Pat Benatar Will Not Sing Her Famous Song in Protest Over Gun Violence

@benatargiraldo via Instagram

When a songwriter writes a song, sometimes the lyrics are metaphorical and written to get a point across that is not meant to be taken literally. Sometimes, over the years, the metaphor doesn’t work anymore, and the literal translation is too painful for the singer to ever perform the song again. That’s how Pat Benatar feels about the song “Hit Me with Your Best Shot.”

Benatar is currently on tour, and she knows that there are certain songs she and her husband, Neil Giraldo, have to perform because if they don’t the fans will be mad. She doesn’t want to disappoint her fans, but she also doesn’t want to compromise her values or sing something that doesn’t sit well with her anymore.

Some of Benatar’s hits that she always performs include “Heartbreaker,” “We Belong,” and “Hit Me with Your Best Shot,” but this tour, Benatar is not performing “Hit Me with Your Best Shot” even if the fans are angry. She told USA Today that refusing to perform that song is her way of protesting gun violence.

Benatar said, “We’re not doing ‘Hit Me With Your Best Shot’ and fans are having a heart attack and I’m like, I’m sorry, in deference to the victims of the families of these mass shootings, I’m not singing it. I tell them, if you want to hear the song, go home and listen to it. (The title) is tongue-in-cheek, but you have to draw the line.”

Even though Benatar knows that the song is not to be taken literally she still can’t bring herself to sing the words. She explained, “I can’t say those words out loud with a smile on my face, I just can’t.”

Benatar doesn’t want to rant about gun violence while she’s on stage. Instead, she considers refusing to play one of her hit songs as a way of protesting. She said, “I’m not going to go on stage and soapbox – I go to my legislators – but that’s my small contribution to protesting. I’m not going to sing it. Tough.”

Here’s a live version of “Hit Me with Your Best Shot”

Do you think it’s inappropriate to sing “Hit Me with Your Best Shot” considering the gun violence in the United States? Do you think this form of protesting will make a difference? What’s your favorite Pat Benatar song? Would you be disappointed if you went to one of her concerts and she didn’t perform all of her hit songs?