We’ll Give You the Wrong ’80s Lyrics, You Correct Us



By: Lauren Lubas

7 Min Quiz

Image: RCA Records

About This Quiz

The 1980s gave us a slew of iconic musicians. With exciting new sounds coming through in rock, metal and pop, it was hard to keep up with what was good. The only thing people really knew for certain is that if it was a love song, it needed a saxophone and everything else required a synthesizer. Music was taking a turn and pushing envelopes left and right. More provocative artists were emerging, wearing scandalous clothing and sporting lots of makeup and piercings everywhere (and we mean everywhere).  

What really stood out in the music of the 1980s was the lyrics that came with every song. The rise of hip-hop and rap brought brutal, harsh and extremely political poetry top the airwaves with minimal care as to what the FCC thought. If you think you know a thing or two about the lyrics of the 1980s, this quiz might just prove you wrong. We've found 35 of the most memorable songs from the 1980s, and we messed up the lyrics pretty badly. If you can fix our mistakes, you will ace this quiz without a problem. If you are just as bad as we are, don't worry, you can always try again. 

These days, no one wants to get Rick-Rolled, but we're going to do it to you anyway. Will you help us with these lyrics? "Never gonna lift you up, never gonna set you down ..."

When you look at Rick Astley, you probably have some questions about where his voice came from. It just doesn't seem to match his physique. However, we all appreciate the little red-head and his music that is an instant earworm.


There's no denying that Prince was a fantastic musician, but do you think you can help us with these lyrics to "When Doves Cry"? "How can you leave me stranded feeling so cold and old?"

Prince may have been one of the only artists of the 1980s pop scene that played his own instruments, wrote his own songs and basically rocked the world as a frontman. His career spanned over five decades.


We all thank Boy George for his envelope-pushing in the gender classification arena ... and for this song by the Culture Club: "Comma, comma, comma, comma apostrophene". What are the actual lyrics?

Boy George noted that this song is a lot deeper than it sounds. It's really about a fear of being judged, and the alienation that comes with that judgement. It's also a song about trying to change yourself to appease the masses ... which is not fun.


The Wham! hit "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" doesn't start with these lyrics: "Litterbug ... Litterbug". What lyrics does it start with?

George Michael and Wham! were pretty close to the biggest pop names of the 1980s. The band gave us fantastic dance songs that we could sing along to with confidence ... even if we didn't know the lyrics.


Do you know the actual lyrics to this Salt-N-Peppa song? "Ah, smoosh it, smoosh it good ..."

For a while, it seemed that hip-hop belonged to the men until Salt-N-Peppa came along. They weren't about to go the pop route ... they knew that they were powerful rappers who could hold their own in the boy's club.


In 1983, The Police DIDN'T sing "Can't you swing on the big red tree" in "Every Breath You Take". What did they actually sing?

When you actually listen to the words of "Every Breath You Take", you might start questioning Sting's creeper level. However, in the 1980s, it was considered a touching love song that many adored.


Cyndi Lauper tried to start her own girl-power movement with a song that kinda goes like this: "Oh girls just love to run". Do you know the actual lyrics?

"Girls Just Want To Have Fun" reminded us that we don't have to be uptight and angry to be successful. While most of the movies during the time period showed boys sowing their wild oats, Cyndi Lauper reminded us that girls can let loose, too.


Madonna's "Into The Groove" goes a little like this: "Get up on the groove, you are not proving love to me". What are the correct lyrics?

Madonna was the queen of the 1980s. Teens loved her music, and everyone wanted to dance to her songs. There were groups, however, who thought her methods were controversial, and that she was a little too lewd for their taste.


There were a lot of great songs from the "Dirty Dancing" soundtrack. Can you help us with the lyrics to the one that goes like this: "I had a pretty great life, no thanks to you"?

Patrick Swayze was a popular actor in the '80s. Every movie he was in showed off so many of his skills, including martial arts and dancing. "Dirty Dancing" is a timeless love story that shows social class doesn't matter if love is involved.


Can you help us with these "Sweet Dreams" lyrics that we messed up? "Sweet creams are in my dreams, who had a mind and disagreed?"

The Eurythmics brought a new song to the rock pop scene in the '80s, and even if you weren't a fan of their style, you couldn't deny the songs that they produced were unique and catchy ... to say the least.


According to Bon Jovi, "You and hugs are one in the same" ... Wait, that's wrong. Can you tell us the right lyrics?

Bon Jovi's lyrics really brought home the idea that rock stars could write about heartache and pain, but not be too angry about it. This song is clearly about being hurt, but processing the pain rather than retaliating.


Madonna's "Papa Don't Preach" is about getting pregnant in the "wrong" way. Do you think you can fix these lyrics: "I've got a strong mind to fix this, baby"?

This controversial song really hit a lot of people right in the religion. The song is about a girl who has to tell her father that she's pregnant and that she won't be giving the baby up for adoption. It's a plead for understanding that the world is changing, even if religion doesn't.


The hit song "Tainted Love" doesn't include these lyrics: "Once I ran a juice stand, no, I run a juice cart". What lyrics does it include?

Soft Cell's "Tainted Love" was a poppy hit that everyone loved hearing. These days, some call it one of the defining songs of the 1980s, and who could blame them? It has the sound and heart that most '80s pop couldn't live without.


Do you know the actual lyrics to this part of "Keep On Loving You" by REO Speedwagon? "And I meant that I wasn't dead ..."

In one heck of an '80s love ballad, REO Speedwagon takes lyrics to a whole new level with "Keep On Loving You." This song is about how even if you're hurt, you can still love the person who hurt you.


Though it's a favorite karaoke song by Journey, "Don't Stop Believing", we're blanking on the lyrics. Do you know them? "Just an uptown girl flying all around the world."

When the song pops on, you can't help but let the world know that you know the lyrics to the song. Don't worry, everyone else is in the same boat. This song has become even more popular with age.


John Mellencamp's "Jack and Diane" was released in 1982. Can you help us with these lyrics from that song? "A little story about Jack's friend Diane ..."

There is no doubt that John Mellencamp is the all-American singer. His songs about the heartland and small-town life were enough to make any Midwesterner blush. "Jack and Diane" is about the fact that love doesn't last forever and nothing is perfect.


Do you know the actual lyrics to the Simple Minds song that kinda goes like this: "Don't you, lose those keys"?

Anyone who has seen "The Breakfast Club" knows this song like the back of their hand. It may be difficult to understand some of the lyrics that aren't in the chorus, but overall, it's a pretty easy one to catch.


Dance music of the '90s brought on a lot of divas. Help us out with these Whitney Houston lyrics: "Oh, I want a cat and some money," will ya?

"I wanna feel the heeeeat with somebod-ay" ... Eh-hem, sorry. It's difficult to read any Whitney lyrics and not bust out into song. "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" arrived on the pop scene in 1987, and everyone has loved Whitney since.


"Do you come from a place, I wonder?" are NOT lyrics to the famous Men At Work song. What are the real lyrics?

When you get deep into the lyrics of "Down Under" by Men At Work, you realize that they were really trying hard for some rhymes. The song itself is very cheesy, but it has that classic '80s sound that everyone's looking for.


"I get hurt and then I feel down" is NOT how Van Halen's "Jump" starts. Do you know the real beginning?

Van Halen's sound was unique in the '80s as it played off the classic rock sounds as well as the '80s hair-metal sounds. "Jump" was a hit single that was released in 1983 on the album with the same title.


You might recognize this song from the "Rocky III" soundtrack, but do you know the lyrics to "Eye Of The Tiger"? "Raisin a big flock of geese"

"Eye Of The Tiger" by Survivor was such a popular song after "Rocky III" that it couldn't be ignored. It was all about finding strength within yourself, even if you feel like you're a washed-up boxer.


Can you help us with this Def Leppard hit "Pour Some Sugar On Me"? "Loving you's the bomb, girl my name is Tom ..."

Def Leppard was made up of the youngest rockers the 1980s produced. The band was formed in 1977, and a couple of the members were still in their teens. They made it big in America in the 1980s with their awesome sound and entertaining shows.


"Livin' On A Prayer" was the song that made every woman fall in love with Bon Jovi in the '80s. Do you think you can fix these lyrics: "Oh, I'm not gonna stare, oh, I found another flare"?

Bon Jovi had a different sound than any other hair band of the '80s. He was considered the smiling rocker, and (according to Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue), you just can be a rocker if you smile while you sing.


Do you know the actual lyrics to this part of "You Shook Me All Night Long"? "Taking all that I care about and I can't fight for hair ..."

AC/DC was a rock band that simply didn't care what anyone thought. The Australians started the band in 1973, but their hits from the '80s are still well-known and played on rock radio stations to this day.


Tina Turner made her wild liberation in the 1980s, and her music only improved. Can you help us with this song? "Why shove all my shoes, all my shoes in it ..."

Tina Turner's strength brings her music to a whole new level. She survived some of the most difficult times a woman can face and freed herself from the shackles of a terrible marriage. There's no doubt, she's an inspiration to us all.


Can you help us with the lyrics to U2's "With Or Without You"? "Sight of your hands is something I hate."

U2's rise in the '80s brought on an entirely new sound that was hard to define with the genres that existed in the decade. They were soft rock, but with hard themes to their music, and most record companies didn't know what to do with them.


Can you help us with these lyrics from "Walk Like an Egyptian"? "All the crops in the fields say hey-now, hey-now"?

The Bangles had a few hits throughout the decade, but "Walk Like an Egyptian" was one that you listened to for the sheer cheese of it. It was a fun song with interesting lyrics that called to the times.


"Sweet Child O' Mine" was a nice change of pace for Guns N' Roses. Do you know the real lyrics to this part of the song: "She's got rice as wild as skies and if I want it plain"?

Guns N' Roses gave us a lot of great songs in the 1980s, but the most timeless of their library has to be "Sweet Child O' Mine." The song is somewhere between a rock ballad and a hardcore epic, which makes it both unique and awesome.


Do you know the actual lyrics to this part of "Love Shack"? "I'm headed down the Chi-ca-go highway"

The B-52's gave us some interesting music in the 1980s. It called back to the simpler pop of the 1950s and '60s, but with a tone and lyrics that were simply meant for the 1980s. The one-hit-wonder band will never be forgotten because of this song.


In 1980, Queen's "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" was released. Can you fix these lyrics for us? "This thing, I found, I love it ..."

Queen's success did spill over into the 1980s, and "Crazy Litle Thing Called Love" was one of their big songs in the decade. It is rumored the entire song was written in about five or 10 minutes.


The one-hit-wonder, A-Ha, sang "Take On Me". Can you help us with these lyrics? "I'll be coming for you on Sunday ..."

"Take On Me" didn't just deliver the band's number-one hit; it was accompanied by a music video that was well ahead of its time. The video, which included special effects, is still considered one of the best of all time.


"Need You Tonight" by INXS was a different kind of pop-rock song. The lyrics went kind of like this: "So hide over here for just a moment". Can you fix them for us?

The 1987 hit, "Need You Tonight" showed us that a band's lyrics and music videos can both be artistic as well as engaging. Those who like both rock and pop were fans of INXS and this song.


Peter Gabriel had a lot of love songs, but "Sledgehammer" was not one of them. Do you know the real lyrics for this part? "You could be in a little sipper ..."

Yes, "Sledgehammer" had some pretty off-the-wall lyrics, and the video for the song was even more intense, utilizing stop-motion animation. However, this song along with the video showed Gabriel's artistic range.


In 1989, Motley Crue released "Dr. Feelgood". Can you help us with the lyrics in the beginning of the song? "I failed Jimmy down in the hood."

"Dr. Feelgood" is not a song your children should be listening to, but the children of the '80s were all over it. The song actually got some radio time, as the FCC didn't necessarily understand the metaphors about drug abuse ... for a little while.


"Hungry Like The Wolf" was a great song with a great video. Can you help us with these lyrics? "Touch the line, I can't think of a rhyme ..."

Duran Duran was a band that women and men loved with hits like "Hungry Like The Wolf." As a matter of fact, they are still popular today, and they still tour the United States pretty frequently.


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