The HyperTexts

The Worst Song Lyrics Ever Written

Who wrote the worst song lyrics of all time? I'm a "lyric man." I love good music, but bad lyrics set my teeth on edge. These are, in my opinion, the worst song lyrics of all time ...

The Top Ten Worst Song Lyrics of All Time (with number one being the worst of all)

(#10) Any song sung (or, more correctly, not sung) by Milli Vanilli; however, they get one-tenth of a gold star for not actually singing their disasters!
(#9) Any numbingly monotonous and endlessly repetitious song by K. C. and the Sunshine Band (which means take your pick from their entire catalog).
(#8) "Ben" by the Jackson Five has the most ludicrous theme of all time, since it's a melodramatic love song to a rat. Eeek!
(#7) "Ice, Ice Baby" by Vanilla Ice and "Champagne Supernova" by Oasis: is your tiebreaker a super-inflated ego or hopelessly grandiloquent lyrics?
(#6) "All I Wanna Do Is Make Love to You" by Heart; all we wanna do is not hear another freakin' cliché! 
(#5) "All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight" by Hank Williams Jr.; male chauvinism hit its absolute peak ... until Donald Trump oinked.
(#4) "Having My Baby" by Paul Anka; innocent babies deserve much better than mothers who show their "love" by providing their eggs to be gratuitously fertilized!
(#3) "My Way" as performed by bad lounge and karaoke acts around the globe: "The record shows that WE took the blows when you sang it your egomaniacal way."
(#2) "McArthur Park" as performed melodramatically, pretentiously and über-bombastically by Richard Harris. Someone left your brain out in the rain and it got all soggy.
(#1) Paula Cole's stunningly terrible "I Don't Want to Wait" with the worst song lyric ever penned: "Say a little prayer for I" ... and she sings it over and over and over like a broken record! Shades of Marco Roboto!

The Most Annoying Songs of All Time

(#1) Anything sung by a chipmunk, hamster, frog or cartoon character, or with the aid of helium.
(#2) Anything sung by Barry Manilow, but especially "I Write the Songs" (which he didn't even write, sheesh!).
(#3) Anything Miley Cyrus sings in her skimpy undies (in an attempt to distract us from the insipid lyrics?).
(#4) Karaoke versions of "My Way" (the song is cheesy enough when sung by someone with actual accomplishments).
(#5) Also, if you're singing karaoke, you quite obviously do not have "Moves Like Jagger" (or vocal cords).
(#6) Songs in which adult singers descend into baby talk (or, more accurately, baby babble). I have a special category for babyish blubberers below.

Truly Creepy Songs

"Baby It's Cold Outside" seems to have been written by someone channeling his inner Bill Cosby: "Say, what's in this drink? ... / Mind if I move in closer? / At least I'm gonna say that I tried / What's the sense of hurting my pride?"

Couples actually get married to the stalker strains of Sting's "Every Breath You Take" and Heart's "Alone." Does true love "chill us to the bone," really? People also get married to the anguished relationship-in-disintegration lyrics of U2's "One." I have a separate category for such weirdness, later on this page. 

"Sister Christian" by REO Speedwagon is in the running, with lines like "Babe, you know you're growing up so fast / and mama's worrying that you won't last to say: Let's play!" And even ickier: "Don't you give it up before your time is due." With relationship advice like that from "friends," there's no need to worry about enemies!

Another very creepy religion-infused song is Carrie Underwood's hit "Jesus Take the Wheel," in which a mother with a baby in her car starts sliding on ice. Rather than fighting for control of the vehicle to save her baby's life, she stops steering, asks Jesus to "take the wheel" and surrenders to fate.

Julia Ward Howe's famous "Battle Hymn of the Republic" claims that vengeance, war and death are God's "glory" and "truth" with lines like: "Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord / He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored / He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword / His truth is marching on!"

"Amazing Grace" lacks one thing: grace. Anyone who sings the world's most popular Christian hymn is forced to call himself/herself a "wretch." Young, highly impressionable children who sing the song by the millions are thus forced to call themselves "wretches." Is this how you think of your loved ones? If not, why say such a terrible thing about yourself? Wouldn't that be hypocrisy (which Jesus Christ sternly rebuked)? One can easily understand why the song's author, a former slave ship captain named John Newton, felt miserable about himself. But come on, most children have done nothing worse than steal an extra sugar cookie when their parents' backs were turned. Did your mother enslave other people? Are they "wretches" fit only for the flames of an "eternal hell"? (BTW, if you have ever been concerned that "hell" might be "real," there is a simple, logical proof that such a place does not exist, according to the Bible itself. Just click here to have your worst fears relieved: No Hell in the Bible.)

Other ultra-creepy lyrics:

"Do what you want with my body." (Lady Gaga "Do What U Want")
"I’m preying on you tonight, hunt you down eat you alive. Maybe you think that you can hide, I can smell your scent for miles." (Maroon 5, "Animals")
"Chew your meat for you, pass it back and forth in a passionate kiss from my mouth to yours, sloppy lips to lips." (Nirvana, "Drain You")
"She was cool when I met her but I think I like her better dead." (Gnarls Barkley "Necromancer")
"If I was invisible, then I could just watch you in your room." (Clay Aiken "Invisible")
"In the dumps with the mumps as the adolescent pumps his way into his hat." (Bruce Springsteen "Blinded by the Light")
"He sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake." (Santa stalks kids!)
"Every game you play, every night you stay, I’ll be watching you. Oh can’t you see? You belong to me!" ("Every Breath You Take" by Sting and the Police)
"And now it chills me to the bone ... how do I get you alone?" (Heart crafts the ultimate stalker song, "Alone")

More Accurate Song and Album Titles, Please!

For the sake of truth in advertising, it should be ...

(#1) "Sexual Stealing" by Robin Thicke.
(#2) "Thicke as a Brick" by Robin Thicke.
(#3) "Moves Like Stagger" by Maroon 5's Adam Levine (since he's always singing about drinking/getting wasted).
(#4) "Vice, Vice Baby" by Vanilla Ice, since pride is one of the Seven Deadly Sins.
(#5) "Clap for the Wolfman" by Train (with all those "untrimmed" chests!).
(#6) "Your Body is my Blunderland" by John Mayer (since his song reminds us of Trump's tweets).
(#7) "Sympathy for the Donald" by the Rolling Stones, since Trump is clearly the Devil in the flesh. For instance, the Trump family owns the tower at 666 Fifth Avenue, a street that symbolizes money (Mammon). Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner paid $1.8 billion dollars for the property, and 18 = 6+6+6. As Yogi Berra said, "You could look it up." If you do a search for "Trump 666" you will find many other connections of the Trumps to the infamous number.

Songs We Never Want to Hear Again, Ever, Under Any Circumstances

Most of the songs listed below have strong support for the worst song of all time. And the support is well-deserved ...

(#1) "Gangnam Style" by Psy. I propose a cure called "Hangman Style."
(#2) "Could It Be Magic" by Barry Manilow (and yet Take That's cover is even worse). Could it be tragic?
(#3) "Friday" by Rebecca Black, who single-handedly took the "Thank God" out of TGIF.
(#4) "Achy Breaky Heart" by Billy Cyrus, who apparently taught Miley everything he knows.
(#5) "The Heart of Rock & Roll" by Huey Lewis and the News. Apparently, rock & roll needs emergency heart surgery!
(#6) "Who Let the Dogs Out" by Baha Men. The real question is: Who let the "singers" out? Someone impound them, quick!
(#7) "The Thong Song" by Sisqo. And all other songs about underwear, hindquarters, "junk," anacondas, etc. For the sake of our sanity, keep it above the belt!
(#8) "Rockstar" by Nickelback, who apparently have no idea how to be real rock stars. Mick Jaggers, they are not.
(#9) "You're Beautiful" by James Blunt, a song which bluntly been called "the worst song in the history of mankind."
(#10) Take your pick of alleged "songs" by Yoko Ono, Tiny Tim, Duran Duran, Hanson, Justin Bieber, Insane Clown Posse, Nicki Minaj, Kanye West and any white rapper whose name is not Eminem.

Terrible Lines from Otherwise Great Songwriters

(#1) Bob Dylan bottoms out with: "If dogs run free, then why not we ..."
(#2) Dylan waxes redundant in "Tin Angel" with: "He pondered the future of his fate ..."
(#3) Paul Simon was not at his best in "Cars Are Cars" or his Great Wall of China metaphor in "Something So Right."
(#4) Simon sounds pompous and silly with: "Hear my words that I might teach you" in "Sounds of Silence."
(#5) Dan Fogelberg's "Longer" should be considerably shorter, and lighter on the poeticisms ("forest primeval").
(#6) Jim Morrison and the Doors should have ended "The End" a lot sooner (it's eleven minutes overlong).
(#7) Billy Joel equates the earthshaking and trivial with: "China's under martial law, rock & roller cola wars!"
(#8) R.E.M. may have overglossed "Shiny Happy People."
(#9) Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys went plumb stark cuckoo with "Kokomo."

Hopelessly Pretentious Songs

(#1) The hands-down winner is Barry Manilow's icky and overblown "I Write the Songs."
(#2) "My Way" is a very close second
(#3) "McArthur Park" would be in the running, except it's too ridiculous to be taken seriously.
(#4) "Hammer Time" by M. C. Hammer, who spawned the Frankenstein-like monsters below ...
(#5) "Ice Ice Baby" by Vanilla Ice, a ghastly pale Hammer clone.
(#6) "Rico Suave" by Gerardo, a slicked-up Hispanic version of Vanilla Ice.
(#7) "Will 2K" by Will Smith, the too-fresh prince extolling the coming "Will-ennium."
(#8) "Everybody have fun tonight! / Everybody Wang Chung tonight!" (I, for one, will take a pass!).
(#9) "Crank that Soulja Boy" by Soulja Boy Tell 'Em (Well perhaps, if someone can crank that jaw!).
(#10) "Bad" by Michael Jackson (the least "gangsta" singer on the planet).
(#11) "Sunglasses at Night" by Corey Hart (who is almost as un-gangsta as MJ).

Hopelessly Whiny and/or Maudlin Songs

"Shannon" by the aptly named Henry Gross
"Ben" by Michael Jackson
"Superman" by Five for Fighting (it's not easy being your audience!)
"Honey" by Bobby Goldsboro

Songs that Try Too Hard to Cheer Us Up

"Don't Worry Be Happy" by Bobby McFerrin
"Walking on Sunshine" by Katrina and the Waves
"Dancing on the Ceiling" by Lionel Ritchie
"Party in the U.S.A." by Miley Cyrus
"Party All the Time" by Eddie Murphy
"1999" by Prince and the Revolution

The Worst White-Bread Rap

"American Life" by Madonna
"Rapture" by Debbie Harry and Blondie (did she mean "Rupture"?)
"Wannabe" by the Spice Girls
Anything and everything by Vanilla Ice
"Cotton Eye Joe" is a truly weird hybrid of rap, neo-country/bluegrass and techno-pop delivered in broken English by what appears to be a deranged Swedish serial killer!

Worst and Ickiest Come-On Songs

"Your Body is a Wonderland" by John Mayer (the wonder is that he's not in jail for various acts of perversion!)
"Barbie Girl" by Aqua (a band that seems "all wet," pardon the pun)
"Stupid Hoe" and "Anaconda" by Nicki Minaj (these appear to be icky "companion" pieces)
"My Humps" by The Black Eyed Peas with Fergie in a duet (or eeeew!-et) with will.i.am
"Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke

Lines that Make Us Go "Eeeew!"

Ed Sheeran wins this category easily by asking his lover "Will your mouth still remember the taste of my love?" when they reach age 70. Eeeew!

The next line is nearly as yucky: "Will your eyes still smile from your cheeks?" Is Sheeran singing a love song to a badly-assembled Bride of Frankenstein? Who has eyes in their cheeks? And to think that the song in question, "Thinking Out Loud," won a Grammy. Double Eeeew!

Sheeran seems to specialize in bizarre lyrics. For instance, these lines from "Wake Me Up":

And I know you love Shrek
Because we’ve watched it 12 times.

Triple Eeeew!

Missy Elliot is a too-close runner-up with:

Take my thong off and my ass go boom!

Exploding asses? Quadruple Eeeew! Please keep that thong ON or, better yet, put on some granny panties or adult diapers!

Most Affected Pronunciations and Worst Annoying Mispronunciations

This award goes to Charlie Puth for his song "One Call Away," in which he claims that "Superman ain't got nothin' on me." But Superman does have something on Puth, because the Man of Steel knows that the word "me" is pronounced with a long "e," making it rhyme with "sea" and "tree." Puth tries to make "me" rhyme with "away," stretching it out into numerous bizarre syllables, resulting in a verbal monstrosity.

How may syllables are there in the word "bridge"? If you guessed one, you guessed wrong, according to Adele singing "Water Under the Bridge." Adele somehow manages to pronounce "bridge" as though it has a dozen or more syllables. She must REALLY work on her breath control! (Adele has a lot of things going for her, but an unaffected singing style is not one of them.)

Hoobastank really stanks up the joint by emphatically screaming "And the reason is YO!!!" Does true love force one to resort to pidgin English? In softer parts of the song, "you" is pronounced the normal way, making the delivery seem schizophrenic.

The Verve Pipe get a demerit for "Freshmen," a great song except for the lament "We were merely Frashmen." If only they could have stayed in school long enough to learn how to pronounce their grade!

Ed Sheeran makes another appearance, again for "Thinking Out Loud," when he wails "People fool in love in mysterious ways." Quintuple Eeeew! (But in his case, "fool" may well apply.)

The most common mispronunciation in a popular song may occur in The Star-Spangled Banner: "... whose broad stripes and bright stars through the pear-oh-luss fight ..."

Ironically, the second-most mispronounced word may occur in our "second national anthem," and in the ultimate irony, it's the word America! How many famous singers have belted out "uh-mehr-uh-kuh" over the years, creating a triple rhyme with DUH! (Which, however, may make perfect sense with the nation's election of President Don-Lad Trump.)

Other artists who can be very affected and/or pretentious: Justin Timberlake ("Suit and Tie"), Tiny Tim ("Tiptoe Through the Tulips"), Liza Minnelli (informing her "old chum" that "Life is a Cabaret"), Vitamin Z ("Burning Love"), Chloe Lattanzi (the daughter of Olivia Newton-John), and Elaine Page ("Memory")

But the ultimate mispronunciation award must go to David Bowie, who despite his super-coolness consistently mispronounced his own name! The glam star was born David Jones, but he changed his last name to avoid confusion with Davy Jones of the Monkees, opting for the Bowie knife because "it cuts both ways." However, badass Texan pioneer Jim Bowie pronounced his name "boo-ee" (rhymes with "dewy"), while video footage of the singer clearly indicates that he pronounced his last name "boh-ee" (rhymes with "snowy")!

Hammiest Performances and Worst "Over the Top" Performances

A closely related category is "hammy" singing and dancing, as in "hamming it up." In this category, no one can possibly hold a candle to our co-winners ...

"Hammy" Sammy Davis Jr. performing "Mr. Bojangles" like a deeply tanned English troubadour, wearing impossibly tight pants with what I hope is a sock (but pray to never know with any surety!).

Richard Harris pretentiously and bombastically performing "MacArthur Park" like King Lear on a bad acid trip. All that "sweet green icing flowing down" must have given him a sugar high.

Not really close, but worth dishonorable mentions: Liberace, Tiny Tim, David Lee Roth, Boy George, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Freddy Mercury, Adam Lambert, David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Meatloaf, KISS, and just about any "hair" band.

Worst Use of Mindless, Mind-Numbing Repetition

This is by far the easiest category to judge. Any song by K. C. and the Sunshine Band wins, hands down. Some rock bands have been accused of playing the same three chords over and over again. K. C. and the Sunshine Band upped the ante by also droning the same three words over and over again, ad infinitum:

I'm your boogie-man ... I'm your boogie-man ... I'm your boogie-man ... I'm your boogie-man ... I'm your boogie-man ...
Get down tonight ... Get down tonight ... Get down tonight ... Get down tonight ... Get down tonight ... Get down tonight ...
Shake-shake-shake, shake-shake-shake, shake your booty ... Shake-shake-shake, shake-shake-shake, shake your booty ...

K. C. and the Sunshine Band, you are not our boogeyman, but the bogeyman to anyone who appreciates good lyrics!

Justin Bieber gets a special dishonorable mention for "Baby," which repeats the word over and over like a broken record.
Paul McCartney also seems to be channeling a broken record in "Live and Let Die": You know you did you know you did you know you did ... Live and let die (live and let die) live and let die (live and let die) ...
Rihanna repeats the word "cake" incessantly in "Birthday Cake." 
James Blunt gets an unhonorable mention for: You're beautiful ... you're beautiful ... you're beautiful ... it's true ... (After you've told us something repeatedly, is it really necessary to insist that what you told us is true, unless you're a serial liar?)
Nicki Minaj gets a special dishonorable mention for tasteless and classless repetition in "Stupid Hoe": You a stupid hoe / You a / You a stupid hoe / (stupid, stupid)
The Black Eyed Peas are also contenders in this dismal category with "My Humps": My hump, my hump, my hump (ha!), my lovely lady lumps (check it out!)
And then of course there is "Who Let the Dogs Out" by Baha Men.

Juvenile Songs with Insipid and/or Illogical Lyrics

For some unfathomable reason there are a number of copycat songs in which whiny singers with tremulous voices agonize over every detail of their brattish lives, then insist triumphantly that they will "never grow old" or will somehow escape or ignore the hand of time. But if their lives are so miserable, wouldn't it be better for them to mature and move ahead quickly? Nostalgia is fine and good, but only if the experiences were happy! Examples of the illogical genre include:

"Can't Feel My Face" by The Weeknd with the contradictory lines "And I know she'll be the death of me" but "... we'll ... stay forever young." Oh really?
"Forever Young" by Alphaville with the contradictory lines "Sitting in a sandpit, life is a short trip" but still the singer wants to be "forever young."
"Closer" by the Chainsmokers with various doleful lamentations followed by the ebullient chorus "We ain't never gettin' older!"
"Never Grow Up" by Taylor Swift
"Here's to Never Growing Up" by Avril Lavigne
"Teenage Dream" by Katy Perry with the unlikely and far-from-original chorus "You and I will be young forever!"
Lionel Richie is old enough to know better, but in "All Night Long" he claims in pidgin English: "we going to parti', karamu', fiesta, forever!"
"Forever Young" by Rod Stewart
"Forever Young" by Bob Dylan, the song's original author; Dylan wrote the 1973 song as a lullaby for his infant son and pop's terrible tykes have been gravitating to it ever since!

Baby-Talk by Adult Singers

In this related category, adult singers choose to sound like blubbery infants ...

Taylor Swift actually sounds kinda cute when she complains that she knew a bad boy was "twubble" when he walked in ("I Knew You Were Trouble").
"Pillow Talk" by Zayn gets off to a pretty decent start but then he descends into babyish blabbing with "Be in the bed all day." He sounds like he does needs a nice long nap, followed by remedial elocution lessons!
"Cheap Thrills" by Sia alternates adult talk with baby talk: she hits the "dans" floor and doesn't need "dollah" bills or "muh-huh-huh-honey" to have fun tonight with her "bay-ay-ay-ay-bee"!

Impossible and Highly Implausible Song Lyrics

"When I was young, it seemed that life was so wonderful,
a miracle, oh it was beautiful, magical.
And all the birds in the trees,
well they'd be singing so happily,
joyfully, playfully watching me.
But then they sent me away to teach me how to be
sensible, logical, responsible, practical.
And they showed me a world where I could be
so dependable, clinical, intellectual, cynical."

"The Logical Song" by Supertramp is highly illogical, because birds do not send boys to schools where they are taught to be logical! Or perhaps the songwriter employed the pronoun "they" without a clear referent, in which case he/she is far from "intellectual"!

More illogical song lyrics:

"The club isn't the best place to find a lover / so the bar is where I go!" (Ed Sheeran again!)
"I am the Walrus." (Walruses don't speak.)
"Like a bridge over troubled water, I will lay me down." (Bridges do not lay themselves down; they get laid.)
"Sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti." (The Kilimanjaro is more than a hundred miles from the Serengeti.)
"... coast to coast, L.A. to Chicago ..." (L.A. is on the west coast, but Chicago is not on the east coast.)
"Scars to Your Beautiful" is an inspiring song, but the line "she knows no limits" makes no sense, because the entire song is about the limits an anorexic cutter puts on herself, or allows others to impose on her.
"As God has shown us by turning stones to bread ..." (Jesus turned water into wine, according to the Bible, but he refused to turn stones into bread when Satan tempted him in the wilderness!)
"My sweet Lord." (A so-called "Lord" who sentences all his creatures to suffer and die is anything but "sweet.")

Worst Line in a Great Song

This award goes to Simon and Garfunkel's classic "Bridge Over Troubled Water" for the line:

Sail on silver girl, sail on by ...

Paul Simon allowed Art Garfunkel to contribute the line above. But Simon didn't care for it, and neither do I. It doesn't completely ruin the song, but it seems cutesy and out of place in a dark masterpiece, as if ET suddenly showed up peddling a bicycle across the moon during a performance of Macbeth.

Close runners-up include "Let It Be" by the Beatles and "Roxanne" by the Police, for excessive repetition. Too much of a good thing can become a very bad thing: if Shakespeare had repeated his best refrain too many times, he could have crossed over into K. C. and the Sunshine Band territory: "I am your Bard of Avon. I am your Bard of Avon. I am your Bard of Avon. I am your Bard of Avon." Shakespeare knew when to stop beating a dead horse. Some modern songwriters evidently don't.

The Most Blatantly Chauvinistic Song Lyrics of All Time

The clear winner in this category is a hard-drinking hillbilly, Hank Williams Jr., who brags in "All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight":

I got girls that can cook,
I got girls that can clean,
I got girls that can do anything in between ...

What Junior means seems obvious: as long as he provides the machismo, testosterone, fame, booze and drugs, he can depend on "girls" to cook for him, clean for him, and "take care of him." Paul Anka runs a close second with:

Having my baby;
what a lovely way of saying
that you're thinking of me ...

It would be much better for the world (and especially for unborn children) if people explained how they felt verbally, used birth control, and didn't have babies for preposterous reasons!

Thin Lizzy comes in third―but not for the lack of trying to be alpha male piggies―with "The Boys are Back in Town":

It won't be long till summer comes
Now that the boys are here again!

Testosterone-infused truants who dress to kill, drink like fish, then spill blood on a regular basis, still have the magical power to summon the sun and summer? Who'da thunk it?


Other prime contenders include "Under My Thumb" by the Rolling Stones, "Centerfold" by the J. Geils Band, "Keep Your Hands to Yourself" by the Georgia Satellites, "Baby Got Back" by Sir Mix-a-Lot, "Got to Give It Up" by Marvin Gaye, "Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke, "Young Girl" by Gay Puckett and the Union Gap, "Girl You'll Be a Woman Soon" by Neil Diamond, "She's a Lady" by Tom Jones, "Brown Sugar" by the Rolling Stones, "It Must Be Him (or I Shall Die)" by Vikki Carr, "Wishin' and Hopin'" by Dusty Springfield, "Son of a Preacher Man" by Dusty Springfield, "Rag Doll" by Frank Valli and the Four Seasons, "Cuddly Toy" by the Monkees, "Stand By Your Man" by Tammy Wynette, "Hard to Handle" by the Black Crowes, "Lightnin' Strikes" by Lou Christie, "Hotline Bling" by Drake

Worst Wedding Songs Ever

This is a truly weird category, because people actually get married to these stalker "love" songs. The most famous stalker wedding song is "Every Breath You Take" by Sting and the Police. Brides should blush (as should grooms) if they get married to the Big Brother-ish strains of:

Every breath you take,
every move you make ...
I'll be watching you. 

Heart's "Alone" runs a close second, with these disturbing stalker lines:

And now it chills me to the bone:
how do I get you alone?

Ironically, the rock song with perhaps the best lyrics of all time almost falls into this category, as couples sometimes get married to U2's magnificent "One." While "One" is not a stalker song, it still defies logic that couples can walk down the aisle to lyrics like:

Have you come here for forgiveness?
Have you come to raise the dead?
Have you come here to play Jesus
to the lepers in your head?

"One" is a song about a relationship on very dire rocks. The disgruntled speaker points out that he shouldn't be expected to go without sex with other people, just because his lover has given up on their love life:

Did I disappoint you,
or leave a bad taste in your mouth?
You act as if you never had love
and you want me to go without?

"One" isn't about couples walking down the aisle arm-in-arm as lifetime companions; rather, it is about one partner crawling abjectly to the other:

You say love is a temple;
love, a higher law ...
you ask me to enter,
but then you make me crawl ...

"One" is a great song, a masterpiece. But it is not wedding song material, unless the couple is planning to have a very quick, bitterly acrimonious divorce!

Worst Gratuitous Rhyme

The Steve Miller Band wins with:

Abra, abracadabra
I want to reach out and grab ya. 

The Chainsmokers grab second place with these nonsensical lines from "Closer":

So baby pull me closer
In the backseat of your Rover
That I know you can't afford
Bite that tattoo on your shoulder
Pull the sheets right off the corner
Of the mattress that you stole
From your roommate back in Boulder
We ain't ever getting older

And good luck with that "we ain't ever getting older" thingy!

Train is also in the abysmal running with "Drive By" ...

Oh I swear to you
I'll be there for you
This is not a drive by
Just a shy guy
Looking for a two-ply
Hefty bag to hold my love!

Train scores again, sorta, with "Hey, Soul Sister" ...

Your lipstick stains on the front lobe of my left side brains ...
The smell of you in every single dream I dream ...
My heart is bound to beat right out my untrimmed chest ...

Sextuple Eeeew! (emphasis on the "sex"). Should the song's title more accurately be "Clap for the Wolfman"?

Worst Imitation of the Marquis de Sade

This highly dubious award goes to "Your Body is a Wonderland"  by John Mayer:

You tell me where to go and
Though I might leave to find it
I'll never let your head hit the bed
Without my hand behind it ...

The Marquis de Sade would be so very proud, I'm sure!

Most Hideous Mangling of Grammar and/or Logic

This award goes to Paula Cole's stunningly terrible "I Don't Want to Wait." The song opens with lines so excruciatingly bad they are painful to remember, much less (pause to vomit) sing:

So open up your morning light
And say a little prayer for I.
You know that if we are to stay alive
And see the peace in every eye ...
She had two babies
One was six months, one was three
In the war of '44 ...

First, how the hell does one "open up" a light? Second, it would be "say a little prayer for me." The improper use of "I" is incredibly grating, the single worst song lyric I have ever experienced. Third, lines three and four make absolutely no sense: if we are to stay alive and see the peace in every eye, what must we think or do? Fourth, the song is about World War II, in which millions of people were fighting and killing each other, so to "see the peace in every eye" seems like wild overstatement. Fifth, how can a mother have one baby that is six months old and another that is only three months old? Swine have a gestation period of three months; is the mother dropping human babies, or piglets? I suppose Cole could mean that one baby is six months old and the other is three years old, but at this early point in the song I'm so out of sorts that I have lost confidence in her ability to say what she means in decent English. Sixth, what is "the war of '44"? World War II began in 1939 and ended in 1945, so to call it the war of a particular year seems very odd. But then the whole song is a logical and grammatical trainwreck.

Bob Dylan comes in second with: "If dogs run free, then why not we ..." (my ears hear a chorus of bad grammar!).

John Cougar Mellencamp is a distant third with this line from "Jack and Diane":

Suckin' on a chili dog outside the Tasty Freeze ...

Who the hell "sucks" on a chili dog?

Bob Seger gets an ungolden star for comparing himself to a rock "chargin' from the gate" in "Like a Rock." All the rocks I have ever encountered were inanimate objects.

Other candidates:

"I'm down on my knees, searching for the answer… Are we human or are we dancer?" (The Killers, "Human")
"I'm serious as cancer when I say rhythm is a dancer!" (SNAP, "Rhythm Is A Dancer")
"In the desert you can remember your name, for there ain't no-one for to give you no pain." (America, "Horse With No Name") 
"Lights will guide you home, and ignite your bones." (Coldplay, "Fix You")
"I bought a ticket to the world but now I've come back again." (Spandau Ballet, "True")
"Keep the blood flowing down to your feet, Brother Lois will be around in a minute, with a bucket filled with squirreled meat." (Prince, "Superfunkycalifragisexy")

Most Cliché-Ridden Monstrosity

Heart's "All I Wanna Do Is Make Love to You" makes me want to hurl because it's constructed out of a relentless series of miserably bad clichés, and even worse, it makes no sense. Why borrow other people's words only to mangle them?

So we found this hotel;
it was a place I knew well.
We made magic that night.
Oh, he did everything right!
He brought the woman out of me,
so many times, easily.
And in the morning when he woke
all I left him was a note:
I told him, "I am the flower;
you are the seed.
We walked in the garden;
we planted a tree.
Don’t try to find me,
please don’t you dare.
Just live in my memory,
you’ll always be there."

I believe that what the female speaker means to say is that she wrote her one-night stand a note, then left before he woke up and read it. And how on earth can a flower and a seed walk together in a garden and plant a tree? What she probably means to say is that she was the flower and her lover supplied the "pollen," which then resulted in a seed, which later grew into a new flowering tree (i.e., a child) somewhere in an Edenic garden. But the lyrics are so godawfully bad, stilted and prosaic, who can muster the patience to decipher them?

Worst Mangling of Image, Metaphor, Facts and/or Logic

While I like the song "Strawberry Wine," I grimace every time I hear the lines:

... green on the vine,
like strawberry wine.

Obviously, it is the strawberries that grow green on the vine, not the "wine." Sade runs a close second and is hardly a "smooth operator" with:

... coast to coast,
L.A. to Chicago ...

There are many cities on the East Coast, so why name a city that lies several hundred miles inland?

Other candidates:

"Caught beneath the landslide in a champagne supernova in the sky." (Oasis, "Champagne Supernova") 
"I know a mouse and he hasn't got a house. I don't know why, I call him Gerald." (Pink Floyd, "Bike")

More Bad Logic

Should I stay or should I go now?
Should I stay or should I go now?
If I go there will be trouble
An' if I stay it will be double!

Someone should inform the Clash that if leaving will cause trouble and staying will double the trouble, then obviously it is time to go!

Most Ostentatiously Overblown Lyrics Imaginable

"My Way" would be a good candidate, except that "McArthur Park" is so overblown that no other song can possibly rival it:

Spring was never waiting for us, girl;
it ran one step ahead
as we followed in the dance
between the parted pages and were pressed,
in love's hot, fevered iron
like a striped pair of pants ...
MacArthur's Park is melting in the dark,
all the sweet, green icing flowing down ...
Someone left the cake out in the rain.
I don't think that I can take it
'cause it took so long to bake it
and I'll never have that recipe again ...
Oh, no!

Oh, no, indeed! If anyone thinks these are good lyrics, I have some stinky swampland to sell at grossly inflated prices. Barry Manilow's pompous "I Write The Songs" is another ridiculously overblown song, as are Neal Diamond's "Longfellow Serenade" and "Forever in Blue Jeans," but they all pale in comparison to "McArthur Park." However, Manilow rates a special dishonorable mention because he didn't write "I Write the Songs" despite singing so bombastically that he did. The song was written by a former Beach Boy, Bruce Johnston, who should also be deeply ashamed.

Most Ego-Saturated Song Lyrics Ever Written

While I would again like to consider the haplessly and hopelessly egocentric "My Way" for some highly dubious honor, I'm afraid this one will have to be a tie between "Rico Suave" and "Ice, Ice Baby." But since the peculiarly pallid rapper known as "Vanilla Ice" plagiarized David Bowie's and Queen's "Under Pressure," let's make that the tiebreaker. And how can we possibly disagree with someone who confesses:

I'm killing your brain like a poisonous mushroom?

Indeed, he is! At least Sinatra and Elvis had talent to back up their outbursts of verbal bombast. Vanilla Ice managed to turn sheer hubris into fifteen seconds of fame, to our eternal shame. I vote we all tell "Ice" to take a chill pill. Other candidates for this award include "Let's Wang Chung Tonight" and "I'm Too Sexy for My Shirt." (The video proves you're not.)

Most Blatantly Untrue Lyrics Ever Performed

On the subject of "things vanilla," as in white-washed over, how about "Girl, You Know It's True" by Milli Vanilli, the group that didn't really sing its own songs? While other groups have been accused of lip-synching, Milli Vanilli took not singing to extraordinary new heights (or depths). The lyrics should have been:

Girl, you know it's true
that when we "sing," we're lying through
our Ultra-Bright teeth to you!

Most Nonsensical and Incomprehensible Lyrics of All Time

Here, the hands-down winner is the famously incomprehensible "Louie, Louie" by the Kingsmen. This is a song with lyrics so obscure the FBI tried to prosecute the group for obscenity, but after two years had to admit defeat. Why? Because to this day, no one has a clue what the song actually says, much less means. Who can properly interpret its half-mumbled, half-sung lyrics? The most comprehensible part of this alleged "song" remains its guitar solo. It might be an innocent song about "having to go" to Jamaica, or it might be an demonic call to destroy all that is innocent and holy. If anyone truly knows, they are not telling.

"In A Gadda Di Vida" by Iron Butterfly runs a close second in this category. As the story goes, the original lyric was "In the Garden of Eden," but lead singer Doug Ingle became so intoxicated that he slurred the words. The rest, as they say, is history. Steve Miller's "The Joker" comes in a strong third, with the supremely incomprehensible lines:

Some people call me the space cowboy, yeah
Some call me the gangster of love
Some people call me Maurice
'Cause I speak of the pompitous of love

"Some people call me 'moron' because I sing gibberish" would be much more believable!

Little Richard's "Tutti Frutti" was originally about the joys of sodomy, but once the lyrics had been changed to pass muster with the Pat Boone crowd, it failed to make any sense whatsoever.
"Sussudio" by Phil Collins is simply ghastly; it's probably better for us not to know what the unuttered "word" is.
"Whiter Shade of Pale" has famously obscure lyrics, but seems to be about a woman turning pale when she is propositioned in a bar, with allusions to Geoffrey Chaucer and his "Miller's Tale."
"Who Let the Dogs Out?" by Baha Men begs the question: "Why would anyone care? Just let them back in, if they promise not to pee or poop in the house!"
"My Humps" by the Black Eyed Peas seems to be about trading one's "humps" and "lady lumps" for merchandise, by getting men drunk. What's not to understand, except bragging about it in bad English?
"Gangnam Style" by PSL has been viewed more than a billion times and still no one knows what the hell it means, except that terrible lyrics performed by people with no talent can somehow "go viral."
"I Am the Walrus" makes sense compared to some of the other songs in this category!

Most Absurdly Sentimental Song Lyric

Poets and songwriters try to make us "tear up" over all sorts of things, but when the Beatles wept over an unswept floor, they lost all credibility. How can we do anything but laugh over:

I look at the floor and I see it needs sweeping.
Still my guitar gently weeps.

But perhaps the lyric can make us cry, after all ... if only because it's so wrenchingly bad. "Mrs. Robinson" by Simon and Garfunkel runs a close second, with the sickly-sweet lines:

Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?
A nation turns its lonely eyes to you,
woo woo woo ...

Woo woo woo, indeed! The Yankee Clipper himself complained about the absurdity of the song, pointing out that he hadn't "gone" anywhere at the time.

Third place goes to Neal Diamond for:

I am, I said
to no one there,
and no one heard at all,
not even the chair ...

Let's not get all weepy about chairs not hearing our complaints!

Or how about "Ben," a heartfelt love song to a rat, crooned with incredible (but not credible) anguish, by Michael Jackson? Or, better yet, "Shannon," a tribute to a dog that is "drifting out to sea," sung by the appropriately named Henry Gross? If the dog is still drifting out to sea, why not launch a rescue, rather than just singing sadly about the tragedy?

Close and definitely no cigar:

"Wind Beneath My Wings" by Bette Midler
"Can You Feel the Love Tonight" by Elton John
"My Heart Will Go On" by Celine Dion (Kate Winslett said the Titanic theme song made her "want to throw up" and Dion didn't want to record it)
"Every Thing I Do (I Do it for You)" by Bryan Adams
"I Just Called to Say I Love You" by Stevie Wonder ("No chocolate-covered candy hearts to give away"? Oh, really! Et tu, Stevie? Cheapskate, with all your millions!) 

Truly Cheesy Love Songs

There is no clear winner in this category because there are so many worthy (i.e., unworthy) candidates. So I'll pick one at random ... "You're Beautiful" by James Blunt. "My life is brilliant," Blunt declares. Unfortunately the same cannot be said about his lyrics! Was he named after a you-know-what? Did it go to his head and impair his powers of perception? Well yes, the CD version says that he was "fucking high," so now the mystery is officially solved!

Other contenders to take the cheese ...

Any Elvis Presley love song performed bombastically during his lounge singer days, when he looked like a bloated Evel Knievel
Any Michael Bolton love song
Any Lionel Ritchie love song
Any Barry Manilow love song
Any Kenny Rogers love song from his "Silver Fox" period
Any David Lee Roth gigolo love song, and any similar love songs sung by his imitators (anyone who imitates DLR should immediately commit Hari Kari!)
Any other love song that involves jumping and kicking!
Any boy band love song
Any country music song about childhood lovers who meet in heaven
Any country music song about childhood lovers watching their daughter prepare to marry
Any country music song about a father watching his daughter get ready to go on a first date while reminiscing about his first date with her mother
Any country music song that involves a man feeling sentimental about his car or truck, usually after a hard bout of drinking
Any Bruce Springsteen or John Mellencamp song in which they reminisce about baseball, steel mills, motorbikes, pink houses, sucking on chili dogs, etc.
"You Are So Beautiful" by Joe Cocker
"I Swear" by All-4-One
"Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley
"I'm Too Sexy" by Right Said Fred

Beyond Silly Love Songs

"Groovy Kind of Love" by Phil Collins
"Sugar, Sugar" by the Archies ("You are my candy girl, and you got me wantin' you!")
"Silly Love Songs" by Sir Paul McCartney and Wings

Most Pointlessly Obvious and Redundant Song LyricS

Van Halen wins this hotly-contested category for "Why Can't This Be Love," which breathlessly informs us that:

Only time will tell
if we stand the test of time.

A very close runner-up is "The Fighter" by Keith Urban featuring Carrie Underwood:

Your precious heart
is a precious heart.

Or how about this gem by Thin Lizzy:

"Tonight there's going to be a jailbreak, somewhere in this town."

Somewhere? Or would a jailbreak occur at a very obvious location … the local jail, perhaps? 

Worst Tribute Song

My vote for the worst tribute song goes to "It's My Life" by Bon Jovi, with the horrific line "Like Frankie said, I did it my way." First, who the hell calls Frank Sinatra "Frankie"? Second, why quote one of the most overblown, ego-saturated songs ever written? Third, if it's your life, not Frankie's, why not say something "your way" and be much more original?

A close runner-up is "Rock and Roll Heaven" by the Righteous Brothers.

Lies, Fabrications and Wild Overstatement

"What else could I say? Everyone is gay." (Nirvana's "All Apologies"). If this were true, none of us would be here!

Things No One Wants to See, Hear, Smell or Otherwise Experience

"Take my thong off and my ass go boom!" (Missy Elliott, "Work It")
"Young, black and famous, with money hanging out the anus." (Puff Daddy featuring Mase, "Can't Nobody Hold Me Down")
"I'll show you I'm every inch the man – measure all that you think you can." (Extreme, "Naked")
"I'll slink in when you boys are in a French knot." (Peaches, "Two Guys For Every Girl")
"Let me put my love into you babe, let me cut my cake with your knife." (AC/DC, "Let Me Put My Love Into You") 
"I love your pants around your feet … You're like my favourite damn disease." (Nickelback, "Figure You Out")
"Oh babe, I wanna put my log in your fireplace." (Kiss, "Burn Bitch Burn") 
"Bonafide ride, step aside my johnson. Yes I could in the woods of Wisconsin." (Red Hot Chili Peppers, "Around The World")

Things Not to Brag About

"I'm a joker, I'm a smoker, I'm a midnight toker." (Steve Miller Band, "The Joker")
"I am the Eggman!" (The Beatles, "The Walrus")

Can the Corny Animals, Already!

"Hampster Dance" by Hampton the Hampster
"I'm a Gummy Bear" by Gummibar
"The Fox" by Ylvis ("Cow goes moo ...")
"Axel F" by Crazy Frog
Anything and everything by Alvin and the Chipmunks

Dis-honorable Mention

"Teddy Bear" by Elvis Presley
"Go Away Little Girl" by the Osmonds
"Sussudio" by Phil Collins
"American Life" by Madonna
"Jump" by Van Halen
"Pour Some Sugar On Me" by Def Leppard
"It's My Life" by Bon Jovi
"Ego" by Beyoncé
"Believe" by Cher
"The Joker" by Steve Miller
"Cherry Pie" by Warrant
"Shiny Happy People" by REM
"Jack and Diane" by John Mellencamp
"The Beat Goes On" by Sonny & Cher
"How Deep Is Your Love" by the Bee Gees
"Soul Sister" by Train
"Love Is Real" by John Lennon
"Sex On Fire" by Kings of Leon
"Drips" by Eminem
"Horse With No Name" by America
"We Built This City" by Starship
"Rockstar" by Nickelback
"Miracles" by Insane Clown Posse
"Fanny Be Tender With Your Love" by the Bee Gees
"Like A Rock" by Bob Seeger
"Ballad Of A Thin Man" by Bob Dylan
"Glory Days" by Bruce Springsteen
"Bright Eyes" by Art Garfunkel
"I Love New York" by Madonna
"Your Body is a Wonderland" by John Mayer
"One Call Away" by Charlie Puth
"What Makes You Beautiful" by One Direction
"#Selfie" by The Chainsmokers
"Stars Are Blind" by Paris Hilton

Songs with No Redeeming Value Whatsoever

Some of the songs on this page do have moments of lucidity, emotional connections, perhaps even greatness or at least goodness. But these songs have no redeeming value whatsoever and are just excruciatingly bad from beginning to end:

"Stupid Hoe" by Nicki Minaj
"My Humps" by the Black-Eyed Peas
"Go Away Little Girl" by the Osmonds
"Whip My Hair" by Willow Smith
"Friday" by Rebecca Black
"I’m a Gummy Bear" (The Gummy Bear Song) by Gummibar
"That’s Not My Name" by The Ting Tings
"Beverly Hills" by Weezer
"Bugs" by Pearl Jam
"Queen of the Supermarket" by Bruce Springsteen
"Get on Your Boots" by U2
"My World" by Guns 'n' Roses
"Ben" by Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5
"You Can Call Me Al" by Paul Simon
"Gangnam Style" by Psy
"Rock and Roll Heaven" by the Righteous Brothers
"Jump" by Van Halen
"Longfellow Serenade" by Neil Diamond
"I Write the Songs" as performed by Barry Manilow
"Champagne Supernova" by Oasis
"All I Wanna Do Is Make Love to You" by Heart
"Having My Baby" by Paul Anka
"McArthur Park" written by Jimmy Webb, as performed by Richard Harris
"I Don't Want to Wait" by Paula Cole

Most Hated Singers

I consulted a number of different polls, and these appear to be the consensus rankings (with #1 being the most hated): Justin Bieber (#1 in every poll), Kanye West (#2), Chris Brown (#3), Lil' Wayne (#4), Taylor Swift (#5), Miley Cyrus (#6), Nicki Minaj (#7), Pitbull (#8), Insane Clown Posse (#9), Ke$ha (#10)

Dishonorable Mention: Rebecca Black, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Courtney Love, One Direction, Ariane Grande, Limp Bizkit/Fred Durst, John Mayer, Jason Derulo, Carly Rae Jepsen, will.i.am, Shakira, Chainsmokers, Adele, Iggy Azalea

So there you have it: the worst song lyrics of all time, according to me. Of course records are meant to be broken (please pardon the pun), so stay tuned for more abysmally bad lyrics, which surely lie in waiting around the next bend ...

The HyperTexts