Thursday, March 5, 2009

Goonies Lyrics ‘R’ Not Good Enough

For nearly my whole life, I have been familiar with the theme song to The Goonies, though I’ve never been able to remember the lyrics all that well. Until today, I thought I at least had the opening line down: “Here we are hanging on the strands of greens and blues.” (No, it didn’t make much sense, but it didn’t make significantly less sense than the lyrics to any of Cyndi Lauper’s other hits from the 1980s. Grammy-nominated or not, the song’s title is “The Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough,” which itself doesn’t make sense because the song doesn’t mention the Goonies — individually or as a group — nor does it have much to do with the movie at all.) But today I found out that I even had that opening line wrong.

A lot of Google hits for “goonies song lyrics” as well as good sense point toward the song’s actual opening line being “Here we are hanging onto strains of greed and blues” or something like that. Really, think about it: the immediately following lines are “Break the chain and we break down / It’s not real if you don’t feel it.” Why would Cyndi Lauper want us to break a chain involving strands of greens and blues? An abstract concept, this chain, but certainly nothing most people would object to. The rest of the song goes on to discuss the need to escape the humdrum of everyday life and to reevaluate whether the way you’re currently going about things is really the way you should continue to pursue. With all this subject matter in mind, it’s actually pretty obvious that she’s saying greed and blues in that first line.

Though I might feel disappointed that I had misheard the lyrics all these years — this is the badness with Toto’s “Africa” all over again — I don’t feel dumb, since a lot of online listings for the lyrics offer green and blue instead of greed and blues. And there’s nearly as many Google hits for “goonies song green blue” and “goonies song greed blues.” It’s apparently a common mistake.

Check for yourself, with the original Cyndi Lauper video for “The Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough.”

Note: The video is pretty damn odd — twelve minutes in total, and split into two parts. It also begins with a preponderance of exposition we just don’t see in music videos these days, and probably for good reason. The music doesn’t actually start until ninety seconds into the clip. It’s also worth mentioning that an extremely random collection of people make cameos, including but not limited to Andre the Giant, Lou “Super Mario Bros. Super Show” Albano, Steven Spielberg, and The Bangles. Clearly, making such a big deal out of the video did the song a lot of good, because today the one thing that everyone remembers about the song is the music video.

While we’re on the subject, does anyone note a slight resemblance between the Goonies song and The Knife’s “Heartbeats”? I’ve always thought so and have never been able to verbalize why.

Is it only the fact that the lyrics repeat the phrase “good enough” a few times? Is it that it sounds like Karin Dreijer Andersson’s singing “the colors green and blue” midway through? Or is it just Andersson’s voice?

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