Tag Archives: Lionel Richie

Love Songs Deconstructed: Take 1

Not So Lovely Love Songs – “Hello” Lionel Richie

I recently had a hilarious, and slightly uncomfortable, conversation with a good friend of mine about the fact that most of the catchy songs on the radio are actually pretty inappropriate when you take an honest look at the lyrics.  Even now when I hear a song from the 90s (my childhood….), I can’t believe some of the things I was allowed to listen to and sing out loud!  Yeah, Christina Aguilera’s “Genie in a Bottle” . . . it ain’t about a Genie . . . or a bottle . . .

This got me to thinking.  What other songs have I obnoxiously sang, around others, without consciously thinking of the innuendo?  Now, I’m a sucker for a good love song.  Even better if it’s catchy . . . and from the 80s.  There’s a popular little ditty by a lesser known singer named Lionel Richie called “Hello” – a sweet song about a man asking a woman to see him and his heart, right?  Yeeeaaaah, no.  It wasn’t until I watched the music video, for this blog post, that I realized there is a much deeper, creepier meaning behind the lyrics of this song.  Take a look for yourself:

If by chance you missed the creepiness unfolding, here is the premiss:  Lionel Ritchie – let’s call him Mr. Richie for fun – becomes infatuated with his female student.  Early on in the video, we find out that she is blind which makes his following her around campus all the more weird and uncomfortable.  Sure, sure – we could argue that there is some symbolism behind her blindness implying “her blindness to his love for her” (I blame my university film courses for making me even notice that symbolism). . . but for the sake of this post, let’s just call a spade a spade.

I’ve been alone with you (creepy)
Inside my mind
And in my dreams I’ve kissed your lips
A thousand times 
I sometimes see you
Pass outside my door (like.. to hand in a class assignment or something..?)

Hello! (Hi Mr. Richie)
Is it me you’re looking for? (Well yeah… class starts in 5 minutes)
I can see it in your eyes
I can see it in your smile (What smile? Its 8 o’clock in the morning – that’s what I would say, anyways…) 
You’re all I’ve ever wanted (Whoa…)
And my arms are open wide
’cause you know just what to say
And you know just what to do
And I want to tell you so much
I love you (Ok…. that escalated quickly)

I long to see the sunlight in your hair
And tell you time and time again
How much I care
Sometimes I feel my heart will overflow
I’ve just got to let you know
’cause I wonder where you are (I’m heading to make a complaint about you following me around campus)
And I wonder what you do
Are you somewhere feeling lonely?
Or is someone loving you?
Tell me how to win your heart (………….)
For I haven’t got a clue (Uh… not being my teacher for starters)
But let me start by saying I love you (Nope…. that won’t do it)

Now that I’ve ruined the loveliness of this love song for all of you, I would like to wish you all a Happy Valentine’s Day!