Sunday, February 18, 2007

80s Music Video Sunday #11

Growing up, I was probably the epitome of teenage angst, except that unlike Molly Ringwald, I rarely got the boy in the end. I was never the cute little flirty type (and felt really stupid every time I tried), and too shy to ever make my feelings known, I took on the role of everybody's good pal – a role that stayed with me throughout high school and most of my university years. I never went to dances that required going with a date, and instead opted for those school and youth group dances where I could go with a group of friends.

Those were good times. Moving from group to group, socializing, catching up, and hitting the dance floor en masse, all the while covertly checking out the other partygoers, looking for potential partners for that headiest of all school dance experiences – the slow dance. One moment, you're out there, bopping along to the likes of Cyndi Lauper or Men without Hats, and the next moment, there's this massive shifting as the slow song comes on, as hundreds of pairs of angst-filled eyes scan the room in hopes of finding a partner, whether it be that pretty girl from third-period geometry class or that cute boy from seventh-period social studies class, or even just someone you've known your whole life, so that you don't have to join the other unfortunates who are slinking off to the refreshment area or the chairs that line the wall.

Sometimes I danced the slow dance and sometimes I didn't, either way, the initial moments were always a nerve-wracking experience. "If I ask him, will he turn me down?" "Oh no, I can't believe he's coming over to ask me to dance." "Uh-oh, no one's asking. Who should I ask? Is there anyone left who I'd even want to ask?" I always envied those folks who were so socially with it that the slow dance presented no problems, and watched in awe as these individuals – seemingly in automatic mode – drifted towards one another, smiling and reaching out as though it were the most natural thing in the world, instead of some hair-raising tribal ritual that you felt compelled to take part in.

Of course, once we made it through those first few seconds, it was, for the most part, a pleasant experience, as we took our tentative first steps towards adulthood, hoping that our partners couldn't sense our anxiety and enjoying the innocent yet intimate closeness of another human being. Twenty years on, and I treasure the fond memories I have from those times, having clearly filtered out the bad times. I can still remember still remember some of my dance partners, and of course, I can remember most of the songs that, for me, will always make me think of the slow dances of the 80s.

Today's video is the song from my first ever slow dance. The band is Journey, and the song is "Open Arms". So, do you remember your first slow song?

Open Arms

Lying beside you
Here in the dark
Feeling your heartbeat
With mine
Softly you whisper
You're so sincere
How could our love
Be so blind

We sailed on together
We drifted apart
And here you are by my side

So now I come to you
With open arms
Nothing to hide
Believe what I say
So here I am
With open arms
Hoping you'll see
What your love means to me
Open arms

Living without you
Living alone
This empty house seems so cold
Wanting to hold you
Wanting you near
How much I wanted you home

And now that you've come back
Turned night into day
I need you to stay


nrg said...

" I know I'll never love this way again" by Dione Warwick... Fifth grade...rollerskating party in the gym...Jeff something-or-other...I believe we refered to the evening as "game night". He asked me...picked me over Susie. I was in heaven...
We "went out" for two weeks... ;-)

Benji Lovitt said...

Classic song. I will never forgive whoever allowed Mariah Carey to remake it. What are the odds of seeing George Michael or Wham! sometime?

RR said...

NRG reminded me of my first "slow skate" in junior high - even though "Another One Bites The Dust" isn't exactly slow, LOL.

Wow, Journey. They had some great stuff back in the day. "Oh Sherrie" , "Faithfully", and "Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin" were also good.

Ibn ad Dunya said...

I am a woman in love, Barbara Streisand! I so recognize the anxiety about the slow dance experience. Thanks Liza, for bringing back memories, that with the lapse of time only seems happy.

Life Out East said...

Heard of Journey but never heard any of their songs before. Really can't remember what the first slow dance was to, probably something like Luther Vandross.

nrg said...

When The Lights Go Down in the City was always my all time favorite Journey song!!

Ahh Rollerskating... wasn't it just the best!?

Just explained "going out" to my norwegian husband. Odd American term as we never went anywhere...

as said...

i can't remember, there were just too many... :-) possibly george michael. but what i do still remember is the smell of paula d's hair gel, as it poked in my nose...

My Marrakech said...

How could I ever forget? Stairway to Heaven by Led Zepplin. OMG, still brings back chills:-) (but that could be due to the embarrassing haircuts from that time too. lol)

nrg said...


paula d?? do tell! ;-)

as said...

alright then, paula d, in the year above (coz i was a big lad i often managed to catch the older woman, don't know how)...she was a cool girl who dumped me after two slow dances for an older guy. but she had great hair (thanks to the gel)!

nrg said...

ooh, dumped after two dances...that was a short lived romance...

d.K. said...

Where supposed to hate Journey, for some reason, but I don't and don't understand the common, current cultural meme that they are a joke? Why? 80s hair? So what?