Do Forget the Lyrics (In Which I Wonder Just How Fast Katy Perry Rounds the Bases)

Part of the issue with being a recovering English major, a writer (by trade), and a huge fan of all things pop music (make that “most” things, NICKELBACK…) is that I think too much about lyrics. What they mean, why they don’t rhyme, why they are grammatically flawed, why they just can’t make a pittance of sense.  There are hundreds of cases in point here but let’s today examine a song that has slinked all the way up the charts, all overproduced and faux-catchy and unmemorable. “Last Friday Night (TGIF)” by Katy Perry.

This is the fifth single off Mrs. Brand’s Teenage Dream album.  In fact, Our Lady of Perpetual Whipped-Cream Boobs just achieved a new record with this feat. Like other “fifth singles” before it (think “Dirty Diana“or “Walking on a Thin Line“), it is lacking some charm of its predecessors.

It’s completely devoid of staying power – the lyrics include the phrase “epic fail,” for God’s sake – and a long-form video featuring both It Girls and Guys of today and icons of yesteryear is a thinly veiled appeal to the 18-to-34s (though I always like to see Corey Feldman).

Photo courtesy of

The music itself sounds scored by my third-grade self and the hook is repetitive ( as has been the way of the past 10 years).  And do we really need another song about hot girls getting silly blackout drunk and then wanting to get blackout drunk again the next night/week?  What about the children? Whatever happened to predictability (the milkman, the paperboy, and evening TV)?

But here’s my new pet peeve with this song, and before you ask, yes, I have spent too much time (> 3 minutes) thinking about it. Follow the stanzas below…

Last Friday night
Yeah we danced on tabletops
And we took too many shots
Think we kissed but I forgot

… …

Last Friday night
We went streaking in the park
Skinny dipping in the dark
Then had a ménage a trois

Did you get that?  First, she and her unnamed partner-in-debauchery (probably Ke$ha) may have “kissed but [she] forgot,” which is a silly drunken college shenanigans thing to say. Understood.  But mere lines later she is copping to a ménage a trois.

Is it possible the threesome was a bigger deal (obvs) than a kiss so she remembers the former and not the latter?  Am I so L7 to presume that said threesome would include a kiss or two?  And the ménage line barely rhymes, folks, so don’t tell me it was just a phrase that fit the spot. (It’s a slant rhyme with “shots,” if we’re keeping score).

One only hopes that this particular song doesn’t cement a foothold in the pop annals (see: “That Way, I Want It”) but rather dies a swift and forgettable death like Sweet Sensation’s “Hooked On You” (What? Exactly).