Single Review: Cyndi Lauper “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”

Girls Just Want To Have Fun
Album: She’s So Unusual
Year: 1983

In first grade, there was a girl who brought in her cassette recorder and asked if the teacher if she could play a song. A few seconds later, Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” began blaring and nearly every classmate of mine began dancing to it. Every time I hear the song, the memory comes back.

In the effervescent “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” Lauper yearns to escape the strict limitations placed on her by her parents and society.

She had stayed out all night and her mother is not pleased about it. She thinks Lauper is heading down the wrong path. However, Lauper assures her mother it won’t happen. She was only hanging out with her girlfriends. (“I come home in the morning light/My mother says when you gonna live your life right/Oh mother dear we’re not the fortunate ones/And girls they want to have fun/Oh girls just want to have fun”).

Her parents’ sleep is interrupted by a late night phone call from one of Lauper’s friends. Her dad, angry at her friend’s lack of respect, asks if she has any goals and not focus on her social life. She comforts her dad by telling him that she still needs him in her life. She’s growing up and enjoying being young while she still can. (“The phone rings in the middle of the night/My father yells what you gonna do with your life/Oh daddy dear you know you’re still number one/
But girls they want to have fun/Oh girls just want to have–“).

In the bridge, Lauper sings that after working hard all day, girls want to go out, talk, dance, etc. to relax. (“That’s all they really want/Some fun/When the working day is done/Girls– they want to have fun/Oh girls just want to have fun”).

Lauper doesn’t want to be attached to a guy right now. If she does, she may not get to achieve her dreams of seeing the world and may end being a housewife. She wants to be independent and search for her role in life by herself. (“Some boys take a beautiful girl/And hide her away from the rest of the world/I want to be the one to walk in the sun/Oh girls they want to have fun/Oh girls just want to have”). The bridge closes the song.

Lauper is excited and carefree in her vocals. However, what helps to make the single are the little touches: the blips of the synthesizer after the second verse, the perky background singers joining in the chorus, and the splashy intro. A classic 80s song that is as fresh as it was the day it was released.


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