When the Lady Smiles

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"When the Lady Smiles"
Golden earring - When the lady smiles.jpg
Single by Golden Earring
from the album N.E.W.S.
B-side "Orwell's Year"
Released 3 March 1984 (1984-03-03)
Format 7" vinyl, 12" vinyl
Recorded 11 February 1984 (1984-02-11)
Genre Rock
Length 4:59 (Single Version)
5:39 (Album Version)
6:16 (12" Version)
Label 21 Records
Songwriter(s) George Kooymans
Barry Hay
Producer(s) Shell Schellekens
Golden Earring singles chronology
"The Devil Made Me Do It"
"When the Lady Smiles"
"Clear Night, Moonlight"

"The Devil Made Me Do It"
"When the Lady Smiles"
"Clear Night, Moonlight"

"When the Lady Smiles" is a 1984 song by Dutch band Golden Earring. It was the first single from their album N.E.W.S. (NorthEastWestSouth). Following their top 10 "Twilight Zone", "When the Lady Smiles" was a U.S. chart disappointment, only reaching #76 on The Billboard Hot 100 chart. With a total of 5 "Hot 100"-releases,[1] Golden Earring are by far the most successful Dutch band on the international charts. Dutch actor Huub Stapel has a cameo in the music video as an elevator mechanic, referencing the movie De Lift. Also appearing in several scenes (metro car, window washer) is Hans Vandenburg, lead singer of Gruppo Sportivo.


The video for this song, shot by Dick Maas, was controversial. In one scene, a man attempts to rape a nun. This particular scene was quickly removed from the video (the full cut was only shown after midnight). The bold video may have hurt the sales of the single in the New World, although it climbed to the number 3 position in the charts in Canada. In the Netherlands "When the Lady Smiles" became Golden Earring's fifth number one.

Hillary Clinton[edit]

Hillary Clinton used this song during her campaign for the US presidency of 2008, baffling the band given the song's lyrics and controversial video.[2]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1984) Peak
Dutch Top 40[3] 1
US Billboard Hot 100[1] 76


  1. ^ a b "allmusic - Golden Earring > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles". Retrieved 14 March 2009 (2009-03-14).  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  2. ^ Pauw&Witteman 2008
  3. ^ "De Nederlandse Top 40, week 9, 1984". Retrieved 14 March 2009. 

External links[edit]