Mr. Lonely

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"Mr. Lonely"
Single by Bobby Vinton
from the album Roses Are Red
B-side "It's Better to Have Loved"
Released 1964
Format Vinyl, 7", 45 RPM
Recorded 1962
Genre Pop
Length 2:40
Label Epic
Songwriter(s) Bobby Vinton, Gene Allan
Producer(s) Bob Morgan
Arranged and conducted by Robert Mersey
Bobby Vinton singles chronology
"Clinging Vine"
"Mr. Lonely"
"Dearest Santa"
"Clinging Vine"
"Mr. Lonely"
"Dearest Santa"

"Mr. Lonely" is a song co-written and recorded by Bobby Vinton. The song was first released on Vinton's 1962 album Roses Are Red.


Vinton began writing the song while serving in the Army.[1] The song describes a soldier who is sent overseas and has no communication with his home. The singer laments his condition and wishes for someone to talk with.[2] The single of Vinton's recording was released just as the Vietnam War was escalating and many soldiers were experiencing a similar situation.[3] Vinton and Gene Allan later re-teamed to compose "Coming Home Soldier", which reached No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 in January 1967.[4]

Vinton's recording was included on his Greatest Hits album during autumn of 1964 and was concurrently issued as a single.

Vinton's version was noted for his sobbing emotionally during the second verse.

Chart history[edit]

The song spent 15 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, reaching No. 1 on December 12, 1964,[4] while reaching No. 3 on Billboard's Middle-Road Singles chart.[5][6] In Canada, the song reached No. 1 on RPM's "Top 40 & 5" chart.[7] The song also reached No. 2 on New Zealand's "Lever Hit Parade",[8] No. 8 in Australia,[9] and entered into the top 3 in South Africa.[10]

In 1973, the song was re-released as a single, and it reached No. 24 in Flanders.[11]

Covers and adaptations[edit]

In 1962, Buddy Greco recorded a version of the song using a very similar musical arrangement as Vinton's version. Greco's single release reached No. 64 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on November 10, 1962.[12]

In 1965, French rockstar Johnny Hallyday did a version of the song called Quand Revient la Nuit, which became a success there.

During 1967, former Yugoslav beat band Zlatni Dečaci recorded a Serbian language cover version of the song, entitled "Sam".[13]

Philippine singer Victor Wood made a bilingual version of the song, alternating the original lyrics with Filipino ones. This particular cover version became popular in the Philippines and gave some fame to the entertainer.

In 2005, Senegalese-American R&B and hip hop singer Akon borrowed and sampled lyrics from this song for his 2005 hit single Lonely, which features on his debut studio album Trouble. This song uses a sped-up sample of the earlier song, reminiscent of the fictitious animated singing group Alvin and the Chipmunks.

The song was parodied in the 2006 animated film Flushed Away.


  1. ^ Alan Levy, "His movie got him money but no fame", Life, March 12, 1965. p. 78
  2. ^ Bobby Vinton "Mr. Lonely" OldieLyrics. Accessed October 18, 2015
  3. ^ Bob Leszczak, "Who Did It First?: Great Pop Cover Songs and Their Original Artists", Rowman & Littlefield, Mar 13, 2014. p. 134
  4. ^ a b Bobby Vinton - Chart History - The Hot 100, Accessed July 28, 2016.
  5. ^ Bobby Vinton - Chart History - Adult Contemporary, Accessed October 16, 2015
  6. ^ "Middle-Road Singles", Billboard, November 21, 1964. p. 33. Accessed October 16, 2015
  7. ^ "Top 40 & 5", RPM Weekly, Volume 2, Ed. 16, December 14, 1964. Accessed October 16, 2015
  8. ^ "Lever Hit Parade" 21-Jan-1965, Flavour of New Zealand. Accessed October 17, 2015
  9. ^ "Hits of the World", Billboard, January 30, 1965. p. 20. Accessed October 17, 2015
  10. ^ "Hits of the World", Billboard, April 24, 1965. p. 22. Accessed October 17, 2015
  11. ^ Bobby Vinton - Mr. Lonely, Ultratop. Accessed October 17, 2015
  12. ^ Buddy Greco - Chart History - The Hot 100, Accessed October 16, 2015
  13. ^ Sam at Discogs
Preceded by
"Ringo" by Lorne Greene
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
December 12, 1964 (one week)
Succeeded by
"Come See About Me" by The Supremes