There are lots of songs with valuable life lessons. Tim McGraw’s “Live Like You Were Dying” is an amazing song about enjoying every moment of your life. “Sumer of 69” taught us that sometimes life gets in the way of our childhood dreams, and that’s okay. “Poison” from Bel Biv Devoe taught us to never trust a big butt and a smile, because that girl is poison. But not every song automatically has your best interests at heart. “Manic Monday,” the second most famous song (of three) from The Bangles, is one of these songs. Fun fact: when prepping for this blog, I found out The Bangles did “Eternal Flame.” I had no idea. I also found out Prince wrote “Manic Monday,” which explain both why it’s so good AND why it has no idea what a real job entails.
The song begins with “6 o clock already, I was just in the middle of a dream.” So far, so good. A few seconds later she says “but I can’t be late or I guess I just won’t get paid, these are the days when you wish your bed was already made.” First of all, it doesn’t take that long to make your bed. When I was in basic training, we were required to make our beds every morning using hospital corners. For the uninitiated, that is a very tight corner on your sheets. Even that didn’t really take that long after doing it a few times for practice. So worst case scenario, you’re looking at about an extra 60 to 90 seconds on your morning routine. But here’s the crazy thing: in the civilian world you don’t have to make your bed every day! Unless company was coming over, I haven’t made my bed a single time since getting out of the Army. There’s just no reason to do it unless you’re OCD, in which case you’ve already built it into your routine and there’s no danger of you being late for work.
The next verse begins with “got to catch an early train, got to be at work at 9.” This is a pretty standard commute. I used to wake up around 6 every day because I had an hour commute to work and had to be there at 8. It happens, it’s a natural part of a daily routine. But it’s the next line that gets kind of insane: “but if I had an aeroplane, I still couldn’t make it on time.” This means you’re the cause of all of your problems. I’m no expert on planes, but I hear they’re pretty quick. If even a plane couldn’t get you to work on time, you need a new job or a new place to live. I got tired of my commute about 6 months ago, I got a new job. I know it isn’t always easy to find a new job, but it is possible. Put out some resumes closer to home, check some apartment listings closer to work, you have options.
Before we make it out of the second verse, we get the first piece of proof that this song was written by a man in the 80s. Want to know why a plane couldn’t get the singer to work on time? The next line is “because it takes so long just to figure out what I’m gonna wear.” This is a standard sexist trope that’s just as dated as “women be shoppin,” and it’s also bullshit. The girl who is so OCD she has to make her bed every day absolutely has her clothes picked out. The only way these both scenarios exist, that she makes her bed daily but waits till morning to pick an outfit, is if she’s a liar. The next line tells us which one of those two it is. “Blame it on the train, but the boss is already there.” So you’re in a bad situation, unmotivated to get out of that bad situation, you make poor choices, and you lie about them. Awesome.
The next part of the song is hard to describe. Most fast paced 90s alternative songs had a sort of break down towards the end where the music and pacing changed, then built back up to some screaming. This song has something a little like that, but without screaming so I can’t call it a real break down. but the pacing and music change, and the lyrics get WAY more adult. Turns out part of why she’s so tired and scatterbrained this morning is that her boyfriend decided they needed to have sex last night. She paints a pretty grim picture of him, saying “it doesn’t matter that I have to feed the both of us.” First statement – you’re allowed to say no to sex. Believe it or not, I’ve been told no before. In fact, being too tired is one of the more common reasons I’ve ever been turned down for sex. Another common reason is “I just can’t handle all these orgasms, so no more sex for a while!” It’s pretty uncanny how often I hear that one, actually. So she’s allowed to say no to sex, that’s fine. But even if she’s interested in sex, this line proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that this song was written by a man. How confident is the writer of this song that sex with him is not only something she won’t say no to despite needing to work the next day, but he’s confident that it will also be time consuming enough that it’s going to fuck up her entire next day. I get that Prince wrote the song, but come on. So the third point I have to make is actually pretty simple: why are you dating a guy willing to fuck up your career just so he can get laid? The song doesn’t tell us anything about him except that he gets her to have sex at inappropriate times for her daily commute.
It isn’t just the verses of the song that depict a whole basket of crazy. Is that a thing, basket of crazy? I don’t know, but you get it. The chorus repeatedly doubles down on the how nuts this song is. “It’s just another manic Monday, I wish it was Sunday. My I don’t have to run day, cause that’s my fun day.” I get that you need rhyme scheme for an effective hit single, but come on. You clearly have an office job, you don’t work 6 days a week. You get a full weekend just like the rest of us. It also sounds like you’re really laying into Monday, despite the fact that the real problem here is your personal choices. Also, the choices she’s making have nothing to do with Monday specifically, so you’re probably dealing with this all week. Blaming the day really feels like when people were blaming 2016 for the deaths of a bunch of aging celebrities. It’s disappointing, you’re not happy about it, but it really makes sense based on the way the world is. If you wake up later than you should, take on extra morning chores, procrastinate on tasks that you know take a while, then lie to your boss, your work day is going to be pretty rough.
I’ve been a hiring manager at multiple jobs, and I cannot stress to you enough that this is not a song you should emulate when planning your work week. I know it’s catchy, but it’s no “Walk Like An Egyptian.” Think of that any time you’re wondering “but what if tomorrow really IS a manic Monday?” Just remember that this is was a less successful song than some complete nonsense with a catchy “way-o” hook. If you really need a song to live your life by, I can’t recommend enough that you choose something else. Something like “I Believe I Can Fly.” That’s a great song that not only passes on a message of believing in yourself, but it also reminds you that we live in a world where Space Jam exists, and that’s definitely something to be grateful for. That’s it for now gang, love and kisses!
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