Monday, March 14, 2011

Lyrical Analysis - Justin Bieber's "Baby"

Hello! And welcome to the latest feature on this blog, "Lyrical Analysis"! Perhaps I should explain.

Now, I'm sure everyone knows who Justin Bieber is, that is to say, a no-talent hack. But, I've noticed something very disturbing as of late, and oddly, it's not Bieber Fever (although that is worrisome) that I find the most strange. It's the normal people, that is to say the ones who despise Bieber, who have on multiple occasion's told me they love Bieber's lyrics. These are people with musical taste I can respect, and who agree his voice sounds like that of a twelve year old girl, and yet they still somehow hear Bieber's songs and find the lyrics to be, and I quote, "epic".

I... Don't understand.

Now as I've said before, I don't know much about music. I don't play any instruments, I'm not a great singer, and most of the hit songs I've heard, I only know from Pandora, Glee, or Rock Band. I'm as little of a music buff as you can be.

But if there's one thing I pride myself on being able to examine in music, it's lyrics. I know what makes good writing, I know what makes bad writing, and I certainly know which of those two Bieber's abominable lyrics are.

So, let's dive right into Bieber's biggest hit, "Baby".

"Oh wooooah
Oh wooooah
Oh wooooah"

It's around here I start writhing in pain upon listening to his voice. I know there's nothing wrong with the song yet, I just want you to understand the pain I'm going through for you, dear readers.

"You know you love me/I know you care"

Oh great, the first two lines of the song and already I take issue with it. "You know you love me." He says. Think about this line for a moment. "You know you love me." he says. Basically, what he's saying is, "I'm so awesome, I KNOW you care about me, how could you not, I'M JUSTIN FREAKIN' BIEBER!" (Not to be confused with Harry Freakin' Potter. Look it up.)

What a conceited way to start the song.

"Just shout whenever/And I'll be there"

Fine, this is your typical cliched "I'll always be there for you girl!" line. Whatever. It's... Fine.

"You want my love/You want my heart"

Again, another conceited "I'M JUSTIN FREAKIN' BIEBER!" line. And I know if you're a fan of the song, you're probably trying to tell me it's not conceited, he's just stating the FACT that she loves him... Remember this line for later for me, please, please do.

"And we will never ever ever be apart"

Ugh, typical romantic cheese line. Again, whatever, this line isn't the worst thing in the world, and it's certainly not the worst line in the song (we still have Ludacris' rap to get through, don't forget.) but, much like a couple lines before it, it's cliched, and nothing I haven't heard a million times before, in much much better songs.

"Are we an item?/Girl quit playin'/We're just friends/What are you sayin'?"

Hoo boy, here we go.

FIRST! "Are we an item"? Really Bieber? I've got news for you. NO ONE TALKS LIKE THAT. AT ALL. ESPECIALLY MEN. You know, people might stop giving you such a hard time about your voice sounding girly, if you didn't reinforce that with THE GIRLIEST LYRICS IN THE WORLD!

Second! Remember when I said to remember him saying that she loved him for later? Well read these lines. She is CLEARLY SAYING SHE DOES NOT LOVE HIM. In fact, these lines JUST MAKE IT COME ACROSS LIKE HE'S HITTING ON HER! Therefore the above lines WERE in fact him just saying "I'M JUSTIN FREAKIN' BIEBER!"

Third! "We're just friends, what are you sayin'?" Um... Justin, how much more plainly does she have to put it? Obviously, what she's saying is that you are JUST FRIENDS! NOTHING MORE! Seriously, you know the saying that you have to be drawn a map... Well this is apparently literal. She is LITERALLY SPELLING IT OUT FOR YOU, and STILL you don't understand. So let me explain. You hit on her. She turned you down. Likely because you used the term "item".

"Said there's another/Look right in my eyes"

Hey! Bad grammar! No seriously though, what does this mean? He switched from the first person, as though he were talking to another person, straight to talking to the audience with "said there's another" wrecking any flow this song might have had... And then... "Look right in my eyes"? What? What does that mean?

Is he saying that she looked into his eyes? It should say "Looked right into my eyes" then.

If he's switched back to talking as though he were in a conversation, then he's failed by switching tenses ONCE AGAIN.

Not to mention the fact that, obviously, he went straight from "Said there's another" (Past tense) to "Look right in my eyes" (Future tense).

Literally the ONLY correct way for this line to be written is "Looked right into my eyes".

"My first love broke my heart for the first time."

It would seem his first love is some random girl he hit on, and turning him down broke his heart. Ok. Sure.

"And I was like baby, baby, baby ooooh/Like baby, baby, baby noooo/Like baby, baby, baby ooooh/Thought you'd always be mine, mine. (x2)

Mine... Mine... My preeecious... My preeeeecious... We wants it... We neeeeeeds it...

"For you I would have done whatever"

That's not healthy Justin. Seriously. It's obvious you didn't know this girl ALL THAT WELL. Honestly, you're sounding a bit clingy. Like... Really clingy.

"And I just can't believe we ain't together."

Dude! You got dumped! It's not that unusual! And, even assuming you DID know the girl pretty well, with how clingy you sound NOW, NO WONDER she dumped you! My gosh!

"And I want to play it cool/But I'm losing you"

Lost. You screwed up the tense again Bieber. It's "But I lost you".

"I'll buy you anything/I'll buy you any ring"

Because remember kids, when a girl breaks up with you for being clingy, telling her you'll spend large amounts of money on her "JUST OH MY GOD DON'T BREAK UP WITH ME OH WHY", is always the correct response.

Also, I'm pretty sure he just proposed.

"And I'm in pieces/Baby fix me/And just shake me 'till you wake me/from this bad dream."

Again, she broke up with you, begging her to "fix you" and "shake you" are not good things to say in this situation, unless you are attempting to get yourself a restraining order.

"I'm going down, down, down, down"

I have no idea what this means. ...Like... At all.

"And I just can't believe/My first love won't be around"


"And I was like baby, baby, baby ooooh/Like baby, baby, baby noooo/Like baby, baby, baby ooooh/Thought you'd always be mine, mine. (x2)

Ok, I'm pretty sure this song was written by Johnny Bravo.

He is literally the only person who talks like this.

AND NOW WE HAVE A SPECIAL TREAT! The rap portion of this song is brought to you by Ludacris, who I'm told is a rapper of some sort. I wouldn't know.


Apparently the narcissistic sense of self worth is not exclusive to Bieber in this song.

"When I was 13/I had my first love"

Rant incoming.

OK! SO! Allow me to place my own morals upon others for a moment. WHO THE HECK THINKS THAT DATING AT 13 IS A GOOD IDEA? Seriously! This irritates me to no end. Every single day I see young kids, FAR too young to have any interest in romance, update their Facebook statuses (which they shouldn't even have, I'm talking about 8 year olds here) with some sort of relationship change, or comment about their boyfriends/girlfriends, or talking about how cute someone is...

YOU'RE 8! It's absurd! That's too young to be dating. 13 is too young. 14, 15, 16, that's a decent age. But anything below 14 is just absurd! Now get off my lawn you darned kids!

"There was nobody that compared to my baby/And nobody came between us or could ever come above"

What the heck does "come above us" mean? I get the rest of this line. I do. I have no issues with it... But I'm puzzled by the term "come above us". Seriously. Let me know if you understand.

"She had me goin' crazy/Oh I was starstruck/She woke me up daily/Don't need no Starbucks."

Product placement! Hurrah! Justin Bieber got tons of money for that arbitrary and forced line that adds nothing to the song!

"She made my heart pound/And skip a beat when I see her in the street and/At school on the playground/But I really want to see her on the weekend"

See above, but angrier.


"She knows she got me dazing/'Cuz she was so amazing"

"And now my heart is breakin'/But I just keep on sayin'"

And now we make the subtle transition from Ludacris' absurdly deep voice to Justin Bieber's... Not... Deep... Voice...

And thus, after several painful repetitions of the chorus and a few more repetitions of "I'm gone", the song is over. Thank god.

So, in short, "Baby" does not have "epic lyrics". "Baby" has terrible lyrics.

And the best part? This abomination is one of Bieber's best songs. But how should I pick which of his songs to analyze next? How could I possibly go through all of his songs and ever expect to be able to pick just one that's awful enough to top "Baby", when there's so many?

Hmm... Perhaps I should use EENIE MEENIE MINEY MO?!


  1. AHHHHHHHHHH LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My mom thinks he sounds like a stalker

  2. Quite interesting and great that you pointed out what part of the lyrics are not original and cliche. For me, I used to only look that the meaning and depth of a song, but never realized that some lyrics are not original. =) Thank you for pointing that out =).