(words and music by Rick Springfield)   

Her come-on was direct and strong 
From her question to her kiss 
She said she'd had a little much to drink 
She didn't usually do this 
But she was looking for another head to scalp tonight 
And she had me right between her sights

I turned to face her as the jukebox clicked off 
Playing a favorite song 
And she looked pretty in the low lit bar 
But something was wrong 
I saw a dull red neon sign flashing in her eyes 
It said "
Vacancy," she had Motel Eyes

They were black as the night 
And shone like a star 
Fueled by the light 
From her medicine jar 
I looked again but there was nothing there 
But ice in her eyes 
There's no disguising Motel Eyes

She had the angles all down pat 
Her average must be high 
And though it could have been a pleasure 
I just had to say goodbye 
Though there was something wicked 
About the way she flexed her thighs 
She scared me with her Motel Eyes

They were black as the night 
And shone like a star 
Fueled by the light 
From her medicine jar 
I looked again but there was nothing there 
But ice in her eyes 
There's no disguising Motel Eyes

She started saying something 
'Bout movement versus size 
The sign kept on flashing in her Motel Eyes

They were black as the night 
And shone like a star 
Fueled by the light 
From her medicine jar 
I looked again but there was nothing there 
But ice in her eyes 
There's no disguising Motel Eyes

Black as the night 
Black as the night, Motel Eyes 

(total playing time: 3:12)


This song appears on the following releases:
Living in Oz and Best of.
Rick has performed this song live on occasion including a full rocking version in Milwaukee, WI  on 5/21/03

 According to US

Trying to remember what I thought of this song back in 1983 is kind-of hard for me on this one. I know I had no idea about all the sexual innuendo referenced here. That much I can pretty much vouch for. Being that I thought I was well referenced in the area of sex as any teen (I did read Judy Blume's books after all) most of this song absolutely whizzed right over my head.

Back then I was mostly sure that Rick was talking about a call girl in this song. Today, I know better. So that covers my teen thoughts on this - lets move on to being an adult and hearing this song now. . If I had to compare this to a current song on the airwaves, I think it'd be Pink's "You & Your Hand". I love that song, the reference just has me cracking up. I caught my daughter listening with her friends, and their thoughts were of the "talk to the hand" type, so I thankfully escaped any kind of conversation about that one for now. But when that song was released, and I thought back to Rick's music from my early teen years - this one came to mind. 

What kills me about the lyrics in this song is how true they are today, maybe even moreso than back in the 80's. I can't believe this one hasn't been chosen to be remade by a band today, they seem that timely. Even the music rocks. It sounds so lame to simply say that...'it rocks'...but it does. From the mention of the woman saying she "had a little much to drink she didn't usually do this" to "she had me right between her sights" and then to the next stanza of "she looked pretty in the low-lit bar" I mean, c' seems we've heard this song before. Rick just says it better. I love how his voice sounds lower in octave too...quite the contrast of the smooth melody we just heard on Me & Johnny. 

So let's get to the innuendo, shall we? "She had the angles all down pat, her average must be high". Uh huh. Again, I used to think this just meant picking up a guy...and although it could, you and I know better since the next line is: "and though it could've been a pleasure". I'm pretty certain Rick wasn't talking about just having a nice date. :-) I think it's the, "there was something wicked about the way she flexed her thighs" line that confirms that thought to me. Then, the mother of all veiled sexual suggestions in this song: "she started saying something 'bout movement versus size". Bingo. I swear I didn't know what that meant until way later in life. I wish I remember the light bulb moment I must've had when I listened to this song and finally figured out what that meant. I don't though. Darn it. LOL - Michelle P

This is one of my favorite songs on the album. I'm not sure I felt that way when it first came out, but I certainly feel that way now. I love the opening line, it's so well worded, there's such poetry to it. I love the whole beat and rhythm of this song. It's sassy and its fun. I love this line, also:

"She started saying something 'bout movement versus size...."I don't think I got that originally, even though I was 22 when this album came out. (but I sure get it now). It's very clever and funny.  - rlh

Oh yeah! Another 'sexy' Rick song. I love this one, and it is also in my top fave Rick songs. A masterpiece of music combined with lyrics, it fits wonderfully and perfectly on this album. I was so impressed with the change of Ricks sound from WCD to this one, that I just had to listen to it endlessly, and I swear I probably wore out my album on this song. I always thought that MOTEL EYES and SOULS should have been released as singles and put more towards the beginning of the album.....Great song! - Amy L.

Looking back on this song I kind of surprise myself……I wonder why I actually “got” all the veiled (or not so much so) sexual references in Motel Eyes and yet just a year earlier I was bee-bopping around the house singing every lyric to “I Get Excited”…and I had NO CLUE why my mom’s face was contorted in horror???? Trust me, I had not matured in that year; just delve further into the Rick Springfield cocoon that would buffer me through most of my life. I am not sure what the difference was, but after listening to Motel Eyes I felt the need to take a bath……it just felt dirty to me. Which is precisely what Mr. Springfield probably intended. 

I just picture Rick writing LIO and thinking……”I wonder what the teenagers will think of this?” Rationally, I am sure he wrote from his heart, not thinking of the audience. But this song always felt like a song a parent would listen to, not a teenager. For some reason I always pictured the woman being Martha Davis from the Motels……remember their video, “Only The Lonely” (yes I am REALLY dating myself here)….it was popular in 1982…I think? She looked like a loose woman who was not totally skanked out, someone Rick might have gone for….this is all in my 16 year old mind of course. I would always cringe at “something wicked bout’ the way she flexed her thighs”……it was graphic, but to me, not in a good way.

All in all, an ok song…even though it was dirty. I rarely skipped it. - Tina W.

I've always felt his song was about a particular person, not fictional. I'm trying to be respectful here, but I think he realized he was just another notch on her belt, so to speak.
I was an adult at the time this album came out so I got the full implications of this song right away. I remember the "Movement versus size" line just made me burst out laughing. We can assume she wasn't very pretty when he says "she looked pretty in the low lit bar". I think this was a fairly new experience for him to be treated this way, it must have because it left quite an impression on him. Enough to write a song, anyways. - Elizabeth S.

I love how the music in this one starts out with an urgent, ominous sound…almost frantic. I feel it matches the story he's telling here. As I've mentioned before, I really adore any of Rick's songs in which he's telling a story. (Of course, that would cover a LOT of Rick songs from his catalog!) He's a master at putting you in the moment he was in. This is my second favorite song from LIO, with Affair of the Heart being my top favorite. Although as a teenager, I used to swing back and forth between the two songs. Ok, so maybe Motel Eyes IS my favorite track. I'm so fickle when it comes to Rick songs! I love the guitars in this song and the rockin' beat. It's such a rhythmic song. I think one of the things that connected me to this song the most when I originally heard it was the fact that Rick was afraid. My rock star hero was actually scared of this woman! How could someone like Rick being frightened by a `girl' at this point in his life?! I thought he was over a lot of those fears by then. But as the story goes, he has every reason to be leery of her. 

I'm sure there are several ways this song can be interpreted, as we know Rick likely wrote it with that in mind. The way I see it, he was out messing around one night (in a pool room maybe? A bar? Someplace that had a jukebox, apparently) and was spotted by an attractive woman. I'm curious to know which favorite song happened to be on the jukebox that night. She began to put some moves on him…moving in for the kill!---"But she was looking for another head to scalp tonight. And she had me right between her sights." Well people, I can't say as I blame her! Motel eyes or not, she did have great taste in men! I think he was interested or intrigued with this girl at first, but the longer they were together that night, the more he realized that she was a bit too much on the wild side for him. I think he was definitely attracted to her---"Although it could've been a pleasure, I just had to say good-bye." He was fighting lust and common sense here, from what I can gather. Chances are…he made the right choice! He could tell by the way she was `working' him that she had been around the block a few times. ("Her average must be high.") He also talks about her eyes being very vacant, as if there was no emotion behind them…no one home.---"They were black as the night, and shone like a star. Fueled by the light from her medicine jar. I looked again, but there was nothing there but ice in her eyes. There's no disguising motel eyes." So Rick thought this woman may have been on drugs (pills) and that she had a heart of ice. Certainly not someone he needed to spend the night with! He needed a woman with a warm heart. Another line that makes me think he was indeed tempted by her---"Though there was something wicked `bout the way she flexed her thighs." Yep, he was checking her out, looking her over, but he resisted the temptation of taking it to the `next level' with her. I think things must have gotten somewhat heated up between them though, because in the first line of the song he says, "Her come-on was direct and strong from her question to her kiss. She said she'd had a little much to drink, she didn't usually do this." Oh really? I bet she had used the same tactics before, on more than one occasion. Just my guess. :-P So what was her question as she kissed him? Will you go home with me, you hot sexy man? LOL! I really like how he used the title "motel eyes" to describe this woman. Very clever in my opinion! I think the way he sings this song and how the music takes off and then subsides during the verses is great. He's almost `speaking' in the verses, as the music is low key during these parts. It adds to the impact of the story. 

One of my favorite lines from this song---"She scared me with her motel eyes." Again, I found it so interesting to hear Rick say he was afraid of this girl. I guess I believed that he was `cool' enough at this point, that a woman didn't frighten him. Ha! Boy was I wrong. And mostly I love how you can hear his Aussie accent slip out when he says "scared." (reminds me of when he played Kyle Wrath in Dead Reckoning and he told the woman that she `scared him there for a second.' LOL! Too cute! ) My other very favorite line is when he says, "She started saying something `bout movement versus size. The sign kept on flashing in her motel eyes." That is quite funny that he actually added this to the song! It's basically a throw off of the old expression, "It's not the size of the ship, it's the motion of the ocean." Funny! Maybe that is what she said to him. Who knows?! I love how Rick's voice sounds kind of freaked out (and goes up into a high, alarmed pitch) when he says that part, like he can't believe what this woman is coming up with. Hey, she wanted to take him home. (or back to a motel! Haha) She was coming up with some doozies & trying to get her way with him! 

I can only imagine the `types' of women and girls that Rick has encountered in his lifetime…especially after he became a musician and a public face. I'm quite sure that the girl he described here was only one of MANY women that Rick put on the brakes with, before things got out of hand. 

I wonder who she was…Hmmm…and for a change, he didn't use any names (even made-up names). It's possible he didn't even know her name or didn't remember it when he wrote the song. But one thing's for sure…he couldn't shake the image of the girl with the `motel eyes' and how he ran like hell when he saw that `light' flashing in them. What an awesome and unique song from Rick's collection, and one I never tire of.  - Kelley Pearson