Behind The Songs – Blog 10

Cyndi Lauper – She-Bop

When I first heard Cyndi Lauper’s song ‘She-Bop’ I didn’t really take much notice of the lyrics. It was a catchy tune , and, naively, I thought it was just a follow up to Lauper’s ‘Girls Just Want To Have Fun’ ideology. I thought she was telling girls to keep on dancing, or bopping, in this case. I don’t think I realised what the song was really about until a friend suggested it was a song about female masturbation. I was a bit surprised because Lauper’s demographic audience was aimed at young teenage girls. When I looked closely at the lyrics there was no doubt what she was on about. The lyric “they say I better stop before I go blind” was a dead giveaway. It was something I heard about masturbation when I was a teenager – can’t remember who said it to me but it was a pretty well known ‘old wives tale’, for want of a better expression. Lauper goes on ” I can’t stop messing with the danger zone/I won’t worry and I won’t fret/ Ain’t no law against it yet”. Although the song was considered controversial , it was not banned and received massive airplay as Lauper never directly stated in the song what the true meaning was. In later years when Lauper reflected on the song she said she wanted little kids to think it was about dancing and to understand the real meaning as they got older. In an interview with well known American DJ Howard Stern she told him she recorded the lyrics naked in the studio whilst tickling herself which caused her to giggle which can be heard on the record. “She-Bop” peaked at number three on the American charts and was the third single to reach the top 10 from her debut album “She’s So Unusual” after “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” and ‘Time After Time”.





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