Rupert Holmes – Escape (The Pina Colada song)

First Hit #1: December 22, 1979

It’s appropriate that this song is called Escape, because it’s an odd kind of escapist fantasy. Never mind that the ending is a cute little thing about bored lovers discovering that they’re more perfect for each other than they realize, that’s secondary. The main thing is the chorus, which outlines what the protagonists love and hate, a list that seems to be a reaction against trends as much as anything. The loves are alcohol and romantic gestures – getting caught in the rain, champagne, making love at midnight, the titular Pina Coladas – the hates are stuff that’s trendy health stuff – health food, yoga. In effect, in the list of likes and dislikes, we get the story of two people who just want to be irresponsible and cut loose. If your life is filled with responsibility, there’s something incredibly appealing about getting away from everyone, getting drunk, and making love at midnight. It’s not responsible, but it sounds fun, and it genuinely does feel like an escape.

That’s why the song has endured, people just want to screw responsibility, do something rash, and escape. It’s probably not a good idea in the long run, but in the moment, it sounds great. When you’re sitting around the office and this comes on the radio, it does have a certain appeal to it.

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One Response to Rupert Holmes – Escape (The Pina Colada song)

  1. RBerman says:

    The jerky start-stop accompaniment makes this song instantly recognizable from the first note, a real asset in the pop world. Not a lot of story songs have shown up at #1 lately. The lyrics try to make it cute that both partners were planning infidelity on grounds of boredom. I guess we are to understand that they reacted with a chuckle rather than an argument when each discovered what the other was up to.

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