The Daily Trials of an English Major: Explicating "Friday"

The Daily Trials of an English Major: Explicating

By Contributor

We've been trying to decode the "Friday" lyrics for a week now. Thank goodness Courtney Guth is here to break them down for us! —Sparkitors

Every so often, a video comes along that speaks to a generation. Who can forget the soulful crooning of Chocolate Rain, or the joy that was Numa Numa? Perhaps you remember the Evolution of Dance, or maybe you laughed along when Charlie Bit My Finger. David After Dentist may have left you wondering, “is this real life?” The Double Rainbow only intensified that question. Well, it’s time to hide yo kids, hide yo wife, and hide yo husband, because the latest internet sensation is in full swing: Rebecca Black and her hit song “Friday.”

Black has been getting some flack for her song. However, despite the fact that not even autotune could save her voice, her lyrics do have some literary merit. Thus, being the English major that I am, I present to you a proper literary analysis of “Friday.” (Further proving that spring break has left me with way too much time on my hands, and that I can BS my way through anything.)

Rebecca’s song begins with the announcement, “7 am waking up in the morning. Gotta be fresh, gotta go downstairs. Gotta have my bowl, gotta have cereal.” What Rebecca clearly means is that she awoke at 7 am, and now she must journey to the first floor in order to obtain the bowl of cereal she so desperately needs. Although this morning routine appears mundane at first glance, it actually represents much more than everyday concerns. The bowl of cereal in this song represents the meaning of life that Rebecca craves. Her hunger for said cereal mirrors the spiritual hunger of people around the world.

In the next verse, Rebecca presents the moral dilemma every teen faces today when she asserts, “Kickin’ in the front seat, sittin’ in the back seat. Gotta make my mind up, which seat can I take?” Never mind the peer pressure to dabble in drugs or alcohol; true agony is deciding where one should sit. This question encompasses all of the questions juveniles encounter. By wondering which seat to take, Rebecca suggests the importance of grappling with conventional wisdom. Not only is Rebecca making a tough decision, she is also representing the indecisive person in all of us. (Maybe. I can’t decide.)

The chorus begins with the claim, “It’s Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday.” In this line, Rebecca is getting down to business to defeat the Huns. Here she reaches the heart of her song and its message. Friday so clearly represents the freedom we all feel when the weekend finally arrives. It evokes a feeling of ecstasy that only occurs on this certain day of the week. The repetition of this line further builds up the feelings of perpetual anticipation, almost as though the lines are the secondhand on a clock, tick-tocking to the chant of “fun fun fun.”

Skipping to the bridge, Black explains, “Yesterday was Thursday, Thursday. Today it is Friday, Friday. We-we-we so excited.” Black appears to be stating the obvious, but in fact, she is placing the reader squarely at the center of her own emotions. By emphasizing what day it is, Black allows the reader to experience firsthand that Friday feeling and the excitement that comes along with it. The repetition of “we” brings the reader onto Rebecca’s level and into her world of excitement, partyin’ partyin’ (yeah), and that girl in the pink dancing awkwardly on her right.

The rest of the song repeats what has come before, thus drawing our attention to the repetition in life, and the angst we feel when there is nothing to which we can look forward. Black’s ultimate message is that without the excitement of that Friday feeling, life becomes a monotonous journey…either that or someone just decided to give this undeserving girl a microphone and a catchy song. I’ll go with the latter.

At last we understand Rebecca Black's confounding lyrics!

Related post: What's Your Take on Rebecca Black?

Topics: the daily trials of an english major, rebecca black, explication, close readings, videos

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