Baby. Aside from the obvious articles (a, the, etc.) and pronouns (I, you, and everything in between), and the all-ubiquitous “love,” the word “baby” is probably right up there when it comes to the list of common words found in pop music lyrics. Baby, I love your way. Be my, be my little baby. Hit me, baby, one more time… The list is endless.
However, there is only one song that I can think of where “baby” is sung with the spite and venom as it is in “Just the Way It Is, Baby” by the Rembrandts. This is not the be-your-best-Friend Rembrandts you know from “I’ll Be There For You.” This Rembrandts has had its heart broken and stomped on, and they are pissed. Their sarcastic “baby” to an ex-lover sounds like the most vicious epithet imaginable, and it’s that rage below the surface–as well as the song’s incredible catchiness–that makes this one of the best break-up tell-offs ever. There’s nothing friendly about it.