Don’t be embarrassed if you crank your stereo to “Just Like Heaven” by the Cure. You’re not alone. Sales of music from the 80s increased more than 30 percent in 2012, according to the New York Post.
Although synthpop, glam metal, and alternative rock were righteous, many questions were posed in song titles and lyrics.
And after 30 years, no philosopher has had the guts to tackle these long-forgotten musical puzzles. I’ve taken it upon myself to provide answers – wrong or right. So here goes …
Question 7: Should I stay or should I go?
English punk rock band The Clash posed this question in 1982. A rational answer may be found in a single, foreboding lyric, as shown on YouTube:
If I go there will be trouble, and if I stay it will be double
Answer: Go! This is no-brainer. And the sooner the better.
Question 6: Who can it be now?
One of New Wave’s most perplexing questions was asked by the Australian band Men at Work. Lyrics suggest the narrator is being haunted by psychotic voices:
Who can it be knocking at my door
Make no sound, tiptoe across the floor
I’ve done no harm, I keep to myself
There’s nothing wrong with my state of mental health
Although the singer proclaims sanity, the video, as seen on mtv.com, reveals him parading around with no pants while a space alien pounds on his door. Clearly a disconnect with reality.
Answer: It can be Barney Fife, a caveman or, the UCLA marching band.
Take your pick.
Question 5. Don’t drink, don’t smoke – what do you do?
Adam Ant belted this in the 1982 classic “Goody Two Shoes.”
The lyrics, as heard on mtv.com, are clearly sung by a nonconformist:
No one’s gonna tell me
What’s wrong or what’s right
Or tell me who to eat with sleep with
Or that I’ve won the big fight big fight
Answer: The lady in question spent many hours roaming the mall in Calvin Klein jeans – and flirting with the manager of Orange Julius.
Question 4: Is there something I should know?
British rock band Duran Duran posed this question in the 1983 chart topper, as seen on vevo.com. The words suggest an impassioned relationship:
And fiery demons all dance when you walk through that door
Don’t say you’re easy on me you’re about as easy as a nuclear war
Answer: Yes, there is something you should know: Continue dating and you may need to be fitted for a HAZMAT suit.
Question 3: Do you really want to hurt me?
Boy George made this inquiry in the 1983 hit, as seen on vevo.com. The lyrics hint of the lover’s intent:
Give me time
To realize my crime
Let me love and steal
I have danced inside your eyes
Whoa! You just tangoed in someone’s pupils, I can’t imagine you’d want to turn around and cause emotional sorrow … right?
Answer: No heartache intended. But pain is often a by-product of thoughtless actions – like sitting next to someone of formidable girth on the carnival Scrambler.
Question: 2: Would I lie to you?
British pop duo Eurythmics advanced this motion on their 1985 hit.
Lead singer Annie Lennox takes the perspective of a fuming girlfriend who splits on her cheating lover:
My friends, know what’s in store
I won’t be here anymore
I’ve packed my bags
I’ve cleaned the floor
Watch me walkin’, walkin’ out the door
I’ve seen the video on YouTube and this dame means business.
Answer: Polygraph test not required – she would not lie. She’s definitely hitting the road, Jack.
Question 1: Don’t you want me (baby)?
The Human League drilled to the core of every relationship when singing this 1981 smash single. Sadly, it was never really difficult to answer. The lyrics, as heard on vevo.com, say it all:
The five years we have had have been such good times
I still love you
But now I think it’s time I live my life on my own
I guess it’s just what I must do
Answer: No. Not wanted. Maybe regrettably so.