Song of the Day #396: ‘Our Lips are Sealed’ – Go-Go’s

go-gos20 Best Songs of the 80s – #10

As Amy mentioned on the first day of this 80s theme month, it’s easy to know some of these songs like the back of your hand without having any idea what they’re about.

I’ve loved this song since it first came out (in 1981) but until five minutes ago when I looked up the lyrics to paste them below, I had no idea what it was about. Belinda Carlisle may as well have been singing in French for all I’ve cared about the lyrical content of this song. Incidentally, this is the same sort of experience that makes some foreign language songs just as appealing as songs sung in English. How is a Shakira song in Spanish any different from a Go-Go’s song in English that I don’t bother to register in any meaningful way?

Beauty and the Beat, the album that contained ‘Our Lips are Sealed’ and the band’s other huge hit, ‘We Got the Beat,’ was a seminal bit of punk-pop that sounds fresh to this day. Researching songs for this 80s countdown, I’ve come across a few albums that I want to revisit or purchase and this is one of them. It’s an important piece of rock history — they were the first all-female band to top the charts — and a hell of a fun listen.

Finally, I can’t finish this entry without mentioning the salacious appeal of the Go-Go’s to a boy in his early adolescence. I’ve chosen the 1982 Rolling Stone cover to illustrate this post because I somehow remember it quite well. I don’t know if we had Rolling Stone in my house or if a friend of mine had it, but that cover is etched in my brain. These were sexily wholesome (wholesomely sexual?) women who were irresistible seemingly without trying. And that’s an image that still works today… give me any of these women over a Pussycat Doll any day of the week.

Can you hear them
They talk about us
Telling lies
Well that’s no surprise

Can you see them
See right through them
They have no shield
No secrets to reveal

It doesn’t matter what they say
In the jealous games people play
Our lips are sealed

Careless talk
Through paper walls
We can’t stop them
Only laugh at them

Spreading rumors
So far from true
Dragged up from the underworld
Just like some precious pearl

It doesn’t matter what they say
In the jealous games people play
Our lips are sealed
Pay no mind to what they say
It doesn’t matter anyway
Our lips are sealed

There’s a weapon
We must use
In our defense
Silence

When you look at them
Look right through them
That’s when they’ll disappear
That’s when you’ll be feared

Hush, my darling
Don’t you cry
Quiet, angel
Forget their lies

3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #396: ‘Our Lips are Sealed’ – Go-Go’s

  1. Amy says:

    I don’t remember this Rolling Stone cover at all, not sure I ever even saw it, but I certainly agree that the Go-Go’s belong on this list. They’re “We Got the Beat” is the song with which I have more associations, as it seemed to be a staple at school events. But I’ve always loved today’s song more.

  2. Dana says:

    I remember both the song and the RS cover fondly:) And I agree that the lyrics were rather difficult to decipher –I never did know what she was singing at the end of the first verse (Well, that’s no surprise). it was only recently when hearing an acoustic version of this song that I figured it out.

    In reviewing the lyrics you posted, I really thought I was losing my mind because I had no recollection of any of that second verse (beginning with Careless talk…), but, upon listening to the song again, I relalized I wasn’t crazy. They don’t sing that verse.

  3. Kerrie says:

    Great song from a great “girl power” group. Seriously, would there have been a Spice Girls if there hadn’t been a Go-Go’s?? (Or a Bangles, or a Bananarama? But I’ll stick with the Go-Go’s in terms of origins….)

    I always liked this song, too; as well as “We Got the Beat.” My favorite, though, was and is “Vacation.” Talk about catchy! As far as the group members, all I know is what a wicked crush Scott had on Belinda Carlisle back in the day and how cute Jane Weidlin was as Joan of Arc in “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.” 🙂

    Another good pick, oh blog-master. 🙂

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