(Bet that is the only time I will hear myself saying THAT.)
The troubled pop diva is releasing a new album, the first single from which, “Hold It Against Me,” includes the lyrics, “If I said I want your body now, would you hold it against me?”
Why, do you ask, am I blogging on a RETRO pop blog site about Britney Spears? Good question (although I’m sure if you asked most 17-year-old “shiny girls,” they would probably consider Britney “retro”).
The controversy (and why Britney is relevant to my site) is because The Bellamy Brothers, a pop/country music act of the 1970s and 1980s, is claiming Spears is ripping off their 1979 #1 hit, “If I Said You Had a Beautiful Body Would You Hold It Against Me?”
“We feel completely ripped off,” said David Bellamy. “Where’s the originality?”
An interesting choice of words, considering the original song is often seen as a “rip-off” of an oft-repeated line from Groucho Marx on “You Bet Your Life”…in the 1950s!
I have to wonder if this isn’t just a desperate plea for attention from a group that is still active but no longer what people would consider ‘successful.’ Don’t get me wrong; I like the Bellamy Brothers’ music WAAAY better than Britney’s, but I do think this is more than a bit of a stretch. If the title of their song was something along the lines of “Cowboy Hat in Nashville Getting Rained On” and Britney released a song titled “Cowboy Hat Getting Snowed On In Tennessee,” I think they would have a point.
But “If I said you had a beautiful body, would you hold it against me?” is a COMMON phrase, used MILLIONS of times, most of which were probably uttered in discos and nightclubs in the 1970s by guys with butterfly collars and gold chains around their necks.
And honestly, the people who are listening to Britney’s latest single are probably not the same people who can appreciate the Bellamy Brothers hit from 30-plus years ago. Something tells me royalties for their song are not going to be vastly affected by the success of this new song. And since they did not INVENT the phrase, I don’t think the Bellamy Brothers’ artistic integrity is at stake, either.
So I will dig out the 1979 song and listen to it fondly, lots of youngsters will listen to Britney’s new song, and life will go on