Interested in revenge? American Idol’s alumni Gabby Barrett sure is.
Barrett released her single “I Hope” back in July of 2019, where it landed at number one on Billboard’s Country charts. Then on April 17th, 2020, she rereleased the song, this time with an assist from pop star Charlie Puth. Now, in late October 2020, the song is rising on Billboard’s Hot 100 charts.
“I Hope” didn’t catch fire the first time around. But it sure is now. Apparently, listeners can relate to this vengeful track that focuses on an ex-boyfriend. Barrett hopes he gets the same cheating treatment he gave her.
Barrett is clear that revenge is something she’s waiting for, but not right away. Instead, she hopes that her ex-boyfriend finds a new woman (“I, I hope that she makes you smile/The way you made me smile on the other end of the phone”) and that he falls in love with (“I hope you both feel sparks by the end of the drive/I hope you know she’s the one by the end of the night”).
And just when things are starting to seem like a dream and he proposes (“I hope she comes along and wrecks every one of your plans/I hope you spend your last dime to put a rock on her hand”), Barrett savors the thought of his heart being shattered: “I hope she’s wilder than your wildest dreams/ … And then I hope she cheats/Like you did on me.”
In this remix, Charlie Puth adds a male perspective to this song that’s not found in the original version. He says that he too hopes his ex-girlfriend understands what it’s like to be cheated on: “I hope he cheats/Like you did on me”).
Barrett’s vindictive fantasy isn’t a nice one (even if some of us might still be nodding in agreement). But it’s not like she wants to destroy her ex-boyfriend’s vehicle like Carrie Underwood. No, she’d rather him suffer emotionally.
That attitude is the biggest problem here. (Though images of the clothed couple in bed in the video for the first version of the song should be noted, as well as an intimate moment between the cheater and his new fling.) Barrett imagines how satisfying it will feel to know that her ex is wallowing in the same kind of pain he inflicted upon her. Forgiveness? Grace? Nah, just good old-fashioned country revenge.
Kristin Smith joined the Plugged In team in 2017. Formerly a Spanish and English teacher, Kristin loves reading literature and eating authentic Mexican tacos. She and her husband, Eddy, love raising their children Judah and Selah. Kristin also has a deep affection for coffee, music, her dog (Cali) and cat (Aslan).