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I’m In Me Mum’s Car, Broom Broom: A Literary Analysis

by on August 10, 2015

I tend to be late to popular trends. I didn’t watch Frozen, for instance, until I happened to see Idina Menzel perform “Let It Go” in the 2014 Oscars, and thought it sounded fairly catchy. This explains, perhaps, why I did not find out about what Buzzfeed labeled “The Hottest Meme of the Summer” in 2014 until the summer of 2015. But, I have finally watched the Vine of British teenager Tish Simmonds, which I have embedded below.

After I had watched it, the wheels in my brain began to turn. Back during my college days, I took a course on digital storytelling, during which I read Joseph Campbell’s book on the Hero’s Journey. I wondered: might there be a deeper story in this little Vine? And then I realized. Yes. Yes, there was. Indeed, Tish Simmonds has presented us with, dare I say, the defining story of our times, a tale of yearning and loss, all encapsulated in a few short seconds. Consider with me the words of this Vine to see why this is so.

  1. “I’m in me mum’s car”.

Note that this sentence is expressed in the present tense. We are not told how our protagonist has reached this position. We simply find her there, in her mum’s car. This indicates a sort of complacency, an acceptance of the status quo. Indeed, at this moment there is no indication of motion; this is simply a statement of presence. I am in me mum’s car: I am present in this automobile of my mother’s in this moment of time, and I appear to have no desire to leave. I’m sure we can all identify with this, with the feeling that we are forever stuck in our mum’s cars, content yet still with a sense that there is something lacking. After all, our heroine isn’t in her own car yet.

2. “broom broom”

But wait! With these two mere onomatopoetic words, everything changes! *Broom broom* seems linguistically akin to *vroom vroom*, the classic sound indicating speed, particularly the speed of a racing car. Then, too, the sounds may be a subtle allusion to the song “Zoom Zoom Zoom“, featured in the Disney movie “Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century.”  In any event, whether an allusion to a car or a spaceship, “broom broom” represents the classic desire to explore, to get out there, to have adventures. It’s the “I Want” song of innumerable Disney films, from “Just Around the Riverbend” in Pocahontas to “Part of Your World” in The Little Mermaid. Belle’s longing for much more than this provincial life, Ariel’s desire to be where the people are, Rapunzel’s wish to escape her tower and track down the lights that appear on her birthday, all of these can be expressed by the two syllables: “broom broom”.  And so our heroine prepares to set out on her grand adventure, to boldly go where no one has gone before!

3. “Get out me car!”

Alas, however, the inevitable conflict occurs. The protagonist’s mother, to whom the car belongs, arrives to demonstrate the inevitable limitations of circumstance. It’s not our heroine’s car, after all. Possession, as is known in legal circles, is often defined by the right to exclude. The mum here definitely has this power, and has chosen to exercise it at the very point when the adventure might have begun. The moral here: you can’t go on adventures without your own car.

4. “Aww.”

And finally, our protagonist gives voice to this exclamation as a sign of her reluctant resignation to her fate. Perhaps, one day, she might realize the “broom broom” of her ambition and soar to the stars, in her own car, not her mum’s. That day is not, sadly, today, but it could still be out there. While the video ends here, we can assume our heroine left the car and went back inside to dream of a future, a future bright and filled with adventure, a future, indeed, of “broom broom.”

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2 Comments
  1. Wow I could have never seen so much meaning in it…And I didn’t know this was so popular ….So you are not the only one who catches up to trends late!

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