Friday on my mind
Let’s state the obvious first: Rebecca Black’s Friday does not represent a zenith in the annals of popular music. I am even inclined to agree with those who suggest the song is quite awful, especially in its excess of autotuning. It sounds like the theme song for a particularly hyperactive Japanese game show. My remaining days will not be diminished by the absence of Friday on my iPod.
But those people with whom I’m inclined to agree are not the target audience, many of whom dislike the song as well. Black’s target audience has a crush on Justin Bieber. And Black’s target audience likes all manner of scantily-dressed young ladies and their dentally-blinged rapper friends for whom the age-old challenge of inventing euphemisms for the carnal act no longer is a necessity.
Perhaps I’m becoming increasingly priggish as middle-age is forcing its oppressive embrace upon me in much the same manner as a cheek-pinching moustachoid aunt reeking of cheap perfume would, but I rather welcome the innocence of Rebecca Black’s song. Indeed, I would locate her lyrics in the inventory of early ’60s pop, when the Beach Boys had fun fun fun fun fun and possibly contemplated the seating arrangements in their little Deuce Coupé as they cruised fast to go partyin’ partyin’ (yeah).
Black offers innocent relief to the image of a virtually naked Lady Gaga drinking blood as she thrashes about in the fake vagina of a creepy dude with face tattoos. Even if Rebecca’s fellow car passengers seem to be squirming in evident embarrassment, why should she not have fun fun fun fun on Friday. And why should she not make a record and video about it? She is 13 years old, after all. Contrast that with the venerable gentlemen from Green Day, no less in the clutches of moustachoid Aunty Middle-Age than I am, who choose to call their new live album Awesome As Fuck, a title any halfway sentient kid over 14 would reject as lame.
If we want to mock bad lyrics, then there are many far more appropriate targets. You can find seven of them here, and feel free to add more examples in the comments section to this post. And does Rebecca merit scorn for her doctored vocals when the autotuned rapper Drake — an autotuned rapper, for crying out loud! — remains at liberty? Do we really want to point fingers and laugh at the child? What sort of cruel society takes pleasure in making an apparently perfectly nice 13-year-old girl cry, because she likes to have fun?
My good friend Ian provided what I think is the most perceptive observation to the Rebecca-scorning, saying that he would be “heartbroken” if his teenage daughters were “subject to an international hate and laughter campaign just because they made a song about how much they love Friday night”. Indeed.
And while we formulate our responses of empathy to the next person who mocks Rebecca Black, here’s a tribute to the days of the week, even those Rebecca fails to mention, in the Any Major Week mix. As always, it should fit on a standard CD-R.
1. Marvin Sease – Friday (2001)
2. Dee Dee Warwick – Another Lonely Saturday (Baby I’m Yours) (1965)
3. Chaka Khan – Any Old Sunday (1981)
4. Matthew Sweet & Susanna Hoffs – Monday Monday (2006)
5. Cat Stevens – Tuesday’s Dead (1971)
6. Simon & Garfunkel – Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M. (1964)
7. Harry Nilsson – (Thursday) Here’s Why I Did Not Go To Work Today (1976)
8. Steely Dan – Black Friday (1975)
9. Nick Drake – Saturday Sun (1970)
10. Velvet Underground – Sunday Morning (1967)
11. John Prine – Long Monday (2005)
12. Chairmen Of The Board – Everyday’s Tuesday (1970)
13. Ronnie Dyson – A Wednesday In Your Garden (1973)
14. Matt Costa – Sweet Thursday (2006)
15. The Pale Fountains – Beyond Fridays Field (1984)
16. Josh Woodward – Saturday (2006)
17. Laura Nyro & Labelle – I Met Him On A Sunday (1971)
18. Fats Domino – Blue Monday (1956)
19. Yazoo – Tuesday (1982)
20. Lisa Loeb – Waiting For Wednesday (1995)
21. The Futureheads – Thursday (2006)
22. Jens Lekman – Friday Night At The Drive-In Bingo (2007)
23. Walker Brothers – Saturday’s Child (1966)