The lyrics to this Thomas Dolby song seem to be self-explanatory. When they were teenagers, the narrator met a girl named Europa, they fell in love while spending their days walking along the beach, and then Europa moved away. (Dolby sings that “the war” took her away, which sounds ominous but which makes sense when you consider that Dolby’s 1982 album, The Golden Age of Wireless, was based on the idea of him being a part of the first generation since World War II. “The war took her away” is probably meant to be a comment on how relationships that were once ended by a world war were now just being ended by a parent getting a new job in a new country or town.) Years later, Europa’s a star and Dolby tries to see her, just to be ushered away by one of her bodyguards. But, in Dolby’s heart, they’ll always be pirate twins on the beach.
The video has come to be considered a classic example of early 80s music videos, mixing the future and the past and allowing Dolby to capitalize on his nerdy but cool persona. (I’ve always felt that if Peter Parker became a musician instead of a Spider-Man, his music would have sounded much like Thomas Dolby’s.) The machines link the song to the future but the black-and-white images bring us to the past, capturing the feel of Dolby’s song.