My Current Favorite Earworm: The Freedom to F*** Off by Petey

Profanity disclaimer: This is a post about a song with an f-bomb in the title. If reading profanity is going to offend you, this post is not for you.

Interpretation disclaimer: Below I’ll get into what this song means to me. I have no idea if this is what the song means to the artist. I suspect the meaning I get out of it is in some ways aligned and in some ways misaligned with the artist’s intent. But that’s the thing with art: we each get to decide what it means to us.

There’s this comedic Instagram account that I stumbled across several months ago. The account is called petey_usa and posts some of the dryest, most hilarious reels on the internet. At some point a few months ago I realized Petey is also an musical artist and it turns out he makes music that is as unhinged and unexpected as his reels.

The first Petey song that caught my ear was DON’T TELL THE BOYS. It’s unexpected, raw, self-effacing, and carries just enough edge to keep me interested. It sounds like pure fun until you hear a line that stops you in your tracks: “It’s either shooting guns or heroine. At least one of them pays for college.”

I’ve since filed Petey away as an artist I revisit every few weeks. I enjoy his music and think he’s a thoughtful, introspective, and creative artist worth paying attention to.

Recently Petey dropped a new song: The Freedom to Fuck Off. I follow Petey on Instagram and caught a 30 second clip of the song there. I was hooked immediately and jumped over to Spotify to catch the whole thing.

Here it is.

I love this song. I’ve had it on repeat for hours over the last few days. But what do I love about this song?

I love the music. It’s moving and has enough rattle and rawness to satisfy my inner rocker. It’s a song I don’t want to end. I want those smooth electric guitar riffs to just keep humming indefinitely.

But more than the music, I love the idea. The Freedom to Fuck Off captures the tension between ambition and the normal human desire many of us eventually grow into at some point: to find a calm contentment and step out of the chaos and endless striving that modern existence imposes on us.

I want the freedom to fuck off. The freedom to just be. But the way our world works you can’t just fuck off.

Ironically, if you want to just be, to fuck off, you need a lot of time. To control your time you have to have money. The only path most of us know to earning money is to engage in the rat race of modern existence. You go to college, you get a job and take a seat at the table of modern life, but pretty soon you realize you’ve been chasing the wrong carrot and all you really want is to exist and feel content.

So maybe you fight back. You hate the world you were raised to live in and if you’re brave enough you might actually leave – all the while longing to find your tribe and connection, which you’re leaving in your wake.

What I feel in The Freedom to Fuck Off is a song about growing up, maturing, growing into the fullness of adulthood. Realizing that all your striving and trying is just wearing you down and what you really want is to control your time, to find contentment, and, if you’re lucky, to enjoy the abundant life found staring into your daughter’s (or son’s) eyes.

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