Hit Me With Your Best Shot – Pat Benatar | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#9); 1980

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

Sometimes therapy brings unexpected benefits; in this case a hit record for a struggling Canadian musician. Twenty-something Eddie Schwartz had just finished up a pillow-punching, hostility release session and was standing outside when a song title hit him.

He was later approached by a publishing company who requested a demo, so Eddie booked some early morning studio time. On the way to a band gig the night before, lightening – in the form of a melody and chorus – struck again.

Come session time, he still had no lyrics for the verses. So Eddie asked the engineer to “roll tape” three times while he sang whatever words came to him. Of the songs submitted, the publisher hated Hit Me With Your Best Shot so much he ordered it erased.

Fortunately, the recording engineer saved a copy on cassette. When Pat Benatar heard Hit, she loved it. With a one word change (from “your lipstick case” to “my”), Pat made it a female empowerment anthem, courtesy of a very male Eddie Schwartz.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2024 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Keith Olsen

Lyrics Written by:

  • Eddie Schwartz


  • Won Grammy Award for Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female (1981)
  • Nominated Critics’ Choice Award for Best Song from a Documentary (2018)
  • Inducted Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (2022)
  • Certified gold by the RIAA in 1981