Genius of Love – Unraveling the Cult Classic’s Vibrant Ode to Musical Revolution


You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Tom Tom Club's Genius of Love at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning
  4. A Euphoric Jailbreak into Melodic Freedom
  5. Timeless Infatuation: Love’s Eternal Dance Floor
  6. Funky Homage: The Titans of Rhythm and Rhyme
  7. Escaping the Mundane: Substance-Fueled Haze and the Pursuit of Rhythm
  8. The Undercurrent of Depth in a ‘Genius of Love’

Lyrics

What you gonna do when you get out of jail?
I’m gonna have some fun
What do you consider fun?
Fun, natural fun

I’m in heaven
With my boyfriend, my laughing boyfriend
There’s no beginning and there is no end
Time isn’t present in that dimension
He’ll take my arm
When we’re walkin’, rolling and rocking
It’s one time I’m glad I’m not a man
Feels like I’m dreaming, but I’m not sleeping

I’m in heaven
With the maven of funk mutation
Clinton’s musicians such as Bootsy Collins
Raise expectations to a new intention
No one can sing
Quite like Smokey, Smokey Robinson
Wailin’ and skankin’ to Bob Marley
Reggae’s expanding with Sly and Robbie

Oops! Your mama said uh
Oops! Your mama said uh
Oops! Your mama said uh
Oops! Your mama

All the weekend
Boyfriend was missing
I surely miss him
The way he’d hold me in his warm arms
We went insane when we took cocaine

“Bohannon, Bohannon, Bohannon, Bohannon”
“Bohannon, Bohannon, Bohannon, Bohannon”

Stepping in a rhythm to a Kurtis Blow
Who needs to think when your feet just go?
With a hippie-the-hip and a hippie-the-hop
Who needs to think when your feet just go
“Bohannon, Bohannon, Bohannon, Bohannon”
Who needs to think when your feet just go
“Bohannon, Bohannon, Bohannon, Bohannon”
James Brown, James Brown
James Brown, James Brown

If you see him
Please remind him, unhappy boyfriend
Well he’s the genius of love
He’s got a greater depth of feeling
Well he’s the genius of love
He’s so deep

Full Lyrics

Thomas Dolby heralded it as the ‘soundtrack to the summer of a million love affairs.’ The 1981 hit ‘Genius of Love’ by Tom Tom Club has woven its way through decades of dance floors, radio waves, and hip hop samples, becoming an enduring icon of groovy eclecticism. But beyond the infectious beats and playful references, there lies a substantive layer of meaning and tribute within the song’s fabric.

Anchored by Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz, stalwarts of the new wave band Talking Heads, Tom Tom Club’s foray yielded a track that celebrated and transcended the musical landscape of its time. Let’s dissect the deceptively simple lyrics and unfurl the deeper narrative hidden within this club classic.

A Euphoric Jailbreak into Melodic Freedom

The opening lines provocatively ask, ‘What you gonna do when you get out of jail?’ instantly setting a tone of liberation and unadulterated joy. The protagonist’s answer, ‘I’m gonna have some fun,’ speaks to a universal desire for release and the pursuit of ‘natural fun’ — a notion free from societal constraints and limitations.

Here, the song evokes the feeling of being unshackled, not just from a physical prison, but from the metaphorical confines that often inhibit the creative spirit. It’s about breaking free into a world of ceaseless imagination and musical exploration.

Timeless Infatuation: Love’s Eternal Dance Floor

‘I’m in heaven with my boyfriend, my laughing boyfriend.’ This line epitomizes the simple, pure ecstasy of being with someone who not only shares your joy, but amplifies it. The ‘no beginning and there is no end’ underscores a love that’s infinite, transcending the very concept of time as the couple loses themselves in rhythm and togetherness.

Moreover, the delight in her boyfriend’s company and the gratitude of experiencing femininity — ‘It’s one time I’m glad I’m not a man’ — hints at a deeper contentment found within her own identity and the relationship dynamics that bring her joy.

Funky Homage: The Titans of Rhythm and Rhyme

The Tom Tom Club pays reverent homage to the ‘maven of funk mutation’ and the musical giants of their time. As they name-drop George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, Smokey Robinson, Bob Marley, and Sly and Robbie, it’s a roll call of innovation, acknowledging those artists’ substantial contributions to the soundscape of the ’70s and ’80s.

Reverberating through the track is the notion that each of these legends has mutated funk into something greater — raising both the stakes and the expectations for what pop music can express. Each name uttered is an invocation of their genius, a tribute to their influence on Tom Tom Club’s own creative pulse.

Escaping the Mundane: Substance-Fueled Haze and the Pursuit of Rhythm

There’s a candid nod to the days of insobriety in the line, ‘We went insane when we took cocaine,’ suggesting a darker turn in the pursuit of fun. Yet, the song does not linger in this space of narcotic-induced euphoria; instead, it swiftly returns to the sensory indulgence of music and dance, as felt in the hypnotic repetition of ‘Bohannon, Bohannon.’

In the insistent groove, ‘Who needs to think when your feet just go?’ the song encapsulates the essence of dance — an instinctual, thought-free reaction to music that represents liberation in its purest form. This line is more than a catchphrase; it’s a call to live in the moment, to surrender to the beat, and to let your physicality take the reins.

The Undercurrent of Depth in a ‘Genius of Love’

Amidst the exuberant beats, there surfacing a subtle notion of ‘a greater depth of feeling’ positions the unnamed ‘unhappy boyfriend’ as the titular ‘genius of love.’ It’s an insight that binds theme with sentiment, heralding the layers of emotion that are often overlooked in the celebration of rhythm and swaying bodies.

He is ‘so deep,’ not just in his comprehension of love but perhaps in his grasp of life and its interconnected emotions, music, and experiences. In these closing lines, we find a contemplative acknowledgment that within every craft, including the creation of a seemingly simple song, there lies an ocean of depth and a well of heartfelt sincerity.

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