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Songs You Forgot You Loved: Wynonna’s ‘I Saw the Light’

1992 was a year of new beginnings for Wynonna Judd. At the age of 28, she had already released five studio albums and scored fourteen No. 1 hits with her mother Naomi as The Judds. After Naomi retired from touring due to complications to hepatitis, Wynonna began to perform on her own. Her debut album, Wynonna, was a huge departure for the singer: it was her first record on MCA Nashville, having previously recorded on RCA; it was her first record produced by Tony Brown though she had previously only worked with Brent Maher; and, of course, it was her first record without the name “Judd” on the cover.

The gamble paid off. The album’s first single, “She Is His Only Need,” hit No. 1 on the Billboard country singles charts. So did “My Strongest Weakness,” “No One Else on Earth,” and “I Saw the Light.”

Taking Flight

“I Saw the Light” was, at the time of its release, a sharp break from the Judds’ signature acoustic sound. While the song is a mid-tempo cruiser with light lyrics, the electronic instrumentation is likely a contribution from co-writer Andrew Gold. The songwriter was also known for “Thank You For Being a Friend” and “Never Let Her Slip Away.” Lisa Angelli, the song’s other writer, is best known for her theme song to the 1987 television series Beauty and the Beast.

The song has a short and straightforward story: the character leaves a token of her affection on her partner’s porch. She sees the light through her partner’s window and realizes they are holding another person in their arms. The character declares that she has seen the light and is ready to move on.

The synthesizers give the song a pop feel, though it’s Wynonna’s impassioned singing that give the song a human — and heart-twisting — touch. This isn’t a song about heartbreak so much as self-actualization.

“I Saw the Light” Lyrics

I laid a red rose on your front porch
And I wrote ‘I Love You’ on a note
I rang the doorbell and turned to go
Baby when the curtains moved
I couldn’t believe the view
I saw the light in your window tonight
I saw two shadows holding each other tight
I know the truth when I look in your eyes
I saw the light in your window tonight
So take your cheating hands off my red dress
‘Cause I ain’t wearing this thing for you
I see you clearly now, and your lies too
They say that love is blind
Well baby not this time
I saw the light in your window tonight
I saw two shadows holding each other tight
I know the truth when I look in your eyes
I saw the light in your window tonight
Why baby why
Should I listen to ya
Cry baby cry
Now I’m walking out the door
They say that love is blind
Well baby not this time
I know the truth when I look in your eyes
I saw the light in your window tonight

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Songs You Forgot You Loved: Wynonna’s ‘I Saw the Light’