- For the alternative spelling of the female given name Kayleigh, see Kaylee. For the country dance, see Céilidh.
|Single by Marillion|
|from the album Misplaced Childhood|
|B-side||"Lady Nina" |
|Released||7 May 1985|
|Format||7" vinyl, 12" vinyl |
|Recorded||Hansa Ton Studios, Berlin, March — May 1985|
|Length||3:33 (7" version) |
|Writer(s)||music: Mark Kelly, Ian Mosley, Steve Rothery, Pete Trewavas
|Marillion singles chronology|
"Kayleigh" was a number two UK hit for British neo-progressive rock band Marillion in 1985. It remains the group's most successful single in terms of chart position. The single was kept from the UK Number 1 spot by charity single "You'll Never Walk Alone" by supergroup The Crowd in the summer of 1985. It also made the top 10 in Ireland, Norway and France. "Kayleigh" is the band's sole appearance on the USA's Billboard Hot 100, hitting #74 in October 1985.
The song received a great deal of media exposure in the UK. 41 Independent Local Radio stations in Britain had the track A-rated on their playlists and it became the most played single on BBC Radio 1. The band also made appearances on television shows such as Wogan and Top of the Pops. The song was also featured on the soundtrack of the video game Grand Theft Auto IV on the fictional in-game station "Vice City FM" and in the movie Late Night Shopping.
The promotional video for the single was shot in Berlin, where the Misplaced Childhood album was recorded, and featured Tamara Nowy, a German woman who subsequently married lead singer Fish, and Robert Mead, the boy portrayed on the sleeve of the album and the single. The song was performed by Fish at the Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Tribute at Wembley Stadium, with Midge Ure on guitar and Phil Collins on drums.
Fish has said that his writing the song was 'his way of apologizing to some of the women he had dated in the past.' Although the lead singer and lyricist of the band, Fish, had at one point dated a woman whose forenames were Kay Leigh, the song was more a composite of several different women with whom he had had relationships.
The guitar hook line through the verse came about, according to Steve Rothery, from him demonstrating to his then girlfriend what effects a chorus and a delay pedal could add to a guitar's sound. Rothery recorded the song on a chorused Stratocaster guitar, using the pick and his second and third fingers to play it. The album version features an extended guitar solo by Rothery, 27 seconds of which is edited for the single version.
The song's popularity in the summer of 1985 was responsible for a significant rise in popularity of the name Kayleigh. In late 2005, 96% of Kayleighs living in the United Kingdom were born after 1985. Studies of girls' first names show that it was not in the top 100 most popular names in Scotland before 1975. By 1997, however, twelve years after the song's release, the name was the 30th most popular girls' name in the country. By 2001, Kayleigh had become the 75th most popular girls' name in England and Wales.
The song's popularity and legacy was addressed by Harry Wallop, writing in The Daily Telegraph in 2011:
Some names just didn’t exist a generation ago, but have taken off in popularity. The most famous of these is Kayleigh, which came into existence thanks to the neo-prog rock band Marillion, who had a number two hit with a single of this name in 1985. It was almost unheard of before the song. But since then it has taken hold, especially with parents who grew up with a love of long-haired bouffant power ballads. A few years ago, the name made it to the 30th most popular girl’s name in Britain, and it remains popular: 267 children were named it last year. Curiously, though, it has spawned a bewildering sub-sect of names, nearly all of which are unrelentingly bizarre. There were 101 Demi-Leighs last year, seven Chelsea-Leighs and four called Lilleigh, which sounds like a sanitary product.
In 2012, it was announced that the Scottish Borders Council was to inscribe extracts from the song's lyrics into the pavement at the newly-developed Market Square in Galashiels. Council engineer David Johnstone said the authority felt it was appropriate to mark the links between Galashiels and the song: "The lyrics from the song Kayleigh included reference to the old textiles college. Some of the lyrics referred to 'dawn escapes from moon-washed college halls' and 'do you remember cherry blossom in the market square?' There was a feeling that these lyrics were really appropriate and because of the connection between the singer and Galashiels that it would be appropriate to engrave some of those lyrics into the paving and make more of a feature of it." Johnstone also said the original cherry trees referred to in the song had been removed due to disease but they would be replaced.
On 8 October 2012, Aberdeen based rappers Shy & DRS released "The Love Is Gone", featuring lyrics and vocals from Sandi Thom. The song samples "Kayleigh". It reached number 7 in the iTunes Hip Hop Chart.
Chart performance 
|UK Singles Chart||2|
|Dutch GfK chart||12|
|Dutch Top 40||16|
|French Singles Chart||2|
|Irish Singles Chart||4|
|Norwegian Singles Chart||8|
|Swiss Singles Chart||19|
|US Billboard Hot 100||74|
|US Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks||14|
See also 
- Belsize Park (mentioned in the lyrics)
- "Marillion - Kayleigh at Discogs". Discogs. Retrieved 23 November 2012.
- "Chart Stats - Marillion - Kayleigh". Retrieved 19 April 2009.
- Billboard Hot 100 chart dated October 26, 1985
- Total Guitar July 2001
- "Marillion". Retrieved 23 November 2012.
- Wallop, Harry (23 Nov 2011). "Baby names: how do you decide?". The Telegraph. Retrieved 13 April 2013.
- "Marillion hit Kayleigh to be set in Galashiels pavement". BBC News. 4 April 2012. Retrieved 4 April 2012.
- "dutchcharts.nl - Marillion - Kayleigh (Dutch)". Retrieved 19 April 2009.
- "Nederlandse Top 40 - 10 Augustus 1985/Week 32 (Dutch)". Retrieved 19 April 2009.
- "irishcharts.ie search results". Retrieved 19 April 2009.
- "norwegiancharts.com - Marillion - Kayleigh". Retrieved 19 April 2009.
- "Marillion - Kayleigh - hitparade.ch (German)". Retrieved 19 April 2009.