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Before I knew what a goth was, I sung along with this tune. I never said, "Wow, she's so Goth." I'd say, "Wow, it's the girl Tom Petty was singing about on the last track of Full Moon Fever." The Goths in the audience can correct me on this if I've got his description mucked up with punks or ravers or what have you. But when the freaky teenagers who strive for uniqueness by making themselves look like all their friends walk by, I whistle this great tune and smile. The playful stabs at trying to get into R movies, the puns, and the admonitions to have fun (but to not be a follower) are all aimed directly at a poor, misguided youth.

With the schlock organ intro right out of a B movie about the undead, the wailing windmill guitar reminiscent of Pete Townshend, and the chorus of mindless teenie boppers on backing vocals, you know he's going to deliver yet another awesome tune. The sparkling organ in the background in the chorus reminds me of Hot Topic eye shadow and body glitter, even though the song probably pre-dates their recent resurgence in popularity by a good ten years. His slight country twang in the vocals makes his questions even more incredulous--"Gurl, whut on erth are yew dewin' with yer face all gussied up lahk thayut?" Only not quite so bad as all that. It's Tom Petty as usual, asking why on earth the pretty girls from Free Fallin' have decided to bring such a scary fashion trend to his otherwise blonde, American-as-apple-pie California dream of his teenage years.

Ironically, if you leave the CD on repeat all, or the tape on auto reverse, the first words Tom sings after this song are, "She's a good girl." And I don't think that's an accident.


All down the street, they're standing in line
with white lipstick and one thing on their mind
Hey little freak with the lunchpail purse
underneath the paint, you're just a little girl

Dancin' at the Zombie Zoo,
Dancin' at the Zombie Zoo...
Painted in a corner, and all you wanna do is
Dance down at the Zombie Zoo.

Cute little dropout, how come you pack a rod?
Is your mother in a clinic? Has your father got no job?
Sometimes you're so impulsive--you shaved off all your hair!
You look like Boris Karloff, and you don't even care.

Dancin' at the Zombie Zoo
Dancin' at the Zombie Zoo
Painted, in a corner, and all you wanna do is
Dance down at the Zombie Zoo.

She disappears at sunrise, I wonder where she goes until the night
comes fallin down again; she shows up with her friends all half-alive.

Dancin' at the Zombie Zoo
Dancin' at the Zombie Zoo
Painted in a corner, and all you wanna do is
Dance down at the Zombie Zoo.

Well you can make a big impression, or go through life unseen,
you might end up restricted, or under seventeen.
It's so hard to be careful, so easy to be led,
somewhere beyond the pavement, you'll find the living dead,

Dancin' at the Zombie Zoo
Dancin' at the Zombie Zoo
Painted in a corner, and she wants to do is
Dance down at the Zombie Zoo.

repeat bridge and chorus, and out...

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