"Roxanne" as written by and Gordon Matthew Sumner....
Roxanne you don't have to put on the red light
Those days are over you don't have to sell your body to the night
Roxanne you don't have to wear that dress tonight
Walk the streets for money you don't care if it's wrong or if it's right

Roxanne You don't have to put on the red light
Roxanne You don't have to put on the red light
Roxanne (put on the red light)
Roxanne (put on the red light)
Roxanne (put on the red light)
Roxanne (put on the red light)
Roxanne (put on the red light) Oh

I loved you since I knew ya
I wouldn't talk down to ya
I have to tell you just how I feel
I won't share you with another boy
I know my mind is made up so put away your make-up
I told you once I won't tell you again it's a bad way

Roxanne you don't have to put on the red light
Roxanne you don't have to put on the red light
Roxanne (you don't have to put on the red light)
Roxanne (put on the red light)
Roxanne (put on the red light)
Roxanne (put on the red light)
Roxanne (put on the red light)

Roxanne (put on the red light)
Roxanne (put on the red light)
Roxanne (put on the red light)
Roxanne (put on the red light)
Roxanne (put on the red light)
Roxanne (you don't have to put on the red light)
Roxanne (put on the red light)
Roxanne (put on the red light)
Roxanne (put on the red light)
Roxanne (put on the red light)


Lyrics submitted by Demau Senae

"Roxanne" as written by Gordon Sumner

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Roxanne song meanings
Add your thoughts

62 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +7
    General CommentThis is probably my favourite song about prostitution. I think its cleaver how he tries to sympathise and help the prostitute. Great song
    thrashgrunge4lifeon September 13, 2012   Link
  • +7
    General CommentAlright, I know other people have said this, but it seems like some people still don't get it (not being snarky- just honest).

    It's understandable that a lot of people don't get that "putting on a red light" refers to going out and being a prostitute.

    The Roxanne the song refers to is a prostitute. The speaker has decided he is in love with this prostitute, and he wants her to quit. He is telling her that he could support her, so she doesn't have to put on the makeup and the dress she usually wears to sell herself. When he says, "You don't have to put on the red light," he means that she doesn't have to go out and sell herself anymore, he is going to take good care of her and respect her.

    Of course, this is just my humble interpretation, but I hope I have helped some of you guys understand it.
    DaynaRixon October 24, 2012   Link
  • +5
    General Commentclassic.
    l!nzyon June 04, 2002   Link
  • +5
    General Commentgood song. it's pretty much about prostitution and how roxanne doesn't have to do it anymore. anyone ever heard of the red light district? yep..
    weezerific:cutleryon April 13, 2003   Link
  • +3
    General CommentA song about a man who claims to be in love with a prostitute and decides to show his boundless love by making her quit her job and, one has to assume, become financially dependant on his income, because of his emotional issues with regards to jealousy and possessiveness. (or, maybe he's simply the kind of guy who doesn't want his womenfolk working at all...)
    AldinTheMadon April 05, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentYes, it is "I loved you since I knew you." Damn, some people aren't aware of obvious things; I'm only 14 and I knew what "putting on the red light" meant. Great song.
    ckm4everon April 17, 2003   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThe remake by Fall Out Boy is useless!, no one can improve on a Sting song...

    Roxanne is obviously about prostitution, and how sting cant stand having his true love share other men as her job..

    great song though :)


    sbenon May 04, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe red light could mean two things in my opinion: I agree that it definately has something to do with prostitution and a "red light district" but it could also mean the red on traffic lights. In other words, a metaphor telling her to stop: "Put on a red light".

    This song is about a man who falls in love with a prostitute and is trying to convince her to stop selling her body.
    GuitarBoyon May 13, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIts about a whore... plain and simple.
    AlexKool69on May 13, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentSeveral people seem confused by what "put on the red light" means, here's a little history that should help clear it up:

    Prostitution often being illegal, "whorehouses" or "houses of ill repute" couldn't openly advertize what they were, So the "code" that developed was that they would replace their regular front light with a red tinted one, Thus men interested in that kind of entertainment could just look for a red light on a front porch. Neighborhoods with a bunch of these houses became known as "Red light districts"

    So when he says "you don't have to put on the red light" it is not just meant figuratively, That she doesn't have to prostitute herself any more, but also literally, That she doesn't have to put on the red light that advertizes her as a prostitute.
    BWatchdogon June 04, 2013   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain