Cyndi Lauper revealed that she initially objected to recording “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” because the song was written by a man.
The 69-year-old singer’s iconic 1983 hit was originally written and recorded as a demo by musician Robert Hazard in 1979. In the new documentary “Let the Canary Sing,” which chronicles Lauper’s life and career, she recalled that her producer Rick Chertoff took her to see Hazard perform “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” live.
“I would never do that f—ing song,” Lauper remembered telling Chertoff in the documentary, per People magazine.
The two-time Grammy Award winner explained that she was opposed to recording a song about women that was written from a male point of view.
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“Every time we want to have fun, we’re whores,” Lauper said in the documentary, according to People.
The hit-maker said she decided to make changes to the song so that it was told from a female perspective if she was to record it. Lauper recalled that she and Chertoff worked on “many demos” of “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” since she wanted to make the track sound “more fun” and “like a vacation.”
In “Let the Canary Sing,” Lauper explained that she was inspired by commercials for New Jersey’s Raceway Park. She said that she and Chertoff experimented with many different sounds before deciding on the song’s famous guitar riff.
“All of a sudden, we all heard it,” Lauper recalled.
The New York native also shared the story behind the making of the song’s music video. She recalled that she wanted the music video to feature a diverse cast of women. Lauper said that she “was tired” of only seeing one race represented in music videos across different genres at the time.
“It was a good message for kids and teenage girls particularly,” Boy George noted in “Let the Canary Sing.”
Lauper recalled enlisting her real-life mother Catrine to play her mother in the music video.
“I told my mother, ‘If you do this, it’s going to bring mothers and daughters closer,'” she remembered. “I got to share my success with my mom.”
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Catrine also played Lauper’s mother in her music videos for 1984’s “Time After Time” and 1985’s “The Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough.” Last June, Lauper announced on social media that Catrine had died at the age of 91 following a long battle with dementia.
“My mom was with me, and I just feel I was really lucky and privileged to do that,” Lauper told People at the documentary’s premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on Wednesday.
“Now, my sister [Ellen] and my brother [Fred] came, and they were in [Let the Canary Sing], and they were talking,” she said. “Family, I guess, is very important.”
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“Girls Just Want To Have Fun” became Lauper’s breakthrough song when it was released as the first single off her debut studio “She’s So Unusual” in 1983. The song reached number 2 on the Billboard Hot 200 chart and became a global hit that launched Lauper into pop superstardom. Last year, the music video for the song surpassed 1 billion views on YouTube.
“I was trying really hard to make an anthem that would inspire women and open the doors to all women,” Lauper told People of the enduring classic. “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.”