‘It Was the Most Difficult to Write’ Bonnie McKee Reveals Original Lyrics of Katy Perry’s ‘Teenage Dream

 ‘It Was the Most Difficult to Write’ Bonnie McKee Reveals Original Lyrics of Katy Perry’s ‘Teenage Dream


Bonnie McKee, the co-writer of Katy Perry’s hit song “Teenage Dream,” recently revealed on The DaddyMommy Show podcast that the iconic track underwent several lyrical transformations before reaching its final form. According to McKee, who worked alongside Perry, Max Martin, and producers Benny Blanco and Dr. Luke, crafting the chorus was a particularly challenging task that resulted in numerous revisions.

During the May 6 episode, McKee shared insights into the creative process, explaining, “It was the most difficult to write. We wrote like five different versions to it.” She recounted the initial version of the hook which went, “You make me feel like I’m born again / All brand new, come on, Peter Pan.” However, this concept was quickly dismissed as the team felt the lyrics were “too young” and needed a sexier edge.

In their quest to perfect the song, McKee and her collaborators explored various thematic directions, including one version titled “Try Me On,” which McKee described as being full of fashion references. “It was all kind of fashion references,” she remembered. “Even though that’s a really cute idea and worth writing, it felt a little bit camp, and the song was a little more earnest”, told E! Online.

The breakthrough came when McKee, sifting through “several notebooks of different versions,” landed on what would become the song’s memorable and evocative lyrics. “You make me feel like I’m livin’ a teenage dream / The way you turn me on, I can’t sleep,” she penned, capturing a sense of nostalgia and youthful excitement.

Reflecting on the choice of words, McKee emphasized the significance of the term “teenager.” “There was something about the word teenager,” she said. “I was like, ‘Teenager says so much,’ but it was too many syllables. So, we changed it to ‘teenage,’ and then it turned into ‘teenage dream.’ I was like, ‘This feels right. I solved the puzzle.'”

This peek behind the curtain of the songwriting process illustrates the meticulous effort and creative evolution that went into one of Katy Perry’s most beloved songs. McKee’s revelation not only sheds light on the complexities of musical composition but also celebrates the collaborative spirit that defines the industry.

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