Fefe Dobson - “Bye Bye Boyfriend”
Fefe (pronounced “fee-fee,” not “fuh-fuh”) Dobson wowed Canadian audiences with her 2003 hit, “Bye Bye Boyfriend.” Her tough-girl persona and no-nonsense attitude held a surprising amount of appeal for a country whose citizens are normally known for their meekness and their propensity to apologize for things that aren’t their fault.
But Dobson wasn’t always that way, as she hints at during the song, and that’s the key to understanding what “Bye Bye Boyfriend” is all about. In the final verse, she sings, “You controlled me / That was the girl I used to be.” While this can be interpreted as a straightforward story of a woman discovering her assertiveness during a shaky relationship, it is actually a cautionary tale about the practice of keeping exotic animals such as tigers and lions as pets.
These animals may initially appear docile as young cubs. However, as they mature, they become more aggressive and independent, and they will eventually want to break free of their masters. In this song, Dobson plays the role of the mature tigress, comparing her former master to an ex-boyfriend whom she outgrew. In the chorus, Dobson actually warns exotic pet owners: “It was fun, but it couldn’t last forever.”
ASPCA, take note: Fefe Dobson is on your side.