Bonnie Tyler — “Total Eclipse of the Heart”
- Title: Total Eclipse of the Heart
- Date: 1983
- Singer: Bonnie Taylor
- Lyrics: Jim Steinman
- Music: Jim Steinman
The music video is directed by Russell Mulcahy. It is slightly cryptic and mystic. Here's Wikipedia excerpt.
The music video for “Total Eclipse of the Heart” was directed by Russell Mulcahy. It was story-boarded by Jim Steinman and drew inspiration from the 1976 film Futureworld. The Gothic-themed video features Bonnie Tyler clad in white, apparently having a dream or fantasy about her students in a boys' boarding school. Young men are seen dancing and participating in various school activities such as swim team, karate, gymnastics, football, fencing, soccer, and singing in a choir. The video was shot at Holloway Sanatorium, notable for its Gothic architecture and distinguished for the multi-arched grand entrance as seen at the end of the video.
If you have a eye for humanity, language, art, then you'll note quite a few things.
• Many music videos of 1980s, and this one, is done as a short arthouse film. It has a coherent story ＆ meaning. Top quality directing and imagination. Here's some other examples:
- Cyndi Lauper — “She Bop”
- Michael Jackson — “Thriller”
- Michael Jackson — “Beat It”
- Laura Branigan — “Self Control”
You don't find that much today.
• The song is about a mid-aged woman's loneliness and fantasy of sex with her school boy students. A taboo topic in today's USA. When in mid-age, who doesn't admire the bodies of teen boys or girls, and perhaps fantasize about it?
• The video shows masculine beauty. The pretty boys, and the swim team, karate, fencing, football, gymnasts. She is the only woman in the film.
Note: The above diagram does not cover the complete lyrics. For example, it misses this line: “Turnaround, Every now and then I get a little bit restless and I dream of something wild”, and also “And if you'll only hold me tight”.
↺ ≔ Turnaround, every now and then ↺ I get a little bit lonely and you're never coming around ↺ I get a little bit tired of listening to the sound of my tears ↺ I get a little bit nervous that the best of all the years have gone by ↺ I get a little bit terrified and then I see the look in your eyes turnaround bright eyes, every now and then I fall apart turnaround bright eyes, every now and then I fall apart ↺ I get a little bit restless and I dream of something wild ↺ I get a little bit helpless and I'm lying like a child in your arms ↺ I get a little bit angry and I know I've got to get out and cry ↺ I get a little bit terrified but then I see the look in your eyes turnaround bright eyes, every now and then I fall apart turnaround bright eyes, every now and then I fall apart
▲1 ≔ And I need you now tonight And I need you more than ever And if you'll only hold me tight We'll be holding on forever And we'll only be making it right Cause we'll never be wrong Together we can take it to the end of the line Your love is like a shadow on me all of the time I don't know what to do and I'm always in the dark We're living in a powder keg and giving off sparks I really need you tonight Forever's gonna start tonight Forever's gonna start tonight
▲2 ≔ Once upon a time I was falling in love But now I'm only falling apart There's nothing I can do A total eclipse of the heart Once upon a time there was light in my life But now there's only love in the dark Nothing I can say A total eclipse of the heart
turnaround bright eyes turnaround bright eyes ↺ I know you'll never be the boy you always you wanted to be ↺ I know you'll always be the only boy who wanted me the way that I am ↺ I know there's no one in the universe as magical and wonderous as you ↺ I know there's nothing any better and there's nothing that I just wouldn't do turnaround bright eyes, every now and then I fall apart turnaround bright eyes, every now and then I fall apart
Here's a hilarious parody.
Here's the lyrics:
(Pan the room.) Random use of candles, empty bottles, and cloth, and can you see me through this fan? (Slo-mo dove.) Creepy doll, a window, and what looks like a bathrobe. Then, a dim-lit shot of dangling balls.
(Metaphor?) Close-up of some candles, and dramatically posing. Then, stock footage of a moon in the sky. (Bottle shot.) Messing up my close-up with a floating blue curtain. Now, let's see who's coming in from outside.
(Double doors open.) Why aren't I reacting in this shot? (Ringo Starr? Lined eyes.) Guess I should be acting, but I'm not.
(Doors ajar.) Wander through a hall with doors that magically open, and this classroom has a fan. (Open shirts.) Now it's getting creepy. You can tell by my staring, it's a long time since I've been with a man.
(Stupid chair.) Emo Kid is throwing Slo-Mo Dove at my face. I guess that means that he just flipped me the bird. (Locker room.) Staring at the swim team gets you killed by a gang of dancing ninja men who know how to twirl.
(Spin around. Ninjas!) Then, a bunch of preppies make a toast. (Drinking wine. Douchebags!) Most of it just ends up on the floor.
And they shouldn't fence at night or they're gonna hurt the gymnasts. Why do they play football inside? Here's another shot of fencing. And I've mostly been lit from behind. Watch these shadows run off.
I walk onto a terrace where I think I'm alone. But Arthur Fonzarelli's got an army of clones. (Fonzie's been cloned!) They do the Macarena, but I'm still not impressed. They beg for me to dance with them, but not in this dress! I'll pose like Rocky tonight! I'm running up a bunch of stairs. (Strip football, and surprise mirror!)
Here's where I pretend to be Eva Peron. Look at me, I'm lifting my arms. There's nothing else to shoot, so zoom camera under this arch. Leaning on myself, because there's two of me here. But now there's only one on this shot. I pull my feathered hair whenever I see floating cloth.
[ F: oh oh, i got to use the bathroom but the door is locked. Can you help me? M: i'll open the door for you F: or thank you sir, how can i ever repay you M: how about a towel Boys: hey guys check this out … (brouhaha) ]
(Blind possessed choir boys.) Get out of my way! I've gotta pee! (Zombie cult!) Never mind. I just went on the floor!
Now I need to find a mop! (Look at me now!) Emo Kid wears too much makeup. Now, watch a bunch of half-naked guys (Hairless chests.) As they dance around in diapers. And I've joined the Glee Club of the Damned. (Reference joke!) Look, the fog machine's on!
What kind of private school would let in these kind of guys? It started out as Hogwarts, now it's Lord of the Flies! (I hated that book.) I'm swaying side to side. These dancers need to stop. The gayest man on earth would call this over the top! I whip my head to the right! I'll never go to church again. (I think I lost a contact lens.)
When did spazzing out qualify as a dance? Kneeling like I want to throw up. What the effing crap? That angel guy just felt me up! Here's a line of guys. I was wearing a dress. But now they've got me wearing a suit. (One kid's running late. I think he's too young for this school.)
I'm totally shaking his hand. (Mullet with headlights? Over-surprised guy. Weirded out…)
Go thru and understand all the slangs, allusions, references. This “literal video” parody made the meaning of the song much clear. Parodies, and comics, usually capture the real world observations, pop culture, as they are, because in order to make people laugh, you have to be real. (as opposed to what academicians, politicians, activists, feminists, grammarians, want to tell you how the world is with their theories.)
The parody version has several slangs. “effing”, “felt me up”, “weirded out”. I think they started as teen girl slangs. If you know the history of these, please comment.
This song reminds me of Laura Branigan's Self Control.