I’ve always valued a catchy beat over insightful lyrics and my favorite genres tend to reflect that. In other words, I listen to a lot of songs with dumb lyrics, so it means something that the other day I heard some extra dumb lyrics on the radio.
Lets take a closer look at Bonnie McKee’s “American Girl” line by line:
I fell in love in a 7/11 parking lot Sat on the curb drinking slurpees we mixed with alcohol
Either you’re underage and shouldn’t be mixing in alcohol or you’re of age and shouldn’t be drinking slurpees in the parking lot. I’m not sure which is worse.
We talked about all our dreams and how we would show 'em all (whoa oh oh oh) I told him I got a plan and I'm gonna dominate And I don't need any man to be getting in my way
This is as good as it gets–girl power!
But if you talk with your hands then we can negotiate (whoa oh oh oh)
I think she’s making a subtle sexual reference here.
I just keep moving my body (yeah) I'm always ready to party (yeah) No I don't listen to mommy (yeah) And I'll never say that I'm sorry
First off, not one of these four lines actually rhymes, and I don’t think she’s trying to emulate Emily Dickinson. Second, you’re to old to be calling your mother mommy. And third, I think even Gandhi had to occasionally apologize.
Chorus Oh I'm an American girl
If the rest of the world thinks this girl is representative of the whole population of American girls, we are in deep trouble.
Hot blooded and I'm ready to go I'm loving taking over the world Hot blooded, all american girl (Whoa) I was raised by a television
I spent a good chunk of my childhood in front of a TV too, but I watched relatively wholesome fare like The Brady Bunch, Happy Days, and Gilligan’s Island. She must have been raised by Bridezilla, real Housewives of Beverly Hills and The Jersey Shore.
Every day is a competition Put the key in my ignition (Oh-way-oh)
Oh no; another subtle sexual reference. I think she needs to go to AC DC school
I wanna see all the stars and everything in between
Unless she has a thing for dark matter, I have a feeling she’s talking about celebrities more than astronomy.
I wanna buy a new heart out of a vending machine Cause It's a free country so baby we can do anything (Whoa)
We may be a free country, but we still have fairly strict laws banning the sale of organs.
Chorus You know we're gonna shine so bright (Oh we're gonna shine so bright...) Oh baby gonna go all night (Oh we're gonna go all night) You know we're gonna shine so bright (Oh we're gonna shine so bright...) Oh baby gonna go all night Chorus
Every American should be embarrassed that this song exists. I was doubly embarrassed when I saw the “artist” was my namesake. And I’m triply embarrassed by how much I actually enjoy the song. It’s not as good as “Party in the USA” or “Call Me Maybe,” but it just makes me want to get up and dance whenever I hear it. Maybe I should just stop talking before I embarrass myself further.