The Unusual Story of Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”
Cyndi Lauper at the 2014 Grammys [photo: Getty Images]
On April 1, Cyndi Lauper will release "She's So Unusual: A 30th Anniversary Celebration," a deluxe, two-disc reissue of the landmark album that turned the quirky little redhead with the big, big voice into a pop icon, and turned "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" into a feminist anthem for the new wave age.
But interestingly, "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" was written and originally recorded in 1979 by a male artist, Robert Hazard, and he performed it from the point of view of a girl-crazy bad boy. It was only after Cyndi remade it — with some lyric changes and with Hazard's blessing — that the song took off. And now, three decades later, Cyndi's message still resonates with girls of all ages.
Compare and contrast both versions here:
Cyndi recently dished with Yahoo Music about the evolution of "Girls" from lothario's party song to feminist's call-to-arms, and she also discussed Madonna, Miley Cyrus, "American Idol," and why she never tires of singing "Girls" live.
YAHOO: "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" was written and first recorded by a man. What made you want to cover it and make it your own?
CYNDI: The first time I heard it, I understood how I could sing from my point of view and make it a call to solidarity for women. In the 1980s, women were still struggling to be seen as equal to men. When the women's movement really started earlier in the '60s and '70s, I felt so empowered and it was thrilling to me. But in 1980s, it seemed that a lot of the hard work by people like Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem was being forgotten, and women were once again accepting the status quo. We had gotten far — but not far enough — so I sang "Girls" for all the women around the world to remember our power.