Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time” Is Still A Timeless Dream Come True


The ‘80s was a time of surreal color, life, change, and incredible music. The decade really defined itself early on with perhaps the quintessential ‘80s song, “Time After Time,” by Cyndi Lauper, an easygoing, dreamy ballad that perfectly captures the balance of wistful longing and untamable hope that burst from the seams throughout this remarkable decade.

“Time After Time” graced the airwaves in 1983, but its inspiration came from a piece of literature from years before that was looking to the future. Basically, before anything else at all, the song started with its enduring title, which came from a TV Guide magazine referring to the 1979 sci-fi film, Time After Time. As if that wasn’t enough jumps back and forth through time, that was inspired by the original time travel storyteller, H. G. Wells. The sci-fi inspiration ends there, but what was supposed to just be a placeholder name became so integral to the song, Lauper couldn’t imagine changing it out.


Everything fell into place for “Time After Time” by Cyndi Lauper


When it came to write the lyrics, Lauper worked with Rob Hyman, a founding member of The Hooters. The lyrics that we fell so in love with, the ones that proved love can find everyone, were a mix of Lauper and Hyman’s experiences. Ironically, it was in a crucible of romantic angst that these two were separately embroiled when they wrote this song.

Both Cyndi Lauper and Rob Hyman were going through tough romance times when they worked on Time After Time / Everett Collection

RELATED: Cyndi Lauper Shares Reason For Initially Refusing To Record ‘Girls Just Want to Have Fun’

At the time, Lauper found herself struggling to get her relationship with boyfriend and manager David Wolff onto solid ground. In contrast, Hyman was saying goodbye to a relationship.

None of this sounds like a good state of mind to be composing one of the most charming and enduring love songs of the ‘80s and beyond – and, in fact, Lauper very nearly never performed “Time After Time.” She was mostly done with her debut album, She’s So Unusual, which “Time After Time” would eventually call home, unbeknownst to Lauper at the time. Producer Rick Chertoff connected her with Hyman and insisted they needed to right that proverbial “one more song.” Stuck at a piano together, would more could Lauper and Hyman do besides create a heart-rending, sensual, airy masterpiece?

Everything about the song is the perfect package of ‘80s nostalgia

Everything about the song is real and human and rooted in actual feelings / Everett Collection

Like we said, the ‘80s really defined itself at its best early on with “Time After Time.” Even the music video has that warm and fuzzy kind of feel to watch, the feeling you just want to step right back into because that’s where things make sense and that’s where things may hurt sometimes but things also always work out in the end.

Just like “Time After Time” had lyrics rooted in Lauper and Hyman’s real experiences, the video featured Lauper’s real loved ones, including her mom, brother, and then-boyfriend.

Lauper perfectly captured the feeling of the ’80s that would define the decade for years to come / YouTube screenshot

If you ever want to make a pilgrimage to this tribute to feel-good music and filming at its finest, parts of the video were filmed at the Morristown train station in New Jersey. Another part of that feel-good nostalgia also comes from another filming venue, this one in Betty’s Department Store, which at the time was very important to the culture of Wharton during the ‘70s.

“It was important to me that we were natural and human in the video,” explained Lauper. “I wanted to convey somebody who walked her own path and did not always get along with everyone and did not always marry the guy.”

Sadly, the other location, Tom’s Diner in Roxbury Township, has since been destroyed, but of all the ways to live on after its footprint is beyond recognition, it doesn’t get much better than this music video. Revisit the magic below! We’re sure you’ll be listening to it time after time for years to come.

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