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Released: 2011

“Mistletoe” by Justin Bieber is a feel-good holiday pop song that dives deep into the experience of one man’s affection during the blissful Christmas season. It beautifully combines the joyful vibrance of the holidays with the intoxicating feeling of being in love, appealing to the senses and emotions of listeners.

The song begins by setting up the scene, with the lyric, “It’s the most beautiful time of the year/ Lights fill the streets, spreading so much cheer”. Bieber skillfully paints a picture of the Christmas season, replete with holiday lights and contagious cheer. He then drops a hint of his intent, “I should be playing in the winter snow / But I’ma be under the mistletoe”. The term “mistletoe” here, a classic Christmas symbol, takes on a dual role to indicate not just a festive decoration, but a place to be shared with a beloved.

Our pop troubadour further unfolds the story in the subsequent verses, expressing how he is captivated by his lover’s face and would rather spend the holiday season under the mistletoe – a place emblematic of romance and kisses. He uses the term “shawty”, a term borrowed from hip-hop culture which essentially means a female companion (or in this case, a love interest).

As the song progresses, we see Bieber make use of imagery associated with Christmas to accentuate his love story, “Everyone’s gathering around the fire / Chestnuts roasting like a hot July”. He includes Santa, reindeers, and even alludes to the biblical story of the three wise men to elaborate his narrative. Amid all the festivities, his focus remains undeterred – being under the mistletoe with his shawty. It’s his love-struck utopia.

The song wraps up with the line, “Kiss me underneath the mistletoe (kiss me underneath the mistletoe)/ Show me, baby, that you love me so-oh-oh, oh, oh, oh (oh, oh, oh, yeah)”, tying it all together. With this, Bieber pushes the gist of the entire song – the desire for a shared moment of love under the mistletoe, underscoring the significance of this romantic tradition during Christmas.

Above all, “Mistletoe” is Bieber’s confession of love wrapped in the warmth of the Christmas spirit. He redefines the concept of the holiday season, transforming it into a canvas to express his affection. The song, lyrically rich and emotionally stirring, is an ode to love during the most wonderful time of the year.

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