Which Week?

Kevin Cole

Much like Ice Cube’s hit It Was A Good Day, mankind has spent the past 15 years wondering, during what week did The Barenaked Ladies’ hit One Week occur?

Within the verses one can note a series of clues alluding to the date of the fight noted within the chorus. It all begins in the first verse when Steven Page raps the lyric “you’ll think you’re looking at Aquaman.” This can be directly attributed to surge of Aquaman popularity in the late ’90s, particularly in 1997, the year before the single was released. During this year, Hollywood began to kick around the possibility of creating the very first Aquaman movie starring actor/folk singer Kris Kristofferson as the aquatic superhero.

Page goes on to state that he is “big like Leanne Rimes” within the same verse. One could presume that this is a reference to Rimes’ own single, Big Deal. However, Big Deal was not released until 1999, a full year after One Week. To date, songwriters, Ed Robertson and Steven Page, have not admitted to having psychic powers, and if they did, it seems odd that they would make a reference that could not be understood by their audience. Thus, “big like Leanne Rimes” must be a reference to her popularity following the release of You Light Up My Life: Inspirational Songs. This kind of album really attests to a musician’s popularity, much like Barbra Streisand’s ability to release multiple Christmas albums, while remaining Jewish. You Light Up My Life was released on September 9, 1997, which means the events of One Week must have occurred in the last quarter of 1997.

Continuing on to the second verse, Page claims to be “Watchin’ X Files with no lights on, we’re dans la maison [in the house], I hope The Smoking Man’s in this one.” Over the course of the series, The Smoking Man appeared in a total of 36 episodes. Within this line, we are able to pinpoint the chain of events within One Week. Season 5 of The X Files began with an episode entitled Redux, which prominently features The Smoking Man. He then returns in Redux II, the crucial follow up episode. Redux II aired on November 9, 1997 and is one of the few episodes in which The Smoking Man appeared consecutively. From the songwriter’s point of view, he must have anticipated The Smoking Man’s return to help Mulder save Scully.

Thusly, November 9th must have been the present day as outlined within One Week. So let us jot down the specifics, if no other reason than to fill space in this magazine:

It’s been one week since you looked at me,

Cocked your head to the side and said “I’m Angry.”

This would have been November 2nd, 1997 the airdate of The X Files season premiere. Perhaps the initial fight originated from the songwriter’s inability to pay attention to his girlfriend while watching the show.

Five Days since you laughed at me saying

Get that together come back and see me.

This was also the day the songwriter was tackled in a manner resulting in rug burn on both his knees—November 4th, 1997.

Three Days since the living room

The day they realized the fight was caused by a mutual misunderstanding: November 6th, 1997.

Yesterday you’d forgiven me: November 8th, 1997.

It’ll still be two days till we say we’re sorry: November  11th, 1997.

Although, if the Steven Page and Ed Robertson know that they will apologize in the future, it’s possible that they really are psychics. Perhaps the concept of Leanne Rimes popularity really is a reference to Big Deal . . . Dear God!

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