Perhaps this is the first time that the word “Facebook” has been incorporated into a song. If you have yet to hear Kate Miller-Heidke’s “Are you F*cking Kidding Me?”, you’re in for a laugh. The tune, now dubbed as the “Facebook anthem,” laments about Facebook and the nature of relationships in the age of social media.
Miller-Heidke was born in Brisbane, Australia in 1981, and she says she always wanted to be a singer. Growing up, she’d charge family members five cents for a performance. She formed her first all-girl band at age seventeen. After completing degrees from Queensland Conservatorium of Music and Queensland University of Technology, Miller-Heidke started incorporating pop elements into her classical music style.
The singer-songwriter has two records to her name, the most recent being “Curiouser.” In an interview with SpeakEasy, Miller-Heidke explains that the song was not written after an ex added her to Facebook, but instead, the lyrics were inspired after she sent a friend request to a past lover:”[The song] was written very quickly, in the space of about half an hour, before a tour,” Miller-Heidke said in an interview with Speak Easy. “It was an idea I had floating around in my mind […] I was cruising around Facebook one day [and] it occurred to me I should friend-request one of my ex-boyfriends. I never got a response. I put myself in his shoes, and that’s where the song came from.”
Miller-Heidke takes on the voice of her ex as the speaker of the song as a means of exploring the disconnect of so-called “social” media when sites like Facebook are littered with trivial games and quizzes that spam up the world of social connectivity.
Most of us can relate to Miller-Heidke’s lyrics (“I don’t want to know what kind of cocktail you are / or which member of the Beatles / or 1950s movie star / I don’t give a toss whether you’re a ninja or a pirate / I suspect you’d be a pirate / but I don’t want to verify it) as she’s not the only one who distastes gaming invitations and time-waster quizzes that now plague the Social Network.
But it’s the romantic elements that make “the Facebook anthem” so compelling; the thirty-year-old humorously recounts a story of serious heartbreak, treating old wounds with musical humor that speak to the experience of contemporary listeners.
Miller-Heidke’s ability to sing about Facebook evidences how prevalent social media is in our lives, as it’s actually punctuating not only our love stories, but also shaping our music. Although not much has been written about the way Facebook is informing our cultural expressions, there’s no doubt that it’s at least been on the mind of one Ausie singer-songwriter.