by Rachel Krueger
Rebecca Black’s “Friday” has been making the internet rounds to guffaws and heaps of ridicule, and there’s no denying that it’s that bad. But is it not ALSO a scathingly accurate anthem for our disaffected youth? To wit:
The opening lines of the song have taken heat for being needlessly and idiotically itemizing. Every event of Rebecca’s morning is listed, with separate lines being given to both the “bowl” and the “cereal,” to both getting to the bus stop and having to catch the bus. Yet aren’t the teen years just one damn thing after another? I mean, “7:00 am waking up in the morning/ gotta be fresh/ gotta go downstairs/ gotta have my bowl/ gotta have cereal” when all you want to do is sleep till noon? Get off my back, mom.
Arriving (finally) at the bus stop, Rebecca “see[s her] friends kicking in the front seat/ sitting in the back seat” of Hot Johnny’s car. Plaintively she cries, “Gotta make my mind up/ which seat can I take?” Oh Rebecca, how deftly you capture the fears of adolescence. What if she were to chose the front seat, and something awesome happened in the back seat, like, a really funny joke, or something? Or if she chooses the back seat, and Hot Johnny puts his arm around Slutty Ashley instead of her? The horror, you guys.
The chorus consists simply of “partyin’ partyin’” to which her friends respond insipidly “yeah.” The clear subtext to the monotonous, auto-tuned “fun, fun, fun fun” highlights the unvarying nature of this entertainment, a fact only underscored by Rebecca’s dead eyes. Woe to the teens, with nothing to do on weekends but get sneakily drunk and paw at each other. Fun fun fun indeed.
The bridge brings ostensibly the most banal, but secretly the wisest, of Rebecca’s claims. “Yesterday was Thursday . . . tomorrow is Saturday and Sunday comes afterwards.” Is that so different from Shakespeare’s “To-morrow and to-morrow and to-morrow,/ Creeps in this petty pace from day to day”? I think not, friends. It speaks to the plodding inevitability of life!
Is the musicality abhorrent? Sure. Does Rebecca’s voice straddle the border between “nasal” and “unlistenable”? You betcher. But if we peer deep into the song’s gray matter we might find a more accurate reflection of our own teenage years than we are prepared to face.
Either that, or we’ve all been punk’d.