On Monday, One Direction band member Niall Horan surprised fans by tweeting a brief snippet of the group's upcoming single, "Steal My Girl." I wrote a little bit about "Steal My Girl's" problematic title and offensive rumored lyrics last week, and while this new clip almost began to ease my concerns when I first started listening to it, it still ended up being a total disaster. Damn it, One Direction! On the 19-second preview of the song, the guys sing:
Everybody wanna steal my girl
Everybody wanna take her heart away
Couple billion in the whole wide world
Find another one, 'cause she belongs to me
Listening to the clip for the first time, I still felt that "Steal My Girl" was a problematic song title. Women are not objects that can be owned or stolen. However, the line, "Everybody wanna take her heart away," almost seemed to make things a little bit better. These lyrics suggest that the narrator of the song doesn't really think that he owns his girlfriend — just that he's earned her affections and now other people are trying to come between them. OK, I get that. It didn't fix my problems with the song by any means, but it did give me the tiniest glimmer of hope. Sadly, my moderately good feelings were fleeting.
This new clip confirms that "Steal My Girl" does include the previously rumored lyrics, "She belongs to me" — and there's nothing in the world that could make me feel better about that. Obviously, I don't know what band members Louis Tomlinson and Liam Payne had in mind when they wrote these lyrics with their team of songwriters, and it's totally possible that their intentions were good — but that doesn't change the fact that these words objectify women, plain and simple. Nope, One Direction, your partners do not "belong" to you. Can't you hear how awful that sounds? Language matters!
Musically speaking, "Steal My Girl" is pretty epic — the chorus absolutely explodes — but I don't know that I will be purchasing the song when it's released next week on Monday, Sept. 29. I'm a big One Direction fan, but I can't ignore "Steal My Girl's" offensive lyrical content. I just hope that the rest of the songs on the band's new album, FOUR, don't follow suit.