As you may know, pop star Avril Lavigne is being sued by 70's band The Rubinoos for allegedly lifting her latest song "Girlfriend" from their 1979 song "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend."
The pop culture community is up in arms. It's the "Ice Ice Baby" drama all over again. People haven't felt this betrayed since Milli Vanilli's tape started skipping. A lot of people seem absolutely convinced of her guilt.
I, however, remain skeptical. People are so quick to point fingers and assign blame that they don't seem to really have taken a close look at the evidence. Let's examine the lyrics of these two songs a bit more closely.
"Girlfriend" "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend"
Hey! Hey! You! You! Sitting here so close, together
I don't like your girlfriend! So far we're just friends, but I'm wondering whether
No way No way! I, am I just imagining
I think you need a new one You, or do you really have a thing for me
Hey! Hey! You! You! Like I think I see when I see you smile
I could be your girlfriend And the smile's for me, I wanna tell you...
Hey! Hey! You! You! Hey, You, I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend
I know that you like me Trying to say I wanna be your number one
No way! No way! Hey, You, I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend
No it's not a secret Gonna make you love me before I'm done
Hey! Hey! You! You!
I want to be your girlfriend Late at night when I, when I can't sleep
Picture in my mind, I see you and me
You're so fine I, I'm telling you what I wanna be
I want you mine You, you're saying you're in love with me
You're so delicious And oh, it feels so good in a dream
I think about you all the time That I know in life it's just got to be
You're so addictive I wanna tell you...
Don't you know what I could do to make you feel alright?
Don't pretend I think you know I'm damn precious
And hell yeah
I'm the mother f**king princess
I can tell you like me too and you know I'm right
Even a quick skim of these lyrics clearly reveals that other than the first line of the chorus, the songs are completely different. Even though the one line is verbatim, it isn't the world's most original line. Any idiot with a basic understanding of the English language could have come up with that on their own. The music, on the other hand, bears mild similarities at best. It is therefore my humble opinion that while "Girlfriend" might have been mildly inspired by the Rubinoos' song, it certainly does not have enough similarities to win a court case. Personally, I think the Rubinoos heard Avril's song and were so upset that her lyrically-challenged piece was vastly more popular than their work that they decided to sue for a little piece of the spotlight. Frankly, if the people who wrote "Girlfriend" were inspired by the 1979 song, the Rubinoos should be thanking their lucky stars that there is actually a human on this earth who has heard it.
The facts in this case are clear: The Rubinoos are desperate for a tiny slice of the limelight and Avril's lyrics are hopelessly unoriginal. My official forecast is that the Rubinoos don't stand a chance in court. It's pretty pathetic all around.