Katy Perry's "Last Friday Night"

Katy Perry is at it again, and as always, our kids are paying attention.

Katy’s new video for Last Friday Night is already #1 on iTunes and has millions of views on YouTube. This funny but racy video features plenty of popular cameos, drawing viewers of all ages. Like much of Katy’s work, the song and video are really well done, but they are also chock full of subtle lies that our kids are definitely consuming a gallon at a time.

Sadly, most kids will call this video “clean.” It doesn’t have any sex, nudity or cussing. 

Clean… right?

The lyrics say it all, opening with the line, “There’s a stranger in my bed.” Unfortunately, the song only digresses:

Pictures of last night
Ended up online
I’m screwed
Oh well
It’s a black top blur
But I’m pretty sure it ruled

Last Friday night
Yeah we danced on tabletops
And we took too many shots
Think we kissed but I forgot

Last Friday night
Yeah we maxed our credit cards
And got kicked out of the bar
So we hit the boulevard

Last Friday night
We went streaking in the park
Skinny dipping in the dark
Then had a menage a trois
Last Friday night
Yeah I think we broke the law
Always say we’re gonna stop-op
Whoa-oh-oah

This Friday night
Do it all again
This Friday night
Do it all again…

The video takes a much more comedic approach, with Katy all geeked out with braces, glasses and a headgear (a creative alter ego named Kathy Beth Terry who she first tried on on Saturday Night Live). Katy wakes up in a house trashed from the party the night before. Rebecca Black (of the hit video Friday) helps give Katy a makeover, and then she’s desirable to all at the party (where she gets drunk, pukes, passes out…) You can check it out for yourself on YouTube.

As the song and video ends, our kids are left with the lyrics… “The Friday night, do it all again.”

The video is going viral, with cameos from Kenny G, Rebecca Black, Corey Feldman, Debbie Gibson, and some of the Glee Cast. An article on Billboard.com informs us that Perry has been “taking her kathy Beth Terry alter-ego to the next level, launching Facebook and Twitter pages for the fictional eighth grader.”

This video won’t be going away anytime soon.

About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over a dozen books including the new Get Your Teenager Talking, The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket, The Zombie Apocalypse Survival Guide for Teenager, and youth ministry books like Ministry By Teenagers, Connect: Real Relationships in a World of Isolation, and the 10-Minute Talks series. Jonathan speaks and trains at conferences, churches and events across North America, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, TheSource4YM.com and TheSource4Parents.com. You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan and his wife Lori, and their three teenagers Alec, Alyssa and Ashley live in California.
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12 Responses to Katy Perry's "Last Friday Night"

  1. ncgirl says:

    Just wondering the last time a 3 yo said hey Im going to u tube and check out Kate Perrys new video. Highly doubt it, this is for adults, as Im sure you know as UTUBE displays this. Lets worry more about not letting our children sit and watch multiple hours of TV and video games,

  2. Wow… you’re kidding, right? Please tell me that you didn’t just say that this video is primarily watched by adults. I misread you… right?

    As for 3 year olds? Yes, I hope you’re correct. I hope mom and dad have a little more sense. But 8-18-year olds??? That’s a different story. Unfortunately, they are watching this stuff WAAAAAAAY more than parents realize. (I talk with tweens and teens about this all the time- most American teens today live on iTunes and YouTube).

    I’ll agree with you that mom and dad should step in and not only become aware of what their kids are watching, but also set guidelines. I talk a little about this in the new clips on our YouTube page http://www.YouTube.com/TheSource4YM

  3. ncgirl says:

    Agreed, however the whole Katy Perry slam started with her Seseme Street video. I wonder if you honestly even knew who she was prior, for I didn’t. Yes our children can’t be watched at all times, but as parents its up to us to raise children to be just that children, even if it means being over their shoulders. I have parented 2 teens and tracked every step via cell phone and Internet spys. But yes I do believe these videos are viewed by adults, they becom offened, make a big deal about it and Johnny and Jill say hey did you hear about that new video, Yeah man lets download it in studyhall. Feeding the fire. Are you saying this is directed to teens, maybe college students. Also,can you not relate at some point of your life to any of the scenes in the video, if you say no, who’s joking who? I’m suprised by lack of comments, must be too afraid to admit they’ve been in or seen the things in her video, BTW did you even watch it or just read the lyrics? Peace.

  4. Allison Williamson says:

    I am youth pastor and I can tell you that if I were to show this video my kids would all say that they have seen it. They may agree it is racy and gross. They would agree that it is sexual. But, the point is they have seen it!!! I love to show lyrics of music and talk about it with my kids..The world is being real with them and I feel as a shepherd of the flock i am in trusted with I should step it up even more… To talk about the lyrics and consequences of The church has to take a stand. I have told them that Katy Perry was in the christian artist world and they did not accept her. So guess what the world did. She was rejected, so the world grabbed her. She could have been the next Natalie Grant.. I agree we as biological parents we should monitor what our kids watch. I love using it as a learning tool. Life and death is in the power tongue. What you sow is what we reap!!

  5. race_12_1 says:

    I know two things about this. My 10 year old hasn’t seen it because we restrict his internet usage to certain sites, and check the history on his computer. I also know most of the teens in my youth group have seen it, and their parents do not restrict or check up on their internet usage.

    NCgirl–I refuse to watch the video knowing what it is about. I am not joking when I say my life never reflected any of the things in its description, and I do not believe I missed out on anything of value by avoiding them.

  6. Allison… I too like to read lyrics to young people- the lyrics of songs like this that they hear at school, on the radio, at WalMart, etc. Then we talk about the lyrics and discuss if they are true and what effect they have if we make them part of our regular music diet. You can bet that you’ll be seeing a MUSIC DISCUSSION from this song on http://www.TheSource4YM.com soon.

  7. ncgirl says:

    @Leftbyrace: Thankyou for responding and proving my whole point. You have the right to “choose” what your children watch and consume as well of yourself. How can you comment and take a stand against a certain person when you havent even watched the video. I’m sorry but thats like saying, Well I dont eat apples bc my parents say it’s evil. I was in aggrement with the above posts, but he never anwseredif he saw the video. Just bc your life didnt resemble any of the things-the video or lyrics, doesnt mean it never happens, it makes me wonder how you know what to teach your own children about what is and isnt important and appropriate. How would you explain to your children what sex is? Just by the bird and the bees convo, God forbid she ask any questions, your life never “reflected” such things, better wake up and get real before its too late. Peace

  8. ncgirl… the reason I didn’t respond was because the gross amount of MISinformation in your comments. I figured that it was just better to let it lie.

    But it seems that you are needing a response. So a few things:
    - first, you might want to be careful and not assume the worst of my readers, saying things like “must be too afraid to admit they’ve been in or seen the things in her video.” That’s a lot to assume.
    - second, Katy Perry was popular literally years before the Sesame Street incident. Every teen in the nation knew her from her song “Kissed a Girl” years ago. Her career exploded from there. I’ve blogged and written articles about her countless times (mostly before the Sesame Street clip). You can search her name in this blog AND go to our YOUTH CULTURE WINDOW page on our websites and you’ll see several articles.
    - third, you’re now saying, “How can you comment and take a stand against a certain person when you havent even watched the video.” Wow. Relax a little bit. I can’t speak for everyong, but I certainly watched the video before I blogged about it. And as I’ve said countless times before, I think parents and youth workers can benefit from being aware that songs like this are out there- we can refer to them and use the lyrics as a springboard for discussion (like Paul did with the idols and pagan poet lyrics in Acts 17)

    I hope that addresses your concerns.

  9. ncgirl says:

    You still havent addressed the main objective. When and where do our children as they age get info? we must take resonsibilty and not send naive young adults into this crazy world. May God bless u and ur family and youth

  10. Lauren says:

    NCGirl – what do you mean, how do Christian adults teach their kids about sex? We tell them the straight facts . . . sex is an expression of love meant only for a married man and woman, and it’s also meant for procreation. We also tell them that premarital sex is a fact of life, but just because it’s so common doesn’t make it right. If they have questions about anything else concerning sex, we’d answer them with the truth. Just because someone didn’t have one-night stands in high school doesn’t mean that they know nothing about it or are blind to the reality.

  11. Pingback: The message in the top 5 songs on the music charts | Life In Student Ministry

  12. Debbie says:

    My son is in college and has told me that kids are not drinking just to get drunk, they are drinking to black out. Maybe they don’t feel as accountable if they don’t know what happened. I am very aware of what’s going on in the world and have great conversations with my son. He is in a fraternity, has never been drunk, and is an athlete. He sets his own course in life and has never fallen in with peer pressure. Unfortunately, I don’t see that with most kids. And this song is very catchy, sung by junior high girls who may or may not know what a menage a trois is. But the whole idea of drinking to black out — and as the song says, again next Friday night — is a frightening aspect as we seem to be raising a generation of alcoholics. And that’s, apparently, cool.