The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions." --American Statesman Daniel Webster (1782-1852)

Monday, December 30, 2013

Monday Music "Safety Dance" from Men without Hats

I am posting another "Monday Music" on Monday!!!!!  Yay go me.....won't last though...Next week I will be up to my armpits in scouts and school and rec activities for my son and I will try to sleep and post in between this time.  So next week, my Monday Music will prolly show up on Tuesday......as usual.
     I decided to go with "Safety Dance" from Men wothout hats.....It was a quirky song but it was somehow very popular in the mid 80's where it got a lot of playtime on MTV.

"The Safety Dance" is a song written and recorded by Canadian new wave band Men Without Hats, and to date, it remains their biggest hit. It was initially released in Canada in January 1983 as the 2nd single from the band's first full-length album, Rhythm of Youth. The song was written by Ivan Doroschuk after he had been kicked out of a club for pogoing.
The song entered the Canadian top 50 in February 1983, peaking at #11 on 14 May. In the meantime, "The Safety Dance" was released in the US on March 16, but did not enter the US charts for a few months. When it finally did, the record became a bigger hit than it had been in Canada, peaking at #3 in September 1983.[4] It also reached #1 on Cash Box, as well as #1 on the Billboard Dance Chart. "The Safety Dance" similarly found success in other parts of the world, entering the UK charts in August and peaking at #6 in early November, and entering the New Zealand charts in November, eventually peaking at #2 in early 1984.

The writer/performer, Ivan Doroschuk, has explained that "The Safety Dance" is a protest against bouncers stopping dancers pogoing to 1980s new wave music in clubs when disco was dying and new wave was up and coming. New wave dancing, especially pogoing, was different from disco dancing, because it was done individually instead of with partners and involved holding the torso rigid and thrashing about. To uninformed bystanders this could look dangerous, especially if pogoers accidentally bounced into one another (the more deliberately violent evolution of pogoing is slam dancing). The bouncers did not like pogoing so they would tell pogoers to stop or be kicked out of the club. Thus, the song is a protest and a call for freedom of expression. Other lyrics in the song include references to the way pogoing looked to bouncers, especially "And you can act real rude and totally removed/And I can act like an imbecile".
Doroschuk responded to two common interpretations of the song. Firstly, he notes it is not a call for safe sex. Doroschuk says that is reading too much into the lyrics. Secondly, he explained that it is not an anti-nuclear protest song per se despite the nuclear imagery at the end of the video. Doroschuk stated that "it wasn't a question of just being anti-nuclear, it was a question of being anti-establishment.

The music video for the song, directed by Tim Pope, is notable for its English folk revival imagery, notably Morris men, Mummers, Punch and Judy and a Maypole. It was filmed in the village of West Kington, near Chippenham, in South West England. Ivan Doroschuk is the only member of the band to actually perform in the video. Doroschuk, and others in the video, can be seen repeatedly forming an "S" sign by jerking both arms into a stiff pose, one arm in an upward curve and the other in a downward curve, apparently referring to the first letter in 'safety'. The Morris Dance side in the video was Chippenham Town Morris from Wiltshire, performing Monkton Park. The dwarf actor is Mike Edmonds. His T-shirt in the video shows the "Rhythm of Youth" album cover.
After many years of speculation about the identity of the female dancer in the video, on February 25, 2013 the fan club for the girl in safety dance on facebook revealed her to be Louise Court, however it is still unconfirmed who went on to become a journalist and since 2007, UK editor of Cosmopolitan.

1 comment:

  1. I can honestly say I never saw/heard that one... Of course in 83 I was deployed from Jan-Aug...


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