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Girls Just Want to Have Fun

"Girls Just Want to Have Fun" was the first major single released by singer Cyndi Lauper as a solo artist. It gained renown as a feminist anthem, an award winning video and a worldwide smash hit.

Song information

With the inclusion of promotional releases, the single has seen over 38 individual versions of release. The most common was a 7" vinyl single (with varying cover artwork) released in 1983/1984 (depending on the country), with the second most common being a 12" vinyl single (also with varying cover artwork) released in 1983/1984.

The song was written by Robert Hazard, who recorded his version of the song in 1979. The song was originally written from a male point of view. For Lauper's version, she changed the lyrics slightly to allow it to be performed by a female and Hazard approved the minor changes. Her version appeared on her 1983 debut solo record, She's So Unusual. It is a synthesizer-backed anthem about the roles of women in society and is considered by many to be a feminist classic of the era, while others view it as a celebration of frivolity.

It has been covered on either an album or in live concert by over 30 other artists including but not limited to Miley Cyrus, Pearl Jam, Greg Laswell, John Mayer, Hoobastank, "Weird Al" Yankovic (as "Girls Just Want to Have Lunch"), Alvin and the Chipmunks, Cybill Shepherd, Lolly, Emilie Autumn, Triple Image, Dandy Warhols, Norman Palm, David Rawlings, The Ordinary Boys and Cam'ron. Recently, the Mexican band Los Horoscopos de Durango released a Duranguense version of the song and a Spanish version, Sólo Quiero Bailar (I Just Want To Dance). A version was recorded by The Cheetah Girls, however, the single was cancelled, and was cut from their forthcoming album.

The variety of releases of the single includes an Austrian birthday card with a 3" CD of the song included inside. The song has been heavily distributed in karaoke version as well. Lauper would later go on to completely re-work the song in 1994 resulting in the new hit "Hey Now (Girls Just Want To Have Fun)". The song was remade by Lauper yet again in 2005 on her The Body Acoustic album, also produced by Chertoff and Wittman with Lauper, with guest support vocals from Japanese pop/rock duo Puffy AmiYumi.: )

Music video

The release of the single was accompanied by a quirky music video shot in the summer of 1983 and produced by Mother Studio in the Lower East Side of Manhattan for a cost of less than $35,000, largely due to a volunteer cast and the free loan of the most sophisticated video equipment available at the time. The cast included wrestler "Captain" Lou Albano in the role of Lauper's father while her real mother, Catrine, played her mother. Lauper's attorney, Elliot Hoffman, appeared as her uptight dancing partner. Also in the cast were Lauper's manager, David Wolf, her brother Butch Lauper, and a bevy of secretaries borrowed from Portrait/CBS, Lauper's record label.

Lorne Michaels (Broadway Video, SNL), another of Hoffman's clients, agreed to give Lauper free run of his brand new million dollar digital editing equipment, with which she and her producer created several first-time-ever computer generated images of Lauper dancing with her buttoned-up lawyer, leading the entire cast in a snake-dance through New York streets and crashing a giant party.

Chart performance

The single reached number one in over ten countries, as well as reaching the Top 10 in over fifteen different countries. It reached number one in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Ireland, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, and Norway, and number two in the United Kingdom and the United States.

Chart (1983/84) Peak
Australian ARIA Singles Chart 1
Ö3 Austria Top 40 3
Canadian Singles Chart 1
Cash Box Top 100 Singles 1
Casey's Top 40 Radio & Records 1
Chilean Singles Chart 1
Colombian Singles Chart 3
German Singles Chart 6
Holland Singles Chart 3
Ireland Singles Chart 1
Israeli Singles Chart 1
Italian Singles Chart 3
Japanese Oricon Weekly Chart 17
Japanese Oricon International Chart 1
Netherlands Singles Charts 3
New Zealand RIANZ Singles Chart 1
Norwegian VG-lista 1
South African Singles Chart 3
Swedish Singles Chart 5
Swiss Singles Chart 6
UK Singles Chart 2
United States Billboard Hot 100 2
United States Billboard Year-End 15
United States Billboard Hot Dance Club Play 1
United States Billboard ARC Weekly Top 40 1
VH1 100 Greatest Songs of the 80's 23
Chart (2005) Peak
United States Billboard Hot Ringtones 25
Chart (2007) Peak
United States Billboard Hot Ringtones 20
Chart (2008) Peak
United States Billboard Hot Ringtones 16

12" LP Single

  1. Girls Just Want to Have Fun (12" Version) 3:55 (Robert Hazard)
  2. Right Track Wrong Train (B Side) 4:40 (Cyndi Lauper; E. Greenwich; J. Kent)
  3. Witness 3:40 (Cyndi Lauper; John Turi)

Official versions

  1. Extended Version 6:08
  2. Fun With V. Knutsn (Instrumental) 7:10
  3. Xtra Fun 5:05
  4. Remix 6:30
  5. Radio Remix 3:39
  6. Girls Just Want To Have Fun (ft. Puffy AmiYumi) 2:59


  1. Lyrics: Robert Hazard. Production: Rick Chertoff.
  2. Lyrics: Cyndi Lauper, Ellie Greenwich, Jeffrey B. Kent. Production: Rick Chertoff

"Hey Now (Girls Just Want to Have Fun)"

"Hey Now (Girls Just Want to Have Fun)" was the first single from Cyndi Lauper's Twelve Deadly Cyns...and Then Some hits collection from 1994.

Song information

This song is a new reggae-tinged arrangement of Lauper's own "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" standard, with a musical tip of the hat to Redbone's "Come and Get Your Love".

Lauper performed various versions of "Hey Now" during her concerts before the Twelve Deadly Cyns tour. It is how she eventually came to the final version which appeared on Twelve Deadly Cyns. It all started when she was touring for Hat Full of Stars. She performed a version of it that was very different in the Singapore concert, and it changed a lot for the Toronto concert. These pre-versions were more like the original version but with the "Hey Now" chorus. However the Gay Games is probably the first time that actual version of "Hey Now" was performed complete with drag queens and all like the music video (pictured below).

"Hey Now" plays over the closing sequence and credits of the movie To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar starring John Leguizamo, Wesley Snipes and Patrick Swayze as drag queens..

The song was a big comeback hit for Lauper. As it hit the top 10 and top 40 in many countries and was a big dance hit in the states. It peaked at number four in the UK and New Zealand, its highest position.

Track listing

US CD Single

  1. Hey Now (Girls Just Want to Have Fun) (Single Edit)
  2. Hey Now (Girls Just Want to Have Fun) (Mickey Bennett's Version)
  3. Hey Now (Girls Just Want to Have Fun) (Sly & Robbie's Home Grown Version)
  4. Hey Now (Girls Just Want to Have Fun) (Vasquez Remix)
  5. Girls Just Want to Have Fun (Original Version) Japanese CD Single
  6. Hey Now (Girls Just Want to Have Fun) (Single Edit)
  7. Hey Now (Girls Just Want to Have Fun) (Mickey Bennett's Version)
  8. Hey Now (Girls Just Want to Have Fun) (Sly & Robbie's Home Grown Version)
  9. Hey Now (Girls Just Want to Have Fun) (Vasquez Remix) French CD Single
  10. Hey Now (Girls Just Want to Have Fun)
  11. Hat Full of Stars

Chart performance

Chart (1994/95) Peak
Australian ARIA Singles Chart 62
Chilean Singles Chart 9
Cash Box Top 100 Singles 81
Colombian Singles Chart 71
French SNEP Singles Chart 3
German Singles Chart 56
Ireland Singles Chart 10
Israeli Singles Chart 6
Japanese International Singles Chart 8
New Zealand RIANZ Singles Chart 4
Swedish(Sverige Radio) Chart 14
Swedish Singles Chart 38
Swiss Singles Chart 37
UK Singles Chart 4
U.S. Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles 4
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 87

Official versions

  1. Factory Dub Version 6:50
  2. Junior Vasquez Remix "Dancehall Main" 5:46
  3. Junior Vasquez Remix "Harder Dancehall" 5:46
  4. Junior Vasquez Remix "Lounge Dub" 6:00
  5. Junior Vasquez Remix "Lounge Mix" 6:12
  6. Junior Vasquez Remix "Pop Goes The Dancehall" 4:58
  7. Junior Vasquez Soundfactory Mix 7:40
  8. Mikey Bennett's "Carnival" Version 6:04
  9. Mikey Bennett's "Carnival" Version Edited 4:09
  10. Single Edit 3:39
  11. Sly & Robbie's "Home Grown" Version 4:16
  12. Straight Up Pass Version 7:13
  13. Techno Dub 3:55
  14. Techno Main Mix 8:23

References in popular culture

  • During the 1985 television season the CBS Network used a variation of the song during their Saturday Morning promtional spots using the lyrics "Kids Just Want to Have Fun"
  • The album Tiny Toons Sing! featured Babs Bunny singing a cover version of the song.
  • In the TV series, The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3, during the episode "Reign Storm", "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" can be heard in the background being sung by Paulina Gillis (who also plays Kootie Pie) as they show Princess Toadstool enjoying her vacation. (The song is edited out on the Complete Series DVD set due to legal issues, but can still be heard on the single-disc DVD release King Koopa Katastrophe.) The song was also featured on the previous Mario cartoon, The Super Mario Bros. Super Show, in the live-action segment "Captain Lou is Missing", which Cyndi Lauper guest-starred in. (Unlike with the animated segments, this song is still included on the episode's DVD release.)
  • The song can be heard in the first flashback of The Simpsons episode "Lisa's First Word"; Homer even sings it, while he skips along the townhouse-lined street, similar to the video clip. Also, a later episode referenced the song with its title ("Girls Just Want to Have Sums").
  • The song is also featured in the American Console for Dance Dance Revolution SuperNOVA for the PlayStation 2.
  • "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" was referenced and parodied in a Sesame Street segment called "Kids Just Love to Brush", featuring an orange-haired girl Muppet resembling Cyndi Lauper and singing about the joys of maintaining proper oral hygiene by regularly brushing one's teeth. The segment is also a nod to Lauper's "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" music video.
  • In one Peanuts comic strip published in 1984, not long after the song was a hit, Charlie Brown, upset at Lucy's having missed another fly ball during a baseball game, asks her why she even plays. Lucy's response is, "Girls just want to have fun."
  • On the DVD of film Shrek 2 the ugly stepsister, Doris, is heard singing this song as her audition in "Far, Far Away Idol" for Simon Cowell.
  • An episode of the NBC-TV sitcom The Golden Girls (1985-92) is titled "Girls Just Want to Have Fun... Before They Die."
  • In the game Rayman Raving Rabbids, there exists a remake of this music for a dance minigame.
  • The song was featured in the pilot episode of Miami Vice.
  • The Canadian teen drama Degrassi: The Next Generation, which is known for naming each episode after an 80s hit song, named an episode after this song. In the episode, the main character, Emma Nelson, dressed as Cyndi Lauper during an 80's dance.
  • The sitcom Married... with Children also named a two part episode after this song.
  • The The Simpsons named an episode with a reference to this song .
  • This song was featured in the 1984 science-fiction comedy Night of the Comet
  • In the Gilmore Girls episode 'Like Mother, Like Daughter' (season 2), Lorelai runs a fashion show for a school fundraiser as part of the Booster Club. The music that plays as the models walk the catwalk is 'Girls Just Want To Have Fun'.
  • This song is played in the 2007 film I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry
  • The season 5 of Charmed contains a episode called Nymphs just wanna have fun, which is a reference to this song.
  • In the Bones episode "The Wannabe in the Weeds", Dr. Brennan sings this song to her co-workers at a night club.
  • CBS briefly used a version as "Kids Just Want to Have Fun" for Saturday morning promos during the mid-1980s.

Other cover versions

  • German punk rock group WIZO recorded a cover of the song.
  • Brazilian band Randal Grave recorded a punk/ska cover of the song.
  • Dance covers of the song have been recorded by various artists over the years, including Active8, and Glamarama.
  • Indie artist Norman Palm included a cover of the song for his 2007 album Girls and Boys.
  • American musician Greg Laswell released a cover as a single on the iTunes Store in 2007. Laswell's version was played over a montage in the MTV reality show The Hills as Heidi takes a pregnancy test.
  • The "Hey Now" version of the song was covered by Triple Image with Jamie Lynn Spears.
  • Death Cab for Cutie has covered the song in live performances.
  • Japanese singer Crystal Kay recorded a version of the song for her 2003 English Debut Album, NATURAL.
  • Pussycat Dolls Present: Girlicious
  • Spanish singer-songwriter Russian Red included a version of 'Girls Just Wanna Have Fun' in her 2008 album 'I Love Your Glasses'.
  • American violinist, singer and songwriter Emilie Autumn performed a cover of the song on her The Asylum: The Plague tour and is releasing a studio recording of her cover on a double feature EP, also including a cover of Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen (Band).
  • American rock band the Killers did a cover of this song at a recent surprise appearance at the Pure Club in Las Vegas.
  • Miley Cyrus covered this song for her second studio album, Breakout.
  • The song was featured on the video game Karaoke Revolution as a cover.
  • In Sweden the song was covered in an acustic version for a tv-commercial to a pension insurance company named AMF Pension.

See also

External links


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