Thursday, September 12, 2013

Girls Just Want to Have Fun, But Only Because a Guy Says So

In terms of blowing childhood associations with iconically ’80s works out of the neon turquoise water, this one ranks alongside the gay reading of Top Gun: “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” was actually not a Cyndi Lauper original but a cover of a 1979 song written and performed by Robert Hazard four years before the release of She’s So Unusual. And while people generally regard that the Lauper version as a feminist anthem, if not at the very least a girls’ party anthem, the original makes a very different statement... by which I mean it makes the exact same statement, but a dude saying it makes it sound more like a condemnation than an affirming celebration of ladyfun.

Listen for yourself:


Yeah, it wasn’t originally about women going out and living it up so much as it was about, as this blogger points out, “a guy who spends so much time crushing loose vag that his parents begin to worry.” Lauper changed the lyrics and then flopped the verses so that the narrator interacts with her mother first and father second. As a result, Lauper’s version tells a story about girls doing what they want, while Hazard’s story is about doing what he wants to girls. A very representative comparison: “I want to be the one to walk in the sun” in Lauper’s version versus “All my girls have got to walk in the sun” in Hazard’s.

As sung by Hazard, the lyrics aren’t easy to understand, but here’s my best stab at them:
The phone rings in the middle of the night
My father says, “My boy, what do you want with your life?”
Father dear, you are the fortunate one
Girls just want to have fun

Come home with the morning light
My mother says, “My boy, you’ve got to start living right”
Don’t worry, mother dear, you’re still number one
Girls just want to have fun
These girls just want to have fun

That’s all they really want
Some fun
When the working day is done
Yeah, girls just want to have fun

Some guys take a beautiful girl
They try to hide them away from the rest of the world
All my girls have got to walk in the sun
Because girls just want to have fun
Yeah, girls just want to have fun

I know your love for him
Is deep as day is long
I know you’d never be the thing to do him wrong
But when I knock at the door
[Unintelligible – “I’m close now to liquid cum”?]
It wasn’t important
Because girls just want to have fun
Yeah, girls just want to have fun

That’s all they really want
Some fun
When the working day is done
Yeah, girls just want to have fun
I like how much harder Hazard’s version sounds, honestly, but it’s very red universe/blue universe to encounter this familiar thing in such a different state. Hazard went on to record “Escalator of Life,” which I love, while Lauper is currently an Oscar away from EGOTing. Such is life.

Overanalyzing lyrics, previously:

21 comments:

  1. This song still sometimes makes me think of "Grouch Girls Don't Want to Have Fun" from Sesame Street in the eighties. And Captain Lou Albano, of course.

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    1. Yes, we should always hold Capt. Lou dear to our hearts.

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  2. [Unintelligible – “I’m close now to liquid cum”?]

    Maybe "The call from inside comes"

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    1. That's a much better take than mine, really.

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    2. To me it sounds like "Your folks said you couldn't come", or, "Your folks said, no, you couldn't come"

      Keep in mind, the song does mention the mother and father of the main character singing the song in earlier verses, but up until this later verse, the girl the main character is singing about, her parents go unmentioned.

      So, if his parents are trying to get their son to come to his senses and start living his life right, and he is dodging them and going right on doing as he pleases, then it's kind of an ironic twist that the parents who finally keep him at bay are the parents of the very girl he's after.

      Although, the further irony is that through the use of carefully placed metaphors, the very verse in which the guy is ultimately pushed away by the girl's parents is also rather profane.

      This, in my opinion, not only serves to show the listener the main character's frame of mind as he was knocking at this girl's door, but also shows that her parents were wise to it and did the right thing to protect their daughter from his further advances.

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  3. What utter idiocy! How can you take these lyrics and make them into a sexist song?:

    Some guys take a beautiful girl
    They try to hide them away from the rest of the world
    All my girls have got to walk in the sun
    Because girls just want to have fun

    I've noticed a disturbing practice among male hipsters to call everything sexist. Is it a strategy for getting laid? Are you hoping that women will see you as less threatening if you emasculate yourself to the point of hysterical finger pointing? You're not helping the Feminist cause by crying wolf every five minutes.

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    1. I can guarantee you I didn't write this to score chicks.

      In my opinion, there's a big difference in a person from group A saying "Everyone in group A is like this" and a person in group B saying "Everyone in group A is like this." When you're outside the group, there's no aspect of self-depreciation. It just sounds like judgment. Walk up to a group of women (or any group you're not part of, really) and say "You are all just like this," and they probably conclude that you're sexist."

      Also, there's the thing the original blogger points out: The song is about "a guy who spends so much time crushing loose vag that his parents begin to worry.” I mean, he doesn't seem to have much concern about these women as people. They're just sexual conquests.

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  4. And you've misquoted him. He doesn't say, "All my girls have GOT TO walk in the sun." He says, "Some guys take a beautiful girl and try to hide her away from the rest of the world. All my girls ARE GONNA walk in the sun." See how different that is? Rather than trying to hide a beautiful girl, he's giving her the freedom she wants and needs. Ya, what a sexist!

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    1. I re-listened to the lyrics. You may be correct, and the lyrics may actually be "Al my girls *are gonna* walk in the sun" instead of "have gotta," and there is a difference in those to statements, but I don't think he's necessarily interested in giving the girl freedom. It's up to the listener to decide what "walk in the sun means" -- have freedom or just enjoy the awesomeness of this narrator's attention for a few minutes of sex. Given how the next sentence has him saying he's sure he'll be invited to have sex with a woman no matter how much she loves his boyfriend, I kind of doubt he spends that much time thinking about other people.

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    2. Anonymous4:47 PM

      It was truly progressive of him to grant the woman her freedom. Real forward-thinker here.

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  5. http://www.idolator.com/7511724/cyndi-lauper-girls-just-want-to-have-fun-evolution-30-anniversary?utm_source=sc-fb&utm_medium=ref&utm_campaign=clauper Hey thanks for this post. You can now hear Cyndi's original take on this thanks to the re-release of She's So Unusual. The first bit sounds exactly like Hazzard's. Weird. Thanks for this post.

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  6. I am writing this even though I am pretty sure, after all this time, no one will ever read it. I knew Bobby. Quite well. He was my very first boyfriend when I was 14 years old. He was 16, and he idolized my big brother, who dated his big sister. Small world. we had a peculiar relationship... I complained to him about the fact that even though several of the men in my life were musicians not ONE had ever written a song for me---I was jealous of Pattie Boyd. Ha ha. I also told him that my mother and BROTHER were disappointed in me for not being a giant success, and I said, "but I just want to have fun." That morning he was leaving for somewhere in Delaware I'm pretty sure, and he promised to write a song for me. And I believe he did.
    Bobby was not a "sexist", as much as he loved sex, and women. Bobby loved everything beautiful. He was a sincere multi-talented handsome man that just about anyone who knew him loved. I am one of those people.

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    1. I am writing this even though I'm extremely sure no one will read it; as it's several years later... I'm sure your telling the truth, even though this is the internet, I hope your telling the truth. It's a very nice story about the original song and I would like to believe that it is true.

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  7. Anonymous3:25 AM

    "Of course I needed to come..."

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  8. Anonymous7:07 AM

    I believe the section is:
    I know you’d never be the thing to do him wrong
    But when I knocked on the door
    That cold night he couldn't come
    It wasn’t important
    Because girls just want to have fun.

    In other words, the song is about commitment-free sex. She wouldn't do her boyfriend wrong, but when he wasn't around and the singer was, where's the harm?

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  9. This is ridiculous.

    Considering the inclusion of the boy's parents complaining and worrying about his lifestyle, it's likely that Hazard thinks the lifestyle can be unhealthy and misguided. Which leads me to believe this song is actually quite sad in some ways, despite its happy feel.
    "Father, dear, you're a lucky one"
    The boy tells his father that he's lucky about having his wife. I see that as saying "you have a woman that actually cares about you" and how the son enviously lacking that.

    To say "Girls just wanna have fun" is statement outlining Hazard's sexist views is laughable. All this song is is a fun song about his (or someone's) experiences with women in re-imagined narrative.
    If the writer had to worry about offending someone with a generalization, the song would lose any or much of its fun.
    Imagine a line that said "Some girls just wanna have fun, sometimes, and not all of them, of course."
    Utterly pointless.

    According to the song, the girls are with this guy, and there is no indication that prostitution or sex slavery is a part of this, meaning the girls are with him out of their own volition, without any coercion and it was mutual. Though deception is probably used somewhere.

    Some would point out that he says "my girls" is possessive but for many people... if they're with a girl, they would refer to her to others as "my girl".

    Lauper asked Hazard for permission to use this rather unknown song while keeping the similar sentiment of "Girls just wanna have fun" so its unlikely she did this with any antagonism to Hazard at all.

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  10. If the boy is still living with his parents and they're on his back to sort himself out,then I percieve this song to be from a late teen/early twenties mans perspective.He'll be lucky to have popped his cherry by this time or will be a novice at best.Why can't it be about having fun?Dancing or hanging about?Why always the sexual angle?

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  11. In fact, after another listen, I think he is wishing for more. Girls just want to have fun and he wants to find the one.

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  12. bro it's a song, it doesn't have to fit into your politically correct soap box. Please tell yourself and whatever other don't-quit-your-day-job critics that asap so we can stop seeing this kinda shit.

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  13. It's a fucking song from thirty + years ago man, not everything has to fit into your politically correct "OMG PLEASE DON'T HURT THE PRECIOUS WOMENS FEELINGS, THEY MIGHT NOT HAVE SEX WITH ME!" one dimensional. On top of that you misinterpreted the song, it's about a guy who is SAD that the girls he meets "just want to have fun." He is envious of his father because he has HIS MOTHER. Women are NOT going to have sex with you because you are sensitive to their feelings. Be a man! Jesus christ the internet is silly as fuck.. peace out

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