Single Review: Toni Basil “Mickey”

Mickey
Album: Word of Mouth
Year: 1982

Up until I saw a clip of the video about ten years ago, I thought this song was about Mickey Mouse. When I was little, my parents bought me a Minnie Mouse record and one of the songs featured on it was “Mickey.” I would listen to it and play, perking up only to sing along to the chorus.

I was so wrong.

Nonetheless, Toni Basil’s “Mickey” is an early dance pop classic. Opening with stadium stomping chorus of “Oh Mickey, you’re so fine/you’re so fine you blow my mind, hey Mickey, hey Mickey,” Basil flirts and sashays to get into Mickey’s heart.

She calls him over and coos that Mickey should call it a night with his friends. She wants him to spend the rest of the time with her. (“Hey Mickey!/You’ve been around all night and that’s a little long/You think you’ve got the right but I think you’ve got it wrong/Why can’t you say goodnight so you can take me home, Mickey”). She pouts that Mickey has been telling her he will spend a night with her but doesn’t follow through. She begs him to stay and not leave like he always does. (“‘Cause when you say you will, it always means you won’t/You’re givin’ me the chills, baby, please baby don’/Every night you still leave me all alone, Mickey.”).

She playfully chides Mickey for his cluelessness regarding her sexual advances. (“Oh Mickey, what a pity you don’t understand/You take me by the heart when you take me by the hand”). Mickey’s unaware of his good looks, making him exactly Basil’s type (“Oh Mickey, you’re so pretty, can’t you understand/ It’s guys like you Mickey/Oh, what you do Mickey, do Mickey/ Don’t break my heart, Mickey”).

The second and most subversive verse has Basil revealing skin to get Mickey into bed. (“Now when you take me by the hooves who’s ever gonna know/Everytime you move I’m gonna let a little more show/There’s somethin’ you can use, so don’t say no, Mickey”). She’s turned on and ready for anything (“so come on and give it to me anyway you can/Anyway you want to do it, I’ll take it like a man/ But please baby, please don’t leave me in the damp Mickey”). Umm…this song isn’t exactly about cheerleading anymore, is it?

The charm of “Mickey” is in it’s execution. In the video, Basil’s dancing with other cheerleaders and hoping to get a date with a guy named Mickey. The choreography is the emphasis, not the lyrics. Without the video, it’s easier to pick up on the innuendo and realize there’s more going on than jumping around and making pyramids. However, it kept the raciness in the song and out of the video which is unheard of nowadays

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