Jay Dreyer

3 minute read

Song:The Safety Dance
Artist:Men Without Hats
Release Date:1983

How did this happen?

Well, the “The Safety Dance” is always in my head. It never left after I heard it for the first time when it came out. And especially so after I saw the video. Which is bonkers. But we’ll get to that.

The reason I’m posting about it now is that my friend Mark was recently married, and I was lucky enough to be in the wedding. While driving to the event, I heard this song on XM’s First Wave and knew that it had to be played at the reception. My friend Scott agreed. Mark said he would make it happen. Unfortunately, the band did not agree, and it wasn’t played during the band’s breaks, either. It’s a shame, really, because nobody got to witness Scott and I doing the Safety Dance. It would have been marvelous.

My daughter is happy it wasn’t played.

Go ahead. Let’s hear it.

So about the song…

I told you early on that we would learn things together as this blog unfolds. And learn we have! And learn we shall continue to do. Did you know Men Without Hats is from Canada? I did not! I never actually knew where they were from, but assumed somewhere in Europe. That video is just too bizarre to be from somewhere else. I was wrong.

“The Safety Dance” reached all the way up to #3 on the US Billboard charts, which was better than it did in Canada, where it reached #11. Oh, Canada. It hit #6 in the UK and #2 in New Zealand.

News you can use: The lead singer, Ivan Doroschuk, wrote the song after getting kicked out of a club for pogoing. So, thank you jerk bouncer! He later explained that he wrote the song as a protest against bouncers stopping dancers from pogoing, which was how the kids danced in the new wave era, opposite of the previous world of disco. FREEDOM! Evidently, people tried to interpret the song as a call to safe sex, or a protest against nuclear weapons. Not the case, says Ivan.

More news you can use…the dwarf in the video is Mike Edmonds. He has been in a number of classic movies including The Empire Strikes Back, The Dark Crystal, Return of the Jedi (an Ewok, Logray), Legend, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and uncredited roles in two of the Harry Potter movies. He’s wearing the band’s t-shirt in the video, which is the album cover for LP this song is on, Rhythm of Youth.

I believe I was in 5th grade when this song came out and nearly everyone I knew liked it. It was just so weird and out of left field at the time. It really still is. My kids get a puzzled look on their faces when it plays on the radio and I just laugh. The looks would be even stranger if they saw the video. So crazy.

People think Men Without Hats is a one-hit wonder. NOT TRUE! They had another song that was fairly popular in 1987 called “Pop Goes the World”. It’s catchy, as well, and has an almost equally entertaining video.

comments powered by Disqus