Why Katy Perry’s Friday song is sad, not fun

Dear Daughter,

It’s Friday… everyone’s favorite day. Including, apparently, Katy Perry. Yesterday as we were driving home Katy’s “Last Friday Night” song came on the radio, and I quickly switched to a different station, as I always do when that song plays and you’re in the car. But, much to my dismay, you said, “Why did you change that song? I like it.” Whaaaa?

Turns out you’ve heard it in places other than my car, which is not surprising, I guess, given that Katy Perry’s music has become inescapable. Everywhere I go, it seems, I hear her raspy voice singing about boys and girls and boys acting like girls and girls acting like idiots… our culture is on KP Overload right now. We just can’t get away from her, no matter how hard we try!

Here’s the problem I have with her Friday song. Because of its fun, upbeat tempo, when you first hear it, you’re like, “Hey this is a fun song about Friday, my favorite day! It makes me want to get out of the house and do something with my friends tonight!”

But when you really listen to the lyrics, what she’s describing is actually kind of a sad scene. It’s Saturday morning, she doesn’t know where she is, and the details of the night before are starting to come back to her: she maxed out her credit cards, got kicked out of a bar, has a warrant for her arrest, got her car towed, and realizes all of this was photographed and is now online for the world to see.

But hey, she says, let’s “do it all again!” She’s insinuating that such behavior is a sign of a successful night out. Like you haven’t really lived until you’ve had a night like that.

Believe me, I’ve had many nights, particularly in college, when I got caught up in the party scene and its sometimes unavoidable destruction. Every now and then that was fun but usually it wasn’t. Usually it caused gobs of regret. Which is why it bothers me that Katy’s song is essentially telling young people such destruction is not only acceptable but cool, and not only cool but something they should strive to do!

I love Fridays and I’m all for going out and having a blast with friends. But to me, the sign of a good night is not getting kicked out of places or having my car towed. It’s laughter, and lots of it. Good food, good conversation. Dancing! And the ability to go home feeling like your life—and you as a person—are better because of this one night.

Happy Friday, Daughter.

Love,
Mom

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