Friday: Explained

You probably thought from that title that I was going to talk about that terrible song about that Black girl. HA…no. I’m talking about the Friday by Sunny Day Real Estate, it’s just so great. If I had to listen to one song for the rest of my life and I couldn’t listen to any other songs, I would choose Friday by Sunny Day Real Estate. Everything about the song is just awesome. The lyrics are so clear and so profound, the melody is just so catchy. Actually why don’t I stop talking about this song. Listen to it yourself!

Hopefully by now you can tell that I am kidding. While Rebecca Black’s Friday makes me want to cry, this one makes me severely depressed. Now I know there are a lot of haters out there so I feel the need to clear up some things about the abused artist known as Rebecca Black. For far too long she has been the butt of everyone’s jokes! Rebecca is not the steaming turd of an artist that the internet seems so adamant to claim she is. No, Rebecca was just an innocent artist trying to make it big in America, can we really blame her for trying? The answer is yes, because if your life is like mine, then everyone and their mother sent you a link to that song with the caption, “LOL this is so bad!” Shut up Brian! I will say though that the song itself is not bad, and Stephen Colbert did an amazing version of it on Jimmy Fallon. Anyways, in the course of all this hatred I think the song’s meaning has been lost. It truly is a profound song, I mean what’s deeper than, and I quote, “Yeah, Ah-Ah-Ah-Ah-Ah-Ark/Oo-ooh-ooh, hoo yeah, yeah.

Now Rebecca- actually I’m getting tired of writing out Rebecca, I think I’ll call her Becca, or how about just Bec from now on. Anyways so Bec starts off with a rather interesting critique of the fast-paced nature of modern day life. She excretes (I don’t think it technically counts as singing) the line(s), “Seein’ everything, the time is goin’/Tickin’ on and on, everybody’s rushin’/Gotta get down to the bus stop/Gotta catch my bus, I see my friends.” It is in this monologue that Bec shows how life has become so fast paced that there is hardly anytime to simply enjoy life. She moves from one activity to another, from brushing teeth to eating cereal to catching the bus. We will later see this juxtaposed with the relaxed and fun nature of the weekend, as things wind down and life pauses for a moment so that this group of kids can simply enjoy life, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

It is here that the song takes an odd M. Knight Shamylan-inspired twist. Now I’m largely basing this analysis off of this music video so if you haven’t watched it yet, go back up there and watch it you blasphemous fool! Now it is at this point that we see the group of tweens pull up in a sports car. Several things of note. First off, I’m no car expert, but that looks like one expensive car. Secondly, they are not going to school regardless of the fact that Friday is a school day in most districts. Thirdly, these tweens are obviously not old enough to drive, given that tweens are currently prohibited from operating motor vehicles under United States law. Thus there is only one reasonable explanation, and it’s spelled GTA (for the unlearned among you, GTA stands for Grand Theft Auto). No, this is good! Besides committing a Felony punishable by 1 to 5 years in prison, these children are, in essence, rebelling against the monotony and irrationality of modern society. If you don’t mind I’m going to explore this lead for a while.

Instead of continuing on with another dreary day at school, which is a common archetype for authority or “The Man”, they break social norms and steal a car. They are thereby breaking free from the sad empty life of modern society. The irony here is that by escaping this life-less and fast-moving society, they themselves must give up their lives and travel very fast to escape the punishment for this action. Rather than living productive lives, they will forever be marked by the charge of Grand Theft Auto. Additionally, they are also escaping the fast-paced society, one in which enjoyment is lost to the business of everyday life. But physically they must move quickly, thereby abandoning entertainment, to escape the police which I can only assume are hot on their tail.

Anyways, back to the song. Look at these lyrics, “You know what it is/I got this, you got this/My friend is by my right, ay/I got this, you got this/Now you know it.” Any civilized person will tell you that this is incoherent babel, but that’s precisely the point! Bec is commenting on how irrational our society really is. We get so caught up in the ebb and flow of life, that we forget to pay attention to life itself. We further illustrates the monotony of everyday life as she describes the relative locations of all the days of the week, “Yesterday was Thursday, Thursday/Today i-is Friday, Friday (Partyin’)…Tomorrow is Saturday/And Sunday comes after … words.” Though shame on you Bec, you couldn’t think of a worthy conclusion to the line so you just said, “...words.” You just lost three brownie points!

Alright now I know what you’re about to say, “Gilmo, what’s with the weird black guy who shows up in the middle? He just appears randomly and then leaves. Why does he exist?” That’s a good question, in that, it’s a terrible question! Do you know nothing about pop songs?! It is legally required that all new pop songs have at least one verse featuring a rapper for a duration of no less than 10 seconds of on-screen time. It’s like the 28th amendment. It’s a terrible law though. Despite his impeccable rapping skills, the prose he employs for his section of the song simply don’t fit in with the overall ambiance of the work. In fact I think it is reasonable to assert that this rap detracts from the overall quality of the song. I think Bec should have featured T-Payne instead, his prose is generally much more lyrical, and I think it would have fit in far better than this guy.

It is in the last few lines that Bec really shows her artistic abilities. The conclude the song she simply repeats the chorus, “Partyin’, partyin’ (Yeah)/Partyin’, partyin’ (Yeah)/Fun, fun, fun, fun/Lookin’ forward to the weekend.” By having such long and monotonous repetition, she demonstrates the inescapably of modern society. Despite her best efforts Bec simply repeats the same thing over and over again, “Fun, fun, fun, fun…Fun, fun, fun, fun…Fun, fun, fun, fun.” That’s too much fun! Bec beautifully illustrates how repetitive and monotonous life is, like a broken record. So we see that this “simple song”, this “song written by a five year old”, this “scourge of the earth” is really more deep than it initially appears. In fact this song is truly a deeply critical examination of the nature of modern society, and how inescapable it really is. Now let’s watch that Colbert version again!