Cyndi Lauper – Not Just A Girl
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
As a kid, just about starting discovering the world of music, I was wild about this song “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” by Cindy Lauper. In fact, everything about the song appealed to me. Not in the least the video clip that oozed a great feeling of fun and freedom. I kept staring at the looks of Cyndi Lauper with her colorful clothing and make-up. She was different from what I was used to see in my small town, in my familiar surroundings of home and school. She looked punky, but not in a scary way. She looked exciting and fun. And that was what she sung as well: girls just wanna have fun. Watching the video, I wanted some piece of that fun too! It felt like an invitation.
Soon I became aware I wasn’t the only girl at school who loved the song and Cyndi’s message. Picture a bunch of nine-year olds jumping around at the playground shouting “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”, reenacting the video.
Up until a few years ago I had lost sight of her, and it was her album Memphis Blues from 2010 that made the reconnection. I remember reading a (positive) review of this album in a music magazine, thinking: Cindy Lauper and blues in the same sentence? Of course I realized that everyone can have the blues, but sing it? But as a blues lover and as a young fan of Cyndi Lauper I was curious and took a listen. I was immediately blown away.
For her album Memphis Blues she collaborated with the best: B.B. King, Allen Toussaint, Ann Peebles. But it is Cyndi Lauper who wins the prize here. The album has integrity, as if the role of blues singer is not an act at all. She’s a natural blues queen, imagine that! The opening track Just Your Fool (with Charlie Musselwhite) is very catching, and the soulful Romance In The Dark equally so. In Early In The Morning she just cracks it, the feeling of the blues early in the morning, as if she’s not well awake yet. Great! And Girls Just Wanna Have Fun has found a beautiful successor in Wild Women Don’t Have The Blues.
When Cyndi Lauper’s latest album Detour with country classics came out in May 2016, she got my immediate attention. I knew she could make another music genre her own, while keeping her own eccentric identity, being Cindy Lauper. Night Life, the duet with Willie Nelson works wonderfully well; the two artists know exactly what they’re singing about. The version of You’re the Reason Our Kids Are Ugly, in which Vince Gill plays the counterpart, demonstrates their shared sense of humor. Fun is something Cyndi and Emmylou Harris clearly had together as well, recording Detour. The song Funnel of Love sounds like a modern New York-ish version of Wanda Jackson’s original and can stick in my head all day long.
She’s So Unusual
While digging a bit further in Cyndi Lauper’s work and discography, I discovered to my surprise I haven’t even got her first album in my music library. So, that cannot be! Time to buy She’s So Unusual. The circle is closed.
Cyndi Lauper is a girl who wants to have fun. But just not that. She is a true music artist who simply is fun!
Have a listen
Listen to some of her songs featured in this post, including a few originals I added in this I Dig Music playlist.