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"The Diary of Horace Wimp"
Horace Wimp.jpg
Single by Electric Light Orchestra
from the album Discovery
B-side"Down Home Town"
Released13 July 1979 [1]
Recorded1979, Musicland Studios, Munich
Label Jet
Songwriter(s) Jeff Lynne
Producer(s)Jeff Lynne
Electric Light Orchestra singles chronology
" Shine a Little Love"
"The Diary of Horace Wimp"
" Don't Bring Me Down"
Discovery track listing
9 tracks
Side one
  1. " Shine a Little Love"
  2. " Confusion"
  3. "Need Her Love"
  4. " The Diary of Horace Wimp"
Side two
  1. " Last Train to London"
  2. "Midnight Blue"
  3. "On the Run"
  4. "Wishing"
  5. " Don't Bring Me Down"

"The Diary of Horace Wimp" is the fourth track on the Electric Light Orchestra album Discovery, written by Jeff Lynne.

Released in 1979 as a single, the song is Beatlesque in nature and became a Top Ten hit in the UK and Ireland. The lyrics describe a week in the life of a repressed man who wants to express his affection towards a woman he meets, and overcomes his shy nature with the help of "a voice from above." The day Saturday is omitted – this is because, as explained by Jeff Lynne: "The football match is played on a Saturday".

The music video references Citizen Kane in its ending, showing a closeup of Jeff Lynne saying "Horace Wimp," echoing Orson Welles' character in the film saying "Rosebud" as he dies. [2] [3]

A song about a lucky lad who somehow defies the odds and gets the girl. Really wild use of the vocoder.

— Jeff Lynne [4]


"Down Home Town" first appeared on the band's fifth album Face the Music. It also featured as the flip side to the US single " Last Train to London".

"Down Home Town" contains an intro with a backmasked message, the backing chorus of the previous track, "Waterfall": "Face the mighty waterfall, face the mighty waterfall." This song includes an orchestral intro (after the "Waterfall" refrain) and a similar ending. These reverse recorded words were only used because of the sound effect. [5]

Chart positions

Chart (1979) Peak
Australia ( Kent Music Report) [6] 48
Ireland ( IRMA) [7] 10
UK Singles ( OCC) [8] 8
West Germany ( Official German Charts) [9] 52


  1. ^ "BPI certifications for ELO".
  2. ^ "ELO - The Diary of Horace Wimp". YouTube. Archived from the original on 19 December 2021. Retrieved 22 July 2014.
  3. ^ "CITIZEN KANE – Rosebud". YouTube. Archived from the original on 19 December 2021. Retrieved 22 July 2014.
  4. ^ Lynne, Jeff (2001). Discovery (Media notes). Electric Light Orchestra.
  5. ^ Guttenbacher, Patrik; Haines, Marc; von Petersdorff, Alexander (1996). Unexpected Messages.
  6. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970-1992. St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. ISBN  0-646-11917-6.
  7. ^ " The Irish Charts – Search Results – The Diary of Horace Whimp". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 22 July 2014.
  8. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 22 July 2014.
  9. ^ " – Electric Light Orchestra – The Diary Of Horace Wimp". GfK Entertainment charts. Retrieved 18 February 2019.