Song Lyric Sunday | “Private Dancer” – Tina Turner

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Song Lyric Sunday was created by Helen Vahdati from This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time and author Jim Adams from A Unique Title For Me is our current guest host. For complete rules or to join in the fun, click here.

This week’s theme is  “Occupation.


Private Dancer was from Tina Turner’s fifth solo album of the same name. Released as the album’s fifth single, the track reached number seven on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number three on the US R&B chart. The song had moderate international success, reaching number 26 on the UK Singles Chart.


  • This song is about either a prostitute or stripper who prefers to consider herself a “Private Dancer.” It describes how empty she feels inside. It was an unlikely title track to Turner’s wildly successful comeback album, as the subject matter didn’t relate to the singer’s life or her return to fame.
  • Mark Knopfler wrote this song for his band Dire Straits, but realized that it didn’t work with a guy singing it, so he pitched it to Turner, who was beginning her comeback.
  • Members of Dire Straits played on this track, including their bass player John Illsley and drummer Terry Williams. Jeff Beck played the guitar solo, as Mark Knopfler did not perform on it.
  • The music video, featuring dance choreography by Arlene Phillips, was directed by Brian Grant and filmed at London’s Rivoli Ballroom. It features Turner as a disillusioned ballroom dancer, although the song has also been interpreted as being sung from the perspective of a prostitute
  • Turner chose this song as the title track from the album after the photo was taken for the cover. In that shot, she sits in a chair wearing a classy dress while a black cat stands in front of her, staring into the camera. She felt the photo suited the Private Dancer character better – it’s also a more compact title than What’s Love Got To Do With It.


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Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.

Private Dancer

Compiled from Genius Lyrics, Google, Wikipedia,, and YouTube.

11 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday | “Private Dancer” – Tina Turner

    1. Loved this too. Tina later became a Buddhist, and she practiced the same form I did, but I did not see her, though the Buddhists loved her and had great respect for her. I think her change came after she change to Buddhism. They have the senior leaders – women – who encourage and direct the women who are trying to make good changes in their lives. She sure was a wonderful performer. One of my faves back in the day too, though still today as well. great article!

      Liked by 1 person

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