Ode to the 80's
Things were "radical" when we thought they were cool,
And when we disapproved we exclaimed, "Gag me with a spoon!"
"Where's the Beef?" was an often asked question;
"How much further, Papa Smurf?" was part of our Saturday morning obsession.
The bumper stickers read: "Baby on Board"
And for some reason or other anything Video really struck a chord.
We had plenty of Video games:
Pac-Man, Space Invaders, Asteroids were some of their names.
We also had Videotape on VHS or Betamax.
And oh, we had Music Videos on Friday Night, Solid Gold and Hot Tracks.
Were you there?
How BIG was your hair?
Gel-sculpted heads were what made us mod
(The higher the coif, the closer to God).
A Jheri-curled Michael Jackson was our Fred Astaire;
A faux-blonde Madonna had body parts yet to bare.
The brightest students in school weren't those with good grades,
They were the ones with the sparkly or neon ribbons in their braids.
The kids today like to sport their plaid shirts,
Well, we had them beat with our plaid jackets, pants, hats and skirts.
Back then girls wore leg-warmers and guys left their socks at home,
But everyone - yes, everyone - always carried a pick, brush or comb.
And we flooded and tapered and rolled up our pants,
Thinking this made us look "in" at the high school dance;
Where Chaka Khan let us rock her, let us rock her Chaka Khan,
As we enjoyed the New British Invasion led by Simon LeBon
Singing about Rio who dances on the sand,
Making Big Country (only) our 15th favorite band.
Music, sweet Music! There was Music everywhere!
Bob Geldof didn't like Mondays but he showed the world that Music cared;
"I Want My MTV", sang Sting in the background
As we demanded to See the Music, not just hear the sound -
No, I'm sorry, that song from Friends is not my g-g-generation's theme,
I'd just as soon concede to Debbie Gibson's "Only in My Dreams".
It was the Golden Age of Video and John Hughes teen-angst flicks:
When it seemed so many movies were simply about picking up chicks;
Where nerds got revenge by getting themselves laid,
And through a Risky Business venture Tom Cruise had it made;
When Sean Penn didn't "Just Say No" in that film about fast dates,
In which we got to see a LOT of that awesome Phoebe Cates.
Anthony Michael Hall was our Era's Forrest Gump,
Van Halen told all to "Go ahead and jump!",
While Aerosmith came back with an album called "Pump",
And my best friend would listen to The Smiths whenever he got dumped.
We walked like Egyptians and rocked the Casbah.
The Goonies and Gremlins and Ghostbusters were among movies that we saw.
We also watched Miami Vice, St. Elsewhere, L.A. Law,
And played along with the contestants on Win, Lose or Draw.
Family Ties, Night Court and Cheers were also on top
And the boys in blue from Hill Street were our favorite TV cops.
Cabbage Patch Dolls caused mobs at toy shops;
And little kids everywhere sang along to Mini Pops.
We listened to Springsteen so we danced in the dark,
Did like "Jack and Diane" down at the park,
Cut classes to go to the arcade for a lark,
And hung out in cliques like the Jets and the Sharks.
We cheered on Michael and KITT, The A-Team and The Dukes,
We whispered under our breath, "Use the Force, Luke!"
We ghetto-blasted Run DMC and spun on our heads
While ZZ Top spun their guitars in the video for "Legs",
Mom stocked up on New Coke,
We laughed at Eddie Murphy's jokes,
Dad took lessons from Cosby on the tube,
And I cheated by peeling the stickers off my Rubik's Cube...
Yes, I understand that "Retro" is a really big trend
(And by the nature of ongoing history one without an end).
I realize some will think I'm just jumping on some bandwagon
When I reminisce about playing Dungeons and Dragons;
But it was only a matter of time before The Past = The 80s
And we could fondly recall our days as latch-key kids and mall babies.
My remembrance of G.I. Joes and Transformers (those "robots in disguise")
I'm sure will seem pretty childish in many people's eyes
But, consider, as I wax nostalgic about Tootie, Blair, Natalie and Jo,
I'm simply writing about what I remember (writing about what I know).
And I remember seeing the president shot on daytime TV
(I was home from school, sick in bed you see);
I remember the faces of the Ethiopian children with nothing to eat,
I remember all the CNN reports about AIDS and the homeless in the streets;
I remember the teacher from New Hampshire who reached for the sky,
And when she didn't get there, I remember asking sadly: Why?
"Greed is good" I also distinctly remember hearing,
And even thinking Yuppies in their Beemers were somehow endearing.
You know, I've never really learned to stop worrying and love the bomb;
And since I've gained a sense of Right, inversely, I sense what's Wrong.
It was a "most excellent", notorious, glorious past
When we didn't realize that the money (and the optimism) wouldn't last.
Yes, how things have changed and how times are often tough,
Although in my opinion we don't remember the Good Days nearly enough.
So I've now been labeled X, as if unable to figure things out
Regarding my own Destiny, of which They think I care nothing about.
They'll assume I'm a Slacker looking to a "less-complicated" past,
Not accepting of the lot in life that I've been unfairly cast.
But those would be Their words - Guess They haven't heard...
I am like He-Man and "I HAVE THE POWER!"
To remember it all, right down to the darkest hour.
To know who I am, to learn from where I've been,
To know where I'm going - do YOU know what I mean?
You may appreciate these simple rhymes,
If you heeded "Don't You Forget About Me" by Simple Minds;
If like Cyndi and the Girls you "just wanted to have fun",
And always to-la-roo-la'd along on Dexy's Midnight Run;
If your favorite colors were "red, gold and green",
And maybe even thought the New Kids were kinda keen;
If you recall the early days of Tears for Fears,
Then you probably share those Wonder Years
When things were "radical" (meaning we thought they were cool),
And we expressed distaste by saying: "Gag me with a spoon!";
When "Where's the Beef?" was an often asked question,
And "How much further, Papa Smurf?" was part of our Saturday morning
When bumper stickers read: "Baby on Board"...
Hey, is ANY of this striking a chord?