The 1980s’ Most Gloriously Absurd Song Lyrics

As we mentioned earlier this week in our regular streaming album roundup, we have something of a soft spot for 1980s rockers The Cult, mainly because they were so absurd that it was somewhat endearing, from Ian Astbury’s curious Native American obsession through Billy Duffy’s haircuts to writing songs with titles like “Aphrodisiac Jacket” and “Earth Mofo.” Amongst other things, they were also responsible for some of the ’80s most gloriously silly lyrics — and that‘s saying something, because the ’80s were home to lyrics that were very, very silly indeed. So silly, in fact, that we’re celebrating this week’s release of The Cult’s Choice of Weapon by collecting some of our favorite examples after the jump. All together now: “Take your seaside arms and write the next line!”

Toto — “Africa”

Best bit: “I know that I must do what’s right/ As sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti”

The gold standard for ’80s absurdity. Honestly, it’s hard to know where to begin with this: the weird post-colonial vision of Africa as dark, exotic wonderland of wild dogs and wise old men and distant drums, or the nonsensical chorus, or the above lyric, which is surely the most hilariously silly couplet anyone ever tried to cram into a verse structure built to accommodate about 14 less syllables. (And, of course, there’s the fact that Kilimanjaro isn’t even remotely close to the Serengeti.)