Cyndi Lauper Didn’t Want To Record ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’
Cyndi Lauper’s iconic hit, “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” almost didn’t happen. The Grammy-winner, who turns 70 later this month, tells People in a new interview that she was against recording the song because of who wrote it.
While promoting her new documentary, Let the Canary Sing, Lauper says of the lead single off her debut album She’s So Unusual that she was “trying really hard to make an anthem that would inspire women and open the doors to all women.” The Brooklyn native adds, “Not just one group of women, but every little girl could see herself and realize that she too could have a joyful experience in life.” However, since “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” was written and originally recorded by a man, she didn’t see its potential at the time.
No Man’s Land
Lauper’s producer at the time, Rick Chertoff, took her to see Robert Hazard, the man behind the original song, perform it live. In the documentary, Chertoff recalled Lauper pulling his ear down toward her during the performance and telling him, “I would never do that f—ing song.” This was because she didn’t want a song written from a male perspective. She said in the doc, “Every time we want to have fun, we’re whores.” It took “many demos” of the song before Lauper found a fun sound to sing from a female point of view. “It should be in a trumpet key because we’re trumpeting an idea,” she said.
Inspiration Behind The Song
Inspired by commercials for Raceway Park in New Jersey and creating the now-iconic guitar lick, Lauper recalled in the film, “All of a sudden, we all heard it.” As for the music video, Cyndi was tired of seeing the same race of people, so she wanted to cast a diverse group of women. “It was a good message for kids and teenage girls particularly,” said Boy George in the doc.
Lauper also wanted to cast her mother, Catrine, to play her mom on screen. “I told my mother, ‘If you do this, it’s going to bring mothers and daughters closer.’ I got to share my success with my mom. My mom was with me, and I just feel I was really lucky and privileged to do that.”