FUN, FUN, FUN with Rebecca Black’s “Friday”
by Mark Mazzenga
Viral video starlet Rebecca Black is no stranger to criticism. The bouncy and often polarizing young teen has stirred up a great deal of controversy with the release of her debut hit, “Friday.” The purported, “Worst song ever,” has been the subject of several hilarious parodies and much debate, but a closer look at Black’s lyrics reveal the song’s bubblegum beats are merely a mask for her Jungian inspired lyrics, as Black explores such topics as fertility and the idea of the “feminine mystique.”
Over the past 40 years, as the idea of “adolescence” has changed due to heightened life expectancies and technological advancements, fervent mid-century pronatalism has been replaced with a new societal trend to wait until one is much older to have children. This push-pull relationship between generations of women is well articulated when Black sings, “The time is goin’ tickin’ on and on, everybody’s rushin’.” Despite the fact that many women are seeking careers and establishing their own identity before marrying or having children, there remains an underlying societal pressure to conceive sooner rather than later. This leads to feelings of alienation. When Black sings, “everybody’s rushin’,” this clearly refers to the pressure she feels from her mother. The word “rushin’” is also most likely a play on the word, “Russian,” denoting the metaphorical “Cold War” that can occur between a mother who expects grandchildren and her post-modern daughter.
Black continues to lament her anxieties by stating “Gotta make my mind up. Which seat can I take?” An existentialist crisis. Ultimately, the post-modern woman, caught between her biology and her lifestyle must decide which “seat” she will assume. Eventually Black resolves her dilemma, explaining her decision via the oft-repeated proclamation “It’s Friday!”
The choice of Friday is, of course, not accidental, with Black going out of her way to remind the listener that the day in question is not Thursday, Wednesday, Saturday, or Sunday. Friday is an abbreviated version Frigga’s Day, the Norse goddess of Love and fertility and the protectorate of women in labor. Black has decided to eventually accept her role as future mother while continuing to explore a career as a viral sensation pop star.
Rebecca Black, you are truly the paradigm of the modern woman. We, your fans, hear your message loud and clear and all we can say is, “We so excited.”