Song of the Day #649: ‘Somebody’s Watching Me’ – Rockwell

Here’s a song that came out a couple of years later than the rest of this week’s selections, in 1984. But I still associate it more with my elementary school days than with the 80s songs I counted down last year.

I remember the video as much as the song — complete with creepy mailman, mysterious cloaked woman and Psycho shower homage. It’s goofy as hell now but at the time it kind of freaked me out.

Rockwell is a one-hit wonder with a rather interesting back story. He’s the son of Motown founder Berry Gordy and apparently signed with the label and released this song without his father’s knowledge (his real name is Kennedy Gordy). He reportedly wanted to avoid charges of nepotism, although you’d think he would have signed with another label in that case.

And I doubt he would have landed Michael Jackson on backing vocals had his dad not been Berry Gordy, regardless of whether Berry knew about it or not. But you can’t fault the kid for trying.

Who’s watching
Tell me, who’s watching
Who’s watching me

I’m just an average man
With an average life
I work from nine to five
Hey, hell, I pay the price
All I want is to be left alone
In my average home
But why do I always feel
Like I’m in the twilight zone

And (I always feel like)
(Somebody’s watching me)
And I have no privacy
Whooooa-oh-oh
(I always feel like)
(Somebody’s watching me)
Tell me, is it just a dream

When I come home at night
I bolt the door real tight
People call me on the phone
I’m trying to avoid
But can the people on TV see me
Or am I just paranoid

When I’m in the shower
I’m afraid to wash my hair
‘Cause I might open my eyes
And find someone standing there
People say I’m crazy
Just a little touched
But maybe showers remind me
Of Psycho too much
That’s why

(I always feel like)
(Somebody’s watching me)
And I have no privacy
Whooooa, oh-oh
(I always feel like)
(Somebody’s watching me)
Who’s playin’ tricks on me

(Who’s watching me)
I don’t know anymore
Are the neighbors watching me
(Who’s watching)
Well, is the mailman watching me
(Tell me, who’s watching)
And I don’t feel safe anymore
Oh, what a mess
I wonder who’s watching me now
(Who)
The IRS

(I always feel like)
(Somebody’s watching me)
And I have no privacy
Whooooa, oh-oh
(I always feel like)
(Somebody’s watching me)
Tell me, is it just a dream

(I always feel like)
(Somebody’s watching me)
And I have no privacy
Whooooa, oh-oh
(I always feel like)
(Somebody’s watching me)
Who’s playin’ tricks on me
(Who’s watching me)
(I always feel like)
(Somebody’s watching me)
Oooooooh
Whooooa-oh-oh
(I always feel like)
(Somebody’s watching me)
So ? who can it be
(Who’s watching me)
(I always feel like)
(Somebody’s watching me)
Whooooa-oh-oh
(I always feel like)
(Somebody’s watching me)
Who’s playing tricks on me
(Who’s watching me)
(I always feel like)
(Somebody’s watching me)
Can I have my privacy
Whooooa-oh-oh
(I always feel like)
(Somebody’s watching me)
Who’s playing tricks on me

6 thoughts on “Song of the Day #649: ‘Somebody’s Watching Me’ – Rockwell

  1. Dana says:

    I never cared much for this song, though it was very much (over) played on MTV back in the day,

    When I think back to the early 80’s, some of the songs that stick out in my mind as favorites included:

    “Freeze Frame” and :”Angel is the Centerfold” from J Geils Band
    “Say Goodbye to Hollywood” (live from Songs in the Attic) Billy Joel
    “Jump” Van Halen
    “Too Much Time on My Hands” Styx
    “Under Pressure” David Bowie
    “Every Breath You Take” and “Wrapped Around Your Finger” Police
    “I Love Rock and Roll” Joan Jett
    “If This is It” Huey Lewis

    I’m sure I’m missing a number of obvious ones, but these kind of just popped out of my head thinking back to the days when I watched WAY too much MTV:)

  2. Amy says:

    Dana’s list is much closer to my own, though I would think J. Geils Band would be on your list, too. We also listed some other obvious songs, such as Aha’s “Take On Me” when you did your 80’s countdown.

    When I think MTV, I think Madonna, I think Michael Jackson, I think Police (“Don’t Stand So Close to Me” would be my selection). When I think early 80’s, I think REO Speedwagon and Survivor. While I had my share of 45’s, there were no titles in my collection like the ones you featured this week. Instead I had lots of theme songs (from TV – Hill Street Blues theme and “At This Moment” from Family Ties), movies (Sheena Easton’s Bond song and the theme from Chariots of Fire by Vangelis). I can actually picture shuffling through those little discs… wonder what ever became of them.

    Anyway, it’s been fun getting a glimpse into your middle school self.

  3. Clay says:

    Some of the songs you two mentioned were on my 80s countdown but most of those were released in the mid- to late-80s when I was a little older. My younger days were highlighted more by the sort of novelty songs I featured this week.

  4. Dana says:

    I’m pretty sure the songs I mentioned were all between 1980 and 1984, which I thought was the period you were referencing.

  5. Clay says:

    Ah, that could well be. I guess I just didn’t get exposed to them until later.

  6. Amy says:

    Yeah, they were definitely the first half of the 80’s, because I was thinking of pre-college days. Funny that I can’t think of any “novelty” songs that I remember listening to in my “tween” days. I have a vivid memory of walking to a store (a sort of Circuit City maybe) to buy Olivia Newton John’s new album, Physical (I think that was the name of the album, at least). As a huge Grease fan, I must have been beside myself that she was releasing an album. I’m pretty sure I would have been about the age you’re talking about then. Otherwise I was rocking out to Donny and Marie albums 😉

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