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80s Music Tells Us that Girls Just Want to Have Fun, but So Should We

Cyndi Lauper's anthem includes men, too.

By Rich MonettiPublished 7 years ago 3 min read
The Boys having Fun

That’s right, I’m going to defend Cyndi Lauper’s 80s music anthem Girls Just want to Have Fun. I like it now, but I was right there in 1984, hating the lyrics just like every other guy who felt put out by it.

The 80’s frivolity aside, we had a specific, unspoken reason for disdain. This derives first from the fact that actually hearing the lyrics can take years, and only the chorus sticks with us to define the song.

In this case, “Girls just want to have fun.”

Translation: Girls just want to have sex.

Girls do not want to have fun with me

A certainly amenable message, but all the drunken cascades of glee at midnight by our hopeful compatriots came with an addendum that amounted to a taunt – especially to guys like me. Girls just want to have fun (or sex). But not with you – loser.

Ouch, that hurts.

And for guys not like me, I’m sure the chorus sounded an alarm that designated that they held all the cards. This left even the best of us hung out to dry at their dominant behest.

So while admittedly unforgivable, at least it was WWE Wrestling Captain Lou Albano in the video that caused me to actually give a listen. As a result, a kinship emerged at some point in a later decade.

What a girl wants

Mom waits in frustration as Cyndi Lauper defers yet another REM cycle for the joyful revelry of lacking a definite plan. “I come home in the morning light, my mother says when you going to live your life right. Momma dear we’re not the fortunate ones, and girls just want to have fun,” Cyndi craves understanding in the chorus.

Well, we were the fortunate ones – boy or girl. But the story is the same and staying out all night was living your life right off Monopole Alley at Plattsburgh State University College in upstate New York. We just didn’t have anyone awaiting us in judgement as we slam danced at Woodstock's, jumped off 20 foot porches into the unsteady arms of the drunken below and did everything we could to outdo each other.

The Monopole

Nonetheless, “The phone rings in the middle of the night, my father yells what ya going to do with your life. Oh daddy dear you’re still number one, but girls they want to have fun,” she reasons in rhyme.

We were away at college, responsible with plans in place. Please! My only plan was to get good enough grades so I could keep coming back and put at bay any questions from my captain as to what I was going to do with my life. He was just slightly scarier than the wrestler Cyndi had to face down.

Regardless, anyone who made that knowing claim need only look back at how those visions were all illusions. You also have to ask what did they sacrifice in their belief that they had leg up on everyone else.

Man up, Guys

Switching over to 80s music video, the images - while not necessarily how boys would exhibit joyful, unencumbered innocence, you have to be man enough to admit it’s something we seek at times also.

Even so, the kicker is how some boys take a beautiful girl and hide her away from the rest of the world. Cyndi having no such tolerance, refuses ever to succumb where others might. “I wanna be the one who walks in the sun and girls just want to have fun,” she’s certain.

Little chance a boy will hide me away from the rest of the world. But the desire to be different that she espouses is universal, and without crossing that threshold, adulthood would never do or be much fun.

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About the Creator

Rich Monetti

I am, I write.

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