We can dance if we want to
We can leave your friends behind
'Cause your friends don't dance
And if they don't dance
Well, they're no friends of mine

Say, we can go where we want to
A place where they will never find
And we can act like we come
From out of this world
Leave the real one far behind

And we can dance
Or sing

We can go when we want to
Night is young and so am I
And we can dress real neat
From our hats to our feet
And surprise 'em with the victory cry

Say, we can act if we want to
If we don't, nobody will
And you can act real rude and totally removed
And I can act like an imbecile

And say, we can dance, we can dance
Everything's out of control
We can dance, we can dance
They're doing it from pole to pole
We can dance, we can dance
Everybody look at your hands
We can dance, we can dance
Everybody's taking the chance
Safety dance
Oh well, the safety dance
Ah yes, the safety dance

We can dance if we want to
We've got all your life and mine
As long as we abuse it, never gonna lose it
Everything'll work out right

I say, we can dance if we want to
We can leave your friends behind
Because your friends don't dance
And if they don't dance
Well, they're no friends of mine

I say, we can dance, we can dance
Everything's out of control
We can dance, we can dance
We're doing it from pole to pole
We can dance, we can dance
Everybody look at your hands
We can dance, we can dance
Everybody's taking the chance

Oh well, the safety dance
Ah yes, the safety dance
Oh well, the safety dance
Oh well, the safety dance
Oh yes, the safety dance
Oh, the safety dance, yeah
Well, it's the safety dance
It's the safety dance
Well, it's the safety dance
Well, it's the safety dance
Oh, it's the safety dance
Oh, it's the safety dance


Lyrics submitted by numb, edited by Deloreanfan, james10841

The Safety Dance [Video Version] Lyrics as written by Ivan Doroschuk

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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The Safety Dance song meanings
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66 Comments

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  • +8
    General CommentHi, just found out this in the wiki: "The writer/performer, Ivan Doroschuk, has explained that "The Safety Dance" is a protest against bouncers stopping dancers pogoing to 1980s New Wave music in clubs when Disco was dying and New Wave was up and coming. New Wave dancing, especially pogoing, was different from Disco dancing, because it was done individually instead of with partners and involved holding the torso rigid and thrashing about. To uninformed bystanders this could look dangerous, especially if pogoers accidentally bounced into one another (the more deliberately violent version of pogoing is slam dancing). The bouncers didn't like pogoing so they would tell pogoers to stop or be kicked out of the club. Thus, the song is a protest and a call for freedom of expression. It has been claimed that the meaning of the song can be found in similarities between "Safety Dance" and "Safe to dance". Other lyrics in the song include references to the way pogoing looked to bouncers, especially "And you can act real rude and totally removed/And I can act like an imbecile".

    Doroschuk denies two common myths about the song. First, it is not a call for safe sex. Doroschuk says that is reading too much into the lyrics. Second, it is not an anti-nuclear protest despite the nuclear imagery at the end of the video. Doroschuk says that he considers Men Without Hats "a punk band with one hit song" and that as such they were "anti- everything".
    [edit]
    dadawomanon June 02, 2010   Link
  • +3
    General CommentWell at least our songs knew how to spell correctly back in the day.
    emuInAmuumuuon May 03, 2012   Link
  • +2
    General CommentOkay, I never thought it was a song about promoting safe sex, but I did think it was a song about him trying to convince her that it was safe and not a big deal to have sex. If I were Doroschuk, I don't think I'd mention THIS deeper meaning at an interview. And if you replace the word dance for sex in the lyrics (despite the fact that it isn't grammatically correct) it makes a lot of sense in correspondence with such a premises.
    Cami99on January 23, 2014   Link
  • +1
    General Comment(ends a moshpit) (starts a disco)
    [inactive account]on May 11, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General CommentDansez is, like that one guy said, the Vous form of danzer, to dance. Vous danzez would be basically saying "you dance" to a person you do not know (formal). Saying simple DANSEZ! would imply a command, hence:

    And we can dance... [you] DANCE!
    wicka_wickaon December 04, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThey went over this song on that True Spin show. This song is a tribute to slam dancing. I know, doesn't seem like a song someone would slam dance to, but slam dancing was a big controversial thing at the time this song was made, and they wrote a song about what they thought.

    "Say, we can go where we want to
    A place where they will never find
    And we can act like we come from out of this world
    Leave the real one far behind "

    Acting what most people would think totally insance, ramming into eachother mindlessly and calling it a dance.

    "Say, we can act if we want to
    If we don't nobody will
    And you can act real rude and totally removed
    And I can act like an imbecile "

    It's not exactly teh friendliest form of expression. You act like a rude imbecile, basicaly kicking the crap out of the person next to you, but everyone has a good time.
    Slightly_Shinobion October 24, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is about moshing. Slightly_Shinobi got it right.
    kmk_natashaon January 03, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentExactly, it's about slamdancing. The singer talks about how his girl should leave her friends in the moshpit "'Cause your friends don't dance and if they don't dance, Well, they're no friends of mine"
    The whole thing about "safety dance" is sort of "anti-slam dancing", how if you did the "Safety Dance" you wouldn't take someone's eyeball out ("everybody look at your hands" = Watch where you're dancing!)
    I don't see anything about nukes in there...
    Philemon_Crowleyon June 18, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI cannot believe I have found a bunch of people discussing this song(over a period of years I grant you).Fantastic.I have the picture disc of this somewhere as well as all other albums.Not just a catchy pop tune, it is full of lovely little puns & ironies
    maggot brainon January 15, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"We can dance if we want to"
    "We can go where we want to"
    "We can act if we want to"

    seem to be about free expression, but then...

    "your friends don't dance, and if they don't dance then they're no friends of mine"

    doesn't want to have anything to do with someone because he or she doesn't express thought or emotion or whatever the speaker expresses like the speaker expresses. just thought that was weird.
    rSaEdAiNoon June 24, 2011   Link

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