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"One Week" is a song written by Ed Robertson and originally performed by Barenaked Ladies. It is one of the band's most well-known and popular songs, having reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts for exactly one week on October 17, 1998.


The song was written entirely by Ed Robertson. The choruses and prechorus of the song are about a couple arguing and breaking up, while the rapid-fire rapped verses are taken from Ed freestyling off the top of his head; he had originally intended for the verses to relate to the subject matter as well, but could not come up with anything that wasn't "crappy". Steve then suggested that he record himself making up non sequitur lyrics on the spot, and the best lines were later included in the final song.


Barenaked Ladies - One Week (Video)

The music video for "One Week", directed by McG.

Music video[]

The song's music video was directed by Joseph McGinty Nichol (better known as McG), who at the time was best known for directing several videos for Smash Mouth and Sugar Ray and would later go on to direct the Charlie's Angels films. The video originally aired in June 1998.

Live performances[]


Barenaked Ladies - One Week (Live at Farm Aid 1999)

BNL performing "One Week" live with the "Chicken Dance" outro in 1999

The song has been a staple of BNL live shows since 1998.

Beginning sometime in late 1998 or 1999, the band would segue the outro of the song into a rendition of the polka song "The Chicken Dance", which would end with Steve and Ed dancing together and kissing each other on the lips.


Barenaked Ladies - Bluegrass One Week

BNL performing "One Week" as a bluegrass song in 2005.

Starting with the Peep Show tour in late 2003 to promote the release of Everything to Everyone, the band began performing "One Week" acoustically as a bluegrass song, with Ed on acoustic guitar, Jim on double bass, Tyler on shaker and Kevin on mandolin. Ed would incorporate a lick from "Dueling Banjos" into the instrumental break in the middle of the song.

Since Steve's departure from the band in 2009, the song's chorus has been sung by Kevin and Tyler singing in harmony, and the prechorus is sung by Tyler harmonizing with Ed. Along with "If I Had $1000000", it was one of two songs performed by the band with Steve in their first appearance together in nine years at the Juno Awards on March 25, 2018