Album: …Baby One More Time
Britney Spears gets nervous around her crush in the budding “Sometimes.”
Flushed synths open the single, setting a pubescent tone. She reads the note he gave her again. He says he’s been in love with her since sixth grade. In the classes, they’ve shared together he found himself staring away from the board and looking at her instead, watching her writing and listening. During lunch, he leaned in to her whispering and she flinched. His face went bright red and he murmured a “sorry.” (“You tell me you're in love with me/Like you can't take your pretty eyes away from me/It's not that I don't want to stay/But every time you come too close I move away.”)
In the pre-chorus, things are awkward between them now. He compliments her and looks out for her. However, he’s her first boyfriend and she isn’t comfortable with being affectionate yet. She needs him to begin with maybe holding her hand and a hug. She isn’t ready to give him kisses in the hallway, though. (“I wanna believe in everything that you say/Cause it sounds so good/But if you really want me, move slow/There's things about me you just have to know.”)
In the chorus, she’s explains that her feelings for him are strong and new. She isn’t sure how to handle it. She wants to embrace him in his arms and put her head on his shoulder. She wants to bake cookies for his birthday and take him to dinner. After school, she wants to hang out with him and then sleep over. However, none of that is happening right now. (“Sometimes I run/Sometimes I hide/Sometimes I'm scared of you/But all I really want is to hold you tight/Treat you right, /Be with you day and night/Baby all I need is time.”)
After school, she has tried to bring up feelings for him. Each time, though, she changed the subject to their classes. Once she gets home, she thinks about him. She knows all she has to do is tell him and everything will be okay. She isn’t the only girl that likes him. There’s a girl in their class who has been talking to him more and more. She heard the other girl tell her friends that he was flirting. The other girl has to be embellishing. Even though, he has to every right to like the other girl. She can only hope he really does care for her and has patience. (“I don't wanna be so shy/Every time that I'm alone I wonder why/Hope that you will wait for me/You'll see that, you're the only one for me.”)
The pre-chorus is sung again.
An extended chorus is sung. (“Sometimes I run (sometimes) sometimes I hide…
Treat you right, be with you day and night/All I really want is to hold you tight/Treat you right, be with you day and night/Baby, all I need is time.”)
In the bridge, she needs him to hang out with her more. She will be able to express herself better. She believes he is everything he says he is. He has to share the same belief in her, too. (“Just hang around and you'll see/There's nowhere I'd rather be/If you love me, trust in me/The way that I trust in you.”)
A second extended chorus ends the single. (“Sometimes I run (sometimes) sometimes I hide…sometimes I run (sometimes) sometimes I hide /Sometimes I'm scared of you/But all I really want is to hold you tight treat you right/Be with you day and night (day and night)/All I really want is to hold you tight/Be with you day and night/Sometimes I run (sometimes)/Sometimes I hide/Sometimes I'm scared of you/But all I really want is to hold you tight, treat you right/Be with you day and night.”)
Spears’ pining vocals fear losing the nicest guy in school. She worries he thinks she doesn’t like him. Saying it makes it real, though. He won’t be the cute guy who flirts with her, an idea inside in her head. He will be her boyfriend. What if he hates her family? What if he decides he liked her better as a friend? There are so many ways she could get hurt.
The wistful “Sometimes,” full of hormones and emotions it doesn’t quite understand, deals appropriately with growing up.