I love 80’s music. I have a huge collection (close to 1000 songs and counting), and I really enjoy listening to it. It is the music I grew up with, and it will always have a place in my heart. I know that the kids nowadays consider this music “oldies”, but it is my music and it will always be my favorite.However, despite my enjoyment of this genre, I can’t help but notice that a lot of 80’s songs have really dumb lyrics. I mean REALLY dumb lyrics. I thought I would compile a list (a very long list, actually) of some of the lyrics that stand out to me as examples of really dumb lyrics.

Jesse’s Girl by Rick Springfield:

“I want to tell her that I love her but the point is prob’ly moot” Moot? That is one word that does not belong in any song, much less a song of unrequited love. Just a sloppy rhyme for ‘cute’. Can you see Rick Springfield agonizing over this decision? “Should I tell Jessie’s girl that I love her? Naw, the point is moot.”

Hungry like the Wolf by Duran Duran: “I smell like I sound”. What exactly does 80’s British pop/rock smell like? My guess would be hair spray, cigarettes, alcohol, and sweat.
You Could Have Been With Me by Sheena Easton: “You could have been with me. Instead of alone and lonely.” You probably thought alone was as bad as it got. And lonely is no walk in the park either. But both alone and lonely? Oh Sheena, how could you do that to him? Oh, that’s right. He could have been with you. Thus the name of the song.
Addicted to Love by Robert Palmer: “Your heart sweats.” Ewww. That can’t be healthy! Do they sell some kind of internal organ anti-perspirant/deodorant thingamajig for this?
True by Spandau Ballet: “I bought a ticket to the world, but now I’ve come back again, Why do I find it hard to write the next line?” Maybe because the previous line was gibberish? I’ve bought tickets for airplanes, carnival rides, concerts, etc. But I have never bought a ticket to the world. I wouldn’t know where to purchase such a thing, and I doubt I could afford it anyway.
Once In a Lifetime by The Talking Heads: “There is water at the bottom of the ocean”. No kidding, David Byrne? I never would have thought. Tell me, Neptune, is their water in the middle of the ocean? Enquiring minds want to know!
Africa by Toto: “The wild dogs cry out in the night, as they grow restless longing for some solitary company.” What in the world is “solitary company.” Solitary means you are alone, and company means you aren’t alone. It’s an oxymoron. Do not attempt to make sense of this lyric. It will only give you a headache.
Mexican Radio by Wall of Voodoo: “I wish I was in Tijauana eating barbecued Iguana.” I’m not sure if this is insensitive or just stupid. I think I’ll go with stupid. Again, just a lazy rhyme for Tijuana. My suggested replacement is “I wish I was in Tijuana, smoking primo marijuana”. Not that I endorse smoking weed, it just makes more sense than eating barbecued iguana.
Power of Love by Huey Lewis and the News: “Tougher than diamonds, rich like cream / Stronger and harder than a bad girl’s dream.” I didn’t know that bad girls’ dreams were strong or hard. Though to be fair, I really haven’t known many ‘bad girls’ in my life.
(I Just) Died In Your Arms by Cutting Crew: “Her diary sits by the bedside table. The curtains are closed, the cat’s in the cradle.” What is the point of making sure the cat’s in the cradle before reading your girlfriend’s diary? Are you afraid the cat is going to rat you out? “Meow Mommy meow? Meow meow your boyfriend meow was reading meow your diary meow!” This is of course assuming that your girlfriend’s cat not only talks, but talks like Henrietta Cat from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood of Make-Believe.
Some Like It Hot by The Powerstation: “We want to multiply, are you gonna do it / I know you’re qualified, are you gonna do it / Don’t be so circumscribed, are you gonna do it / Just get yourself untied, are you gonna do it?” Yeah, man. What’s your problem? Your girl wants to get busy, so what are you waiting for? Don’t be so circumscribed. Gee honey, when you sweet talk a guy like that, he’d be crazy not to give it up for you. Seriously though, circumscribed? I’ll be honest. I had to look it up. Circumscribed. Adjective. 1. Subject to limits or subjected to limits. 2. Showing or determining a boundary. So I guess the word makes sense in the context, but it’s a little cerebral for a song about a girl who wants to have sex.
She’s Like the Wind by Patrick Swayze: “I look in the mirror and all I see / Is a young old man with only a dream.” Another great oxymoron. I bet when Patrick Swayze looks in the mirror nowadays he doesn’t see a young old man. He sees an old, old man whose career is in shambles.
Warrior by Scandal: “You talk, talk, you talk to me / Your eyes touch me physically”. What kind of alien is Patty Smythe singing about here? Maybe some crab-like monstrosity or other creature with protruding eyes. Whatever the case, this lyric is just dumb.
Beds are Burning by Midnight Oil: “How can we dance when our earth is turning?” Great question, Midnight Oil. Although the scientific answer is boring: our earth turning is a key to generating our gravitational field, and thus allowing us to dance. In other words, if the earth suddenly stopped turning, we’d all be launched into the atmosphere and would die. So stop complaining, guys!
De do do do by The Police: “And when their eloquence escapes me.
Their logic ties me up and rapes me.” Yikes, Sting! I’ve been at a loss for words before, too, but I’ve never thought of this condition being the equivalent of mental rape. Maybe a chill pill might be in order?
Nasty by Janet Jackson: “Who’s that eating that nasty food?” I get the point of this song. Really, I do. So why in the world does Janet ask this question? Are her beloved nasty boys eating some kind of Top Ramen or other gross snack, and will this cause Janet to give up on her nasty boys? It’s just another dumb lyric.
Rapture by Blondie: “Back to back, Sacroiliac, Spineless movement, And a wild attack” Sacroiliac? Again, I had to look it up: adj. Of, relating to, or affecting the sacrum and ilium and their articulation or associated ligaments. I guess Ms. Harry learned a new word and couldn’t wait to work it in to her next song. The result? A dumb lyric.


And the dumbest of all?

Dance Hall Days by Wang Chung: The whole thing is dumb lyrics, start to finish. I’ve printed the lyrics below. Make up your own jokes for these ridiculous lyrics.

Take your baby by the hand
And make her do a high hand stand
Take your baby by the heel
And do the next thing that you feel

We were so in phase
In our dance hall days
We were cool on craze
When I, you, and everyone we knew
Could believe, do, and share in what was true
Oh, I said

Take your baby by the hair
And pull her close and there there there
Take your baby by the ears
And play upon her darkest fears

Repeat chorus

So take your baby by the wrist
And in her mouth an amethyst
And in her eyes two sapphires blue
And you need her and she needs you
And you need her and she needs you

Well, that’s the end of my list. I hope you enjoyed reading this article. I encourage you to reply with your favorite dumb 80’s lyric, especially if it is one I haven’t mentioned. I am sure that there are more out there. Until next time, here’s hoping you ride like the wind to Panama, meet an uptown girl (or a nasty boy), and do the neutron dance on the ceiling until manic Monday!