02 July 2010

Roxette: The Look

As regular readers know, i’ve piled up a lot of requests for songs to discuss, and so i’ve been going through them the past few weeks. Well, a few weeks ago, Karate Mom (an actual reader of this blog who i’ve never met in real life! insert swooning over the miracle of technology and such rot here) made a request: the Swedish duo Roxette’s 1989 multinational (including the US) chart-topper “The Look”.

(By the way, i would like to make it clear that i very emphatically do not want to know anything about the specific fetishes the director of that video is into. Having watched it, i already know too much, thank you very much.)

Now, i have to admit that i’d never actually paid attention to the lyrics of this song before the request came in—it was just a fun little 80s-pop bit of background music you still hear on the radio every once in a while.

And then i listened to songwriter Per Gessle’s lyrics.

And then…Wow.


I’m so glad Mr. Gessle has decided to add to the store of educational music that’s already out there.

Walking like a man

Like this?

Or maybe this.

Either way, this this appears to be a good thing.

Hitting like a hammer
She’s a juvenile scam, never was a quitter

What is it with rock songs and young girls? At least this one appears to be both masculine and violent, so maybe at least we’ll get a Michael Bay movie out of this.

Tasty like a raindrop,

The raindrops have flavor in Sweden? The whole acid rain thing must be simply out of control up there!

She’s got the look

Apparently, she’s got this one.

Heavenly bound cos heaven’s got a number

Heaven’s got a number? I didn’t even know it had an area code!

Of course, if she’s heavenly bound, one might expect that that means she’s dead or dying, meaning this upbeat little song has suddenly taken a dark turn. Oh, those wacky Swedes!

When she’s spinning me around, kissing is a colour

Perhaps frighteningly, Google gives 372,000 hits for a search on “synesthesia kissing”.

Her loving is a wild dog, she’s got the look

Safety tip! If someone comes up to you and says “My loving is a wild dog”, smile, nod, and edge away slowly until you’re out of their peripheral vision—and then run like mad.

No, no need to thanks me—it’s a service i’m happy to provide.

She’s got the look (she’s got the look)
She’s got the look (she’s got the look)
What in the world can make a brown-eyed girl turn blue

Suffocation can, or so i’ve heard.

(More death. Noontime darkness really gets to you after a while, apparently.)

When everything I’ll ever do I’ll do for you

This may be the first coherent complete sentence in this entire song. Of course, it’s also the first time any part of the song has been in the second person (i.e., ‘you’) rather than the first or third person, so the reason it’s a coherent sentence is obvious—it got borrowed from another song.

And I go la la la la la
She’s got the look

Has anyone out there ever actually gone “la la la la la”? I mean since you were, like, eleven? ’Cause i’m pretty sure i haven’t.

Of course, i’ve never actually had any reason to tell anyone that she is in possession of the look, either, so maybe my experiences are simply more limited than Mr. Gessle’s.

Fire in the ice,

Which gives water—and now we’re learning physics!

For what it’s worth, Mythbusters has concluded that you can use an ice lens to start a fire, and there’s even a site out there with fairly detailed instructions, should you decide to freeze while trying to keep warm.

Naked to the T-bone
Is a lover’s disguise, banging on the head drum

This is just wrong on so many levels.

First of all, a T-bone is either a cut of steak, the name of a Christian rapper, or a term for an often-fatal type of accident. I’m not sure you’d want to be naked with your lover for any of those, unless you have certain fairly disturbing kinks, and i don’t, so i’m going to just plug my ears and go “la la la la la” now.

And banging on the head drum? Where’d that come from?

Shaking like a mad bull, she’s got the look

Well, i’m frightened, for one.

Swaying to the band, moving like a hammer
She’s a miracle man,

First of all, she’s a man? That explains so…Well, it doesn’t really explain anything, does it?

Second of all, there’s only one person who should be allowed to go by the name “Miracle”, and it’s not her.

Loving is the ocean
Kissing is the wet sand, she’s got the look

You’ve just completely given up on making any sense by now, haven’t you, Mr. Gessle?

She’s got the look (she’s got the look)
She’s got the look (she’s got the look)
What in the world can make a brown-eyed girl turn blue

Well, colloidal silver can, according to some news reports.

And then we get repetition of the rest of the chorus, plus a recap of the first verse (remember?—that’s where we found out she’s a young masculine girl who tastes like a raindrop), followed by a repeat and fade while we get told that she possesses “The Look”. Unfortunately, it appears that she didn’t keep it hidden away, but has allowed radio stations to play it for over twenty years.


  1. Who cares about lyrics in this case, this is the most catcty song of the late 80s ! And I go la, la, la, la ...}


  2. Well, I must say that this song makes SO MUCH MORE sense now! *snicker*