Can You Guess ‘80s Songs From Their Opening Lyrics? Quiz

Carolyn Brooks Fleming

"It's close to midnight and something evil's lurking in the dark" is the opening line of what '80s song?

The song is "Thriller," by Michael Jackson. The full version of the hugely popular music video runs for nearly 14 minutes.

"Shot through the heart, and you're to blame, darling" is the opening line of what '80s song?

The song is 1986's "You Give Love a Bad Name," by Bon Jovi. Jon Bon Jovi, Desmond Child, and Richie Sambora originally wrote the song with the band Loverboy in mind, but they liked it so much they decided to record it themselves.

"Harry Truman, Doris Day, Red China, Johnnie Ray%0DSouth Pacific, Walter Winchell, Joe DiMaggio / Joe McCarthy, Richard Nixon, Studebaker, television,%0DNorth Korea, South Korea, Marilyn Monroe" is the opening lyric of what '80s song?

The song is "We Didn't Start the Fire," by Billy Joel. It is about problems inherited by Joel's generation but caused by the generation before. He has admitted that he has trouble remembering the complex lyrics of this song in concert.

"Hey little sister what have you done?" is the opening line of what '80s song?

The song is "White Wedding," by Billy Idol. He is not singing to his sister - in British slang, "little sister" means "girlfriend." In the song, the woman he loves is marrying someone else.

"Give me time to realize my crime" is the opening line of what '80s song?

The song is "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me," by Culture Club. Singer Boy George later admitted that this song was about his relationship with the band's drummer, Jon Moss.

"I come home in the morning light" is the opening line of what '80s song?

The song is "Girls Just Want to Have Fun," by Cyndi Lauper. Lauper wrote many of her own hits about girl power, but this one was written by a man, Robert Hazard. She tweaked the lyrics a bit.

"There comes a time when we heed a certain call" is the opening line of what '80s song?

The song is "We Are the World," by USA for Africa. Created to raise money for African famine relief, the song was recorded on the same night as 1985's "American Music Awards," so many artsts could participate.

"She's got a smile it seems to me / Reminds me of childhood memories" is the opening line of what '80s song?

The song is "Sweet Child O' Mine," by Guns N' Roses. Axl Rose wrote these lyrics about his then-girlfriend and future wife (for a brief time), Erin Everly. She is the daughter of Don Everly of the Everly Brothers.

"Standing in the rain, with his head hung low / Couldn't get a ticket, it was a sold out show" is the opening lyric of what '80s song?

The song is "Juke Box Hero," by Foreigner. The song was inspired after the band saw a fan standing alone in the rain after a sound check and invited him backstage.

"I'm sayin' all the things that I know you'll like / Making good conversation" is the opening lyric of what '80s song?

The song is "Physical," by Olivia Newton-John. Although a few radio stations banned the song for its sexual innuendo, it was the best-selling single of the '80s in the US.

"Drivin' home this evening / I coulda' sworn we had it all worked out" is the opening line of what '80s song?

The song is "Cuts like a Knife," by Bryan Adams. The "na-na-na" background chorus was inspired by The Beatles' "Hey Jude" and Journey's "Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'," according to Adams' songwriting partner, Jim Vallance.

"That's great! It starts with an earthquake / Birds and snakes, an aeroplane / Lenny Bruce is not afraid" is the opening lyric of what '80s song?

The song is "It's the End of the World As We Know It," by R.E.M. Writer and singer Michael Stipe says the song is a stream-of-consciousness about the end of the world.

"'Show me, show me, show me how you do that trick / The one that makes me scream,' she said" is the opening line of what '80s song?

The song is "Just Like Heaven," by The Cure. Lead singer Robert Smith says this is his favorite song by the band.

"I made it through the wilderness / Somehow I made it through" is the opening lyric of what '80s song?

The song is "Like a Virgin," by Madonna. She performed the song live at the very first "MTV Video Music Awards" in 1984, stirring up a great deal of controversy.

"You consider me the young apprentice / Caught between the Scylla and Charibdes" is the opening lyric of what '80s song?

The song is "Wrapped Around Your Finger," by The Police. In Greek mythology, the Scylla is a nymph turned into a monster, and Charibdes is a monster who lives in a whirlpool. Sailors caught between the Scylla and Charibdes faced near-certain death.

"When I look back upon my life / It's always with a sense of shame / I've always been the one to blame" is the opening lyric of what '80s song?

The song is "It's a Sin," by Pet Shop Boys. The anti-Catholic slant of this song caused controversy, especially for vocalist Neil Tennant, who was raised Catholic.

"I know when to go out / And when to stay in / Get things done" is the spoken dialogue at the beginning of what '80s song?

The song is "Modern Love," by David Bowie, recorded in 1983. He recorded another version of the song with Tina Turner in 1987, for a Pepsi commercial.

"I believe the children are our are future" is the opening line of what '80s song?

The song is "The Greatest Love of All," by Whitney Houston. It was written by Michael Masser and Linda Creed for the 1977 film, "The Greatest," a biography of Muhammad Ali. George Benson was the vocalist for the film version.

"We're talking away / I don't know what / I'm to say, I'll say it anyway" is the opening lyric of what '80s song?

The song is "Take On Me," by a-ha. In the music video, the band members and a love interest are trapped in a comic book.

"Desert loving in your eyes all the way" is the opening line of what '80s song?

The song is "Karma Chameleon," by Culture Club. It was the group's biggest hit in the U.K. and won the 1984 Brit Award for Best Single.

"I guess I should of known / By the way you parked your car sideways / That it wouldn't last" is the opening lyric of what '80s song?

The song is "Little Red Corvette," by Prince. Full of innuendo, the song still got radio play and it was Prince's first Top Ten hit in the U.S.

"I must've dreamed a thousand dreams / Been haunted by a million screams" is the opening lyric of what '80s song?

The song is "Land of Confusion," by Genesis. The video for the song featured puppets from a popular political TV series, "Spitting Image." Puppets included likenesses of the Genesis musicians, US President Ronald Reagan, Michael Jackson, Leonard Nimoy as Spock, and so many more.

"I bought a toothbrush, some toothpaste / A flannel for my face / Pajamas, a hairbrush / New shoes and a case" are the opening lines of what '80s song?

The song is "Tempted," by Squeeze. Elvis Costello produced the track. At concerts, fans sometimes threw toothbrushes onstage during these opening lines.

"Black and orange stray cat sittin' on a fence / I ain't got enough dough to pay the rent" is the opening lyric of what '80s song?

The song is "Stray Cat Strut," by Stray Cats. The band was a key part of the rockabilly revival in the early '80s.

"Step right up and don't be shy / Because you will not believe your eyes" is the opening lyric of what '80s song?

The song is 1983's "She's a Beauty," by The Tubes. The video had a happy carnival theme.

"How can I convince you what you see is real?" is the opening line of what '80s song?

The song is "The Search Is Over," by Survivor. The song started as a title in writer Jim Peterik's notebook. It was his habit to write down catchy phrases, then expand them into songs later.

"She was more like a beauty queen from a movie scene" is the opening line of what '80s song?

The song is "Billie Jean," by Michael Jackson. The video, which debuted in 1981, is credited with breaking the color barrier on MTV.

"I've been working so hard / I'm punching my card / Eight hours for what?" is the opening lyric of what '80s song?

The song is "Footloose," by Kenny Loggins. It is the theme song for the 1984 Kevin Bacon movie with the same name.

"All around me are familiar faces / Worn out places, worn out faces" is the opening lyric of what '80s song?

The song is 1983's "Mad World," by Tears for Fears. It was the band's first hit in the UK.

"Here in my car / I feel safest of all" is the opening line of what '80s song?

The song is "Cars," by Gary Numan. The song is about isolation through technology. Numan prefers to mix electronic tracks with real instruments.

"Lying in my bed I hear the clock tick / And think of you" is the opening line of what '80s song?

The song is "Time After Time," by Cyndi Lauper. It was her first number-one hit. The title was inspired by a 1979 Malcolm McDowell movie, also called "Time After Time."

"Poor old Johnny Ray / Sounded sad upon the radio / He moved a million hearts in mono" is the opening lyric of what '80s song?

The song is "Come On Eileen," by Dexys Midnight Runners. Johnny Ray, mentioned in the opening lyrics, was a heartthrob in the 1950s who often cried while singing.

"If I, I get to know your name / Well I, could trace your private number, baby" is the opening line of what '80s song?

The song is "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)" by Dead or Alive, from 1984. The androgynous lead vocalist, Pete Burns, later sued his plastic surgeon for lip injections gone wrong.

"Six o'clock already / I was just in the middle of a dream" is the opening lyric of what '80s song?

The song is "Manic Monday," by the Bangles. The song was written by Prince.

"Used to be a time when you would pamper me / Usta brag about it all the time" is the opening lyric of what '80s song?

The song is "What Have You Done for Me Lately," by Janet Jackson. She is the youngest of nine Jacksons, and as a child she wanted to ride horses and be a jockey.

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About This Quiz

How well do you know your '80s songs? Can you sing every word to every song? Try your hand at this song lyrics quiz.

The '80s was the decade of big hair and blockbuster songs. Iconic artists such as Prince, Michael Jackson, Phil Collins, and Madonna made their mark on the music industry. Groups such as Tears for Fears, The Police, Men at Work, and U2 also gave us more than a few memorable ditties. Assuming you did more than sing along to the chorus of these songs, you should be able to recognize these iconic tunes.

Do you remember "How can you just leave me standing, alone in a world that's so cold? Maybe I'm just too demanding. Maybe I'm just like my father, too bold"? These words are from Prince's blockbuster hit "When Doves Cry." Speaking of Prince, do you remember, "I guess I should have known by the way you parked your car sideways that it wouldn't last. See, you're the kind of person that believes in makin' out once. Love 'em and leave 'em fast"? These are the opening lyrics from Red Corvette, one of our favorites.

So, do you think you can remember the opening lyrics of every '80s song? Take this quiz to find out.

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