According to Wikipedia, this song was originally supposed to be about "a totalitarian society that made everyone wear their sunglasses at night." (Those bastards!) However, Hart altered the lyrics to be "more romantic" when the record company asked for something more marketable. In my opinion, a good way to make the song more romantic would've been to remove all reference to wearing one's sunglasses at night, but nobody asked me, did they? DID THEY?!?!
The reference for that part of the article is actually the very same Wikipedia page, so ... not sure how reliable that information is. However, the video does seem to corroborate the whole totalitarianism thing. Luckily, the lyrics don't make much sense either way, so each of us can feel happy and secure with our own personal reading of "Sunglasses at Night" -- and I know we all have one.
Also, this song is the subject of very serious plagiarism charges.
Take it away, Corey!
I wear my sunglasses at night / so I can, so I can / Watch you weave then breathe your story lines
This is rather poetic. Initial reading: Corey Hart is wearing sunglasses as a disguise so he can stalk someone. Good clean fun.
And I wear my sunglasses at night / so I can, so I can / Keep track of the visions in my eyes
Corey Hart is *also* wearing his sunglasses at night so he can ... keep track of ... the visions ... in his eyes? So, OK, maybe if we go back to the totalitarian-society thing, he wants to maintain his identity in a world full of Ray-Ban-wearing automatons. But in that case, wouldn't he want to *not* wear his sunglasses? As usual, I'm confused.
While she's deceiving me, it cuts my security / Has she got control of me?
OK, most plausible reading so far: Corey Hart is playing a game of poker against a female adversary and is wearing sunglasses so she can't figure out what his "tell" is.
I turn to her and say: Don't switch the blade on the guy in shades, oh no / Don't masquerade with the guy in shades, oh no / I can't believe it
OK, I give up. I must say, though, I love the line "Don't masquerade with the guy in shades." It tickles me right ... there. No, not there. Safety word!
You got it made with the guy in shades, oh no
I'm imagining a young Corey Hart out on the town, sowing his wild oats or whatever, and blithely referring to himself in the third person as "the guy in shades." Also, he talks like Fonzie for some reason. "Hey, you can't give a parking ticket to the guy in shades! Aaaayyyyy!" "Hey, who wants to dance with the guy in shades? Aaaayyyy! Aaaayyyy??"
And, fun facts: Corey Hart has a daughter named River, a son named Rain, lives in the Bahamas and writes songs for Celine Dion, among others. If that doesn't qualify as living the dream, I don't know what does.
And I wear my sunglasses at night, so I can / Forget my name while you collect your claim
Yes, that seems like a good reason to wear your sunglasses at night. Makes a lot of sense. Are you done yet, Corey? Because I, um, have a really important appointment with some really important people this afternoon and ...
And I wear my sunglasses at night, so I can, so I can / See the light that's right before my eyes
Ohhh, hey you guys, I totally just figured out what this song is about. It's really going to blow your minds. So, in reality, Corey Hart --
(A single shot rings out. I slump to the floor, slain before revealing the awful truth. The unknown assassins drive off into the night, their sunglasses reflecting no light and betraying no emotion. Totalitarianism wins again!)