Happy Monday everyone! Hopefully you’re all on summer vacation by now and enjoying some much deserved freedom from the stress of school. Unless you have a big girl or big boy job in which case, my condolences. I usually spend my summer at home in Dallas, but this summer I’m only here for one week. In one week, I will be embarking on the biggest adventure of my life thus far – spending the summer interning in my dream city, Los Angeles (but more on that in a later post). Now, what does all this have to do with ’90s Music Monday, you ask? Well, since Saturday (the actual one week mark for beginning the adventure of my life) I’ve had a certain song stuck in my head. Yep, you guessed it (I hope) – “One Week” (1998) by Barenaked Ladies.
As great of a song as “One Week” is, it’s one of those songs that I admittedly don’t fully understand, partly because the lyrics are so fast and often nonsensical. When I say I have it stuck in my head, I mean that I keep replaying “It’s been one week since you looked at me” and “Chickity-China, the Chinese chicken” on loop because those are the two lines I know. “One Week” is one of those songs where you can sing a line, mumble a little, sing another phrase, and mumble the rest and nobody cares because that’s just the nature of the song.
Beyond not being able to understand all the words in the song, I also admittedly never really understood the meaning of the song as a whole. And I’m hoping some of you are in the same boat or else I’m a little embarrassed. So, I did a little research (and by research I mean read its Wikipedia page) and learned some fun facts about “One Week” that you may or may not have known.
First, I learned that “One Week” spent exactly one week at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and was also their only number one hit in the US. But it was not a one hit wonder for Barenaked Ladies – check out my favorite BNL song, “It’s All Been Done” (1999), the second single following the release of “One Week.”
Next, I learned that I’m not so wrong in having a hard time understanding the meaning of the song, as the rap portion was improvised by co-founder of the band, Ed Robertson, and actually has nothing to do with the song. After having trouble writing the rap, Ed sat down in front of a video camera and recorded 4 minutes of improvised rap, most of which made it into the final version of the song. A big part of both the rap and the song is the pop culture references made in the lyrics and seen in the video – a common theme in ‘90s music overall.
Finally, I learned that “One Week” was featured in two of the ’90s-est ’90s movies ever, American Pie and 10 Things I Hate About You. You know it’s a perfect ’90s song if it’s in a perfect ’90s movie, and this one made it into two. I rest my case.
See you in One Week,