How the Song Friday Won Me Over

Posted on March 25, 2011


I don’t care what people say–I like the song Friday by Rebecca Black.

If you haven’t heard of Friday, you’re missing a viral sensation celebrated for its poor production values, robotic vocals, and travelogue lyrics that could have been lifted from court transcripts recording a witness’ schedule on the day of a murder: ‘I ate cereal.  Then I went to the bus stop.  Then I had to think about what seat to take.’

I laughed the first time I saw the video, wondering how something so terrible could have gotten the green light at so many levels of production.

But if the song was so terrible, why couldn’t I get the melody out of my mind?

If it was so bad, why does it haunt my dreams and keep me up at night?

If the song wasn’t good, how come I’ve started mirroring Rebecca Black’s three syllable pronunciation: Fri-ee-day?

In time I found myself giving ground to the infectious joy of a teenager singing every cheerful thought that popped into her mind, including the word fun twenty times, and the sum result of all this happiness is a three minute and forty eight second musical equivalent of shouting ‘Woo-hoo!’

Don’t judge the video on one viewing.  Wait a day and watch it again and see if you feel differently. Then watch it every day for a week.  If this doesn’t work, try not listening to any other music for a year and then let the first song you hear be Friday.

Kudos to you Rebecca Black for resisting the urge to obfuscate your meaning behind metaphors or clever wording.  I’m sick of complex lyrics dripping with artsy prose that leaves me cold and unsatisfied.  Friday is a song that talks about issues I understand and can agree with.  For example, when she sings–

‘Kickin’ in the front seat
Sittin’ in the back seat
Gotta make my mind up
Which seat can I take?’

–she tackles an issue most of us can relate to.  Which one of us hasn’t been faced with the decision of whether to sit in the front seat or back seat?  You choose the front seat for the view, but the back seat is where they’re talking about which window treatments are in or out this season (I’ll give you a hint: cornice boards are out!).  But if you choose the back seat, you have no control over the radio or air-conditioning.  When I heard her sing, ‘Which seat can I take?’ I immediately thought, ‘She’s just like me.’  (She takes the back seat by the way.)

Another highlight is when she reminds us that Saturday comes after Friday and Sunday comes after…wards.  Which one of us hasn’t been out on Friday night, having a good time, and excused ourselves at 9:00PM because we had work in the morning, completely forgetting that Saturday came after Friday?  Now when I listen to Friday on the drive home, I’ll be reminded of the days of the week and remember Saturday comes after Friday and Saturday is the day I don’t have work.  Now I can flip a U-turn and return to the annual Mensa Fondueathon.  Thanks, Friday!   Hey Jude gives me no practical advice about the calendar, and while it may be artistically superior to Friday, it is practically inferior.

And last of all, three cheers to Rebecca Black for mentioning cereal!

‘Gotta have my bowl, gotta have cereal’

Finally cereal gets some recognition!  It doesn’t have a day, a personal fragrance, or a reality TV show, but we all love cereal and it deserves a tip of the hat.  Anyone who hears this song and hasn’t heard of cereal is going to be curious and that curiosity will be rewarded with an efficiently delicious treat.

Three cheers for cereal!

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Posted in: Columns