I think they did it again…

“Oops, I Did It Again,” a song written by Max Martin and Rami Yacoub, has gotten a bad reputation. In an introduction to his own version of the song, Richard Thompson says that unfortunately, the best-known performance of the song was done by “a rather crass pop artist”; yet, Thompson says, the song itself is lovely, with a chord structure “reminiscent of other centuries,” and “if we just take it out of the original hands, and give it a slightly different interpretation, … we can reveal its splendor.” 1

Since this is such a splendid song, it seems a prime candidate for adaptation: instead of a song addressed to a confused lover, why not make it into a song addressed to some of the people who are behind the growing economic inequality in the U.S.?

Oops, They Did It Again

I think they did it again,
They made us believe
That they were our friends.
Oh, baby,
They might think act like they care
But it doesn’t mean
That they’re serious;
‘Cause to make empty promises
That is just what CEOs do.
Oh, baby, baby —

Oops, they did it again,
They played with our hearts,
To them it’s a game.
Oh, baby, baby,
Oops, they cut back our pay,
Took benefits away;
They’re not so innocent!

And if those CEOs need
More money to feed
Their corporate greed,
Oh, baby,
Let them cut their own pay
Give their perks away,
Let’s get serious.
We don’t want empty promises,
They will have to do better than that.
Oh, baby, baby —

Oops, they did it again,
They played with our jobs,
To them it’s a game.
Oh, baby, baby,
Oops, they cut back our pay,
Took benefits away,
They’re not so innocent!

Oops, they say, “There’s no blame,”
‘Cause they have no shame,
To them it’s a game.
Oh, baby, baby,
Oops, they think we won’t see
How greedy they can be;
We’re not that innocent!

 

(I wish I could put my SATB arrangement online — it’s pretty funny to see this pop song in four-part harmony — but it’s important to respect the rights of songwriters and composers.)

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