I first heard this song on the radio a few days ago, and have listened to it repeatedly since then. It is a catchy song about the endless circle of working pointless jobs with no way out experienced by the majority of people in the world.
From the beginning of the song
Somewhere in the world there is a father and a mother
And the father is a son who has a mother
The mother has a daughter who gets married to the brother of a mother
And they all just tryna multiply with one another
we see how tied together everyone is, and references the continued story of people marrying, having kids, only for those kids to get married, have kids, and repeat the cycle. It sets the song up for pointing out the endless cycles the majority of humanity is stuck in.
The majority of the song, however, focuses on the dead end job cycle most Americans are forced to maneuver through.
Somewhere in the world, they think they’re working for themselves
They get up everyday to go to work for someone else
And somebody works for them and so they think they got it made
But they’re all just working to get paid the very same
In spite of everything we do trying to break free of this cycle, we continue within it. Even managers, who feel important for being the “boss,” are just working for someone else. American society bans discussion of salary/paycheck with others, especially if they work at the same company. Conversations about money are closely guarded, but I have to wonder why. It is in the employer’s best interest for everyone to be ignorant of what everyone else is making… yet we, as employees maintain the secrecy for them.
To me, the most ironic part of this song is the singer, Sabrina Carpenter, is one of the wealthiest teenagers in the US. Currently 17, she surpassed a net worth of $1 million when she was 14. Not only has she never been in this cycle, but this girl will never have to work a dead-end job or be stuck in the cycle this song describes. With a current net worth over $6 million, even if she never worked another day in her life (as long as she managed her money properly), she could have every want and need filled without a thought.
Throughout the song, it repeats “that’s just the way of the world” and “they keep on twiddling them thumbs.” It simultaneously points out how the world functions currently, then calls the listener to break free with the verse
Don’t believe everything that you hear
Let it go through your left and right ear
Don’t just march to the beat of that drum
Don’t be one of them people just twiddlin’ them thumbs.
This is where that irony comes in… we have a teenager worth millions telling us to be different, break free, etc, when she has never for a moment been part of our world.