If I Were A Boy Introduction
Stick with us as we pull apart the layers of this deceptively straightforward-sounding pop number. We'll take you back to the origins of "girl power," uncovering what the "Single Ladies" singer has to do with the Spice Girls, how the all-female punk band Bikini Kill fits into the picture, and where pop music and gender are intersecting today.
About the Song
|Artist||Beyoncé||Musician(s)||Toby Gad (all instruments and arrangement), Jens Gad (drums), Syience (drums, guitar)|
|Album||I Am...Sasha Fierce|
|Writer(s)||Toby Gad, BC Jean (a.k.a. Britney Carlson)|
|Producer(s)||Toby Gad, Beyoncé Knowles|
Learn to play: Tablature
Buy this song: Amazon iTunes
|Try Listen and Learn (BETA)|
But "If I Were A Boy" is not a simple role reversal fantasy. It's a song about a break-up that doubles as a pretty cynical commentary on the trappings of traditional relationships between men and women. For Beyoncé (and songwriter BC Jean), talking about being a boy is really a way of talking about not being a boy.
As a result, the crooning break-up song feels more like a throwback to the painful fantasies played out in The Bell Jar or The Bluest Eye. A far cry from any post-feminist gender play, these books deal with women who felt trapped in their roles in the 1940s and 1950s, before the women's movement and the black power movement as we know them had even begun. In "If I Were A Boy," Beyoncé's "girl power" persona touches on a bit of what has not changed in the 40+ years since.
On the ChartsAfter debuting in November 2008 at number 100 on the Billboard Hot 100, the song peaked at #3.
The song debuted at #1 on the Hot Digital charts directly after its release, only to be pushed down to #2 with the release of "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" in December 2008.
"If I Were A Boy" was a big hit in northern Europe, topping the charts in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands and the UK.
The song hit #1 on the European Hot 100 Singles charts in January 2009.