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:

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