September 6. 2019, Melanie Martinez finally releases her second album K-12, along with a feature film, featuring all songs from the album in the form of a comedic, musical movie. That she so kindly placed on her YouTube channel for all fans to watch FOR FREE and AD FREE!
With the irony of Thirteen title tracks released on Friday, September 6. 2019.
Meaning of Each Track of K-12
Continuing the story of Crybaby, she finally enters school and tells of her story/perspective in each song in K-12. Each of Melanie’s songs contains a subtle, yet a hidden truth about our education system that no one really wants to fix. \
By using clever lyrics along with the movie scenes to convey her message through each song:
Wheels on the Bus
The start of the album, the beginning of each person’s school journey is the arrival from a school bus. But the journey that happens on the bus ride, is its own lifetime. People don’t realize what goes on when adults or parents aren’t around.
“I know the driver sees it
I know he’s peeking in the rearview mirror
He says nothing”
This song title, “Class Fight” is pretty self-explanatory, where students would get into fights, while the teachers won’t care. Leaving the students to get even more injured and intense about the fight.
“Daddy chimed in, “Go for the throat”
For the throat, for, for the throat”
The school system is corrupt, where the overall main leader of the school administration is using students for money, taking advantage of us. And who else fits the role of that exactly? That’s right the Principal.
“Sneaky, greedy, money seeking
Always peeping, fucking creeping”
Show and Tell
The untold truth of being “famous” where you’re just a mindless product in the world of business and money. Like she states in the lyrics, people are just “product[s] to socirty”
Everything made for entertainment and nothing is truly genuine anymore.
“Show and tell
I’m on display for all you fuckers to see
Buy and sell (Buy and sell me, baby)
Like I’m a product to society”
Sometimes in order to avoid our school life problems, we find excuses, one of which is faking an injury or a sickness. Involving the “nurse’s office”
“Teacher, can I sit right there?
This bitch behind me is cutting my hair
“No, just sit your ass down at the chalkboard, you stare”
I faked up a seizure and left then and there”
The drama at schools is crazy, that they should run the true “drama” club at school. Critiquing every word that you say and interpreting in the way they want to use it against you.
“Everyone’s so soft, everyone’s so sensitive
“Do I offend you? You’re hanging on my sentences…
I never signed up for your drama”
Men take advantage of women’s bodies. Claiming the truth about school dress codes making girls feel uncomfortable in their bodies is due to men’s uncontrollable emotions.
Hence the lyric, “Now, the boys want a taste of the strawberry shortcake”
“Feeling unsure of my naked body
Stand back, watch it taking shape
Wondering why I don’t look like Barbie…
Got boys acting like they ain’t seen skin before
Got sent home to change ’cause my skirt is too short”
No one wants to be friends just to hang out at lunch, but true genuine friendship that will last forever. Not a material label that will turn their back on you when you need them most. Hence the lyrics:
“I don’t want no lunchbox friends, no
I want someone who understands, oh, oh, no
Come to my house, let’s die together
Friendship that would last forever, no”
Many fans see the song as Mrs. Potatohead’s sequel, as it reveals a similar theme of how you shouldn’t ever change your appearance to try and fix your insecurities and be confident in your own body. Torturing yourself, in order to stay skinny and look “pretty” under society’s harsh requirements.
“You turn oranges to orange juice
Into there, then spit it out of you
Your body is imperfectly perfect”
Detention is a place, where you are wronged and have to justify your actions. Putting you under a spotlight the shows everyone what you’ve done wrong, for the whole world to see
“The teachers don’t care about me
Fuck how I feel as long as I make money
They let them do whatever they want to me
They’re the customer, I’m chopped meat
I’m chopped meat”
Sometimes the “teacher’s pet” concept is way darker than it seems. Being favored by a teacher in a way that makes the student uncomfortable is not okay. Not in the way that we’ve ever seen before.
“She said, “It’s for all the right reasons, baby
Don’t care ’bout grades, just call me your lady
If I pass this quiz, will you give me your babies?”
Highschool crushes come and go, with love being such a pain, yet a blessing with your teenage hormones going crazy.
Boys and Girls are now a hot topic for young adults to discuss, making our hearts go crazy for the smallest gestures.
Crybaby finally experiences a sweet high school love that is none like before. Giving her future partner a list of rules on how to treat her right if they were to ever date or get together
“If you can’t handle a heart like mine
Don’t waste your time with me”
Students’ freedom from their prison cells, which is school. The only break where kids can be kids and finally rest. But in this case, recess can also be a place where you get replaced, ending friendships and relationships altogether.
“People gonna say
If you need a break, someone’ll take your place
People gonna try
To tell you that you’re fine with dollars in their eyes”
Other Observations Throughout Each Track
The low, automated voices in the songs (like The Principal or Lunchbox Friends) can hint → a darker side on the issue. It isn’t Crybaby’s perspective anymore but the victims themselves…
The different hairstyles in each scene could represent a whole other hallucination or that time is passing slowly from kindergarten to senior year of high school.
The K-12 Film
At the end of the movie, we see Crybaby’s character conflicted about whether she wanted to stay in the human world or not. However, many fans think that the fact she hesitated before entering her true “alien” world, means that she chose to stay.
Also if you watch all the way the final seconds of the film, you will see a pitch-black screen followed by two significant sounds. A fire extinguisher going out and a young child saying “I’m getting out of here”
I guess to add to the comedic relief or some closure to what is the outcome of the school itself.
Thank you so much for reading! I hope you enjoyed reading my opinions and interpretations on her whole album, which is amazingly produced. Comment down below your thoughts on the album and any other interpretations you may have yourself!