I realized the way your eyes deceived me
with tender looks that i mistook for love
So take away the flowers that you gave me
And send the kind that you remind me of
Oh How real those roses seem to be
But there only imitation like your imitation love for me
I thought that you would be a perfect lover
You seemed full of sweetness at the start
But like a big red rose thats’ made of paper
There isnt any sweetness in your heart
Oh how real those roses seem to be
But there only imitation like your imitation love
PAPER ROSES – FACTS ABOUT THE SONG
“Paper Roses” is a popular song written by Fred Spielman and Janice Torre which was a hit first in 1960 for Anita Bryant and later for Marie Osmond in 1973.
Anita Bryant’s version of “Paper Roses” was originally released in 1960 as a single b/w “Mixed Emotions” (Carlton 528) and was the opening track on her 1961 album Hear Anita Bryant In Your Home Tonight! (Carlton STLP 12/127), recorded in “Provocative Stereo.” “Paper Roses” was Bryant’s biggest hit on the Billboard Pop chart, peaking at No. 5 in 1960. Bryant continued to release singles following “Paper Roses”‘ success. Although Bryant had hits that reached the Top 40 again, she never had another hit as big as “Paper Roses.”
Bryant would later go on to be the spokesperson for an orange juice company, as well as lead anti-gay campaigns throughout much of the 1970s.
The Osmonds’ Version
In 1973, Olive Marie Osmond’s brothers, The Osmonds, were already well-established as stars in the pop music world and as teen idols (especially Donny). The Osmonds’ management convinced Marie to try her hand at singing as well, and soon she was performing with her brothers on tour, but not officially a member. When Marie began to record, she took a different tack from her brothers musically: she decided to try to make it big in Country Music. She was soon signed to MGM Records in Los Angeles, California.
Mike Curb, who had overseen Donny Osmond’s solo hit covers of oldies like “Go Away Little Girl,” “Puppy Love,” “Sweet and Innocent,” and “Hey Girl,” used the same approach with Marie. According to Curb in the book Billboard’s Hottest Hot 100 Hits by Fred Bronson, when Curb was looking for country songs for Marie to record for her first album, Sonny James suggested that Marie sing “Paper Roses.”
“Paper Roses” was the first song recorded by Marie, and also her first single release. The single was released in August 1973. MGM promoted the single first to country radio, and received a favorable reaction to the song from radio stations and disc jockeys. Soon the song became a hit for Osmond, going all the way to #1 on the Country charts. Before long, the song crossed over to pop radio as well, becoming a #5 Pop and #1 Easy Listening singles hit. The album and single both received Gold certifications in the United States.
In the United Kingdom, where Osmond-mania was just as strong (if not stronger) than in the United States, “Paper Roses” climbed all the way to #2 on the pop charts.
Marie followed up the success of “Paper Roses” with a cover of another Anita Bryant hit from 1960, “In My Little Corner of the World,” but it didn’t fare as well, reaching only #33 Country and “Bubbling Under” the pop charts.
Marie re-recorded “Paper Roses” with the same producer and in the same studio for her 1990 The Best of Marie Osmond greatest hits album on Curb Records because her record label at the time did not have the rights to include the original recording.