Thursday, September 3, 2009

Retro culture shock!

As a kid, I loved this song. Only now, over twenty-five years later, do I have the technology and desire to discover a few small things about it. Little things like its title, singer, production year, and basic meaning! "Break My Stride" was Matthew Wilder's only major hit, reaching #5 on the Billboard Hot List in 1983. Turns out the song is a "defiant" song about getting over past heartbreak. First, "she" tells "him" she's getting as far away from, and as clean of, her past with him as she can. He ends up telling her that he's doing the same. As a kid, however, I only focused on the upbeat message of the rererefrain: "Nobody's gonna break my stride, nobody's gonna slow me down, oh no, I got to keep on movin'!" Right on, baby! Not just a top-five hit, but also motivational music for a 5-year-old! I thought it was just about "life in general" and about not giving up when life bears down.

It really is best that I had so little consciousness of the song as a pop-media reality, since, upon seeing the video now, I realize Wilder and the video––and the cheesy cut-away––might have ruined the song for me, leaving me that much more scarred by the 80's. For one thing, I thought the singer was black. And, for another, not in tight leather pants. And I had no idea so many synth-boards could exist on one stage in so short a span of time.

In any case, here's to upbeat pop! Stride on!



Last night I had the strangest dream
I sailed away to China
In a little row boat to find ya
And you said you had to get your laundry cleaned
Didn't want no one to hold you
What does that mean
And you said

Ain't nothin' gonna to break my stride
Nobody's gonna slow me down, oh-no
I got to keep on movin'
Ain't nothin' gonna break my stride
I'm running and I won't touch ground
Oh no, I got to keep on movin'


You're on a roll and now you pray it lasts
The road behind was rocky
But now you're feeling cocky
You look at me and you see your past
Is that the reason why you're runnin' so fast
And she said

Ain't nothin' gonna break my stride
Nobody's gonna slow me down, oh-no
I got to keep on moving
Ain't nothin' gonna break my stride
I'm running and I won't touch ground
Oh no, I got to keep on moving


Never let another girl like you, work me over
Never let another girl like you, drag me under
If I meet another girl like you, I will tell her
Never want another girl like you, have to say
Ooooooh

Ain't nothin' gonna break my stride
Nobody's gonna slow me down
Oh no, oh no, I got to keep on moving
Ain't nothin' gonna break my stride
I'm running and I won't touch the ground
Oh-no, I got to keep on movin'

Ain't nothin' gonna break my stride
Nobody's gonna slow me down
Oh no, oh no, I got to keep on moving
Ain't nothin' gonna break my stride
I'm running and I won't touch the ground
Oh-no, I got to keep on movin'

Ain't nothin' gonna break my stride
Nobody's gonna slow me down
Oh no, I got to keep on moving
Ain't nothin' gonna break my stride
I'm running and I won't touch the ground
Oh no, I got to keep on movin'

Ain't nothin' gonna break my stride
Nobody's gonna slow me down
Oh no, oh no, I got to keep on moving … …

1 comment:

Sandra said...

Not so much a comment as an affirmation, to borrow FB-speak: I like. " ... got to keep on moving" perhaps the forerunner to the "Onward!" closing salutation. (If closing salutation isn't oxymoronic?)

But, yes, pop music is sometimes best understood in discrete elements rather than the whole I find.