Rebecca Black's Friday - The Meaning Behind The Words

It's easy to criticise what we don't understand. Particularly when, as is the case with the lyrics to Rebecca Black's 'Friday', there doesn't seem to be much hidden depth.

So, in the spirit of fairness, I've done my best to interpret the song below and reveal the metaphorical messages behind what is, on the surface, just a good tune.


Verse One

Here Rebecca discusses the mundane activities that everyday life entails. This is common ground - the simple tasks that unite us all in Western society.

While she begins by listing the various essential and socially accepted steps each morning involves - from simply waking up to the expectation that one will 'be fresh' - Rebecca soon discusses the pressures we each face to make certain decisions. The expectation that we will have cereal - as a healthy breakfast option - while the seconds of our day (and therefore of our lives) gradually tick away.

In this respect, Friday represents the working week as a whole, with all of the restrictions and expectations that come with it, while 'the weekend' is almost an entity in its own right, as well as embodying the freedom that comes with two days out of school or work.

7am, waking up in the morning
Gotta be fresh, gotta go downstairs
Gotta have my bowl, gotta have cereal
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


The Bridge

Here Rebecca touches on the level of importance that can be assigned to an ostensibly meaningless decision - does it really matter which seat she takes? In principle it should not, but there is the implication, because the car is filled with her friends, that some kind of peer judgment process is at play; that an incorrect decision could lead to a perceived loss of credibility among friends.

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


Chorus, Part One

Here the contrast between Friday, as part of the working week, and the approaching entity that is 'the weekend' becomes even starker. Rebecca highlights how there is the expectation that one will 'get down' on Friday, despite the fact that it is still actually part of the regular week.

Meanwhile, while this enforced 'getting down' is taking place, people are actually looking forward to the genuine freedom that the true weekend brings. In this respect, the chorus is arguably a metaphor for the goals we are able to achieve and for those that either remain out of reach, or that we must wait for in order to receive.

It's Friday, Friday
Gotta get down on Friday
Everybody's lookin' forward to the weekend, weekend
Friday, Friday
Gettin' down on Friday
Everybody's lookin' forward to the weekend


Chorus, Part Two

Here the repetition takes what, on the surface, is 'fun' and renders it in farcical, almost unbearable repetitive form, again a comment on the enforced nature of 'getting down on Friday' and the social pressure to enjoy oneself as the week draws to a close.

Partyin', partyin' (Yeah)
Partyin', partyin' (Yeah)
Fun, fun, fun, fun
Lookin' forward to the weekend


Verse Two

Here the imagery becomes even more directly associated with the desire for freedom as Rebecca sings "I want time to fly". However, she is unable to find this time to herself, as she is instead "cruisin' so fast" on the highway - an almost runaway journey, it seems. One wonders whether she chose the front seat - indicating a sense of some control, even if she were not the driver - or the back seat, rendering her a passenger in the most passive sense of the word.

7:45, we're drivin' on the highway
Cruisin' so fast, I want time to fly
Fun, fun, think about fun
You know what it is
I got this, you got this
My friend is by my right
I got this, you got this
Now you know it


(Bridge/Chorus)

Bridge, Part Two

Here Rebecca sings two contrasting sections - the first an almost lobotomised remark on the excitement that accompanies the end of the week, along with the kind of organised social activity (the 'ball' she refers to being a relatively formal event to choose to mention) that again makes the enforced fun seem more of a chore than a treat.

By the second part of this bridge, Rebecca outlines the weekend to come in simple terms, stripped bare of social expectations and given so much more impact as a result. The weekend is simply Saturday, with Sunday coming after-wards. No rules, no expectations, but only two days of that freedom before a new week begins - as Rebecca bemoans, it would be wonderful if the weekend never had to end.

Yesterday was Thursday, Thursday
Today it is Friday, Friday
We, we, we so excited
We so excited
We gonna have a ball today

Tomorrow is Saturday
And Sunday comes after-wards
I don't want this weekend to end


The Rap

This is the pinnacle of 'Friday' and the social commentary the previous verses have been building to - we finally hear the voice of 'the Man', a metaphor for the pressures young Rebecca has been commenting on throughout the preceding minutes.

Here we have an adult male who, as he states, does not face Rebecca's dilemma over which seat he should take; his place is up front, driving. He has the control over the speed and the lane selection. Other traffic represents similar losses of power and control for Rebecca, as the metaphorical motorway also contains a school bus.

'The Man' comments again on the passing time, the inevitability of progress, and urges Rebecca to have fun - "It's a weekend, we gonna have fun, c'mon, c'mon" - personifying the pressures her earlier verses brought to the fore.

R, B, Rebecca Black
So chillin' in the front seat
In the back seat
I'm drivin', cruisin'
Fast lanes, switchin' lanes
Wit' a car up on my side (Woo!)
Passin' by is a school bus in front of me
Makes tick tock, tick tock, wanna scream
Check my time, it's Friday, it's a weekend
We gonna have fun, c'mon, c'mon, y'all


(Chorus)

The final repetitive choruses indicate a sense of surrender from the young girl; she has thrown in the towel and, once again, this Friday will be one of 'fun, fun, fun' whether she likes it or not.

As with many social situations, it seems the truth of 'Friday' is that the expected jollity of the day is little more than an act, while the weekend - away from school friends and colleagues with whom one has no desire to spend time - is the true period of freedom for each of us.

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