The real meaning of Britney Spears classic '(Hit Me Baby) One More Time'

It's not about domestic abuse or an S&M fetish after all

Click to follow
The Independent Culture

Britney Spears might have been the soundtrack to many of our younger years but if you’ve ever caught yourself wondering whether (Hit Me Baby) One More Time is about an abusive relationship, you’re not the only one.

Fortunately, a pop music historian has pointed out that the 1999 song isn’t about domestic violence or an S&M fetish as you might have feared, so you can rest easy next time you recreate the video’s schoolgirl theme for a throwback party. 

John Seabrook explains in his new book The Song Machine that the track’s Swedish writers Max Martin and Rami Yacoub thought ‘hit’ was US teen slang for ‘call’, meaning all Britney wants is for her recent ex-boyfriend to give her a ring because she’s feeling sad and lonely.

Spears’ record label Jive Records did feel a bit dodgy about the song seemingly referring to abuse however, which is why they retitled it “..Baby One More Time”.

The song was originally intended for R&B girl group TLC, who rejected it because they did not want to sing the dubious lyrics.

“I was like, I like the song, but do I think it’s a hit? Was I going to say ‘Hit me baby, one more time’? Hell no!” said T-Boz in 2013.

It’s been a week of Nineties nostalgia, with Joey Fatone from boy band *NSYNC finally revealing what the deal is with the star in their name. It turns out illusionist Uri Geller suggested adding it because of his belief in symbolism.

Britney Spears Shuts Down Fat Shamers

“We sat down and I wrote, on a napkin, NSYNC, and I drew a star in the cafe,” Geller told the Huffington Post. “I told them, if they place that star on their first CD they’re going to shoot up to number one”.