Trigger warning: mature themes and a bit of cursing.
In this blog I’m going to be analyzing ‘Milk and Cookies’ by Melanie Martinez.
One, two, melatonin is coming for you. Melanie references the popular kids rhyme ‘One, two, buckle my shoe’. Melatonin is also the chemical that induces sleepiness. In the previous song, “Tag You’re It,” Cry Baby is kidnapped by the Big Bad Wolf, in this song she is planning her escape. Three, four, baby, won’t you lock the door? Crybaby is being held captive and she is reflecting on this fact. Five, six, I’m done with this. Seven, eight, it’s getting late, so close your eyes, sleep for days. Cry Baby refuses to be held captive anymore and so she plans to kill the Big Bad Wolf so she can escape.
Hush, little baby, drink your spoiled milk. This references the popular children’s lullaby ‘Hush, Little Baby’. The wolf wants Cry Baby to make him cookies, the spoiled milk references the fact she plans to poison him.
I’m f***ing crazy, need my prescription filled / Do you like my cookies? They’re made just for you / A little bit of sugar, but lots of poison, too. Crybaby is going crazy from being held captive. Here she explicitly tells us she is going to poison the wolf so that she can escape.
Ashes, ashes, time to go down / Ooh, honey do you want me now? / Can’t take it anymore, need to put you to bed / Sing you a lullaby where you die at the end. This references the children’s rhyme “Ring Around the Rosy,” which has been theorized to be about the bubonic plague; however this has not been confirmed. Cry Baby, like the plague, will take the wolf out. Ironically Cry Baby is referred to as “The Best Girl” in ‘Tag Your It’ when it tells us the wolf is trying to pick out the best child to kidnap. Ironically this girl will end up defeating him in the end.
Nine, ten, never want to see you again / Eleven, twelve, I pull off black so well. Continuing the rhyme scheme of ‘One, Two, Buckle My Shoe’, Cry Baby mentions she is wearing black, hinting at the wolf’s impending doom, and that she is not mourning it, but rather admiring her craftiness. Sh** behind the curtain that I’m sick of sugarcoatin’ / Next time you’re alone, think twice when you grab the phone. Cry Baby is sick of playing along with the wolf and decides to do whatever she has to do to escape. In this case it is decided she must kill her captor to be able to escape; as this seems to be her best option. She is unleashing the dark side of herself, just like her mother and father do. This also may be a reference to her earlier song ‘Dollhouse’ about a dysfunctional family who appears picture perfect from the outside.
At this point the chorus, Ashes, ashes, time to go down / Ooh, honey do you want me now? / Can’t take it anymore, need to put you to bed / Sing you a lullaby where you die at the end, repeats itself twice to hammer in the outcome with repetition. Cry Baby tricks the wolf with poisoned cookies, and now she can finally escape as he is no longer a threat to her.