‘Hit Me Baby One More Time’ Doesn’t Mean What You Think It Does
The release of Britney Spears' "...Baby One More Time" marks one of the most iconic moments in contemporary music history. It was a monster of a hit: Not only did it turn Britney into an overnight household name, but the track's undeniably catchy chorus paired with its midriff-baring video visual was just risque enough to appeal to teens everywhere.
Except, hold on, we've had it wrong all these years -- the song's most overtly sexual lyric, "Hit me baby one more time" isn't about sex at all.
New York Times staff writer John Seabrook recently released a book that details the way the pop music industry works, titled The Song Machine: Inside the Hit Factory. In it, Seabrook explains the actual intent behind the lyrics of "...Baby One More Time" — and they’re decidedly more innocent than you’ve probably been assuming for the past 13 years.
According to E! News, the book explains that Swedish hit makers Max Martin and Rami Yacoub (who penned the track and gave it to Britney) wrote the song about a girl, going through a breakup, who wants nothing more than for her ex-boyfriend to call her back.
That’s it, that’s the entire song. Martin and Yacoub reportedly thought the word “hit” was American slang for “call." But then, we doubt the song would be the same if they'd gotten it right the first time, so we're glad no one thought to ask in 1998.
Watch Britney's "...Baby One More Time" video above and imagine what might have been.
See Photos of Britney Spears Throughout the Years