5 -Year Olds Just Don’t Get the 80s.

What I think when I see the video for Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go: “Oh, remember that time I found 50 bucks in a mall bathroom and spent it all on George Michael posters at Spencer’s? And remember when this song played at the junior high dance and Brent Berry asked me to dance but I said no because I’d worked so hard to get my bangs just tall enough and didn’t want to mess them up? And remember those red parachute pants I tricked my grandma into buying for me? And then I wore them to the Michael Jackson Victory tour? With that shirt, the one with all the zippers and shoulder pads the size of my head? And remember tanning in the backyard? With my little pink boom box playing this? While I greased myself up with baby oil? Totally awesome. Those days were so rad.”

Here’s what my five-year old thinks when he sees the same video: “Are those the kind of special people I’m not supposed to stare at?”

A few more random observations from the astute 5-year old in the family:

1. Come on Eileen, Dexy’s Midnight Runners

“Those people all look like they’re in a jug band, or maybe they live on a prairie or something.”

2. You Might Think, The Cars

“I really like that guy that follows that lady everywhere. I bet when he takes off his sunglasses he’s a zombie. I feel like he’s gonna be watching me next time I take a bath.”

3. Karma Chameleon, Culture Club

(confused) “What the HECK??!!??!”

4. Katrina and the Waves: Walking on Sunshine

“I think the people singing this song should all be wearing fruit hats.”

5. Wrapped Around Your Finger, the Police

“Oh gosh, I sure hope his teacher taught him to Stop, Drop and Roll.”

6. Girls Just Want to Have Fun, Cyndi Lauper

“That girl has eaten something with too much sugar. Her mom probably let her have the whole thing of Peeps.”

7. Let’s Get Physical, Olivia Newton John

“Why are all those guys exercising in their panties?”

8. We’re Not Gonna Take It, Twisted Sister

“That daddy was so mean! He was like how Daddy acts when I spill something in his car. I don’t know about that clown, either. It seems bigger than a regular clown. “

9. Sunglasses at Night, Corey Hart

“What did you do with my Batman sunglasses? I need my Batman sunglasses RIGHT. NOW.”

10. Lovesong, The Cure

“Somebody needs to tell that lady that her eye makeup and lipstick is all messed up.”

11. 99 Luftballoons, Nena

“What is all that blue smoke? I bet someone farted.”

12. Love is a Battlefield, Pat Benatar

(shimmying like the girls in the video)
“Look, Mommy! I’m shaking my boobies to scare you!”

13. Sweet Dreams (are Made of This), Eurythmics

“Mommy, all these videos are just a lot of people singing
who don’t know if they are boys or girls.”


Blythe Jewell

Blythe Jewell is a freelance writer/editor and professional-grade smart ass based out of Austin, Texas. Her work has been featured in numerous publications both online and in print, and she’s won many awards in recognition of her tremendous talent including an Oscar, a Pulitzer, the Nobel Peace Prize and a Daytime Emmy. She also tends to lie a lot, and enjoys referring to herself in the third person. Find her sometimes hilarious, always off-color, insanely unpopular blog at http://www.themusicalfruit.net/. Also available for childrens’ parties.


  1. Megan Lent says:

    This kid sounds amazing. If he ever needs a babysitter I’ll gladly show up with a copy of Rocky Horror and see what he has to say about it.

  2. I always wondered about the blue smoke in the Nena song…what a cool kid!

  3. Apryl's Antics says:

    I’d like to know his perspective on “The Wall”. I think he could probably enlighten some folks.

  4. I have only one word: GENETICS.

  5. Your son is wise beyond his years

  6. Kablooey says:

    Oh, I like this kid. He’s sharp. But why does he know what a jug band is?

  7. I have no idea where he got the jug band thing, but I’m choosing to take it as a sign that he’s culturally well-rounded.

  8. Oh, I KNOW.

    I love watching 80′s music videos with my 9 yr old: he says, “That’s dancing? Why are they so stiff? It looks like they have a back brace on.”

    Cracks me up.

  9. Priceless! My favorite line: “Why are all those guys exercising in their panties?” Rolling out of my chair!


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