Song Lyric Sunday: The ’80s – ‘Dancing In The Dark’

“There’s something happening somewhere baby, I just know that there is”

This week, Helen at This Thing Called Life One Word at A Time wants a song from the 80s…..

My initial response was that the eighties was a bit after my time really. I tend to associate that era with New Romantics and bad hair: some catchy tunes indeed (‘Everybody Wants To Rule The World’ by Tears For Fears, the Human League’s ‘Don’t You Want Me?’) but nothing more than background music.

It wasn’t all fashion disasters and shallowness, though. It was in the eighies that I first encountered Bruce Springsteen. ‘Born In The USA’ was not only my introduction to ‘The Boss’ but also the first album I ever heard on one of those new-fangled Compact Discs (kids: ask your grandma). This song is my favourite track.

Bruce was very popular in the Research Department of the firm of Edinburgh stockbrokers where I was working at the time (that would have been 1985), until I was headhunted by a US investment bank for an inordinately high (for the time, by UK standards)) salary.

‘Why are you going to work for them?’ I was asked by one of my colleagues. There was only one answer I could give: ‘This gun’s for hire’.

I get up in the evening, and I ain’t got nothing to say
I come home in the morning, I go to bed feeling the same way
I ain’t nothing but tired, man I’m just tired and bored with myself
Hey there baby, I could use just a little helpYou can’t start a fire, you can’t start a fire without a spark
This gun’s for hire even if we’re just dancing in the dark
Message just keep getting clearer, radio’s on and I’m moving round my place

I check my look in the mirror wanna change my clothes my hair my face
Man I ain’t getting nowhere I’m just livin in a dump like this
There’s something happening somewhere baby I just know that there is

You sit around getting older there’s a joke here somewhere and it’s on me
I’ll shake this world off my shoulders come on baby the laughs on me
Stay on the streets of this town and they’ll be carving you up alright
They say you got to stay hungry hey baby I’m just about starving tonight
I’m dying for some action I’m sick of sitting ’round here trying to write this book
I need a love reaction come on baby give me just one look

You can’t start a fire, sittin’ ’round cryin’ over a broken heart
This gun’s for hire even if we’re just dancing in the dark

You can’t start a fire, worryin’ about your little world falling apart
This gun’s for hire even if we’re just dancing in the dark

Even if we’re just dancing in the dark


Dancing In The Dark lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group


As for the accompanying video, I was determined to avoid the most well-known one, where Bruce picks out – in a completely impromptu manner, of course,  – what’s her-face from Friends. This one’s from 1988, although it’s along the same lines. You’ve got to love the drums:

Song Lyric Sunday 2 April 2017

4 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday: The ’80s – ‘Dancing In The Dark’

  1. Okay, so I think what I don’t really like about the 80’s is a very specific genre/set of songs that I relate to “all 80’s music”, but it isn’t true. This one is a classic and will always be a great pick! Thanks for the reminder!

  2. Ah the Boss! I was a 12yr old pop fan when Born in the USA came out, and my Dad borrowed an audio cassette tape from a friend at work – whoever that friend was they never got their cassette back, as I literally listened to nothing else for a year until the tape wore out! Great live version, although that girl in the video doesn’t look nearly as excited as she ought to.

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