Window Up Above

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"Window Up Above"
Single by George Jones
from the album Greatest Hits
B-side "Candy Hearts"
Released September 1960
Genre Country
Label Mercury
Writer(s) George Jones
George Jones singles chronology
"Out of Control"
"Window Up Above"
"Family Bible"
"Window Up Above"
Single by Mickey Gilley
from the album Movin' On
B-side "I'm Movin' On"
Released February 1975
Genre Country
Label Playboy
Producer(s) Eddie Kilroy
Mickey Gilley singles chronology
"City Lights"
"Window Up Above"
"Bouquet of Roses"

"Window Up Above" is a 1960 single written and originally recorded by George Jones. The version recorded by Jones peaked at number #2 on the country charts and spent a total of 34 weeks on the chart.[1] It became a #1 smash for Mickey Gilley in 1975.

Recording and composition[edit]

"Window Up Above" is widely praised by many critics - and George Jones himself - to be his greatest composition. In the 1994 article "The Devil in George Jones" that appeared in the Texas Monthly, the singer told Nick Tosches that he wrote it one morning while living in Vidor, Texas, and that it remained his favorite: "I wrote it in about twenty minutes. I just came in off the road, about eight in the morning. While breakfast was being fixed, I just sat down in the den and picked up the guitar, and it was as simple as that. Sometimes it’s hard to even figure where the ideas come from.” Tosches added, "For Jones, 'The Window Up Above' seemed to issue directly from a lifelong insecurity and ambivalence, a deep-rooted fear of what lurked beneath the dream of hearth and home and happiness." The song addresses the theme of adultery, but adds a foreboding, voyeuristic twist to the typical country music "cheatin'" song, filled with jealous anger and a deep, irreconcilable sense of betrayal:

I've been living a new way
of life that I love so
but I can the clouds are gathering
and the storm will wreck our home
For last night he held you tightly
and you didn't even shove
This is true because I was watching
from the window up above

The song signaled a new era for Jones as a vocalist; in his book George Jones: The Life and Times of a Honky Tonk Legend, biographer Bob Allen writes that when Jones recorded "Window Up Above," he sang it "in a taut, almost offhand manner that called to mind the style of one of his heroes, Lefty Frizzell. He sang in a manner which merely insinuated the presence of wild, barely suppressed emotions seething just under the surface..."[2] Although up to this point in his career Jones had been primarily known as a honky tonk country singer, his phrasing was becoming more subtle and complex as his own vocal style emerged. As Rich Kienzle notes in the liner notes to The Essential George Jones: The Spirit of Country, "His tense, emotional delivery not only created a memorable recording, it was the first real demonstration of his increasingly powerful phrasing as he twisted and wrenched every drop of emotion out of the simple lyrics."

"Window Up Above" remained on the country charts for more than eight months, and Jones even had Nudie Cohn make him a stage suit based on it, a chartreuse affair replete with faces peering forlornly from sequin-stitched window frames. The song shot to #2 for Jones in 1960, and would be covered by several other artists, including Loretta Lynn and Leon Russell. In 1975, Mickey Gilley recorded "Window Up Above" and it became his fourth #1 on the country chart. The single stayed in the top spot for a single week and spent a total of twelve weeks on the country chart.[3] Jones would later record two different duet versions, one with Leon Russell and another with Ralph Stanley.

Chart performance[edit]

George Jones[edit]

Chart (1960) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles 2

Mickey Gilley[edit]

Chart (1975) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles 1
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 1


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 180. 
  2. ^ Allen, Bob 1996, pp. 135-136.
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 136. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Thank God I'm a Country Boy"
by John Denver
Billboard Hot Country Singles
number-one single

June 7, 1975
Succeeded by
"When Will I Be Loved"
by Linda Ronstadt
RPM Country Tracks
number-one single

June 7, 1975
Succeeded by
"I'm Not Lisa"
by Jessi Colter