Earworm of the Week #6 – Britney, Richard and ‘Oops!… I Did It Again’

Well, regulars around here will know I had set myself the challenge of writing 30 posts in 30 days to come out in solidarity with my college chums who are taking part in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). As I’m unlikely to ever write a novel, I set myself a blogging challenge instead and what fun we had that first couple of weeks. A NaNoWriMo Facebook page was set up and we all jumped in on a daily basis to share what we’d achieved. Then it became every other day. Then not at all. It seems you’ve got to be hardy to keep up the punishing regime of writing so much every day (when it’s not for work or financial gain). I did manage 17 posts in 18 days, but by then the fun had gone out of it, and real life was getting in the way.

I have now removed the ’30 in 30 #’ from all the titles and those posts will join the others in the archive, where they may or may not be stumbled upon at some point in the future. My output this month still represents over 12 weeks of business as usual however, so all in all, not too shabby.

Since calling time on the challenge I’ve had a bit of an earworm (from the German ohrwurm) going round and round in my head. I thought it was purely because I had yet again tried to turn myself into a daily blogger, only to yet again realise it just doesn’t suit my style of output – Oops!… I did it again. But then, after watching some prime time telly last night, I decided it was more likely down to this Christmas advert from a large and well-known supermarket chain. Very much made for ‘the times’ we are living through.

It wasn’t until I wrote about the Music of Sweden recently, that I discovered Oops!… I Did It Again was actually written by Swede Max Martin. Britney Spears flew across to his Cheiron Studios in Stockholm to record it in 2000. Max and his team were behind many of the big hits of the day and unbelievably only Paul McCartney and John Lennon have had more Billboard No. 1s. When I wrote that post, I conjectured the songs of Max Martin have perhaps been written to a successful formula and may not stand the test of time compared to those of Lennon and McCartney. But hey, here we are 20 years on listening to it in an advert, so I’m pretty sure it has stood the test of time as a catchy pop tune.

Max and Britney – Don’t get me started on her trousers!

As for the video for the song, it follows on nicely from my last post which marked the start of a new series called the Solar System In Song. Britney herself created the concept, saying she wanted to be dancing on Mars dressed in a red jumpsuit. I think she ticked both those boxes with bells on. What I hadn’t noticed before (at 2:50), was that the astronaut in the video gifts Britney ‘The Heart of the Ocean’, the blue diamond from the film Titanic. She questions him about it, as she thought the ‘old lady’ (Rose) dropped it into the ocean at the end, to which he replies, ‘Well, baby, I went down and got it for you’. In keeping with the lyrics from the song, she just says, ‘Aww, you shouldn’t have,’ and walks away. The poor astronaut shrugs and leaves.

Oops!… I Did It Again by Britney Spears:


It was around this time we seemed to accumulate lots of this kind of fodder, as DD was often gifted Pop Party and Now! compilation CDs for birthdays and Christmas. It always bothered me that the emphasis seemed to have shifted in pop music from the song, to the dance routines. No self-respecting Pop Princess could appear without a full support cast of dancers and each three minute song had to be accompanied by the most complex and energetic of dance moves. I blame Madonna who had started out as a dancer herself. You would never have seen Sandie Shaw or Lulu in red jumpsuits or low slung trousers gyrating across the stage like that. Oh no, it was always a simple dress, a mic and a bit of a sway from side to side for them. What can I say – Things had most definitely changed.

What is quite interesting however is that some of these memorable pop songs from the turn of the millennium are often covered by the most unlikely people. When doing a bit of research for this post I found this clip. It seems even Richard Thompson OBE, that English singer/songwriter/guitarist, ex of Fairport Convention, decided to give it a whirl. If proof be needed, here he is in full flow – He certainly does add a touch of gravitas to the song.

So, ‘What’s It All About?’ – Well I certainly gave the daily blogging challenge a really good try, but it was always going to be a bridge too far I think. I should have learned my lesson by now but Oops!… I tried it again. I promise I won’t subject you to such a rush of posts ever again.

As for the song, I tended to think these pop tunes churned out to a formula would never stand the test of time, but here we are having Oops!… coming into our living rooms every night in the form of an advert, so it seems not. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it ends up back in the charts.

Until next time…

Oops!… I Did It Again Lyrics
(Song by Max Martin/Rami)

I think I did it again
I made you believe we’re more than just friends
Oh baby
It might seem like a crush
But it doesn’t mean that I’m serious
‘Cause to lose all my senses
That is just so typically me


Oh baby, baby
Oops!…I did it again
I played with your heart, got lost in the game
Oh baby, baby
Oops!…You think I’m in love
That I’m sent from above


I’m not that innocent
You see my problem is this
I’m dreaming away
Wishing that heroes, they truly exist
I cry, watching the days
Can’t you see I’m a fool in so many ways
But to lose all my senses
That is just so typically me


Baby, oh
Oops!…I did it again
I played with your heart, got lost in the game
Oh baby, baby
Oops!…You think I’m in love
That I’m sent from above


I’m not that innocent
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah


Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah
“All aboard”


Oops!…I did it again to your heart
Got lost in this game, oh baby
Oops!…You think that I’m sent from above
I’m not that innocent