Song Analysis “One Week”

Based on popular demand, I’ve decided to analyze the lyrics of “One Week” by Barenaked Ladies. (Brozer, brozer, barenaked ladies are Haram! It’s ok; it’s not that kind of Barenaked ladies.) I took some help from outside sources, i.e. different websites related to song lyrics. Here’s the best global summary of what’s going on in the lyrics:

“This song is about ego and relationships. A couple get into a stupid fight and it is not clear whose fault it is. First he thinks it is his fault, and then he thinks it is her fault, and finally he realizes it is both. During that whole process he cannot stop thinking about the fight, but rather than deal with their problems–the couple just go about their lives, watching television, eating out, etc.” Posted by SongMeanings on

By now you should know the drill. The lyrics will follow with my analysis in parentheses.

Its been one week since you looked at me
Cocked your head to the side
and said I’m angry
Five days since you laughed at me saying
Get that together come back and see me
Three days since the living room,
I realized its all my fault, but couldn’t tell you
Yesterday you’d forgiven me
But it’ll still be two days till I say I’m sorry

(This part is relatively clear. A couple has a fight and the guy concludes that his fault but is too proud to admit it. The phrase, “get that together” is slang for “stop acting like an idiot.”)

Hold it now and watch the hoodwink
As I make you stop, think
You’ll think you’re looking at Aquaman
I summon fish to the dish,
Although I like the Chalet Suisse
I like the sushi
Cause its never touched a frying pan

(This is the Fish Verse. To hoodwink someone is to trick them. Here he is tricking someone by making them think he is Aquaman. Aquaman is a hero in DC Comics who can telepathically summon sea creatures. He is often ridiculed by comic fans because his powers are usually useless. Like Aquaman, the speaker is able to summon fish at will. Chalet Suisse is the French name for Swiss Chalet, a chain of family restaurants in Canada, with some locations in the U.S. as well. Sushi, of course, is raw fish, so it has not been fried.)

Hot like wasabi when I bust rhymes
Big like Leann Rimes
Because I’m all about value
Bert Kaempfert’s got the mad hits
You try to match wits
You try to hold me but I bust through
(Wasabi is a Japanese condiment made out of horseradish that adds a kick to sushi. To “bust rhymes” means to rap as the speaker does quite eloquently through the course of this song. Leann Rimes is a country singer who had a hit album, “Blue” when she was only 13. I think the only reason she’s in this song is because her name rhymes. Bert Kaempfert is a German musician and songwriter who wrote several well known hits including “Strangers in the Night,” “L-O-V-E,” and “Danke Schoen.” “Match wits” may be an allusion to the PBS quiz show, “As Schools Match Wits” or it may mean that he is mentally battling with his girlfriend.)

Gonna make a break and take a fake
I’d like a stinkin’, achin’ shake
I like vanilla, Its the finest of the flavors
Gotta see the show,
Cause then you’ll know
The vertigo is gonna grow
Cause its so dangerous,
You’ll have to sign a waiver
(“Stinkin” and “achin’” are used for emphasis but I’m not sure exactly what they’re emphasizing. Clearly he doesn’t want a shake that stinks. He just wants a “stinkin’ shake.” I think he’s talking about someone coming to one of his concerts – “gotta see the show.” But I don’t know how someone could get vertigo from a BNL show. Maybe crowd surfing? When he talks about it being “so dangerous/ You’ll have to sign a waiver,” he’s mocking our culture and our extreme readiness to take things to court.)

How can I help it if I think you’re funny when you’re mad
Trying hard not to smile though I feel bad
I’m the kind of guy who laughs at a funeral
Can’t understand what I mean?
Well, you soon will
I have a tendency to wear my mind on my sleeve
I have a history of taking off my shirt
(You can tell by the lyrics that the singer is a guy who likes to laugh. Apparently, he laughs at inappropriate times such as when his girlfriend is mad and at funerals. The next part is my personal favorite. He says he wears his mind on his sleeve which is sort of a pun on wearing one’s heart on one’s sleeve, i.e. being emotionally vulnerable. He’s saying he’s an open book and lets people know what he’s thinking. But he says that he also takes off his shirt, which combined with the previous line, seems to imply that he often loses his head.)

Its been one week since you looked at me
Threw your arms in the air and said you’re crazy
Five days since you tackled me
I’ve still got the rug burns on both my knees
It’s been three days since the afternoon
You realized it’s not my fault not a moment too soon
Yesterday you’d forgiven me
And now I sit back and wait till you say you’re sorry
(I don’t think I have to explain what rug burns are. It seems the speaker has changed his mind. While earlier he said it was all his fault, now he’s saying it’s not.)

Chickity China the Chinese chicken
You have a drumstick and your brain stops tickin’
Watchin’ X-Files with no lights on,
Were dans la maison
I hope the Smoking Man’s in this one

(Chickity China is a reference to a prank call by “The Jerky Boys.” The next line which says “you have a drumstick and your brain stops tickin” refers to the H5N1 bird flu which hit Hong Kong in 1998, when the song was written. For those who don’t remember, “The X-Files” was a sci-fi drama on Fox with eerie storylines and a creepy ubiquitous side character known only as “The Smoking Man.” The French phrase “dans la maison” simply means “in the house.”)

Like Harrison Ford I’m getting Frantic
Like Sting I’m Tantric
Like Snickers, guaranteed to satisfy
Like Kurosawa I make mad films
Okay I don’t make films
But if I did they’d have a samurai
(“Frantic” was the title of a 1988 Harrison Ford movie in which he plays a doctor whose wife is kidnapped while the couple is in Paris, attending a medical conference. Sting (a.k.a. Gordon Sumner) was the front man of the band “The Police” and later went solo. He claims to practice Tantric yoga which some have said enables people to have sex for hours at a time. “Snickers” is a popular American candy bar which used to have the slogan, “guaranteed to satisfy.” Akira Kurosawa was a brilliant Japanese film director. His films include “Rashomon” and “Seven Samurai.”)

Gonna get a set of better clubs
Gonna find the kind with tiny nubs
Just so my irons aren’t always flying off the backswing
Gotta get in tune with Sailor Moon
Cause that cartoon has got the boom anime babes
That make me think the wrong thing
(The first three lines in this verse refer to golf, a subject about which I know next to nothing. Apparently the singer wants to get fancy new clubs to improve his game. Any golfers out there, feel free to comment. Sailor Moon is a Japanese anime that features girls with big eyes and large breasts. I think you can see how these would make the singer “think the wrong thing.”)

How can I help it if I think you’re funny when you’re mad
Trying hard not to smile though I feel bad
I’m the kind of guy who laughs at a funeral
Can’t understand what I mean?
You soon will
I have a tendency to wear my mind on my sleeve
I have a history of losing my shirt

(This looks like a repeat of what he’s already said but there is one difference. Here he speaks of “losing my shirt.” Losing one’s shirt means losing everything. I think he’s trying to hint at the fact that he’s bad at relationships and tends to screw up.)

It’s been one week since you looked at me
Dropped your arms to your sides and said I’m sorry
Five days since I laughed at you and said
You just did just what I thought you were gonna do
Three days since the living room
We realized we’re both to blame, but what could we do?
Yesterday you just smiled at me
Cause it’ll still be two days till we say were sorry
(Here the speaker comes to the conclusion that both he and his girlfriend are at fault for the fight that they had. Five days ago seems to be when the fight started, when the speaker laughed at his significant other. The fight is expected to continue for another two days while they wait to admit guilt. Five days plus two days equals seven days.)

It’ll still be two days till we say were sorry
It’ll still be two days till we say were sorry
Birchmount Stadium, home of the Robbie

(He ends by giving a shout-out to Birchmount Stadium which may have puzzled American fans. Birchmount Stadium is located in Scarborough, Ontario. The Robbie is an annual youth soccer tournament. Again, I think it’s basically in the song to complete the rhyme.)

With thanks to:

  1. #1 by Erik on May 6, 2008 - 7:25 pm

    To be fair, Sailor Moon is one of the anime series where the females do NOT have very large breasts, although the rest of their bodies are proportionately akin to Barbie dolls. The other thing that would be wrong here is that they are all high school students, as evidenced by their sailor-style uniforms, which are standard in the Japanese school system.

  2. #2 by 泳鏡 on December 2, 2010 - 2:09 am

    woot, thankyou! I finally came to a site where the webmaster knows what they’re talking about. Do you know how many results are in Google when I search.. too many! It’s so annoying having to go from page after page after page, wasting my day away with thousands of people just copying eachother’s articles… bah. Anyway, thankyou very much for the info anyway, much appreciated.

  3. #3 by ip camera on December 3, 2010 - 2:47 am

    A truly beneficial publish by you my good friend. We have bookmarked this web page and can are available back again following several days to verify for almost any new posts that you just make.

  1. Song Analysis “One Week”

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