The Original vs. The Cover – “Girls Just Want To Have Fun”

For this month’s The Original vs. The Cover, we are going to cover the classic 80’s pop song, “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”.  The original is by Robert Hazard who wrote the song and the cover we are going to use is Cyndi Lauper’s.  I know, you thought that was her original song, didn’t you?  Nope.  Not hers.  I guess an argument could be made that Cyndi’s is not really a cover since Robert’s song was only a demo and never released and I can see that argument, but I am ignoring for that so I have a post.

Robert Hazard wrote the song in 20 minutes while taking a shower in a motel. I guess you listen whenever inspiration strikes.  He made a demo in 1979, but the demo never went anywhere.  That was until Cyndi’s producer, Rick Chertoff, remembered hearing the song and took her to meet Mr. Hazard.  After meeting, Cyndi wanted to do the song and Robert allowed her to tweak a few lyrics to fit the song coming from a woman’s perspective as the original is taken from a man’s perspective.

Robert’s version comes from a guys point of view and talking about what he wants to do with girls and that they really want to have “fun” in the sleazy sort of way.  Cyndi of course turns it as she is the one one out late getting in to trouble because she and all girls want to have fun. It became more a feminist anthem and is now so recognizable as Cyndi’s song since she truly made it her own.

ROBERT HAZARD

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Robert Hazard’s version is more of an uptempo rock song, heavier on the guitar than on synthesizers.  It has a great drum beat and the chorus is catchy.  His song is a little more sleazy than a pop feminist anthem  There is a great little guitar solo and it is an all around fun song.

Robert’s singing is pretty good.  He has a little roughness and grit to his vocals.  They aren’t all smooth and slick.  This helps in giving it a little sleaze factor to it.  I have to admit not hearing this song prior to researching this post and it is hard getting Cyndi’s version out of your head when you hear it, but I see why she was taken with the song and wanted to sing it as there is something special there.

CYNDI LAUPER

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Cyndi’s version changes things up significantly while still maintains the original song structure and vibe.  She adds a whole lot of synthesizers and electronic drum sounds including some weird little bleeps. The song went from a guitar rock song to a dance hit.  It is a happy, jovial tune now without any of the sleaze.

Cyndi’s unique sounding vocals are so happy and cheerful, you can’t help but get swept up in her bubble gum pop world and get up and dance along with the song.  She has such a beautiful voice as well.  The honesty in her voice propels the song into a women’s anthem that empowers women to go out and do anything you want as there is nothing they can’t do that a guy does. It is okay to have “fun” the same way a guy does.  You can find the song on her debut album ‘She’s So Unusual’.

THE VERDICT

Is there any discussion needed with this one?  Cyndi took and owned this song.  With a few minor tweaks, she turned a sleazy male point of view rock song and turned it in to an empowering anthem for women.  No contest!  I had so much trouble shaking Cyndi’s version from my mind when I was listening to the original demo of Robert’s which alone is a sign of the fact that it is Cyndi’s song now.  I am sure Robert’s band account is fine with that fact as well.

I am really interested in hearing what everyone else thinks of these two songs.  Let me know which version you like the best and why.  Feel free to leave a comment and talk about the song and tell me how right or wrong I am on this one.  Thanks for stopping by and have a great day.

The lyrics below are for Robert Hazard’s original version…

Girls Just Want To Have Fun

The phone rings in the middle of the night
My father says, “My boy, what do you want from your life?”
Father dear, you are the fortunate one
Girls just wanna have fun
Yeah, girls just wanna have fun
Come home with the morning light
My mother says, “My boy, you’ve got to start living right.”
Don’t worry, mother dear, you’re still number one
Girls just wanna have fun
These girls just wanna have fun
That’s all they really want
Some fun
When the working day is done
Girls just wanna have fun
Yeah, girls just wanna have fun
Some guys take a beautiful girl
They try to hide her away from the rest of the world
All my girls have got to walk in the sun
‘Cause girls just wanna have fun
Yeah, girls just wanna have fun
I know your love for him
Is deep as day is long
I know you’d never be the
Thing to do him wrong
But when I knock on the door
I’m close now, you could come
It really wasn’t important
‘Cause girls just wanna have fun
Yeah, girls just wanna have fun
It’s all they really want
Good fun
When the working day is done
Girls just wanna have fun
Yeah, girls just wanna have fun
(Just wanna, just wanna)
Come on, boy
(Just wanna, just wanna)
Oh yeah
(Just wanna, just wanna)
You are the fortunate one
Girls just wanna have fun
Yeah, girls just wanna have fun
(Just wanna, just wanna)
Come here, boy
(Just wanna, just wanna)
Oh, yeah
(Just wanna, just wanna)
You are the fortunate one
Girls just wanna have fun
Yeah, girls just wanna have fun

Witten by Robert Hazard