Justin Bieber released his new single “Boyfriend” at midnight Monday to the level of Internet excitement that usually surrounds an announcement of this nature from the 18-year-old sensation.
(The terms “Boyfriend is AMAZING” and “Justin is OURS” are currently trending on Twitter.)
That’s right: The Biebs is 18 now, and that’s reflected in the more grown-up sound of the single. And by grown-up I mean he raps — yes, raps — about eating fondue by a fire.
But there’s certainly still a hand-holding level of innocence to “Boyfriend.” As Bieber told V Magazine shortly before he turned the big 1-8, “I don’t want to start singing about things like sex, drugs and swearing.”
There are elements of solo artist-era Justin Timberlake in the song, like the falsetto singing and the acoustic guitar accompaniment. (Take a listen to Timberlake's “Girlfriend” to hear the similarities.)
But the song’s at times extremely silly lyrics are its crowning achievement. Let’s break down the words, which are helpfully published on Bieber’s Web site, below.
If I was your boyfriend, I’d never let you go/ I can take you places you ain't never been before/ Baby take a chance or you’ll never ever know/ I got money in my hands that I’d really like to blow
Swag swag swag, on you/ Chillin by the fire why we eatin’ fondue/ I dunno about me but I know about you/ So say hello to falsetto in three two
Translation: Hey, baby. I’m a rich kid who would like to spend money on you while singing in falsetto. Perhaps we can sit by the fire while we eat fondue? (Is this really what the kids are into these days?)
I’d like to be everything you want/ Hey girl, let me talk to you
If I was your boyfriend, never let you go/ Keep you on my arm girl, you’d never be alone/ I can be a gentleman, anything you want/ If I was your boyfriend, I’d never let you go, I’d never let you go
Translation: If you are my girlfriend, prepare to be attached to me by the arm 24 hours a day for the rest of your life. Not literally, of course! But seriously: I’ll never let you go.
Tell me what you like yeah tell me what you don’t/ I could be your Buzz Lightyear fly across the globe/ I don’t never wanna fight yeah, you already know/I’m ‘ma make you shine bright like you’re laying in the snow/Burr
Girlfriend, girlfriend, you could be my girlfriend/You could be my girlfriend until the world ends/Make you dance do a spin and a twirl and/Voice goin crazy on this hook like a whirl wind/Swaggie
Translation: We’re grown up enough to be in a committed relationship that involves fireside fondue eating, but you still enjoy a “Toy Story” reference.
So give me a chance, ‘cause you’re all I need girl/Spend a week wit your boy I’ll be calling you my girlfriend/If I was your man, I’d never leave you girl/I just want to love you, and treat you right
Translation: Okay, this is pretty sweet. Buy her all the fondue she deserves, Bieber.