Roots, Toots n' Hoots Blog
The Bellamys make much ado about very little
Jeffrey Remz | January 12, 2011
It's a bit hard to figure what the Bellamy Brothers are making a fuss about when it comes to Britney Spears' new single, Hold It Against Me, which came out Tuesday.
Howard and David Bellamy issued a press release earlier this week questioning Spears about the single because the song was similar to their big hit If I Said You Had a Beautiful Body.
"Back in 1979, I wrote a little song called If I Said You Had A Beautiful Body, Would You Hold It Against Me," said David Bellamy. "That little song went number one and has since become one of the defining songs of our career. If you listen to the lyrics of Britney Spears' new single, Hold It Against Me, you'll find some major similarities."
"Howard and I have no personal beef with Britney. She's a talented gal. But professionally, well, in all honesty, we feel completely ripped off. Where's the originality?" said David Bellamy.
Howard Bellamy added, "Hey Brit...If I said you ripped off our song, would you hold it against me? Thanks."
But if you look at the lyrics of the Bellamys' song, there isn't a whole lot similar save the title.
The problem is that the Bellamys did not apparently invent the phrase either. They used some old Groucho Marx joke as the basis for it. According to that fine web source Wikipedia, David Bellamy told country writer Tom Roland that he was a regular of Marx's "You Bet Your Life" program. Marx sometimes used the quote when interviewing a female contestant. The song became a hit for the Bellamys in 1979.
The bottom line is that it's hard to see what all the fuss is about. It's not like the Bellamys were so pure when they recorded the song. Whether or not Spears was, I can't say. Her music certainly has extremely little to do with the Bellamys, although you never know what would strike a musical chord.
But my hunch is that this is much ado about extremely little.