I love cheesy 80′s songs, and Centerfold by The J. Geils Band is no exception. The tune is unbelievably catchy, and only an inhuman monster wouldn’t love singing along with every “na-na-na-na-na.” But if you ever really stop and listen to the lyrics, it quickly becomes apparent that the song is absolutely insane, and pretty creepy to boot. If you’d like a refresher, here you go:
Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?
Does she walk? Does she talk?
Does she come complete?
Um, if she’s in your homeroom, wouldn’t you have noticed if she walks and talks?
My homeroom homeroom angel
Always pulled me from my seat
What’s homeroom homeroom? Is that like, a pre-homeroom where they take attendance before you have before regular homeroom?
She was pure like snowflakes
No one could ever stain
The memory of my angel
Could never cause me pain
This is a run-on sentence. Is he saying that no one could ever stain the memory of his angel? Or that the memory of his angel could never cause him pain? Because grammatically speaking, it can’t be both.
Years go by I’m lookin’ through a girly magazine
And there’s my homeroom angel on the pages in-between
Referring to a centerfold as the “pages in-between” is a bit of a stretch, but I’ll let that one slide.
My blood runs cold
My memory has just been sold
What does that mean? Instead of your blood running hot, which is a real expression that people actually use, your blood runs cold? Sounds like a pretty serious medical condition. But not as serious as your memory being sold. Who bought it? And if your memory was sold, would you even remember it?
My angel is the centerfold
Angel is the centerfold
Slipped me notes under the desk
While I was thinkin’ about her dress
I was shy I turned away
Before she caught my eye
I was shakin’ in my shoes
Whenever she flashed those baby-blues
Something had a hold on me
When angel passed close by
This whole stretch of the song makes perfect sense. Way to go, Mr. Geils and friends!
Those soft and fuzzy sweaters
Too magical to touch
Well if you can’t even make eye contact with her, touching her sweaters really shouldn’t be an option.
Too see her in that negligee
Is really just too much
It’s okay I understand
This ain’t no never-never land
I hope that when this issue’s gone
I’ll see you when your clothes are on
Another stretch of logical lyrics.
Take you car, Yes we will
We’ll take your car and drive it
We’ll take it to a motel room
And take ‘em off in private
OK, I get what he’s going for here, but this sounds like a really poorly conceived plan for a date. If you’re going to proposition a girl you haven’t seen since high school for a sleazy encounter in a motel – not even a hotel, but a motel – the LEAST you could do is offer her a ride.
A part of me has just been ripped
The pages from my mind are stripped
Oh no, I can’t deny it
Oh yea, I guess I gotta buy it!
Wait – all of this stuff has been going through his mind and he hasn’t even bought the magazine yet? Remember, this song came out long before the internet. That means if he’s looking at a centerfold and he hasn’t purchased the magazine, he’s been ogling at it in the middle of a store, in public, for who knows how long. Sort of makes the whole song seem way more creepy.