B-Sides: Britney’s Telling Truth Revealed On Ace Of Base Cover, “All That She Wants”
A remembrance of who she is.
Since announcing her work hiatus in January, Britney Spears, minus one spotting at a hair salon, has not been seen or heard from. TMZ first claimed Britney checked herself into a mental health facility due to the stress of her father’s illness. Britney posted on IG prior to their report she needed some “me time.”
Through all of the theories and chatter, I couldn’t help but think of her Ace of Base cover, “All That She Wants.” Most notably the line: “all that she wants is another baby.” It’s something the pop star is not in a position to have at the moment due to the restraints of her situation, but she has said on the record she hopes it’ll happen one day. Brit even sang a lyric from that song during her 2016 stint on Carpool Karaoke.
In a 2015 interview, Ace of Base frontman Ulf Ekberg said Britney recorded “All That She Wants” in Denmark, presumably for 2007’s Blackout album, but she never finished it. He said Britney’s re-working wasn’t officially released because it was a “difficult time” for her.
Interestingly, Ekberg says part of the song was about Britney’s mom Lynne. The two had a tumultuous relationship in those days. You may recall at one point, Britney served her mom what appeared to be legal notice – it allegedly warned her mom to stay away from Brit’s sons. “She took the choruses, took away the verses and wrote new ones about her mom,” Ekberg said. “It was very strong.”
The verses Ekberg is referring to originate from an eerie poem Britney posted on her official website in May 2006 (check out the full poem at the bottom of the post). B named it Remembrance Of Who I Am.
Britney edited her poem to fit the stuttering beat and dreamy chimes featured in “All That She Wants.” “Silly pattern that I followed / Saw my mama being swallowed by the one who she loved / He pulled her down couldn’t see up above,” she crooned. “Manipulation was his key / Screwed it in cause she was naive / We’re not perfect / We must say / Now I’ve got to run away.” We can only assume Britney is singing about the experience of watching her parents’ relationship unravel.
“Remembrance of Who I Am” also sheds light on that “silly pattern” Britney sings about. “You come to me now / Why do you bother? Remember the Bible / The sins of the Father / What you do / You pass down / No wonder why I lost my crown.” It’s one of the only instances where the princess of pop recognizes her status. Usually she’s quite shy about her influence, but 2006 was a different time. In that era, Britney was very vocal about who she was and the restraints she felt. The poem begins with “No more chains that you gave me.” Remembrance was posted around the same time as the mysterious “Rebellion” clip, in which Britney warns herself to be weary of those closest to her.
“All That She Wants” isn’t merely a cry for freedom (although certainly having a baby throws a wrench in the well-oiled pop machine now doesn’t it) – there’s a 1-2 punch I assume is aimed at ex Kevin Federline, and it’s the first thing she gets off her chest after the chorus fizzles. She calls K-Fed out for giving up on their relationship. “Needed a fight as an excuse to get away from me,” Britney fires off. “Sit there make me look guilty / You were leaving anyway, but with me you have a career.” There’s even a low blow when Brit throws in a yo mama dig (“your mom’s smokin’ what the hell knows”).
2006 inched Britney towards some dark days, but there’s an undeniable truth that gets buried as the pages of the calendar fall, especially considering the legal restraints Britney is still currently under. “All That She Wants” is clearly still on Britney’s mind, but right now her personal life is entangled in a tumultuous battle we know little about. Yes, we want B10, and bangers, and bops, and visuals, and looks, but more importantly… we want all that she wants.
Remembrance of Who I Am | May 22, 2006
No more chains That you gave me. Enough of pain Now I’m craving Something sweet, so delight How do you stand sleeping at night?
Silly patterns that we follow You pull me in I’m being swallowed. By the ones you think you love They pull you down You can’t see up above.
Manipulation is the key They screw it in Because you’re naive.
You come to me now Why do you bother? Remember the Bible The sins of the Father. What you do You pass down No wonder why I lost my crown.
You don’t see me now You ask yourself why My crown is back And it’s way too high For you to be in my presence Especially my son You should bow down I’ve only just begun.
The guilt you fed me Made me weak. The voodoo you did I couldn’t speak.
You’re awakening The phone is ringing. Resurrection of my soul The fear I’m bringing.
What will you say And what will you do? She’s not the same person that you’re used to.
You trick me one, twice, now it’s three. Look who’s smiling now Damn, it’s good to be me!