Leave Virginia Alone

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"Leave Virginia Alone"
Single by Rod Stewart
from the album A Spanner in the Works
Released1995 (1995)
LabelWarner Bros.
Songwriter(s)Tom Petty
Producer(s)James Newton-Howard, Michael Ostin, Lenny Waronker

"Leave Virginia Alone" is a 1995 song written by Tom Petty and performed by Rod Stewart off Stewart's album A Spanner in the Works. The song reached number one on the Canadian RPM Top Singles chart in July 1995. It also reached number 52 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number 53 in Australia.


"Leave Virginia Alone" was originally meant to be on Tom Petty's studio album Wildflowers, but the track did not make the album.[1] In a Billboard interview with Rod Stewart, Stewart revealed that Petty's manager gave him the song when Petty believed the track was too similar to a previous hit of his.[2] "Leave Virginia Alone" was added to Stewart's album A Spanner in the Works after the audio mastering was finished and was the first single for the album.[3]


On May 13, 1995, Stewart debuted "Leave Virginia Alone" on Saturday Night Live's twentieth-season finale.[4]


"Leave Virginia Alone" received positive reviews from critics. Popdose said the song was a "solid song with a fitting vocal performance"[5] while Billboard complimented the connection between Rod Stewart's voice with the beats and acoustic guitars of the track.[6] All the same, Stewart admitted to Billboard that at first, he did not like the song and had to be convinced to record the track.[3]

Music video[edit]

In the music video, a woman runs away from people wearing costumes after holding a press conference. In an article in the Chicago Tribune, Susan Alexander said "Leave Virginia Alone" fit the music video format of having a "bad girl" who uses emotional manipulation.[7] A few years later in Michigan Sociological Review, Alexander said she believed the woman in the video committed a sinful act, and the lyrics of "Leave Virginia Alone" point towards drug abuse and promiscuity.[8]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Zanes, Warren (2015). Petty: The Biography. New York: Henry Holt and Company. p. 248. ISBN 9780805099683. Retrieved 2 May 2017.
  2. ^ Newman, Melinda (27 May 1995). "Stewart Crafts A Fine 'Spanner'". Billboard. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  3. ^ a b Newman 1995, p. 10.
  4. ^ Newman 1995, p. 115.
  5. ^ Bolin, Matthew. "Redeeming Rod: "Leave Virginia Alone" (1995)". Popdose. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  6. ^ Flick, Larry, ed. (27 May 1995). "Single Reviews". Billboard. p. 59. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  7. ^ Alexander, Susan (26 May 1996). "Music Videos Show Our Changing Roles". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  8. ^ Alexander, Susan (Fall 1999). "The Gender Role Paradox in Youth Culture: An Analysis of Women in Music Videos". Michigan Sociological Review. 13: 54–55.JSTOR 40969035
  9. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
  10. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 9043." RPM. Library and Archives Canada.
  11. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 9052." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  12. ^ "Íslenski Listinn Topp 40 (23.7. '95 – 30.7. '95)". Dagblaðið Vísir (in Icelandic). 22 July 1995. Retrieved 1 October 2019.
  13. ^ "Rod Stewart Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  14. ^ "Rod Stewart Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard.
  15. ^ "Rod Stewart Chart History (Pop Songs)". Billboard.
  16. ^ "RPM Top 100 Hit Tracks of 1995". RPM. Vol. 62 no. 20. 28 December 1995. Retrieved 2 May 2017.
  17. ^ "RPM Top 100 Adult Contemporary of 1995". RPM. Vol. 62 no. 20. 28 December 1995. Retrieved 4 February 2019.