Billie Jean is a song about a girl who confronts Michael Jackson at a
dancing party. Billie Jean confronts Michael Jackson claiming that they
have a child together. She claims that she and Michael have danced
together before and even had a relationship. As it appears, this is
something that she is used to doing. This song describes a scene where
Michael had gone for a dance with his girlfriend only to be confronted
by Billie Jean, who claims she has a child with him. The organization of
words paints a picture of a confrontational scene at a dance party.
There is an exchange of words between Michael and Billie Jean as Michael
tries to explain that he is not the father of the Billie’s son.
The song has characters. The main characters are Michael and Billie
Jean. Michael has also come with his girlfriend whom he refers to as
baby. There is also an audience in the song. These are the people who
were present at the dance. The song also talks about people who advice
Michael to be careful with whom he loves. There is also Michael’s
mother who advises him to be careful with what he does. I think Billie
Jean is a woman who takes advantage of men to get what she wants. This
is because she tries to manipulate Michael by showing him a picture of a
crying baby. She also causes a scene so as to attract people’s
attention and embarrass Michael into agreeing with her. I also think
Michael is a man who cheats girls. That is why his mother tells him not
to go around breaking their hearts.
The song has an “I” that represents the writer’s point of view.
The writer tends to think that Billie Jean was a conniving woman who
takes advantage of men especially by embarrassing them. This is because
he talks about the advice that his mother gives him, indicating that the
persona in the “I” is him. Additionally, the writer says that she is
only a girl who thought that he was the father of the child. This means
that the writer never took her claims seriously. The writer also says
that she looked like a beauty queen meaning that he was the person in
The song is set at a party where there are people having a good time and
dance from time to time. This is because the writer talks about Billie
Jean saying that she wants to dance with him on the floor in the round.
The mood is tensed as Michael tries to explain that the child is not his
son. The tension is also caused by the fact that Billie Jean causes a
scene that attracts other people’s attention (Jackson, Verse 2, line
1). The time seems to be in the evening when people are relaxing after a
long day. The place seems to be at a club. This is because the writer
talks about a dance floor and there are other people who form an
audience, which turns to watch as Billie Jean causes a scene.
The images in the song help in creating a mental picture of the lyrics.
They bring the characters in the song to life and give them a
personality. The images are sound images as they are a creation of the
sound of the lyrics. This helps in creating mental pictures of the
setting and events in the song. The images are thus, useful in giving
life to the words of the song. This helps to making the lyrics of the
The lyrics are musical and have an element of rhyme. The words connect
one sentence to another in a continuous rhyme which creates the mood of
the song. The lyrics also tell a story in a musical way. Although they
do not go into the details of the occasion, they paint the overall
picture of mood and the setting of the song. The lyrics are captivating
as they make the listener want to know what happens next. Their
arrangement creates suspense.
The song uses rhyme schemes differently. This is so as to create a
musical sound. The rhyme schemes vary from one prose to another
depending on the message in the song. The song uses symbolism. The
“I” in the song represents irresponsible men while Billie Jean
represents irresponsible women who use their beauty to trick men. The
child in the song symbolizes the use of innocence so as to appear
believable. There is also the use of metaphor in line “For Forty Days,
and For Forty, Nights” (verse 3, line 1) represents suffering. This
compares to the suffering of Jesus in the bible when he is in the
wilderness. It also shows that the writer had a very long moment in his
The music in the song is a pop sound. It represents a feeling of
happiness and excitement. This music does not complement the mood of the
song because the lyrics are about a man who is not happy. The lyrics
bring tension yet the music brings joy. The contradiction is especially
noticeable where the writer talks about the advice his mother gives him
(Jackson, Bridge, line 3). The advice should have been a gentle warning
with a serious sound. Additionally, the music should have been serious
when he talks about forty days and forty nights to represent the
suffering he underwent.
The title of the song is Billie Jean. This title adds to the meaning of
the song because the song is about her actions. The song talks about
what she does and how scheming she is. The title can also be viewed as
the personification of the characteristics of a scheming person who uses
anything within her power to get what she wants. The title also serves
as an introduction to the song and the story in the song. It also serves
the purpose of creating suspense because it is a person’s name and
thus, a listener would want to know what is being said about the person.
The song means that a person should be careful in his or her
interactions especially with strangers at all times. The songwriter’s
argument is that one cannot trust everyone’s story about simple
encounters. In addition, the writer argues that a casual encounter is
meaningless and should not be taken seriously. The writer would like the
listener to change the ways he or she interacts with strangers. His
argument is that one should be careful about what he or she does because
it can catch up with the person.
The song is controversial in that Billie Jean seems to use a child to
get what she wants (Jackson, verse 4, line 3). Additionally, the song
talks about Billie Jean’s beauty as a tool that she uses to deceive
people. The song is controversial in that it seems to reduce women to
their beauty and that they use this beauty irresponsibly. This is a form
of objectification of women. However, the song is still very popular
despite the controversy. This is because the lyrics are a bit comical
and the story is very interesting. The music is also very enjoyable
while the rhyme makes the song has a poetic rhythm.
Michael Jackson had several child related scandals in his life time.
Most women claimed that he had casual encounters with them, which
resulted in their pregnancies. However, these scandals always ended up
being untrue. This, therefore, seems to have been the background to the
song. The song is telling his story in a musical way and also serves to
tell the listeners that such claims may not always be true. The song
also shows the close relationship between the musician and his mother.
Some members thought that the insinuation that Billie Jean used her
beauty to trick men does not mean that the writer objectifies the women.
This is because her only strength in the song seems to have been her
beauty only. Some members also thought that the rhyme in the song did
not do much to contribute to the rhythmic organization of the story.
This is because the rhyming lines are not similar throughout the song.
The argument was that the rhyme would have been more effective if one
sentence rhymed throughout the song.
The song reveals that human nature is deceptive. It also shows that
human nature has an element of carelessness. The song is personal
because it expresses personal challenges faced by the musician. It,
therefore, bears witness to his encounters and the meaning of each
action. The songwriter had a lot of influence on culture. This is
because he popularized pop music and was a symbol of strength and hope
for African Americans. Despite his African American origin, the Michael
Jackson’s music was appreciated by both white and black Americans at a
time when racism was still popular. This song influenced a lot of
musicians who had scandals that related to casual intimate relations. It
helped them to tell their side of the story.
Jackson, Michael. Billie Jean. New York: Mijac Music, 1982. Print.
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Billie Jean is a song about a girl who confronts Michael Jackson at a