Harman Patil (Editor)

Song Instead of a Kiss

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Released  October 18, 1992
Label  Atlantic Records
Genre  Pop rock, Ballad
Format  7" single, 12" single, CD single, cassette single
Length  3:57 (Edit), 5:04 (LP version)
Writer(s)  Alannah Myles, Robert Priest, Nancy Simmonds

"Song Instead of a Kiss" is a ballad by Canadian pop-rock artist Alannah Myles, released as the first single off her second album Rockinghorse.



The song was co-written by Myles, songwriting partner Nancy Simmonds, and noted Canadian poet Robert Priest. The song's lyrics were a poem by Priest that he had sent to Simmonds, a friend of his and through whom he had met Myles. Simmonds and Myles were in Barbados writing Myles' second album, and after days struggling to write, Simmonds showed Myles the poem and, liking it, she immediately sang the melody over it, which Simmonds duly noted with her guitar. Myles had just finished a romantic relationship with Robert Plant and felt the lyrics expressed her feelings and pain about the split.

Atlantic Records were not pleased with the demo they presented them, but Myles and her producer David Tyson decided to carry on working on it nonetheless. Tyson arranged the song, including the notable minute-and-a-half 60-piece orchestrated intro of the song (which was edited out on the single edit), after which Myles cut the final vocals. When they presented the reworked track to Atlantic, they loved it, and, unbeknownst to Myles, sent it to Robert Plant to see if he could duet with her on the song, a move she was furious about.

Myles has cited that it is one of her favourite songs from her catalogue.

Release and reception

The song was chosen as the lead single from the Rockinghorse album. While Myles liked the song and found it single-worthy, she was adamant about releasing the uptempo rocker "Our World, Our Times" instead of a ballad as the first single, but was overruled by the record company because they feared the political lyrics of that song would hurt its airplay and chart performance.

The song performed phenomenally in Myles' homeland of Canada, becoming her first (and so far, only) #1 hit on the pop charts in that country, staying 4 weeks at #1 in November–December 1992. It also topped the Canadian Adult Contemporary charts for one week in November 1992, her second #1 on that chart after "Lover Of Mine" in 1990.

In the USA, however, the record was ignored and did not get much airplay, and was not released as a commercial single. Therefore, Myles is seen as a one hit wonder in that country after her #1 hit there with "Black Velvet". In Europe, the record received airplay, but was not a substantial hit, achieving minor chart placings there.

Music video

The stylish music video was directed by Paul Boyd and filmed at Capitol Studios in Hollywood. In it, Myles is seen wearing different veils and shots of her lying in a bed while singing the song, with emphasis on close-ups on her face and her eyes. The setting of the video looks like a padded cell, although it is not explicitly explained.

Awards and accolades

In 1993, the song was nominated for two Juno Awards, for Single of the Year, losing to the Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson duet "Beauty and the Beast", and for Best Producer to David Tyson.

The song also received a SOCAN award in Canada, in 1994.

Track listing

7" single, Cassette Single
  1. "Song Instead Of A Kiss" (Edit) 4:05
  2. "Rockinghorse" 3:00
CD Single, 12" Single
  1. "Song Instead Of A Kiss" (Edit) 4:05
  2. "Rockinghorse" 3:00
  3. "Love Is" 3:39
  4. "Song Instead Of A Kiss" (LP Version) 5:04
Promo Single
  1. "Song Instead Of A Kiss" (Edit) 4:05


Song Instead of a Kiss Wikipedia

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