Barenaked Ladies offer surprising insight into curious lyric from ‘One Week’

Frontman Ed Robertson claims the lyric came from "a sad, strange moment in my life"

Barenaked Ladies frontman Ed Robertson has taken to TikTok to answer a fan’s question concerning a lyric from their 1998 hit ‘One Week’.

The video, shared earlier today (October 24), was made in response to a TikTok made by comedian Jake Smith. In the video, Smith asked after the lyric: “I’m the kind of guy who laughs at a funeral / Can’t understand what I mean? Well, you soon will”.

The comedian then offered three plausible implications of the lyric: That he will soon attend a funeral and laugh, that both he and Robertson will attend a funeral and Smith will see Robertson laugh, or that Robertson will attend Smith’s own funeral and laugh.

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Robertson himself then responded to Smith’s inquiry via the Barenaked Ladies’ official TikTok account, noting that the lyric came from a “super specific” scenario. “[It was] kind of a sad, strange moment in my life,” he began.

“I lost my older brother, who died in a motorcycle accident, and it was a very upsetting time. I was at the funeral, and I didn’t want to hear anything like, ‘When God closes a door, he opens a window’. It was sad, tragic and senseless.”

During the funeral, Robertson recalled the pastor unexpectedly quoting ‘Free Bird’ by Lynyrd Skynyrd – who, Robertson claimed, were misnamed by the pastor as ‘The Lynyrd Skynyrd’. Specifically, the pastor cited the line: “If I leave here tomorrow / Will you still remember me?”

“I looked over my shoulder, [and] Tyler Stewart [Barenaked Ladies’ drummer] was behind me, and he went, [whispering and raising the devil horns] ‘SKYNYRD!’ And I laughed… because I’m the kind of guy who laughs at a funeral.” Watch both the original video and Robertson’s full response below:

@barenakedladies

Valid question from @Jake Smith. Only one man can answer it, and it’s Ed Robertson.

♬ original sound – Barenaked Ladies

Barenaked Ladies released ‘One Week’ in 1998 as the lead single to their fourth studio album, ‘Stunt’. It is the band’s signature song, having topped the Billboard Hot 100 (the only song of theirs to ever do so) and charted in the top five of both the UK and their native Canada.

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The band has continued to tour and record, with their 13th and most recent studio album ‘Detour de Force’ being released in July of 2021.

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