30 more totally bodacious present perfect 80s songs

@richyrocksenglish visit richyrocks.com for 50 examples of #presentperfect in 80s songs #fypシ #english #vocabulary #englishcoach #englishteacher #vocabularioeninglés #englishclass #englishlesson #englishpractice ♬ Sledgehammer – Extended Version – Peter Gabriel

that’s right. like the title says, 30 more 80s songs that have present perfect in the lyrics to complement a similar post from earlier this year.  the present perfect structure is the auxiliary have/has + past participle. here we go…

billy idol‘s 1982 classic white wedding is not actually (in fact) about his sister, but rather an old girlfriend who is marrying another guy. thus the first line

hey little sister what have u done?


run dmc‘s cover of aerosmith‘s walk this way is about a loser high school kid having his first sexual experience. in the first verse the boy’s dad tells him…

u ain’t seen nothing till you’re down on a muffin

ain’t seen nothing is a double negative which means it is frowned on (not approved of) in academic environments but is common in the lyrics of popular music. ain’t is an informal alternative for the auxiliary haven’t, so ain’t seen is in fact present perfect.  down on a muffin probably refers to oral sex performed on a woman. muffin can be used as a name for female genitalia.


similarly, this trio of madonna songs are all about sex

the third line of the second verse of like a virgin is a reduced form of present perfect continuous (the auxiliary have is omitted)…

gonna give u all my love, boy
my fear is fading fast
been saving it all for u
’cause only love can last

borderline is a song about defining a relationship. at 1:05 and again at 2:45 the lyrcis say…

just try to understand
i’ve given all I can

and papa don’t preach, a track about an unplanned pregnancy, has this verse at 2:45.

daddy, daddy if u could only see
just how good he’s been treating me
you’d give us your blessing right now

in additon to the present perfect continuous example (he’s been treting me), if u could only see, you’d give us your blessing is 2nd condtional 👉🏼 it’s hypothetical because madonna’s papa doesn’t actually know her boyfriend. preach means give advice in an annoying, self-righteous way.

the chorus includes another present perfect continuous example…

i’ve been losing sleep

amazingly, all three of these songs AND true blue from the first 80s present perfect post are mentioned in the opening scene of quentin tarrantino‘s first movie, reservoir dogs.


king of pain by the police is about a tormented soul. the first line of the chorus says…

i have stood here before inside the pouring rain

stood is the irregular past tense of stand.

wrapped around your finger, another favorite by the police, is about power in a relationship shifting (changing). the second verse says…

i have only come here seeking knowledgethings they would not teach me of in college

seek means look for.  the pronunciation of the word knowledge is another useful observation. despite starting with the word know, it is pronounced NAH-luj and rhymes with college (university). would in this line indicates past tense.


this lyric from fight the power, public enemy‘s black power anthem, can be heard at 1:08

now that you’ve realized the pride’s arrived
we got to pump the stuff to make us tough

you’ve realized and pride’s arrived are present perfect.  got to is a reduced version of the have got structure that is equivalent to the verb have. pump the stuff to make us tough means play the music that makes us feel strong.

public enemy
cyndi lauper


at the beginning of the third verse of cyndi lauper‘s emotional hit time after time (2:35) listen for

after my picture fades and darkness has turned to gray

fade means lose color.

and in true colors, another emotional ballad by lauper, these lines appear twice

if this world makes u crazy and you’ve taken all you can bearu call me up because u know i’ll be there

bear means support, handle.


starting over, a john lennon song about the evolution of his relationship with yoko ono, contains this present perfect phrase in the first line and then again at the end of the song…

we have grown

and u can hear this present perfect phrase twice too

it’s been too long since we took the time

too refers to an excessive amount of time.


dexy’s midnight runners‘ iconic jam come on eileen also talks about having grown, but in an effort to convince eileen to have sex with the vocalist.  in a bridge that starts at 2:25 u can hear not only you’ve grown, but you’ve shown and things ’round here have changed as well.

emma watson‘s dancing to this song in the movie perks of being a wallflower is special…


at 1:50 in this video, kylie minogue claims (it’s her opinion) that there’s never been a dance that’s so easy to do as the locomotion


some people say the first rap song ever on the radio was aerosmith’s walk this way (see above) others say it was blondie‘s rapture. which ends with a silly (fun, nonsense) rap about an apocalyptic visit from a martian. apparently, humanity survived because near the conclusion of the track (3:40) the rap says that the man from mars [has] gone back up to outer space.


the quirky (peculiar, unconventional) duet to all the girls i’ve loved before by the improbable (surprising, not obvious) vocal duo of willie nelson and julio iglesias has the obvious present perfect in the title as well as in the second line of the second verse, sung by iglesias…

to all the girls i once caressed
and may i say i’ve held the best

caress means touch affectionately. held is the irregular past participle of hold.


in the movie american psycho, a satire on 80s values, patrick bateman (played by christian bale) famously breaks down (explains, analyzes) why he loves several 80s songs, groups and singers.  at 1:10 in this clip from the film, u can acutally hear these lyrics from the genesis song in too deep

it seems i’ve spent too long only thinking about myself now i want to spend my life just caring ’bout somebody else

bateman then plays phil collins‘ track sussudio and a sex scene ensues (follows). unfortunately, the clip cuts off (stops) before we can hear the first two verses which both start with present perfect…
first verse

there’s a girl that’s been on my mind all the time, sussudio

second verse

now i know that i’m too young, my love has just begun, sussudio

poses from the famous sussudio sex scene in american psycho
one more night is one more phil collins song that starts each of its first two verses with present perfect, actually present perfect continuous in this case (have/has + been  + -ing verb)

verse 1

i’ve been trying, so long to let u know
let u know how i feel

verse 2

i’ve been sitting here so long, wasting timejust staring at the phone

stare means look at intensely.

phil collins’ biggest hit, in the air tonight has lyrics with present perfect continuous too.

the first line of journey‘s who’s crying now has present perfect

it’s been a mystery, and still they try to see
why something good can hurt so bad

and faithfully a ballad about the complications rockstars have with relationships says this at :47

they say that the road ain’t no place hto start a family
right down the line, it’s been u and me

right down the line means always, every time. ain’t in this lyric is a substitute for isn’t.


the first verse of the indigo girlscloser to fine ends with

and the best thing u ever done for me
Is to help me take my life less seriously
It’s only life after all

u ever done is a reduction of you’ve ever done (present perfect 😼). ever means at any time. after all means finally, in the end.


the super long outro (which starts at 3:25 in the video) to peter gabriel‘s sledgehammer  includes the present perfect continuous phrases you’ve been coming through and i’ve been feeding the rhythm.

the title i’ve been tired by the pixies is present perfect as is the reduction she been in the first verse

she’s a real left-winger
’cause she been down south
and held peasants in her arms

left-winger refers to someone from the political leftliberal, progressive. peasants are poor farmers.


in vacation by the go-go‘s, a song about falling in love on vacation, u can hear the lyric i still haven’t gotten over u yet at 1:10 and again at 2:10.

and head over heels, also by the go-go’s, is the soundtrack for the opening credits in the beloved movie 13 going on 30.  the first line is a reduced version of present perfect continuous and the second line is present perfect too

been running so longi’ve nearly lost all track of time

nearly means almost.

the lyrics to head over heels also include the reductions been runnin so fast  & been runnin so hard and the present perfect phrase i’ve waited so long.


the second line of the second verse in i can’t fight this feeling  by reo speedwagon has the present perfect continuous lyric i’ve been running around in circles in my mind. likewise (similarly), there is present perfect in the chorus…

i can’t fight this feeling anymore
i’ve forgotten what i started fighting for

and the first and final verse  of reo’s take it on the run is

heard it from a friend who
heard it from a friend who
heard it from another
u been messin’ around

mess around is a phrasal verb that means have sex with another person, be unfaithful.


the second verse of billy joel‘s a matter of trust starts

i’ve lived long enough to have learned
the closer u get to the fire the more u get burned


finally, two of tina turner‘s most recognized hits have easily recognizable examples of present perfect. what’s love got to do with it has a bridge at 2:25 with two cases of present perfect continuous…

i’ve been taking on a new direction but I have to sayi’ve been thinking about my own protection, it scares me to feel this way

the phrasal verb take on means adopt.

and the chorus of the best says…

you’re simply the best, better than all the restbetter than anyone i’ve ever met

the tiktok at the top of this post contains graphics that define the following vocabulary: gather, realize, roughly, a third, fuckin, bullshit, as, would, add up, bias, as much as (a comparative) and matter.

bodacious, the word in the title of this post, means excellent and is associated with the lingo (informal vocabulary) of the 80s.

text poster that reads totally bodacious grandma--vocabulario en inglés--present perfect

bodacious 80s kids are now grandparents. is your grandma bodacious? (redbubble.com)

which 80s cut is your favorite? share your choice under leave a reply


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