Thanks to fans and foes

 

The song

"Friday" by 13-year-old Rebecca Black has become the most unlikely hit record

in quite some time. Originally conceived as a vanity project financed by Ms.

Black's parents, it's been viewed 50 million times on YouTube (Ed. note: Now it's up to 60 million. Won't you people ever stop?) and has been the

subject of much derision by music critics and the public alike.

Last week, I

received a call from an old friend in the music business in Los Angeles. My

friend has, in addition to producing hit songs for a variety of artists, also

served for many years as an analyst in the U.S. Department of State,

specializing in communist studies.

He said that

critics of the song had missed the point entirely. He said that instead of a

cute, tween-pop ditty, "Friday" is the most cleverly

produced and most blatantly pro-Marxist piece of music since The Clash released

the rabble-rousing album Sandinista! 30 years ago.

While

there's no way to prove my friend's theory, he believes the song was originally

written back in the 1980s by the propaganda division of the Soviet Union's

government. "This song is poisonous," he said. "It's basically The Communist

Manifesto set to music."

An exposition of the song's lyrics seem to bolster this theory. Only by

analyzing the song line by line, he said, is its true meaning revealed.

The song

begins, Seven a.m., waking up in the morning/Gotta

be fresh, gotta go

downstairs. This line is an homage to the Clash's proletariat anthem "The

Magnificent Seven," whose first line is about a worker arising at 7 a.m. to

please his capitalist bosses.

The next

lines: Gotta have

my bowl, gotta have cereal. This refers to the

grain shortages in pre-World War II Soviet Russia, in which nearly 5 million

people starved due to a lack of wheat.

It

continues: Seein' everything, the time is goin'/Tickin' on and on, everybody's rushin'.

The last section refers to the impatience of the Bolsheviks after the 1917

Revolution and the provisional government's urgency in equating Russian

nationalism with the Communist Party's aims. "Everybody's Russian," urged

pro-Communist posters of the era.

The next

lines are, Gotta

get down to the bus stop/Gotta catch my bus, I see my

friends. This references the lack of transportation infrastructure in the

Khrushchev era and touts the benefits of communal life.

Then we hit

the plaintive lines, Kickin' in the front

seat/Sittin' in the back seat/Gotta

make my mind up/Which seat can I take? This is a direct reference to the

indecision facing the Soviet Union after it scrambled to reassemble its

government following the death of dictator Joseph Stalin.

Should the

Soviets try to lead a worldwide revolution of workers in forcing an end to

capitalism, or take the "back seat" with a more indirect approach?

In this, Ms.

Black echoes the questions that preoccupied Khrushchev, Malenkov and Beria in

1953, and, for that matter, Chinese leader Mao Zedong.

Even the

song's chorus alludes to the desire of the proletariat to be freed from the

shackles of capitalism and its joy at even a short respite from its cruel

overlords: It's Friday, Friday/Gotta get down on

Friday/Everybody's lookin' forward to the weekend,

weekend.

When the

teenaged Ms. Black sings, Partyin', partyin', yeah, she's referring to the historic 20th

Congress of the Communist Party in 1956, which, after years of denial, began

the process of de-Stalinizing Russia and ending the cult of personality

surrounding him.

The song's

bridge, possibly the most criticized section of the song, is in fact an

expression of confusion and despair faced by Cold War Soviet leaders, albeit

well-disguised.

Yesterday

was Thursday, Thursday/Today it is Friday, Friday. This shows the importance of

emphasizing the fruits of Soviet Communism relative to the era of the Tsar. But

in anticipation of an uncertain future, the song reminds us that Tomorrow is

Saturday/And Sunday comes afterwards.

The Soviet

Union continually issued optimistic forecasts of better days to come once the

Revolution had been fully realized.

There are so

many other Russian references in the song — the Cuban Missile Crisis, the

Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the rise of Gorbachev — that my music

business friend is convinced there is no possibility of coincidence.

"What I

can't figure out," he told me, "is why it's out now. It has all the hallmarks

of a psyops (psychological operations) campaign from the KGB circa 1985. Was

the song stolen from Soviet archives? Had there been a sleeper cell sitting on

this song awaiting orders that only now came? I can't figure it out."

He surmises

that hardline Russians loyal to Vladimir Putin issued

the song in an effort to reassert the power of the Russian state and its

possible return to totalitarianism.

"But that's

just my best guess," he said. "This is the kind of thing that makes me want to

build a bomb shelter. Who knows what the Russians have up their sleeves next?

Justin Bieber singing coded messages from Castro? The

mind boggles at the possibilities."

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