Or, How I Learned to Quit Worrying, and Love the Britney


Now that I’m not working for the Oldies (But Goodies) anymore, I have ample time to sit around searching the world (well, according to the wide web, that is) for new music.  Sometimes, I even rake through my itunes for old music that I’ve forgotten about, but still love — the Oldy But Goodies of my personal music collection, if you will.  Sometimes — okay, often — this leads me to Britney Spears.  Pre-meltdown, she was awesome.  Don’t try to argue with me, about this, you will lose.

Anyway, the more I listened to Britney, the more I realized, she’s got the entire 5-step Grieving Process in her song catalog.  Don’t believe me?  Watch this:

1.) Denial:

Unable to accept the fact that Justin her boyfriend has broken up with her, Britney wonders “how was [she] supposed to know” their relationship was headed towards splitsville? She confesses that she still believes that Justin her boyfriend will come back to her.  Then, she does a back-walk-over.  Classic denial.

Key Lyric: I must confess/I still believe/that you will be here/and give me a sign/hit me baby one more time

2.) Anger:

After some thinking about it, Britney grows indignant about her situation, and calls Justin her boyfriend out on being “nothing but a womanizer.”  She tells him “not to front/I know just what you are .”  Which is, an asshole. You can tell Britney’s really pissed, because she stutters a lot in this song.

Key Lyric: You say I’m crazy/I got your crazy

3.) Bargaining:

Here, Britney is still trying to wrap her brain around the fact that Justin “doesn’t answer [when] she phones” and “guesses [he] just wants to be left alone.” She believes that writing him an email asking him “can’t you give me one more chance to make it up to you?” will help.  For good measure, she sends “a picture of us two” as an attachment, noting “I look so good on you,” not realizing that Justin her boyfriend is probably already looking so good on some other chick when his blackberry buzzes to let him know he has a new email.  He will promptly delete this one.

Key Lyric: Can’t you give me one more chance to make it up to you/email me back and say our love will never die/I know you’re out there and I know that you still care

4.) Depression:

Britney is spiraling into pre-head-shaving madness.  She feels hopeless without Justin her boyfriend, noting that “every time [she] tries to fly/[she] falls without [her] wings/[she] feels so small.”  Meanwhile, Justin her boyfriend “seems to move on easy.”  She’s haunted by the love that they once shared, and apologizes for cheating on Justin with that chubby choreographer whatever it was that she did to make him stop loving her.  She “prays that [his] face will fade away.” And then maybe she dies or is reborn as a baby? It’s “purposely” ambiguous, but really it just flat-out makes no sense.  Clearly, this music video was conceived of a brain too sad to even think: okay, wait, this makes no sense…

Key Lyric: Every time I see you in my dreams/I see your face/It’s haunting me/I guess I need you baby.

5.) Acceptance:

Britney has finally woken up out of her coma/been successfully reborn as a baby, and realizes that she can make it on her own.  In fact, she’s “stronger than yesterday,” and relishes the fact that she’s free to do as she pleases without having to worry about what Justin her boyfriend is going to think about it.  “Now it’s nothin’ but my way,” she sings.  Goodbye matching jean outfits, hello, sombrero atop a newsboy cap while wearing an eye mask!

Key Lyric: “My Lonliness ain’t killin’ me no more.”

And that, my friends, is how you complete the grieving process, in one decade’s worth of music or less.

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