Monday, August 17, 2009

Corey Hart -- "Sunglasses at Night"

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!)

12 comments:

  1. Wow, that's what he was saying in that song? The lyrics makes even less sense than I thought.

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  2. Yeah, I thought the lyrics were "Don't switch the plan on the guy in shades / don't mess around with the guy in shades", which doesn't make a ton of sense, either. But, I rationalized it like he was expecting events to unfold a certain way, and when "she" starts deviating from the plan, he can't see well enough to know what's going on.

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  3. To me this song is so stupid, that it's also great. I love this tune :D

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  4. A real 80's classic but with an catastrophic incomprehensible lyrics though.

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  5. Just because you don't comprehend the lyrics doesn't mean they are incomprehensible. Some of the best '80s songs have very ambiguous or veiled lyrics. Maybe he claims he wears his sunglasses at night to prove he's not the deviant that the other lyrics imply.

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  6. Pigmon said.. "Just because you don't comprehend the lyrics doesn't mean they are incomprehensible"

    I say "Yes it does, especially if there's an entire webpage dedicated to understanding the lyrics and STILL nobody gets it."

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  7. Watch the video. The entire 80s was so coked up it was all about these awesome Amin drones with a weird F# in there going into Laura Brannigan type coked up "Gloria" keyboards in a major key back into this minor distorted guitar solo and rideout with a video that showed the protagonist as almost monkey like swinging back and forth to the beat out of his coked out mind and a porcelain faced red lipstick Nagel poster playing the sex drive addled cocaine priestess. Then somebody went, "hey we've got the song down and the video storyboards done, what about some lyrics?"

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  8. Who gives a flying f$#k about the lyrics. The instrumental back up is great, the guitar solos shred and Cory's voice is phenomenal.

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  9. If we took the time to pick apart every song out there, I am not sure 50% of them would survive this ridicule. THe age we were when it came out, it was just "cool". Just go with the sound and that Corey was HOT at the time :-)

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  10. He wears his sunglasses at night because during the making of his album he had a new pair of ray bans (as 80s as it gets) but weather never cooperated so he never got a chance to wear them.
    The album was done but he had another track he was working on with the lyrics about how his cigarette got wet.
    One night he sang the line "I wear my sunglasses at night" over the track and liked it so recorded it and called his label to see if he could convince them to add the track to his finished album.
    good decision if say.

    So for all you wondering about the incomprehensible lyrics, I'm sure if the guy had originally written the song with that title and chorus in mind they would be a little tighter or if it wasn't done on a spur of the moment, rush to get it on the album pace.

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  11. Oh and the first line is not about stalking. It's about seeing through b.s.
    Which is comprehensible with the chorus as he's saying "don't switch the blade on the guy in the shades"
    That means don't turn your lies on me.
    "Don't mascarade either the guy in the shades"
    Don't lie to me.
    Etc etc

    It's about seeing through bs and how whoever he is singing about doesn't have to do that with him.

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  12. She I assume wouldn't want to do that.. Why?
    Cause she's got it made with the guy in the shades.

    Comprehensible now?
    Don't bull shit me or you will screw up a good thing. Simple.

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