Gloria is the English version of the Latin name Gloriae. This name is usually given to women and has the meaning of glory, honor, and praise. For that reason, it’s used in songs of praise and hymns as well. So, if you’re looking for songs dedicated to Gloria, you could be barking up either tree.
Any way you slice it, there are a surprising number of Gloria songs out there, and most of them are simply titled “Gloria.”
These cross genres and styles, though most are tribute songs to women named Gloria. So, if you’re looking for the perfect song for the Gloria in your life, even if that’s you, here are the best of them all, starting with…
Top 25 Songs About Gloria
Gloria – Van Morrison / Them
We can’t talk about songs about Gloria without paying homage to the biggest and most famous song about Gloria of all. This is, of course, “Gloria,” a song written by legendary Northern Irish singer Van Morrison back in 1964.
The song was first recorded by and credited to Morrison’s band Them and put out as a single in 1964, though Morrison wrote it the year before.
Since then, Morrison has continued to perform the song with other groups, solo, and in collaboration with other artists as diverse as Shane McGowan of the Pogues and blues legend John Lee Hooker.
The song has also been covered by many different artists…
The Shadows of Knight put out a hugely popular version in 1966. The Doors, with their singer Jim Morrison (no relation!), even recorded this song a few times, including a version of their Best Of album.
The song is so memorable because of its great Soul/Blues/Rock feel and groove. The music is simple – just three chords, but dynamic changes work to produce different feelings between the verses and the chorus. And, the chorus, just the spelling “G-L-O-R-I-A,” is brilliantly simple and memorable.
And the verses?
Well, let’s say this song is known for being a bit suggestive and raunchy. If your mom’s name is Gloria, this might not be the ideal song for her birthday. Or, just stick to the chorus.
Gloria – Patti Smith
OK, this is pretty much the same song for the most part. Except for Punk Rock poet Patti Smith adding her own lyrics to the song, enhancing and expanding it to make it her own.
She recorded this song back in 1975 on her renowned album Horses. This was the opening track, and she started it with the line, “Jesus died for somebody’s sins, but not mine,” setting the atmosphere for the whole album.
Smith describes first seeing Gloria when she was bored at a party…
“Until I look out the window, see a sweet young thing – Humpin’ on the parking meter, leanin’ on the parking meter.” Yeah, it’s a little bit suggestive, you might say.
The music here is even more dynamic, moving from a quiet verse to a loud and energetic chorus. Smith has fun with the track, which, once again, isn’t a good choice for mom.
Gloria – Leon René / The Cadillacs / The Manhattan Transfer
Going back in time, let’s look at some of the other songs about Gloria that have made music history. American songwriter Leon René wrote his song “Gloria” back in the 1940s, and it was first recorded in 1946.
However, the biggest and most popular version of this song was recorded by the Harlem doo-wop group The Cadillacs in 1954. The band re-vamped the song and gave it a doo-wop treatment that has stuck out as the best version of the song.
Lyrically, this Gloria song is very simple…
They sing, “Gloria – It’s not Marie – Gloria – It’s not Cherie – Gloria – But she’s not in love with me,” and you understand what’s going on. It’s a sad, mournful, yet beautiful song of unrequited love for a woman named Gloria.
Jazz fusion vocal group, The Manhattan Transfer, revived this song and made it into a minor hit once again.
They recorded a version that was quite true to The Cadillacs’ version for their self-titled debut album in 1975. This helped to re-popularize doo-wop music in the 1970s, and, of course, this song as well.
Going Back to Gloria – Roy Orbison
Next in our glorious history of songs about a girl called Gloria is one that has a name longer than just one word. It’s “Going Back to Gloria,” a song that the inimitable Roy Orbison recorded and put out on his 1966 album The Classic Roy Orbison. It’s a classic Roy Orbison song.
This crooner wrote the song in collaboration with his long-time songwriting partner Bill Dees for this album. The song is a slow, sort of sad tune that’s, in truth, a break-up song. The titular line is supposed to represent something good, but it’s not framed that way.
He sings, “I will write no more letters, I’ll make no more calls – I can’t meet you anymore – Going home, going back to Gloria.” Yes, in this case, Gloria is the woman of his dreams, even though it seems he left her for another.
Gloria – Enchantment
It’s hard to get away from. With our next song, we’re back to the single-word title, “Gloria,” which makes it a bit hard to keep track of which song we’re talking about.
This “Gloria” is a song by the American R&B group, Enchantment. They put it out as a single for their self-titled debut album.
This is a long, chilled-out version of the song…
It’s soft and sweet but still mournful. See, the song is about a woman named Gloria, who the singer has split up with. But now things have changed, and he wants her back.
The lyrics include lines like “Gloria – My Gloria – Things ain’t been the same – Since you went away – I just can’t go on.” There’s a bit of a soulful Rock ballad feel here. But, also a bit of doo-wop-inspired backing vocals, possibly influenced by The Cadillacs?
If you’ve had your heart broken by a Gloria who you are desperate to get back into your life, this is one of the best songs about Gloria for you.
Gloria – Umberto Tozzi / Laura Branigan
Here’s a song that you’re likely to know, but you may be surprised at its history. The song was written in 1979 by Umberto Tozzi, an Italian Pop, and Rock star.
It had a peppy, pop-rock beat and was an inspiring love song that got tons of attention. Furthermore, it was a huge hit in Switzerland, Spain, and Italy, making it one of the first pan-European hits.
Tozzin sings, “Gloria – Manchi tu nell’aria – Manchi come il sale – Manchi più del sole.” Not familiar? How about “Gloria, don’t you think you’re fallin’? – If everybody wants you – why isn’t anybody callin’?”
Gosh, that sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
This song is well-known because it became a #2 hit in 1982 when it was (loosely) translated into English and recorded by singer Laura Branigan. She put in a whole bunch of power and energy, and the song had an 80s Synth-Pop feel that drove its success.
Branigan isn’t known for a whole lot other than her treatment of this tune, which became an 80s staple. But, boy, did she do this song up right!
Gloria – U2
Another song named “Gloria”? Hey, why not! This time it comes from the unstoppable Irish rockers U2. Their “Gloria” was released on the band’s second album, October, in 1981. That’s back when they were pretty much still boys, and Bono had some seriously big hair.
This song is a great example of U2’s original Rock sound. You’ve got a steady bass line, a pounding beat, The Edge’s unique guitar work, and Bono singing his lungs out.
This is a pretty solid rocker…
However, there’s something weird about the song, too. Of course, this song is about another woman named Gloria, but the lyrics take a much different direction from the average love song. Insomuch as there’s a chorus in this song, this is it:
“Gloria, in te domine – Gloria, exultate – Gloria, Gloria – Oh Lord, loosen my lips.” Oh yeah, that’s Latin, alright! And it’s up to you to decide whether it makes this song extra interesting or takes away a bit from the chorus. Well, it’s only a few words of Latin, so you can still sing along.
Gloria’s Eyes – Bruce Springsteen
If everyone else has a song about someone named Gloria, why not The Boss as well? Bruce Springsteen did something pretty darned weird back in 1992. He released two albums on the same day – Lucky Town and Human Touch.
While the first album featured the much-loved track “If I Should Fall Behind,” the second album included “Gloria’s Eyes.” This track is a mid-tempo, fairly peppy Rock song featuring Springsteen backed by a new band, not the E-Street Band, for the first time.
This track rocks…
Maybe not as hard as some Springsteen songs, but he still delivers an impressive vocal performance here, which powers the song along. It’s another song about the love of a woman named Gloria. But, this time, it’s about how that love was shaken.
He sings, “At night I pray as silently as you lie – Someday my love again will rise – Yeah, like a shining torch in Gloria’s eyes.” We get the feeling that he has done something wrong, maybe cheated. And that’s caused a big rift in the relationship. So, yeah, not all that romantic at all.
Gloria – The Lumineers
If you’re not familiar, The Lumineers are a Colorado-based Alternative-Folk band that got started in the early 2000s. And they claim Bruce Springsteen as one of their biggest influences. Maybe that’s one of the reasons that they decided to write a song about a Gloria, titled, of course, “Gloria.”
This song was put out on their third album, creatively titled III, in 2019, making it our most recent Gloria song.
With this track, we’ve got all the staples of a Lumineers song…
There’s a mournfulness to the singing, powerful anthem-like backing vocals, a punchy beat, and driving guitar and piano chords. In all, it’s a fun-sounding song, even if the content isn’t fun at all.
This is a song about addiction, so it’s a bit grim. Lyrics like, “Gloria, they found you on the floor – Gloria, my hand was tied to yours – Gloria, did you finally see that enough is enough?” can be pretty gut-wrenching. Listen with caution.
Aside from Pop and Rock songs, “Gloria” also features in many songs of praise, hymns, and even carols. That’s because the original Latin meaning of Gloria is “glory,” so it’s used to sing about the glory of God. Here are the two best-known songs about glory in this sense.
Gloria in Excelsis Deo – Christian Hymn
The name of this hymn is probably quite familiar, even if you’re not sure of the tune. The name means “Glory to God in the Highest,” and you might find this hard to believe, but it was written about 1700 years ago.
The original words were written in Greek and translated into Latin. It’s still used in Latin in Catholic services and English in Anglican and Lutheran churches.
The words have been set to countless different pieces of music throughout the centuries. One that you might recognize, though, is a treatment by the Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi. This piece is huge and powerful, usually sung by a massive orchestra backed by a whole symphony orchestra.
Angels We Have Heard on High – Christmas Carol
This carol was inspired by the previous hymn and uses the name “Gloria in Excelsis Deo” as its chorus. The song describes a choir of angels singing in heaven on the event of the birth of Jesus on earth.
It was originally written as a hymn in French, “Les Anges dans nos campagnes,” and the words were paraphrased in English in 1862.
You know it. “Angels we have heard on high – Sweetly singing o’er the plains – And the mountains in reply – Echoing their joyous strains.” Especially the chorus “Glo o-o-o-o-o o-o-o-o-o o-o-o-o-oria in Excelsis Deo!”
More 14 Songs About Gloria
Gloria – Laura Story
Gloria – The Dear Hunter
Gloria – Michael W. Smith
Gloria – The Doors
Gloria – The Shadows of Knight
Gloria – Andrea Bocelli
Gloria – The Human Beinz
Gloria – Bethel Music
Gloria – Green Day
Gloria – Mando Diao
Gloria – Jimi Hendrix
Gloria – The Castaways
Gloria – Laura Pausini
Gloria – The Blasters
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The Best Songs About Gloria – Final Thoughts
There you have it, a list of the best and most well-known songs related to Gloria, Glorias, and glory! Some of these are tribute songs to wonderful women named Gloria. Others are sad laments at the loss of Gloria’s glorious love.
And, of course, some are religious songs that focus on the original Latin meaning of this ancient name.
If you’re looking for a song that relates best to the special Gloria in your life, there are a bunch to choose from. However, make sure you choose wisely. Some of these songs are sad, some happy and celebratory, and some are a little bit saucy. So, make sure you check out the lyrics first.
Until next time, happy listening.