TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE HEART is totally bonkers

Guest post by Abby Wilson

Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart” was released in 1983 and sold about 6 million copies.

If I remember correctly—and I might not since I wasn’t alive at the time—that was achieved without iTunes. People actually had to leave their homes to purchase that song.

Unfathomable.  Those 6 million listeners must not have seen this nonsensical montage to the stuff of which my nightmares are now made.

I needed a glass of wine to make it through the whole video. I kept waiting for the hook, for the melody to diversify and draw me in, but it was as if the first 45 seconds of chords had been looped through that visual assault of ridiculousness. PAINFUL. But it was probably painful for Ms. Tyler as well since her vocal chords are partially damaged.

Let’s review:

  • Demon-eyed choirboys who FLY (see Guy’s post on the Swamp Demon of Louisiana — cousins?)
  • Scantily-clad back up dancers. In loincloths. When is a loincloth a bad idea? (A: Always)
  • Ninjas and gymnasts
  • Football players
  • Men in swim goggles
  • Fencing
  • A formal toast in which they spill wine (cardinal sin)
  • Throwing birds

Do I even need to address the vast chasm between the lyrics and the visuals? How many times does the demon-eyed boy ask her to turn around, bright eyes? SHE NEVER TURNS AROUND. How hard would it have been to coordinate that?

And is she wearing lingerie or a really ugly wedding dress? I can’t tell.

Just when we think ritual animal sacrifice would be the only thing to make this video creepier, we see the ninjas and choirboys lined up for school with Bonnie as their teacher. So in the end, we find ourselves accomplices in a terrifying teacher-student prep school fantasy. At least that explains the loincloths…

You can find Abby Wilson on the Twitter @blueeyesburn and at her blog,

16 thoughts on “TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE HEART is totally bonkers

  1. Some friends and I had a few beers too many too many one night while watching the old “Night Tracks” all-night video show on Super Station TBS…and we re-wrote lyrics to some of the songs. This one became an ode to oceanographer Jacques Cousteau called “Tow The Calypso To Port.”. I can’t hear this song without singing our version…


  2. I like this parody by the Amateur Transplants:

    Maybe because I’m a retiring recovery room nurse and know how true this parody version is. The “white stuff” is propofol, aka milk of amnesia.


  3. I never paid attention to this video when it came out, and I hated the song. I can only view it now through a welding visor.


  4. To quote Weezer, Say it ain’t so. You weren’t alive in ’83?! Ugh.

    You know, I didn’t like this song back then (I was a kid with no taste in music – had not yet learned to appreciate The Who or Led Zeppelin – but even I knew what sounded stupid), and I don’t like this song now.

    Thanks for reminding me of why.


  5. But the song seemed a perfect match for drunken bellowing in the college quad after keg stands with the football team.
    Kilts – yes. Loincloth – no. Some fashion advice from one who has seen both in action.


  6. Ohhh, you evil girl! This will now be playing on a constant loop in mind, ushering me closer (and I’m teetering already- I have kids) to the brink of insanity!
    But also, this post was really funny. I agree that there really is no right time for a loincloth. Perhaps the rule should follow wearing white? After Memorial Day, never beyond Labor Day and grossly inappropriate for funerals?


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