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Duran Duran Lyrics – How Simon Ruined my Brain

As a female teenager during the eighties, I have almost every Duran Duran lyric ever written memorized. But now that my blind love for all things John Taylor and Simon LeBon has passed, (I bounced back and forth in my adoration for those two – fickle little groupie that I was), it occurs to me that I have wasted valuable brain space on utter nonsense.  Old Simon LeBon may have written some of the worst, most incomprehensible lyrics ever to be sung by sexy, bee-stung lips.

Here’s how I picture he and his wife, Yasmin, eating dinner:

Yasmin: Could you pass the salt?

Simon: Funny it’s just like a scene out of Voltaire twisting out of sight

Yasmin: Uh, riiiight… could you pass the salt?

Simon: My face in the mirror shows a break in time, A crack in the ocean, it does not align

Yasmin: It doesn’t have to be sea salt, just… oh never mind.

Let’s take a bit from New Moon on Monday:

Shake up the picture the lizard mixture
With your dance on the eventide

Now, the last time I was dancing on the eventide I have to admit that I did, in fact, forget my lizard mixture, so I’m thinking my picture has been left tragically unshaken. I’m not sure what this means for me in the long run, but I can’t lie. I’m concerned.

You got me coming up with answers
All of which I deny
I said it again
Could I please rephrase it
Maybe I can catch a ride
I couldn’t really put it much plainer
But I’ll wait till you decide

This part sounds a little bit like the last argument I had with my husband about who should call a taxi or who maybe already did call a taxi. This argument took place when we were both really drunk and really tired, so this sort of makes sense to me.

Send me your warning siren
As if I could ever hide
Last time La Luna
I light my torch and wave it for the
New moon on Monday

Villagers, grab your torches and follow me! Set off the warning sirens! Frankenstein’s monster is heading for the castle!

This video actually did feature a sort of rustic village backdrop. I remember, because at the beginning, John Taylor jumps off what looks the band’s family hayride, and my friends and I used to rewind it (after taping it on Betamax – made the right choice there, Dad!) just to watch him jump off again and again because it was so sexy.  Deranged stalkers could learn a lot from teenage girls.  I remember one friend took a picture of Roger Taylor’s SOCKS on the television as he was playing drums in a video because she thought they were cool and Roger was her favorite. At the time, I did not find that odd.

And a firedance through the night
I stayed the cold day with a lonely satellite

Wait, why is Simon hanging out with a satellite? We’re in a medieval village. Is he an astronaut now? Did they have satellite TV in the eighties? Maybe after a hard night of firedancing nothing is better than just cracking open a brewski and watching the satellite TV on a chilly morning. I can see that.

How about “The Reflex?”

You’ve gone too far this time
But I’m dancing on the valentine

Well, I guess you showed me. I loved that damn valentine and now you’ve gotten it all torn and smudgy. Damn you, Simon. Damn you to hell.

I tell you somebody’s fooling around
With my chances on the dangerline

The dangerline? Is than anything like the eventide? Because if so I suggest you find yourself some Lizard Mixture, toot de suite. Just sayin’.

I’ll cross that bridge when I find it

OK fine, but don’t say I didn’t warn you about the lizard mixture when you realize your picture has not been properly shaken by moonlight on Monday.

Another day to make my stand
High time is no time for deciding
If I should find a helping hand

So whyyyyyyy don’t you use it?

Use what, man? I haven’t understood a word you’ve said.

Tryyyyyy not to bruise it

Fair enough…but you haven’t mentioned anything bruise-able so far, so I have to say I’m still a little confused.  Is the reflex some sort of fruit?

Buyyyyyyy time don’t lose it
The reflex is an only child he’s waiting in the park

I always sort of thought “the reflex” was a metaphor for sex, or erections… But if he’s waiting in the park, that’s really more George Michael’s territory, isn’t it? Wait. Were all my 80′s icons secretly having sex in London parks? Maybe George got the whole idea from Simon. But if he’s a child waiting in the park, come on Simon, that’s just not right. At least George was doing naughty things in the park with adults.

The reflex is in charge of finding treasure in the dark

That’s what she said.

And watching over lucky clover isn’t that bizarre

Not nearly as bizarre as these lyrics.

Every little thing the reflex does
Leaves you answered with a question mark

…as do your lyrics…

I’m on a ride and I want to get off
But they won’t slow down the roundabout

There you are in the park again! But Simon, there is something wrong with a grown man who can’t get off the roundabout. Just let go. Centrifugal force should whip you right off.  Maybe you’ll bump your head and start writing lyrics that make sense.

I sold the Renoir and the TV set

That must have been a heck of a yard sale. A 1980 television (clicker lost) and a Renoir.

Don’t want to be around when this gets out

Yeah, the park thing was kind of embarrassing for George. Good instincts.

Hungry Like the Wolf

In touch with the ground
I’m on the hunt I’m after you
Smell like I sound, I’m lost in a crowd

I “smell like I sound?” What the hell is that supposed to mean? Do you smell insane? Do you smell like a stalker?

And I’m hungry like the wolf
Straddle the line in discord and rhyme
I’m on the hunt I’m after you
Mouth is alive with juices like wine
And I’m hungry like the wolf

Time to file a restraining order, honey. This dude is hunting you and drooling wine. Though, actually, this sort of sounds like my husband’s pickup tactics, never mind.

Union of the Snake

Telegram force and ready
I knew this was a big mistake

I would imagine your first mistake was using a telegram. Even in 1983, phones were much more user-friendly. And how do you telegram force? Is it just a telegram that reads: POW! ?

There’s a fine line drawing
My senses together
And I think it’s about to break

I think this is what I’ve been trying to tell you, Simon dear. But this is good; admitting it is the first step to recovery.

If I listen close I can hear them singers ooh oh oh
Voices in your body coming through on the radio
The Union of the Snake is on the climb
Moving up it’s gonna race it’s gonna break
Through the borderline

Borderline – not to be confused with the dangerline or the eventide. I wonder if the Union of the Snake and The Reflex have met. They sound like they have similar interests.

Notorious

I can’t read about it.
Burns the skin from your eyes.
I’ll do fine without it.

If by eye skin you mean ‘cornea’, I have to say you are not going to do well without it. Certainly, all your eye jelly will come spilling out and you’ll be blind.

Here’s one you don’t compromise.
Lies come hard in disguise.
They need to fight it out.
Not wild about it.
Lay your seedy judgements.
Who says they’re part of our lives?

Ok so he’s somewhere seedy, people are fighting, possibly in disguise… maybe some sort of jello wrestling bar?

You own the money ;
You control the witness.

So Simon’s friend has gone and rented 1985′s Witness, starring Harrison Ford and Kelly McGillis. Usually, after a night of mud/jello wrestling I like a good Amish romance between Han Solo and the chick from Top Gun, too.

My Own Way

Cause I’ve got my own way, I can find my own way, cause I’ve got my own way
I’m on 45 between 6th and Broadway, 45 between 6th and Broadway 45
I’m drinking 7UP between 6th and Broadway 7UP between 6th and Broadway, 7UP

Old blue eyes Frank Sinatra did it “My Way” – Simon did, too, but instead of “making it there,” and consequently, anywhere, Simon seems to be just calling in taxi cab directions. And while Frank “Ate it up and spit it out” Simon likes to enjoy a nice soda.

Simon, what were you thinking? Why did you fill my little 14 year-old brain with all this garbage?

Please, please tell me now –  is there something I should know?

 

Amy Vansant

Amy Vansant

Author Amy Vansant enjoys long walks on the beach, anything to do with her Labradoodle Gordon and frantically getting nothing useful done.
Amy Vansant

14 Responses

  1. Nmissi

    Oh, GOD. I remember thinking he must be terribly deep and academic, knowing all sorts of uses for words that I’d somehow missed. Of course, I was eleven at the time.

    I still love the music, can forgive the lyrics. T’was the eighties, no doubt he was higher than a kite, or drunker than a lord.

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  2. Bridgette

    Oh wow… I have been saying the same thing for… well, decades! I remember thinking DD were so deep and when I grew up a little listening with my new husband turning to him and realizing… that made absolutely NO SENSE! I still laugh about the lyrics, but like your other commenter… willing to forgive the lyrics b/c the songs just make me feel good.

    love the part about filling your brain with utter nonsense and stalkers learning something from teenage girls! So been there!
    Bridgette recently posted..7 hour adventure

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  3. Chris

    Omg, thank you for this hilarious article! Brought back so many memories of being a young gay boy in the 80s and having DD posters all over my bedroom walls and lipsynching their songs behind closed doors. Ha!

    I just happened to be googling “Simon Le Bon” and “lyrics” and found this article because for the longest time, I had thought that Simon’s lyrics were a bit bizarre and hard to decipher. I am glad you wrote about it as it made me realize I am not the only one to ponder the mysteries and bizarreness of his song writing! 🙂

    Want another weird lyric? Was just listening to “Election Day” last night and thought to myself… what was he on when he wrote this song?

    She’s moody and grey,
    She’s mean and she’s restless (so restless)
    All over you as they say
    Rumours or rivals yell at the strike force

    Hi guys, by the way, are you aware you’re being illegal
    It’s making your savior behaviour look evil
    Excuse my timing but say,
    How d’you fit in with this flim, flam and Judy

    Can I say WTF?? 🙂

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    • Amy Vansant

      I think that is why they didn’t stand the test of time. There was nothing for people to feel connected to – other than the fact John Taylor was hot as hell!
      Add your Twitter:

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      • Bud

        Haven’t stood the test of time? They’re still going in 2017 and are one of a handful of bands that had hits in 3 different decades. They are the model for perseverance while most all other new wave bands from the 80’s are long gone.

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  4. franco aventine

    Pretty sure that “the reflex” is addiction. The song is about loving your addiction (like a romance) even when its abusing you.

    You’ve gone too far this time
    But I’m dancing on the valentine
    The urge…the addiction is taking him to far…but he is in love with it….thus dancing on the valentine.
    I tell you somebody’s fooling around
    With my chances on the danger line
    Again…an addiction is playful…enticing….and it is is dangerous.
    I’ll cross that bridge when I find it
    Another day to make my stand
    High time is no time for deciding
    If I should find a helping hand
    Means just what is says really… the bridge is deciding to get help, for which he will have to take a stand, but right now…being “high” is no time for deciding if that bridge is now…which is usually the case. It takes a sober serious time to make that decesion.
    Then the chorus comes and it is basically about an internal argument with his addiction saying use it, but try not to abuse it (yea like that will work and if that isn’t always the last resort of an addict…I can “handle it”.)
    Then ..” the reflex is an only child waiting in the park” where do most drug deals of the 80’s go down? yep… a park…usually under a bridge in the dark. Clover in a park…whole scene ironic (lucky clover, addiction danger) and bizarre but the reflex (getting high) finds treasures in the dark (creativity, crazy fun times etc.)
    Anyway if you read the rest of the lyrics in that context it all fits rather nicely. And as anyone who was alive at the time this was written knows…drug addictions were a staple of the music scene and the club nightlife.

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  5. Jeanette

    Laughed til the tears came.
    Thank you. From the bottom of my Duranie heart.

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  6. Nabil

    Growing up in the 80s and listening to DD songs from this far corner of the world and knew very little English, I KNEW something was wrong with the lyrics, or something only British people understand.

    It’s funny that DD suddenly came into my mind after I read a manual booklet for a cheap generic made-in-china bluetooth speaker I purchased online. This manual and DD lyrics have one thing in common, they dont make sense, in a good funny way!

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  7. Ashini

    I was a crazy Duranie during high school and I can’t tell you how much they influenced my writing/poetry. I started off by writing poems dedicated to each of them. Also, I didn’t know what “Renoir and TV set” meant and had to go look it up in my Encyclopedia. Anyway, I’m a writer/poet now and I think Simon gave me “permission” to put odd phrases together and let others deal with it. I put his lyrics down as my poetic influences – right there with Maya Angelou and Neruda. 🙂

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