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9 thoughts I had when freaking out over the video for Stay by Shakespear's Sister as a kid

Make way for the creepiest video of the 90s.

IF YOU’RE AN 80s baby, it’s very likely you’ll recall stumbling across the video for Stay by Shakespear’s Sister upon its initial release in the early 90s.

ss Source: YouTube

And you’ll probably remember being utterly traumatised.

Released in January 1992, the track was haunting in its sentiment while the video’s ethereal qualities made for some particularly uncomfortable viewing, especially if you were a child of a nervous disposition.

And Christ lads, I was jumpy AF with an imagination that veered towards the catastrophic, so that track did an absolute number on me back in the day.


So much so, that more than a quarter of a century on, it’s still referenced within family folklore.

From the ominous lyrics to the scenes which played out on screen, the track tapped into my most primal fear; being separated from my parents.

Oh, and the idea that no one gave a shite about you.

Because when you sleep at night,
They don’t hear your cries in your own world.

Well, that’s just splendid.

And then there’s the particularly sinister hint that you’ll never make it back to them.

You’d better hope and pray
That you make it safe
Back to your own world.

Oh, I’m hoping and praying like a good thing over here, thanks to you two witches.


I wish I could say that the passing of two decades has utterly erased any discomfort I had around the track, but I’ll be honest here, and admit I’m still mildly unsettled by it.

Here, however, are just a few of the issues I was battling back in the day.

1. I wasn’t sure if Marcella Detroit was a goodie or a baddie, so to speak.

Was this a Misery situation we were dealing with here?


2. Why did the hospital equipment look medieval?

By the looks of things, those yokes could have been doing him more harm than good.


3. Why was Macella’s parting so severe?

Yes, I was actually scared of her hair.


4.  Enter Siobhan.

The Devil Incarnate; my terror over Siobhan’s appearance on-screen needs no justification.


5. Siobhan’s unhinged dancing.

The public later learned that Siobhan had enjoyed a tipple or two in the lead-up to her part, which goes some way towards explaining the demented dance moves.


6. The crotch close-up.

Was that really necessary?


7. Siobhan’s slow descent down the stairs.

Well, nothing good was about to come of this.


8. That ungodly tongue gesture.

Mother of Christ, this video was sent to torment the children of the 90s.


9. And then there was the tug-of-war between Marcella and Siobhan.

There was literally nothing about this scene that didn’t have me whimpering into my hands.


And yes, I am actually scared all over again.

But if you’re brave enough, have at it.

Source: London Recordings/YouTube


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About the author:

Niamh McClelland

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