“Safety Dance” by Men Without Hats has always been one of my favourite songs. I remember loving it from the moment I first heard it back in 1983 and it is a love that my family and friends have never really been able to understand. In fact, I recently threatened my husband with divorce* after it transpired that he in fact was not familiar with “Safety Dance”. He claimed to have been 6 when the song came out but that is just a poor excuse.
The wonderful Wikipedia has some great information on the meaning of the song and this just makes me love it more:
“The writer/performer, Ivan Doroschuk, has explained that "The Safety Dance" is a protest against bouncers stopping dancers pogoing to 1980s New Wave music in clubs when Disco was dying and New Wave was up and coming. New Wave dancing, especially pogoing, was different from Disco dancing, because it was done individually instead of with partners and involved holding the torso rigid and thrashing about. To uninformed bystanders this could look dangerous, especially if pogoers accidentally bounced into one another (the more deliberately violent evolution of pogoing is slam dancing). The bouncers didn't like pogoing so they would tell pogoers to stop or be kicked out of the club. Thus, the song is a protest and a call for freedom of expression. It has been claimed that the meaning of the song can be found in similarities between "Safety Dance" and "Safe to dance". Other lyrics in the song include references to the way pogoing looked to bouncers, especially "And you can act real rude and totally removed/And I can act like an imbecile"." - Wikipedia
* Just kidding! Well, I did threaten him with divorce but neither of us believed I was serious.