From the Vault: the safety dance

Last night, Nolan went through my iTunes library so he could put some of my awesome music on his iPod. He’s been after me for months to give him Radiohead, The Beatles, Tool, Decemberists, and a lot of my 80s stuff.

While he looked, the following exchange occurred:

Nolan: Why do you have The Safety Dance in your iTunes library? Me: So I can dance, if I want to. Duh. Nolan: You are so weird.

He ended up taking a little over 5 GB of my music, and I enacted a don’t ask, don’t tell policy about Men Without Hats. Shortly after he went to bed, I was washing dishes, and remembered this old blog post from 2003:

Anne and I were listening to Fred while we were driving home from Burbank the other day. That stupid “Safety Dance” song came on, and I said to her, “This is the weirdest song, ever.”

“Yeah, who thought this was a good idea?” she said.

“I mean, think about all the steps that went into this: someone wrote down all these words, then composed music, then produced the whole thing . . . and at every step of the way, they believed that this was a song worth releasing.” I said.

“Hey, Neil,” she said, in a really bad British accent, “Let’s make a song about the Safety Dance!”

“Oh, that’s brilliant!” I said, in my own bad accent, “We’ll have them all hoppin’ and dancin’ and –“

I started to giggle, and was unable to continue.

“You can dance! You can dance! Everybody look at your hands!” I sang, involuntarily.

CLAP! CLAP! went Anne’s hands.

“You can dance! You can dance! Everybody’s taking the chaaaaa-HAAAAA-nnnncccceeeeee . . . ” I continued.

“With the SAFETY DANCE!” We shouted out in unison.

“We are such dorks,” Anne said.

“Yeah,” I agreed.

We sang the remainder of the song with extreme gusto.

I should also point out that when we got home, Ryan told us that he wants to buy “Thriller.”

I think there’s something in the water here.

2003 seems like an eternity ago. I guess in some ways, it was, wasn’t it?

73 thoughts on “From the Vault: the safety dance”

  1. That’s right Wil! Anyone who questions the awesomeness of this song should know that if they don’t dance they will be left behind! 😉
    Love the Safety Dance!

  2. Totally off topic, but it’s 3/14. You know what day it is?! It’s π Day! What I didn’t know, (because I’ve fallen behind on my geek lessons) is that it’s also Einstein’s Birthday. The coincidence is just too thick on that one.
    Now, in the past, it seems you had a post about π day, so I’m thinking you must be in Nirvana over the audition. Hope things turned out well.

  3. It just all boils down to if your friends don’t dance and if they don’t dance then they’re no friends of mine.
    It does seem a looong way away…

  4. My son and I combined our iTunes libraries completely. So, he gets to pick and choose from all of my 70s and 80s classic rock, and I get to sample his new Rise Against, Avenged Sevenfold, and Ill Scarlett albums.

  5. I’d e-mail you, but to be honest, I’m new at encryption.
    However, I do have a blog on and am in touch with the President of Xanga (Marc).
    I’m wondering if you’d be interested in expanding you audience to include those who are using the Xanga platform?
    You can see my blog at
    Thank you for your time and consideration – and I apologize for leaving a comment of this nature.
    Joel (aka edlives)

  6. Oh yeah, and Happy Pi Day! (Is this what they call a power lunch over at Wilmont & Ross?)
    Oh god, he carries it in his pocket! THANK YOU!

  7. The blog claims this post has 60 comments, but it refuses to show them to me no matter how much I plead, so… I apologize if someone else has already said this.
    I know you don’t play World of Warcraft, Wil, but Blizzard likes to reference the real world and the fun and geeky things in it as often as they can. One of the boss battles in the dungeon Naxxramas is synchronized to The Safety Dance. There are videos on YouTube (search term “heigan safety dance”, Heigan the Unclean being the boss’s name) that show the battle with The Safety Dance playing over it so you can see the sludge popping out of the ground in time to the music.
    It’s one of my favorite single boss battles in the game.

  8. I think a little over half of my music is songs I keep around because they remind me of silly moments like yours that I had with friends or the fam.
    *goes to switch on ‘Candyman’ and sing it loudly through the phone to my sugar-addicted friend*

  9. For the record Wil…I loathe “The Safety Dance”. I agree it’s GOT to be one of the most lame-o songs EVER. But it’s one of those songs that gets stuck in your head. Doesn’t make it any less lame in my book…but still lame none the less.
    BTW…am I lame for putting “lame-o”?
    /trundles off into the distance…softly singing…’You can dance if you want to’… DAMMIT!! DAMN YOU WIL WHEATON!!! /shakes a fist

  10. I haven’t heard or thought of Safety Dance in years! Now I can’t get it out of my head AND I had to sing it to my husband, who didn’t know it and still says “HUH??” He somehow missed the ’80s, but I’m educating him.

  11. Long time lurker – First time poster.
    Safty Dance holds a special place in my heart. It was the first song I heard on the raido after Graduting from Marine Corps Boot Camp. Before leaving San Diego that night, I went out of my way to get the album (on tape), and still have it in it’s place of honor, slot one of case one (the only one I keep out of order). So, I for one, am glad all the steps required were completed.

  12. Haha!
    I find it interesting that you make fun of Men Without Hats by using British accents. Considering that the band is French Canadian.

  13. Hi Wil,
    I find it funny that you are making fun of Men Without Hats by using a British accent, considering that they are French Canadian.

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