All She Wants to Do Is Dance

Album: Building The Perfect Beast (1984)
Charted: 9
  • They're pickin' up the prisoners
    And puttin 'em in a pen
    And all she wants to do is dance, dance
    Rebels been rebels
    Since I don't know when
    And all she wants to do is dance

    Molotov cocktail, the local drink
    And all she wants to do is dance, dance
    They mix 'em up right
    In the kitchen sink
    And all she wants to do is dance

    Crazy people walkin' round with blood in their eyes
    And all she wants to do is dance, dance, dance
    Wild-eyed pistols wavers who ain't afraid to die
    And all she wants to do is
    And all she wants to do is dance
    And make romance
    She can't feel the heat
    Comin' off the street
    She wants to party
    She wants to get down
    All she wants to do is
    All she wants to do is dance

    Well the government bugged the men's room
    In the local disco lounge
    And all she wants to do is dance, dance
    To keep the boys from sellin'
    All the weapons they could scrounge
    And all she wants to do is dance

    Yeah, but that don't keep the boys from makin' a buck or two
    And all she wants to do is dance, dance
    The still can sell the army
    All the drugs that they can do
    And all she wants to do is
    All she wants to do is dance
    And make romance

    Well we barely make the airport
    For the last plane out
    As we taxied down the runway
    I could hear the people shout
    They said, "don't come back here Yankee"
    But if I ever do
    I'll bring more money
    'Cause all she wants to do is dance
    And make romance
    Never mind the heat
    Comin' off the street
    She wants to party
    She wants to get down
    All she wants to do is
    All she wants to do is dance
    And make romance
    All she wants to do is dance Writer/s: DANNY KORTCHMAR
    Publisher: Warner Chappell Music, Inc.
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 9

  • Georgie Girl from EarthThe song makes me think of a woman called Donut Hole Dolly dancing in an NCO club on a US military base in Southeast Asia in the early 70s. She is young and has a deep, desperate, and hysterical need to dance the anxiety of the world around her away for a while. This dancer is also likely very destitute and dependent on American GIs for money to feed her family — and very aware of all of the goings on - but just has to block it out because she is trapped in a social condition with no where else to go - in a society that sees her as an expendable commodity. Also, someone she loves will probably go hungry if she doesn’t dance.

    The protagonist telling the story in the song lyrics however is young, naive, and arrogant and judgmental of Dolly and he has no idea what her life is like. He thinks she is stupid and unaware - and all she wants to do is dance. Maybe she just needs him to keep thinking that about her so she can keep coming back there. Or maybe she’s a spy for the Viet Cong...or all of these things at once.

    Of course this was only my impression of these lyrics when I heard them for the first time in 1985. Obviously I’ve thought about this too deeply.
  • Lynn from EarthThe song is about all that was wrong in the world in the 80s but all the girl wants to do is dance. Your interpretation can be one of two things.
    1. She is resigned to all of the unrest in the world so all she wants to do is dance.
    2. She is so completely unaware of what's going on in the world she just wants to wallow in her ignorance and go dancing.
  • Rod W.bruyere from Los Angeles,california'Don't come back here yankee' is referring to Mexico. 'I'll bring more money' is his arrogant answer to those ppl who told him this... And he is kinda tryna defend himself: 'yeah I got money and you will always welcome me back.'
  • Rod W.bruyere from Los Angeles,californiaQuite simply the song is about a girl who is a newly sober dancing fool at A.A Glendale Calif. sober dances.

    She doesn't know how to hook up sober. She was a drunk player - she likes to 'get down' she likes to 'boogie' - but now all she wants to do is dance.

    The rest of the song describes ppl at the sober dances. The 'wild eyed pistol wavers' with 'blood in their eyes' is purely an artistic poetic expression of newly sober jealous men at the dance. The 'molotov cocktail the local drink' is like an alcoholic drinking again.

    This song has not a deep worldly political agenda - it's about a young man wishing to get 'a piece' of her action.
  • Chris from NycI don't think anyone in America would say "Don't come back here, Yankee." Maybe Mexico, or South America.
  • Ken from Louisville, KyWhen the Eagles reformed in 1994 and went on tour, Glenn Frey asked Don Henley to do this song. Frey said that despite rumors that they were feuding, he was a "big Henley fan" in the 1980's and considers "Building The Perfect Beast" one of the best albums made in the decade. When the Eagles perform their version, Frey is playing keyboards and can be seen dancing to this song.
  • Angus from Ottawa, OnYou know I'm not sure the issue is settled w/these "facts". All the images about political activism is all about militancy and illicit or amateur soldiering. Molotov cocktails weren't among any Americans' professed aims to change the world at that time. Maybe in the 70s, but not the Reagan era.
  • Meocyber from Alma, CoI get the silver medal ,Camille. Loved Henley w/ the Eagles and solo. Great dance song. Plus, some sharp satire lyrics about political apathy and the real world.
  • Camille from Toronto, OhWow! First one to comment on this tune! Love Don Henley's voice. Fun upbeat song.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Frankie ValliSong Writing

An interview with Frankie Valli, who talks about why his songs - both solo and with The Four Seasons - have endured, and reflects on his time as Rusty Millio on The Sopranos.

Phone Booth SongsSong Writing

Phone booths are nearly extinct, but they provided storylines for some of the most profound songs of the pre-cell phone era.

Jack Blades of Night Ranger and Damn YankeesSongwriter Interviews

Revisit the awesome glory of Night Ranger and Damn Yankees: cheesily-acted videos, catchy guitar licks, long hair, and lyrics that are just plain relatable.

Song CitiesMusic Quiz

Nirvana, Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen are among those who wrote songs with cities that show up in this quiz.

Black SabbathFact or Fiction

Dwarfs on stage with an oversize Stonehenge set? Dabbling in Satanism? Find out which Spinal Tap-moments were true for Black Sabbath.

Waiting For The Break of Day: Three Classic Songs About All-NightersSong Writing

These Three famous songs actually describe how they were written - late into the evening.