Mr. Lonely

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For the 2007 film, see Mister Lonely.
"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
Writer(s) Bobby Vinton, Gene Allen
Bobby Vinton singles chronology
"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.

Vinton's recording was included on his Greatest Hits album during autumn of 1964 and was concurrently issued as a single. 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] while reaching No. 5 on the CHUM Hit Parade.[8] The song also reached No. 2 on New Zealand's "Lever Hit Parade",[9] No. 8 in Australia,[10] No. 24 in Flemish Belgium,[11] and entered into the top 3 in South Africa.[12]

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.[13]

During 1967, former Yugoslav beat band Zlatni Dečaci recorded a Serbian language cover version of the song, entitled "Sam".[14]

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 popular culture[edit]

  • It features extensively in the movie Lemon Popsicle, whenever the main character gets dumped or sees his girlfriend cheating on him.
  • It featured in the animated movie Flushed Away, where singing slugs perform it for the main character, Roddy, as he is left alone.
  • It is featured in an episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air where Carlton (Alfonso Ribeiro) plays the song while dancing with Jackie (Tyra Banks).
  • In 2005, Senegalese-American R&B 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 with an Alvin & The Chipmunks sound.
  • The song was used as the title of the 2007 Harmony Korine movie, Mister Lonely.
  • In a commercial for Premium Crackers, the song is played alternating with "Rock You Like a Hurricane" by Scorpions
  • In Japan this song is known as the opening theme for a radio program "JET STREAM", played with easy-listening style.


  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. ^ Bobby Vinton - Chart History - The Hot 100, Accessed October 16, 2015
  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. ^ "CHUM Hit Parade", CHUM, Week of January 04, 1965
  9. ^ "Lever Hit Parade" 21-Jan-1965, Flavour of New Zealand. Accessed October 17, 2015
  10. ^ "Hits of the World", Billboard, January 30, 1965. p. 20. Accessed October 17, 2015
  11. ^ Bobby Vinton - Mr. Lonely, Ultratop. Accessed October 17, 2015
  12. ^ "Hits of the World", Billboard, April 24, 1965. p. 22. Accessed October 17, 2015
  13. ^ Buddy Greco - Chart History - The Hot 100, Accessed October 16, 2015
  14. ^ 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