I know exactly what you mean–“Hit Me Baby One More Time” drove me crazy for months, because to me it was perfectly obvious that it was about battered wives. However, somebody here at the SDMB finally put me out of my misery by telling me that “hit me” was actually just a tidied-up way of saying “hump me”, and then of course the song made perfect sense.
Well, so, as it happens, I’ve got an actual almost-16-year old female here, and her explanation of the BSB song in question is,
Sorry, that’s as far as she got before she had to wave her hands and mumble, “Oh, I don’t know,” and then go back into the other room.
The lesson I learned from my “Hit Me Baby” experience is that grownups shouldn’t try to read adult sub-texts into pop songs. I too am annoyed by the song, but I was annoyed by the New Kids on the Block, too, and Hanson, and right now N-Sync is also rather annoying, and whoever told Madonna that what the world needs is a dance-mix cover of “American Pie”, and, and, and…
I’m sure my parents felt the same way about Herman’s Hermits, “what does he mean, he’s Henry the Eighth? Is he the king, or what?”
Try not to think about it too much, is my advice.
FWIW: I listened to the song all last summer on a car radio (long story), and came to the conclusion that the last lines ought to be punctuated, “I never want to hear you say, ‘I want it that way.’” In other words, he never wants to hear her tell him that she doesn’t want to see him any more. Like when a girl tells a guy that she wants a trial separation, and he begs her to explain why, and all she’ll say is, “I want it that way.”
Maybe he’s saying, “Don’t ever want to hear you say, ‘Ain’t nothing but a heartache, ain’t nothing but a mistake.’” In other words, he never wants to hear her just chalk him up to experience and move on.
“Tell me why it’s nothing but a heartache,” he begs. “Tell me why it’s nothing but a mistake.”
Maybe it’s like this: “Tell me why”, meaning “why are you leaving?”, and then he says, “It’s nothing but a heartache/mistake.”
Or then again, maybe they’re fighting. “But we are two worlds apart. I can’t reach to your heart, when you say, that I want it that way.” She’s telling him, “You keep saying you want it that way,” like in, “You keep saying you want more space,” or something, and then he’s sad because she doesn’t understand what he’s really trying to say.
I guess that overall the song just sounds to me like she’s trying to break up with him, and he’s still in love with her. It’s actually a pretty song–for the first thousand times you hear it.
Knowing that the BSB are marketed to the bubble-gum females age 9-16 segment of the CD-buying market, I very much doubt that it’s about lesbians specifically, unless somebody is having a little FUN with us…
“Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast!” - the White Queen