Why are we here? What is the meaning of life? What is the universe made of? Is there really a God? What is the meaning of the chorus in Britney Spears’ Baby One More Time?
Age old questions that esteemed philosophers and all of mankind have pondered greatly over the years, with varying results, and no definitive agreed upon “correct” answer.
But finally, at last! One of them can be laid to rest, as we now know the true meaning of Spears’ 1998 hit song’s chorus:
My loneliness is killing me
I must confess, I still believe
When I'm not with you I lose my mind
Give me a sign
Hit me baby one more time
And, it transpires that it’s not some 50 Shades of Grey style homage to S&M, or some ode to domestic violence—it’s just a simple case of bad translation.
The song rose through the Billboard Top 100, landing the top spot in January 1999, and the accompanying video, featuring Britney as a sexy schoolgirl, sent temperatures soaring, but nobody could work out what the hell the chorus meant.
Baby One More Time was written by Swedish songwriting duo, Max Martin and Rami Yacoub, who worked for the 90s’ Stockholm hit factory Cheiron Studios—and was clearly about a romantic breakup between a girl and a boy, but was it also about the girl beseeching the boy to beat her for “one more time?’
Turns out, no…far from it in fact—John Seabrook explains the meaning behind the lyrics in his new pop music history book, The Song Machine: Inside The Hit Factory—and it’s pretty hilarious.
Apparently the two Swedes were laboring under the (incorrect) impression that “hit me” was a USA slang term for “call me”.. likely stemming from the expression “hit me up”
So, yeah, school girl Britney isn’t begging to be beaten black and blue for just one more time, she’s just after a simple phone call.
To limit the amount of confusion the song would likely raise upon release in the States and in fear of being accused of conveying a message of domestic violence, Spears’ label at the time, Jive Records, dropped the “Hit Me” part from the start of the song’s orbital title, settling instead for just Baby One More Time.
There you go!
One less great philosophical question we need ponder—now, we can concentrate on even bigger and more important ones, like, where do baby carrots come from?
Oh shit, that’s been answered too!
And it basically proves our whole life has been a lie up to this point. Check it out here.
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