She Bop

Album: She's So Unusual (1983)
Charted: 46 3


  • This song is about masturbation: "They say that if I do it I'm going to go blind...," "I can't stop messin' with the danger zone."
  • Lauper wrote this song with Rick Chertoff, Gary Corbett and Stephen Broughton Lunt. Corbett is a keyboard player who has worked with Lou Gramm and Cinderella; Lunt also co-wrote Lauper's song "The Goonies 'R' Good Enough." Chertoff produced the album along with Eric Bazilian and Rob Hyman, who had some hit songs with their group The Hooters a year later, including "And We Danced" and "Day By Day." They also played backup on the album.
  • The video takes place in some kind of dystopian future where everyone conforms. It opens the "Burger Klone," where smiling, lobotomized customers get their meals. Lauper finds herself a bad boy with a motorcylce and rides off in an animated landscape (a coy reference to the song's meaning: when they stop a a gas station marked "self service"). By the end of the video, she has apparently gone blind.

    The video was directed by Edd Griles, who also did the Girls Just Want To Have Fun and Time After Time clips; the animation sequence was done by Mark Marek, whose work shows up in the kids' shows Team Umizoomi and KaBlam!
  • Introducing this song at a Paris concert in 1987, Lauper said, "A bop a day keeps the doctor away. I recommend it."
  • Lauper wanted kids to think this was about dancing. She was hoping they wouldn't understand the real meaning until they got older.
  • Lauper was an unlikely target for the Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC), but the group included "She Bop" on their 1985 list of the "Filthy 15" songs they found most objectionable. Since the PMRC was made up of the wives of lawmakers, they were able to force a senate hearing in their efforts to establish a rating system for music akin to what is used for movies. In the end, they got warning stickers placed on albums with explicit lyrics. These stickers generally helped sales of other "Filthy 15" members (Judas Priest, Prince and Twisted Sister among them), but an artist like Lauper was more likely to leave off a song that could get an album stickered, as it could hurt sales. A song like "She Bop" may not have made the cut once this system went in place.
  • The author Lucy O'Brien used the title for a book about women in rock.

Comments: 25

  • Michael from London, OnNot to mention the vibrating dildoesque motorcycle sidecar in the video.
  • Stephen from Boston, Ma#15 on the PMRC's Filthy Fifteen list of songs that they wanted to ban. The fun police have arrived!
  • Rob from Fredericton, NbOddly enough to say, there have been many incognito style songs depicting masturbation or bearing sexual theme. She-bop is just one of many but others to follow include Duran Duran's "The Reflex," Duran Duran's "Wildboys," and The Violent Femmes "Blister in the Sun." I'm sure there are more out there and some yet to be produced. Got to love good ole Cyndi.
  • Paul from Geelong, Australiathe 80's were raunchy - this and madonna " like a virgin" prince "head" michael jackson "billie jean".i knew almost every line means self - love but i didn't get any video visual clues.
  • Cyndifan from Chicago, IlThe "He" in the line "I hope He will understand" refers to God. The lyrics in the album liner notes have it capitalized.

    You know, God hates masturbators? Sin? That whole thing.
  • Gilgamesh from Denver, CoI always thought this song was about lesbianism, with lines like "I hope he will understand" and "Ain't no law against it yet." It's comforting.
  • Annabelle from Eugene, OrTo this day, I still think that this song is about dancing. Think about it. She bop, he bop, we bop? Bopping is like dancing! It's kind of like saying, "She dances, He dances, we dance. Come on everybody, let's dance!"
  • Fawn from Philadelphia, Pai feel so silly. i had no clue. i was just watching POP UP VIDEO on VH1 Classic. OMG!
  • Beryl from New York, NyOh my. I am a thousand year old now and I did not know that this song was anything about masturbation. I used to blast this song in my house and I used to sing it around the house. No one said anything. Confidentially, I did not even think about "bopping" until way, way, way after my teenage years. God, no wonder I am so naive. However, it does a lot for the complexion. I mean. . being naive helps the complexion.
  • Danielle from Palm Coast, FlWOW i never would of guessed Lauper would right something like that she seemed like a little sweet innocent girl now the song makes sense!!! i love the music video i would have never of got it met masturbation. i thought it was about robots now i don t get how subliminal it was to me!
  • Nicole from Kenosha, WiI never knew what this song meant until just now, it is pretty funny. I really do love this song though, it is pretty awesome. Now that I think about it though the lyrics all make sense.
  • Matias from Capital, ArgentinaUncle Siggy is Doctor Sigmund Freud, the person that discovered that is sex and not moral what guide humans through life(and also that we ALL masturbate when we are under 6). "The Id and Out" must refer to "The Ego And The Id ", one of his most important writings
  • Jeepstreet from Rapid, United StatesI love all the little clues throughout the video. The Burger Klone sign (I think) The book that says id and out. The scoreboard that says masterbingo - at one point in the video there appears to be some steam coming fron her "southern" region. However "I hope he will understand" lyrics has got me "boggled" - Why would'nt he understand?? The gas station that says "self service", Full service" and "Fill er Up"
    Great Video, Great Song!
  • Nelson from MelbourneThis song has the nicest melodies. I love it. Cyndi's best in my opinion!
  • Jer from London, Canadahey steph, I am bopping right now!!!
  • Don from Newmarket, CanadaIn the video there's a cartoon of Cyndi driving her car up to a gas station and pointing at a sign that says "Self Service."
  • Sum Sum from New Delhimass-bopping...thats what she meant I guess. helping each other to bop. she bop he bop we bop....the whole world bop! even monkeys bop, ccyndi u know that?
  • Bernard from Caracas, South AmericaI was about 16 when this song was on the radio, and it wasn't until I saw the video that I realized it was the so-called "English vice" LOL
  • Dee from Indianapolis, InControversy, controversy.....these lyrics were tame compared to what gets radio play today. I think we all knew what was being said, but to be sung by a female was what shocked people more then anything. Songs of self pleasure are nothing new, but usually it's male artist and bands that belt out tunes about such topics.
  • Eric from Cincinnati, OhI'd always thought it was about sex, but now that I read the lyrics... Yeah, it's about m'ing!
  • Brian from Nashville, TnI'm with Kristy. (Kristy, call me!) lol
  • Randy from Cabimas, South America"We-hell-I see them every night in tight blue jeans - in the pages of a blue boy magazine
    hey i've been thinking of a new sensation
    I'm picking up - good vibration -
    oop - she bop -"

    Mast.. song. definetely
  • Kristy from Saco, Me"She bops, he bops, we bop, I bop, you bop, and they bop, she bop..." So, in other words, BOP = MASTURBATION... roflmfao!!!! Hell, I'd bop every chance i could!!!
  • Laura from Irvington, NyI heard this song for the first time in ages just the other day. A local station was doing an 80's retro weekend. (Thanks to all things good). And I looked at my husband as we drove down the highway, boppin' our heads to the beat(this song is from our high school days) and I said "Holy Sh**!, I think she means maturbation!" He says "duh!" I never got that one. I guess Cyndi was right...some kids didn't understand it until they were older. Much older. LOL.
  • Heather from Fruita, CoThis was an inside joke between Cyndi Lauper and the other person who wrote the song. Cyndi wanted to write a song about masturbation but wanted to make it a hidden meaning so it could get airplay.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Tim Butler of The Psychedelic FursSongwriter Interviews

Tim and his brother Richard are the Furs' foundation; Tim explains how they write and tells the story of "Pretty In Pink."

Jon Anderson of YesSongwriter Interviews

From the lake in "Roundabout" to Sister Bluebird in "Starship Trooper," Jon Anderson talks about how nature and spirituality play into his lyrics for Yes.

Jimmy WebbSongwriter Interviews

Webb talks about his classic songs "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," "Wichita Lineman" and "MacArthur Park."

Trucking Songs That Were #1 HitsSong Writing

The stories behind the biggest hit songs about trucking.

Al Jourgensen of MinistrySongwriter Interviews

In the name of song explanation, Al talks about scoring heroin for William Burroughs, and that's not even the most shocking story in this one.

Sam PhillipsSongwriter Interviews

Collaborating with T Bone Burnett, Leslie Phillips changed her name and left her Christian label behind - Robert Plant, who recorded one of her songs on Raising Sand, is a fan.