I’m randomly listening to music and Sk8er Boi comes on. I’ll admit it I like the song, until I listened too closely to the lyrics. Once you listen to the lyrics the song falls apart.
The first verse sets up the standard Romeo and Juliet motif. Something that always works. The first time you listen through the song you think they are going to work out, because that’s the way it happens right? The girl succumbs to peer pressure and doesn’t date her Romeo.
We fast forward five years in the second verse (so the girl is between 20 and 23). The girl has a child and see the boy she didn’t date if now famous. Her friends that bashed him in high school want to go with her to see the show. The setup seems to state that her life is over or at least a dead-end. That she will have a chance to get back together with her “true love”.
The third verse and the rest of the song switch perspectives. They are from the girl who is currently dating the boy. The fact that the first girl missed out because she didn’t stick with him. That she is the lucky one because she is with the successful rock star.
How many people do you know that starting dating in high school that are still together. Maybe 1 -2 couples? That somehow the first girls life would have been different if only she had gone on a date and resisted peer pressure. That she wouldn’t have a child and her life would be going somewhere. All they did is flirt and never dated. If anyone I had ever flirted with, or dated, became famous I wouldn’t regret that I didn’t date them or stick with them. I would know there is a reason I didn’t date them.
The fact that the second girl lords it over the first girl’s head in the song is also insane. It shows that she is just petty and seems to be insecure about her relationship. She is dating the boy more as a trophy than true love. If it was true love on both sides, she wouldn’t worry about a girl her boyfriend never dated and hadn’t seen in years.
The song when you don’t pay attention is a happy bouncy pop song. It seems to be about love, but you don’t care. You just enjoy the beat. The true meaning behind the song are regret, jealousy, and envy. These aren’t things you would associate with the song on a casual listen.
Of course Avril Lavigne was a teenager when she recorded this song. Her whole life was defined by her relationships around her. She hadn’t had time to grow into her own person yet. I wonder what she thinks looking back at that song now that she is approaching thirty. Having a kid to her probably seemed like it would be the end of the world. Her dreams would have been taken from her.
I’m sure a portion of this is I’m an adult and not a teenager. Age gives me a different perspective. This song is also a decade old and probably not influencing too many teenagers today. What about the ones that were teenagers a decade ago. The twenty something girls and boys that walk around today? What did they take from this song?
This isn’t a song about being yourself. This is not a song about acceptance. It really is a song about pettiness. I’ll still listen to it though….