria)

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What is this song about?

I needed some help with the Italian lyrics so I consulted wikipedia:

In the original Italian lyrics, Tozzi, who takes the role of the song’s main character, tells that he is dreaming about an imaginary woman named Gloria. He describes his living days as misery, but when he dreams of Gloria, he says his nights are liberty. The protagonist describes Gloria as his queen imagination that comes from his fascination, not from any kind of fantasy. He further elaborates that he has always set Gloria free from him, just as he has set freedom from reality. He then tells that his friends think he is crazy, but he argues his point that they have never met Gloria (so far, he has no proof of her actual existence); but one day when he finds her, he says his friends will talk about Gloria’s beauty and her loyalty. To accomplish the goal of realizing his dreams despite everyone else’s protests, the protagonist sets all his life to search for Gloria until he meets her in reality, and then promises to hold her, to touch her, and to keep her because he loves Gloria.

Laura Branigan’s version of the song is about a woman named Gloria who is in a rush to get a man. Gloria, in this version, is unaware that her relentless pursuit is projecting desperation to the men she is chasing. Gloria seems to believe that she is beautiful and desired by the men she is after. The Speaker of the song lyrics is advising her to slow down and to be less obvious about her intentions.

____________________________

Was the song successful?

Original version:

Chart (1979–1980)Peak position

Australia (Kent Music Report)
English version
46
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)4
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)5
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)21
Netherlands (Single Top 100)29
South Africa (Springbok Radio)
English version
7
Spain (AFYVE)
Spanish version
1
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)1
West Germany (Official German Charts)8

English Version:

Chart (1982–1983)Peak position

Australia (Kent Music Report)
1
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)32
Canada Top Singles (RPM)1
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)22
Ireland (IRMA)4
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)6
South Africa (Springbok Radio)9
UK Singles (OCC)6
US Billboard Hot 1002
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)28

There have been other versions of this song, including both German and Czech among others, but the original and English versions shared the most popularity.


The song still occupies space in contemporary American culture.

St. Louis Blues

The National Hockey League’s (NHL) St. Louis Blues began using Branigan’s cover version of “Gloria” as its unofficial victory song when they went on a franchise-record 11-game winning streak during the 2018–19 season.

After a victory over the Philadelphia Flyers, which came after a disappointing season, the Blues played “Gloria” in the locker room to celebrate their victory, with it then becoming a regular locker room ritual. When their stadium’s DJ learned of it, he began playing the song in the stadium to rally the team. The song is now played at Enterprise Center every time the Blues win a game, leading to “Play Gloria!” becoming both a meme and victory chant for Blues fans. Local radio station Y98 played the song for 24 hours following the Blues’ Game 7 victory over the Dallas Stars in May 2019, and again after beating the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup Finals. The bands Phish and Vampire Weekend, who were both holding concerts in St. Louis on the night of Game 7, performed covers of “Gloria” when they learned the Blues had won the Cup.

The song’s resurgence in popularity has led to Branigan’s management receiving numerous requests for live performances and public appearances, leading them to release a statement reminding the public that Branigan is deceased, as well as adding a note about this to her social media accounts. Forbes described “Gloria” as an “unlikely championship anthem” and noted that the Blues’ Stanley Cup victory could permanently alter the meaning and legacy of the song, with it becoming forever associated with the St. Louis Blues and ice hockey in general. Golik has also stated her belief that Branigan and “Gloria” “will forever be intertwined” with the Blues and the city of St. Louis. When asked how she thought Branigan would have reacted to the “Play Gloria” meme had she lived to see it, Golik said, “She was very sincere, very down to Earth, she would just have been very touched by it all. If she were here, I know she would have participated in a very big way. I know she’s there in spirit. To see them win and to hear that song blaring and coming up in the arena and looking around and seeing people singing out as loud as they can, cheering and having a good time, it’s indescribable what that’s like.”

Umberto Tozzi released a “Reloaded” version of the song in 2012. I’ll post it below for your enjoyment.

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And for good measure, here is the crowd in St. Louis celebrating by singing a song that issues cautionary dating advice to a woman named Gloria.

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6 thoughts on “Gloria

      1. You’re welcome. I didn’t know he is famous also outside of Italy 🙂

      2. Laura Branigan’s version of the song is better known in the US. However, Tozzi’s version is in the “The Wolf of Wall Street” soundtrack that came out a few years ago. He had some renewed popularity here from that, I think.

      3. Actually now that you tell me, Laura Branigan sounds quite familiar. I remember listening to her songs when I was in the U.S. 🙂

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