The Greatest Love Song Ever Written – Ryan Barker, Tuesday Thoughts

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Enter any drugstore and your eyes will immediately be assaulted with a borderline obnoxious reminder that Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Also Easter. And leftover Christmas? Despite the historical/religious significance of those holidays, the latter two don’t matter right now. Now it’s all about love. But this holiday season, how do you find the purest, most sincere way of expressing your love to someone you care about most? Start with a song.

Music does things that no other medium can. It can evoke a feeling deep inside with just the sound of an instrument or a spoken word. It changes lives and gives people a reason to keep fighting the good fight. Music inspires.

No song does that better than the 1988 hit “Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car” by Billy Ocean. How, you ask? Let me break it down for you:

Hey (hey) you (you), get into my car
Who me?
Yes you, get into my car
Wooooooooooooooh. Wah! Yeah!

Immediately we’re treated to the sound of a car starting. We know what this song is about. A car is in the title and we hear it. This song gets straight to the point. And it does so with an upbeat and positive feeling with such lyrics as “Wah” and “Yeah”

But both figuratively and literally, this is just the beginning.

Who’s that lady
Coming down the road
(Who’s that lady)
Who’s that woman
Walking through my door
(What’s the score)

In the first verse, we are immediately treated with a sense of mystery. The song poses the question “Who’s that lady?” At this point, we don’t know who she is. An oversight by Billy? No. Quite the opposite. This allows the listener to project his/her own sense of who this woman is in a way that no other song does. It could be anyone on Earth. Billy Ocean bestows upon you the power to choose.

I’ll be the sun
Shining on you
Hey Cinderella
Step in your shoe
I’ll be your non-stop lover
Get it while you can
Your non-stop miracle
I’m your man

This verse is repeated several times throughout the song. Consider it a sort of opening to the chorus. Astounding. Not only do we get a catchy chorus to memorize and sing along to, we also get a repeated opening lyric to lead us in, making car karaoke that much easier. Then there are the lyrics. The protagonist in our tale of love immediately proposes that he is the sun and that this woman, who I should remind you is still unnamed, is Cinderella, bringing a sense of childlike wonder to the piece. He declares himself a non-stop lover, pledging to be her man forever. Truly the ultimate sacrifice for love.

But nothing can prepare you for the chorus.

Get outta my dreams
Get into my car
Get outta my dreams
Get in the back seat baby
Get into my car
(Beep beep, yeah)
Get outta my mind
Get into my life
Oooooooooh
Oh I said hey (Hey) you (You)
Get into my car

The chorus. This is the concrete foundation on which this work of art stands. The protagonist dreams about this woman. He desires nothing more than to remove her from these dreams and to place her in his car. But not in the front seat. No. He wants to place her in the back seat, baby. As a chauffeur takes a passenger to his/her desired destination, our hero puts on his cabbie cap and offers her a fare-free journey to a single destination. And that destination is love.

But throughout this tale of triumph, Billy doesn’t forget about us as the listeners. Just like the car starting at the top of the song, he adds in a “beep beep” in the background to ground us in the reality of a car.

Billy
Thanks Billy

Now onto verse 2.

Lady driver
Let me take your wheel
Smooth operator
Touch my bumper (Bumper)
Hey, let’s make a deal
Make it real
Like a road runner
Coming after you
Just like a hero
Outta the blue
I’ll be your non-stop lover
Get it while you can
Your non-stop miracle
I’m your man

Again, our protagonist selflessly offers to take the wheel for his love, not wanting her to lift a finger. Except only to touch his bumper. Not only is it a reference to a car, again keeping us in the reality of the song, but also a playful gesture opening up the possibility of physical contact with his butt. He wants to make things real with this woman, comparing his love with that of a road runner. A name for a type of car perhaps? Or is it something more? I offer up the idea that the object of his affection is the road runner and our hero is Wile E. Coyote, pursuing her to the ends of the earth by any means necessary. We then return to the familiar phrase of “non-stop” further admitting his dedication. This leads directly into round 2 of the chorus.

Get outta my dreams
Get into my car
Get outta my dreams
Get in the back seat baby
Get into my car
Beep beep, yeah
Get outta my mind
Get into my life
Oooooooooh
Oh I said hey (Hey) you (You)
Get into my car

I could go on for pages about the cultural and historical significance of this set of words, but I can’t neglect the next part of the song: the bridge.

Oh baby, let’s go

I said open the door
(Get in the back)
Tread on the floor
(Get on the track)

Yeah (Yeah) Yeah (Yeah)
Yeah (Yeah) Yeah (Yeah)
Let’s go

Oh baby
Ooooh, woooow, yeah

Featuring a memorable saxophone solo by Vernon Jeffrey Smith, this small section of the song is anything but insignificant. Our protagonist sees success! The girl of his dreams has appeared. He immediately offers her a seat in the car. He can hardly contain his excitement, exclaiming “Yeah” over and over and over until finally beginning his journey with a triumphant “Let’s go!”

I’ll be the sun
Shining on you
Hey Cinderella
Step in your shoe
I’ll be your non-stop lover
Get it while you can
Your non-stop miracle
I’m your man

The princess has entered her carriage to be escorted to the ball. Only this carriage doesn’t turn into a pumpkin at midnight. This ride of love lasts for all time.

Get outta my… Get outta my…

I’m pausing here to make note of the anticipation in our hero’s voice. He can hardly contain his excitement and stutters, unable to put into words the emotions coursing through his veins. But he somehow finds a way…

Get outta my dreams
Get into my car
Get outta my dreams
Get in the back seat baby
Get into my car
Beep beep, yeah
Get outta my mind
Get into my life
Oooooooooh
Oh I said hey (Hey) you (You)
Get into my, hey (Hey) you (You)
Get into my, hey (Hey) you (You)
Get into my car

There you have it. The climactic conclusion to the greatest song ever recorded. If you find yourself wanting more, I have one more treat for you:

3.3 million views can’t lie.

Until next time, may your bumpers be touched and your loving be non-stop.


 

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