The 10 Best Oingo Boingo Songs of All-Time

Oingo Boingo

Have you ever heard of the New Wave band called Oingo Boingo? They haven’t been active in some time, with the last year that they performed being 1995. Despite that fact, they made quite a few waves in the music industry while they were playing. They were formed by Danny Elfman in 1979, coming from a musical theater troupe that he had led called The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo. He’d even written quite a bit of the material for the group, which led him to eventually make the decision to form the band. Maybe you love their songs or maybe you’ve never even heard of them. If you’re curious, here are 10 of their most popular tracks, ranked from worst to best. If you have the time, click on the YouTube link and decide whether or not you like their sound for yourself.

10. Not My Slave (1986)


Back in the 1980s, most women were still expected to do exactly what their husbands told them to do. Young girls were expected to get married and the status quo was largely expected to be followed. This song sort of set all of that on its ear, being released in 1986 and speaking about having a significant other that is viewed as a complete equal in every manner possible. It definitely was one of the very few songs of its type for the time that it was released.

9. We Close Our Eyes (1987)


This particular song discusses how fast life tends to pass by. The lyrics discuss the fact that as human beings, we’re only here for a very short amount of time and that in some cases, that time is over in what seems like the blink of an eye. However, the lyrics go on to talk about the fact that people shouldn’t spend their lives being afraid of death or fearing what’s to come in the future, but instead, living life to the fullest and making the most out of each and every moment. The lyrics emphasize the importance of being fully present in the moment as opposed to allowing your mind to wonder.

8. Nothing to Fear (1982)


At first, some people were actually offended by the song because it almost talks about death as if it doesn’t matter. There’s a part in the song that talks about people dying and how you shouldn’t be afraid. Many people took that to mean that life goes on, so you shouldn’t give it a second thought. However, the song is actually trying to convey the message that unfortunately, death is a part of life. Therefore, you have a choice. You can spend your life being afraid or you can spend your life enjoying everything that crosses your path. While no one is going to enjoy the thought of losing someone they love, it is possible to enjoy every experience that comes your way without allowing those types of fears to cloud your thoughts. The key is learning to open yourself up to that possibility.

7. No One Lives Forever (1985)


By now, you’ve probably started to figure out that the band has a tendency to sing about certain themes. For whatever reason, they sang about deaf quite a lot. Here is another song that talks about the fact that life is very much a finite thing. More importantly, the lyrics discuss how you should never take anything for granted, because no one is promised tomorrow.

6. Weird Science (1985)


The song was written specifically for a movie by the same title and it became an almost instant hit. The truth is, both the movie and the song have become part of 1980s pop culture. As such, both are still enjoyed by a large number of individuals, even today.

5. Private Life (1982)


There aren’t too many people that can’t identify with at least part of this song. The lyrics talk about not wanting to be hurt on an emotional level as well as the tendency to isolate ourselves as humans from other people in an attempt to prevent ourselves from feeling that type of emotional pain. Of course, the song also discusses how that causes a very specific type of emotional pain in and of itself, one that is often worse than simply opening yourself up to being loved.

4. Who Do You Want to Be (1983)


This is an interesting take on popular culture and the effect it has on young individuals. The lyrics talk about people seeing certain characters on television or in movies and then impersonating those characters as opposed to finding out who they truly are.

3. Just Another Day (1985)


This is a rather dark song that talks about feeling like you’re putting your very life on the line in order to do something and wondering if everyone is against you. The song becomes even darker when you realize that the individual who is telling the story has been through this situation so much that they are saying that it’s just another day, as if every other day for a good portion of their life has been exactly the same.

2. Stay (1985)


There’s actually been quite a lot of debate over the years what exactly is meant by the lyrics to this song. Like so many songs, it can carry a lot of different meanings and is quite dependent on your own personal views when you listen to it. Many believe that the lyrics are referring to one person asking another to choose life over death in order to stay with them. When you think of it in that context, the meaning of the song itself becomes quite poignant indeed.

1. Dead Man’s Party (1985)


It’s almost interesting to note that this is largely considered such a popular song by the group because it’s so incredibly dark. Just as the title implies, it’s talking about a funeral. If that’s not dark enough to get your attention, consider this fact. It’s also about the deceased individual attending that funeral as if he were tending his own party. Things take yet another dark turn once the funeral ends and the individual in question starts referring to being buried, forever covered up and in the ground as if he were never anything more than an afterthought to begin with.

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  1. All good songs, but No.s 4, 6, 7 and possibly 8 wouldn’t make my top 10.
    Instead consider:
    “Grey Matter”, which I may have a bias since my old band used to perform it. Still it’s very dynamic and allows Elfman & Hatch to play xylophones.
    “Is This”, from an album without any weak tracks.
    “Can’t See (Useless)”, one of their top 3 best ever songs.
    “Ain’t This The Life” from their 1st EP. Although this new wave style is very dated, it’s creative and very nostalgic.

  2. More of a list of top songs post their career as measures by iTunes. Any list not topped by Only a lad misses the mark. This is a list of the songs that capture the sound and would leave my shins bloodied dancing at concerts. They were far better live than recorded. The intelligent lyrics, their frenetic energy, the created instruments and incorporation of a trombone, sax, and trumpet was amazing for a rock band. The best live act I’ve ever seen.

    10..We close our eyes
    9. Change
    8.No one lives forever
    7.Private Life
    6.Something isn’t right
    5.Nothing to fear
    4.Just another day
    3.Little Girls
    2.Who do you want to be
    1.Only a lad

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