Laura Branigan – Self Control

This characteristic 1980s pop song might be about prostitution: a “painted girl” gives herself completely over to the creatures of  the night, without the will to resist.  But it is probably just about a woman being lost in the excitement of the nightlife: clubs and cocktails, casual sex and good times. She gives up her freedom to an authority of hedonism, letting that take her where it pleases. In this sense, the singer’s abandonment to pleasure is a call to listeners to also throw caution to the wind. (Given the serious risk of HIV/AIDS at this time, the song may also be quite socially irresponsible).

In another sense, the song is a curious take on authority, especially considering pop songs tend to celebrate personal freedom, not giving in to others or other things. Authority is a kind of power, when we follow directives because we have respect from where those orders are coming from. Parents, governments, the law and God are typical sources of authority, not discotheques!

Of course, we may be digging too deep into this piffle of a ditty. Yet on the other side of giving in, Belinda Carlisle may have also been confused about exercising freedom with Live Your Life Be Free.


3 thoughts on “Laura Branigan – Self Control

  1. Wow. I always liked that song but clearly never saw that video because ICK! People pawing at her, Mike Myers from Halloween leaves Jamie Lee Curtis to make a cameo in this, she seems to like it, is she experimenting? Why are the streets covered in Hefty Hefty Cinch Sack bags? Is that like one big condom around downtown?

  2. LB had much input into the
    evolution of video with Freidkin.
    Her voice on Self Control 1996
    Chile concert is other worldly fab…
    at age 44 Laura is truly on fire….
    strutting with confidence and tons
    of sexy – Google & enjoy her show!

    RIP te amo 💕

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