For this review of the many inane things locked in my head, we’re going to focus on lyric content and not titles or artists. To set some parameters, most of these songs are from the 70s and 80s. (Sorry, younger folks. You’ll discover as you get older that it’s easy to remember things from the days when you were fresh and dewy. Once you hit the downhill slope of bodily and mental decay, well, the mind simply refuses to accept new intel without a considerable amount of truculence.)
Fair warning, regardless of age: This challenge is a bit tough, so don’t be blue if none of this makes any sense to you. (“Tomorrow is another day,” paraphrased Scarlett O’Hara, as she flopped around in that turnip field or whatever the hell it was.) This lark is not meant as a means of validation in any way, but rather as a bit of whimsy on a late Friday night.
1. In Barry Manilow’s “Copacabana”, who was the victim of the “single gun shot”, Tony or Rico?
2. In Janis Ian’s “At Seventeen”, what did we cheat ourselves at?
3. What did Tony Orlando and Dawn want us to tie a yellow ribbon around? (Bonus question: How many people were in this musical “group”?)
4. In Vicki Lawrence’s “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia”, a big-bellied sheriff got his gun and said what?
5. What can Sammy Hagar not drive?
6. In Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5”, she tumbles out of bed and stumbles to the kitchen to pour herself a cup of what?
7. In Culture Club’s “Karma Chameleon”, what three colors does Boy George keep repeating until you want to claw your face?
8. In Wham’s “Careless Whisper”, George Michael’s guilty feet have got no what?
9. In The Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me”, what was the female singer working as when she first met the male singer?
10. In The Go-Go’s “We Got the Beat”, where does Belinda Carlisle tell us to jump?
11. According to one of Belinda’s singles, once she ditched the other Go-Go’s, where is heaven?
12. Billy Ocean wants you to get out of his dreams and get into what?
13. According to Michael Hutchence of INXS, what does every single one of us have inside?
14. According to Wang Chung, what should everybody have tonight?
15. Pharmaceuticals aside, Robert Palmer was addicted to what?
16. According to Jim Kerr of “Simple Minds”, what should we not forget about? (Bonus question and possible clue: Name the 1985 John Hughes movie that made this song into a huge hit.)
17. According to John Cougar Mellencamp in “Jack and Diane”, what goes on, long after the thrill of living is gone?
18. In REO Speedwagon’s “Take It on the Run”, what was “Baby” accused of doing, according to a friend who heard it from a friend who heard it from another?
19. In Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy”, the dearly beloved have gathered here today to get through this thing called what? (Hint: The answer here is the same answer as one of the above queries.)
20. In “Only the Good Die Young”, Billy Joel would rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the what?”
Please do not scroll past the photo of Cleo the Cat, once again bored out of her mind because her daddies are not doing enough to entertain her, unless you are prepared to see the answers.
3. The ole oak tree. (Bonus question: Three.) Bonus trivia: On “The Carol Burnett Show”, the cast spoofed the group as Tony Tallahassee and Dusk, singing “Wrap Your Jammies Round the Old White Pine.
4. “Why’dya do it?” (“Why did you do it?” is also acceptable, for the grammar purists out there.) Bonus trivia: Tony Orlando and Dawn’s “Tie a Yellow Ribbon” knocked Vicki Lawrence’s “Georgia” out of the top spot on the Billboard charts in 1973.
7. Red, gold and green. (If you’re bored, here’s a link to my snarky review of the video.)
8. Rhythm. (Trivia: George swore this song was about a girl. Uh huh. Yeah, I told those lies, too.)
9. Waitress in a cocktail bar. (Personal trivia note: I know the male singer is Philip Oakey. I have no idea what the name of the female singer is/was, even though I was a Human League fanatic during my younger years. Then again, I’ve always paid more attention to the guys than the girls, so to speak.)
11. A place on earth
12. My car. (Beep beep,yeah.)
13. The devil
16. Me. (Bonus question: “The Breakfast Club”.) Bonus trivia: Jim Kerr almost didn’t want to make this song because, paraphrasing here, “it didn’t sound like any of our other stuff”. Dude, I bought your next three albums after this, so shut the hell up. I think the popularity worked out okay for you. More bonus trivia: Kerr was married to Chrissie Hynde of “The Pretenders” when this song came out.
18. Messin’ around
Please share your thoughts in the comments. I’m not so much interested in the number of questions you managed to decipher correctly (although I will be majorly impressed if you got most of them), but I’m more intrigued by the memories that might have been triggered.