10 Teen Pop Songs With Decidedly Disturbing Lyrics

Alice Bolin recently wrote an excellent essay for The Toast about just how disturbing Britney Spears’ “Baby One More Time” is if you really stop and think about the lyrics. Not the chorus, specifically, or the weird pseudo-religious video — no, just the air of loneliness and sadness that surrounds the lyric in general. It evokes the sort of desperate hunger of teen love, which is appropriate enough given that Spears was only 18 when she sang it. But anyway, its catchy tune belies its generally depressing lyrics — and really, when you think about it, there are plenty of pop songs that fit this description. Here’s a selection of the most disturbing.

Britney Spears — “Baby One More Time”

The ambiguity of the “hit me baby one more time” chorus has been well documented, but even setting that aside, this is a startlingly bleak lyric when you really sit down and read through it. “My loneliness is killing me”? “When I’m not with you I lose my mind”? Yikes.