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, and I will be happy to explain why. Ironically, some of
the best songwriters have written some of the worst lyrics; for instance, Bob
Dylan, Paul Simon, Dan Fogelberg, Jim Morrison, Sting, Brian Wilson and Adele.
Categories include Stalker Songs, Ickiest Come-On Songs, Ultra-Creepy Sex
Lyrics, Juvenile Songs, Blubbery Baby-Talk, Abundant Redundancy, Hopelessly Pretentious Songs, Whiny Maudlin Songs, White-Bread Rap, Highly Implausible Lyrics, Weird Wedding Songs, Blatant
Sexism and Chauvinism, Gratuitous Rhymes, Mangled Grammar, Tortured Logic, Most
Affected Pronunciations, Worst Mispronunciations, Mind-Numbing Repetition,
Hammiest "Over the Top" Performances, and Lines that Make Us Go "Eeeew!"
The Most Overrated Songs of All Time
The Top Ten Worst Song Lyrics of All Time (with number one being the worst of all)
Any song sung (or, more correctly, not sung) by Milli Vanilli; however, they do get one-sixteenth of a
gold star for not actually singing
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 wildly melodramatic love song to a rat. Eeek!
"Ice, Ice Baby" by Vanilla Ice and "Champagne Supernova" by Oasis
... is your tiebreaker a super-inflated ego or
supremely grandiloquent lyrics?
"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. was
male chauvinism's absolute nadir ... until Donald Trump oinked.
"Having My Baby" by Paul Anka; innocent babies deserve much better
than mothers who demonstrate their "love" by providing their eggs to be
"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."
"McArthur Park" as performed melodramatically, pretentiously and
by Richard Harris. Someone left your brain out in the rain and it got all soggy.
Paula Cole's stunningly terrible "I Don't Want to Wait" has the single worst
song lyric ever penned: "Say a little prayer for I" ... and she sings it
and over and
over like a broken record! Shades of Marco Roboto!
Someone please inform Ms. PC that grammar checkers are free! Now please repeat after me,
ten thousand times: "Say a little prayer for me,
that I will not make such a fool of myself in public, ever again!"
The All-Time Worst Lines in Popular Songs
" [We] were pressed / in love's hot, fevered iron / like a striped pair of
pants." (Richard Harris emoting on "MacArthur Park" is like Trump modeling
"Caught beneath the landslide in a champagne supernova in the sky." (Oasis
delivers the most grandiloquent lyrics since "McArthur Park.")
"I love you red solo cup, / I lift you up." (Yet another country song inspired by a
severe drinking problem, Toby Keith?)
Get you love-drunk off my hump / my hump, my hump, my hump ... my lovely little
lumps." (Someone please give the Black Eyed Peas a lumpectomy, stat!)
"T to the A to the S T E Y, / girl you tasty." (Fergie and Will.i.am should
obviously avoid spelling bees. And writing songs.)
"Should've known you was trouble / from the first kiss. / Had your eyes wide
open. / Why were they open? (Hypocrite! Why were your eyes open, Bruno
"I ain't the worst that you've seen, / oh, can't you see what I mean? / Might as
well jump! (Au contraire, David Lee Roth, you are the worst we've seen.
"Come on baby don't be afraid, / if it wasn't for date rape I'd never get laid.
(Sublime should change its name to Slime.)
"I'm a joker, / I'm a smoker, / I'm a midnight toker." (Steve Miller sure knows
how to impress the ladies!)
"Some people call me Maurice / 'Cause I speak of the pompitous of love." (Steve
Miller's "The Joker" is a cosmic joke ... on us.)
"Now you get to watch her leave out the window / Guess that's why they call it
window pane." (Eminem, the real pain is your abysmal pun!)
"I've got soul, but I’m not a soldier." (At least Eminem has company, thanks to
"I don't like cities but I like New York; / other places make me feel like a
dork." (Madonna outs her inner nerd in "I Love New York.")
"She'll think I'm Superman / not super minivan. / How could you leave on Yom
Kippur?" (Not even a gratuitous holy day reference can save this Train-wreck!)
"Your lipstick stains / on the front lobe of my left-side brains." (Train's lead
singer has multiple expose brains. Or his lover is a brain surgeon.)
"Only time will tell if we stand the test of time." (Only fools rush into such
redundant lyrics, Van Halen!)
"I'm living right next door to an angel / and she only lives a house away." (Et
tu, Neil Sedaka?)
"Empty spaces fill me up with holes." (Is this a love song or a recipe for
making Swiss cheese, Backstreet Boys?)
"Zip your lips like a padlock." (Ke$ha obviously has no idea what a padlock is,
or how it operates.)
"When it Waynes, it pours." (It does indeed, Lil Wayne, it does indeed! Like a
very stinky golden shower.)
"Oh babe, I wanna put my log in your fireplace." (Kiss is so incredibly
romantic in the sweetly titled "Burn Bitch Burn.")
"Lights will guide you home and ignite your bones." (Coldplay, aiming lasers at
your lover is no way to "fix" her.)
"Young, black and famous / with money hangin' out the anus." (Puff Daddy should
consult a proctologist, pronto!)
"Mix that Goose and Malibu / I call it 'Malibooyah.'" (Kanye West, please stick to
what you're really good at―bullying Taylor Swift!)
"Bonafide ride, step aside my johnson. / Yes I could in the woods of Wisconsin.”
(Another gratuitous rhyme from the Red Hot Chili Peppers.)
"What else could I say? / Everyone is gay." (Nirvana fails to consider the
births of billions of babies in "All Apologies.")
"Swag, swag, swag on you. / Chillin' by the fire while we eatin' fondue."
(Justin Bieber, swag and fondue do not mix!)
"She's got everything / like a moving mouth, body control and everything."
("Highway Star" by Deep Purple keeps us informed about the really important
things in life.)
"Lucky that my breasts are small and humble, / so you don’t confuse them with
mountains." (Shakira, was this before the boob job?)
"The club isn't the best place to find a lover / so the bar is where I go." (Ed
Sheeran makes his mother so very proud in "Shape of You.")
"I'm down on my knees, searching for the answer: / Are we human or are we dancer?"
(The Killers tell us it's impossible to be human and
"Am I asleep? No, I'm alive." (According to Jessie J, we die when we fall
"I'm serious as cancer when I say rhythm is a dancer!" (SNAP's "Rhythm Is A
Dancer" is as serious as terminal brain cancer.)
"Sometimes we swim around like two dolphins / in the oceans of our hearts." (If your
hearts are "oceans" what the hell are the dolphins in your insipid metaphor,
LFO? Stroke-inducing blood clots?)
"Keep the blood flowing down to your feet, / Brother Lois will be around in a
minute, with a bucket filled with squirreled meat. (Prince should consider
becoming a vegan.)
"Say a little prayer for I." (Paula Cole, there's no need for prayer because
even God Almighty can't save that atrocious line!)
The Most Annoying Songs of All Time
Anything sung by a chipmunk, hamster, frog, duck, chicken, gummy bear, Muppet,
puppet, cartoon character, etc. ... or with the aid of helium ... or by anyone wearing
Anything sung by Barry Manilow, but especially "I Write the Songs" (which he
didn't even write, sheesh!). And please don't get me started on
(#3) Anything Miley Cyrus sings in her skimpy undies, in an attempt to distract
us from the insipid lyrics. If you have to sing in your underwear, the song is
Karaoke versions of "My Way." The song is cheesy enough when sung
by someone with actual accomplishments, like Sinatra or Elvis. If they can't
pull it off, how the hell can you?
Also, if you're singing karaoke, you quite
obviously do not have "Moves Like Jagger" (nor his musicality, vocal cords,
range, charisma, swag, vast fortune, sex life, etc.).
(#6) Anything sung by a "boy band" but especially Duran Duran, Backstreet Boys,
'N Synch, One Direction, Menudo, LFO, The Osmonds, Hanson and the Jonas
(#7) Speaking of boy bands, the early Beatles were incredibly annoying: "Love Me
Do," "She Loves You," "I Want to Hold Your Hand," "Can't Buy Me Love," "Please
Please Me," etc.
(#8) Early girl bands could be just as annoying: "Leader of the Pack," "He's So
Fine," "Stop in the Name of Love" ... Yes, please, in the name of Love, do stop!
Gay men who fawn over Cher? Really? Shouldn't you have much better taste in
fashion and music? Aren't you in the same unglamorous position as nondescript
(#10) Songs in which adult singers descend into baby talk or, more accurately, baby
babble. I have a special category for babyish blubberers below. But for now,
just think nauseously of James Arthur, Ed Sheeran, Lukas Graham, Sia, Taylor Swift, Donny
Osmond, Justin Bieber, Nicki Minaj and Zayn.
Do you remember the scene in Animal House where Stephen Bishop is
strumming a guitar and crooning "I Gave My Love a Cherry" to a group of
starry-eyed co-eds? A toga-clad Bluto, played by John Belushi, does what we
would all secretly love to do when confronted by nerdy would-be love gods singing
sappy songs in hopes of getting laid. Bluto grabs the guitar and smashes it to
pieces. And who can blame him, because Stephen Bishop did go "On and On," if
you'll pardon the pun. It was great casting, because Bishop has to be one of the most
annoying singers of all time. But the frontrunner in this dismal category is
Rupert Holmes for "Escape (The Pina Colada Song)" and for simply existing.
It's hard to think of anyone ever topping Holmes in annoyingness (or, more
correctly, ever bottoming out below him). But the insurmountability of the task
hasn't stopped other singers from doing their best (or worst) to join the Mile
Low Club. For example: Morris Albert ("Feelings"), The Captain and Tennille
("Muskrat Love"), Minnie Ripperton ("Loving You"), Terry Jacks ("Seasons in the
Sun"), Debby Boone ("You Light Up My Life"), Christopher Cross ("Sailing"), the
Beach Boys ("Kokomo") and Rod Stewart ("Do Ya Think I'm Sexy"). No, we don't
think wrinkly grandpa love is "sexy." We think you're a superannuated Stephen Bishop
with a terrible perm! Now please go soak your
Barry Manilow is by far the most prolific of annoying singers, with a long
string of musical annoyances: "I Write the Songs," "Copacabana," "Can't Smile
Without You," "Looks Like We Made It," "Weekend in New England," "Even Now,"
"Could It Be Magic," "It's a Miracle," etc. (The real miracle is that anyone
pays good money to listen to such bad songs.) Although he may have a smidgen of
talent, no singer-songwriter has ever been more consistently annoying that
Manilow. Thus he takes the all-time soggy angel fluff cake, over Rupert Holmes,
Stephen Bishop and company. But someone really should smash all their guitars, or at
the very least lock them up permanently!
Another of my pet peeves is the Trumpian lyric, in which a male singer judges
women strictly or largely on the basis of their looks and curves. Winners (i.e.,
losers) in this oinky-boinky category include "Perfect" and "The Shape of You"
by Ed Sheeran, "Centerfold" by the J. Geils Band, "Baby Got Back" by Sir
Mix-a-Lot, "Wonderful Tonight" by Eric Clapton, "She's So High" by Blur and "You
Are So Beautiful" by Joe Cocker.
Related songs in which women are treated as possessions, sex objects,
prostitutes and/or indentured servants include "Under My Thumb" by the Rolling
Stones, "Every Breath You Take" by Sting and the Police, "American Badass" by
Kid Rock, "A Man Needs a Maid" by Neil Young, "The Girl Is Mine" by Michael
Jackson feat. Paul McCartney, "Kim" by Eminem, "Fix You" by Coldplay, "Got to Give
It Up" by Marvin
Gaye, "Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke, "She's a Lady" by Tom Jones,
"Brown Sugar" by the Rolling Stones, "Nookie" by Limp Bizkit, "Cuddly Toy" by
the Monkees, "Hotline Bling" by Drake, "Date Rape" by Sublime, "Me So
Horny" by 2 Live Crew, "It's So Easy" by Guns N' Roses, "All My Rowdy Friends
Are Coming Over Tonight" by Hank Williams Jr. and "Put Another Log on the Fire"
by Tompall Glaser (the latter has been called the "Male Chauvinist National
Another related category is "mansplanations" in which male
singers unconvincingly explain why they take advantage of females, or
want to. Sometimes they inadeptly shift the blame to their objects of desire.
How can men be at fault when women are so damn alluring? For instance, "Young
Girl" by Gay Puckett and the Union Gap, "Girl You'll Be a Woman Soon" by Neil
Diamond, "Wild World" by Cat Stevens, "Stray Cat Blues" by the Rolling Stones,
"Since I've Been Loving You" by Led Zeppelin, "You're Lost Little Girl" by the
Doors, "Go Away Little Girl" by the Osmonds and "Behind Blue Eyes" by the Who.
But there are also "womansplanations" in which female singers side with the male
piggies. For instance: "(Single Ladies) Put a Ring on It" by Beyoncé, "Do What U
Want" by Lady Gaga, "Flower" by Liz Phair, "It Must Be Him (or I Shall Die)" by
Vikki Carr, "Wishin' and Hopin'" by Dusty Springfield and "Stand By Your Man" by Tammy Wynette.
Hall of Shame
We have created a Hall of Shame for the all-time worst writers, selectors and
singers of wrenchingly bad, fluffy, corny and cheesy lyrics ...
(10) The early Beatles, Jackson 5, Monkees, Duran Duran, Boyz II Men, Backstreet
Boys, 'N Synch, Take That, New Kids on the Block (at least slightly better
than the cheese-fests below)
(9) Oasis, New Edition, One Direction, Menudo, 98 Degrees, All-4-One, Color Me Badd, LFO, Hanson, Nelson, Jonas
Brothers, O-Town, JoDeCi, B2K, BBMak, 3Deep, 5ive, Take 6
(8) Spice Girls, Go-Go's, Bangles, TLC, Destiny's Child, En Vogue, Bananarama,
Wilson Phillips, Salt-N-Pepa, Pussycat Dolls, Fifth Harmony, Little Mix, Stooshe,
Sugababes, Atomic Kitten
(7) Bay City Rollers
(6) Vanilla Ice and Nicki Minaj (not together—that would be
too horrible to even consider!)
(5) The Osmonds (and Donny Osmond as a solo act)
(4) Pat Boone and Debby Boone
(3) Huey Lewis and the News
(2) K. C. and the Sunshine Band (and Harry Wayne Casey as a songwriter)
(1) Barry Manilow
Dishonorable Mention: Paul Anka, Justin Bieber, Black Eyed Peas, Bobby Goldsboro, Gilbert O'Sullivan,
Paris Hilton, Rupert
Holmes, Yoko Ono, Captain and Tennille, Steve Miller Band, Blink 182, Green Day,
Coldplay, Helen Reddy, Billy
Ray Cyrus, Miley Cyrus, Britney Spears, MC Hammer, Phil Collins, late Beach
Boys, Kiss, Van Halen, Def Leppard, Grateful Dead, Korn, Goo Goo Dolls, Train,
Smash Mouth, Insane Clown Posse, Limp Bizkit, Creed, Nickelback
Nickelback has been nominated as the most despised and/or hated band of all
time. When comedian Brian Posehn was discussing a study that tied violent lyrics
to violent behavior, he quipped, "No one talks about the studies that show that
bad music makes people violent, like [listening to] Nickelback makes me want to
kill Nickelback." One critic opined that using the song "Rockstar" in a cheesy
furniture ad proved that Nickelback doesn't "understand the difference between a
band and a jukebox." The Kensington Police Department threatened to punish DUI
offenders by making them listen to Nickelback on their way to jail. David Grohl,
of Nirvana and Foo Fighters fame, tweeted: "If you play a Nickelback song
backwards you'll hear messages from the Devil. Even worse, if you play it
forward you'll hear Nickelback." There is a Facebook page called called "Can
This Pickle Get More Fans Than Nickelback?" According to The Guardian,
the pickle had more fans than the band's Facebook page. When I googled "most
hated bands," sure enough the first name I found was Nickelback.
Creed has been accused of being like "Nickelback
before there was Nickelback."
Songs We Never Want to Hear Again, Ever, Under Any Circumstances (in
addition to the songs previously named, of course)
Most of the songs listed below have strong support for the worst song of all
time. And that support is extremely well-deserved ...
"Gangnam Style" by PSY. I propose a cure called "Hangman Style."
(#2) "Could It Be Magic" by Take That, their cover of a classic
Manilow trainwreck. Could it be tragic? Is it "take that," as in
"Friday" by Rebecca Black, who single-handedly took the "Thank God"
out of TGIF.
"Achy Breaky Heart" by Billy Cyrus, who apparently taught Miley
everything he knows about cheesy lyrics.
"The Heart of Rock & Roll" by Huey Lewis and the News. Apparently,
rock & roll needs heart surgery, stat!
"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 decency and our sanity,
please keep it above
(#8) "Rockstar" by Nickelback, who apparently have no idea how to be real
rock stars. Mick Jaggers, Robert Plants and Freddy Mercuries, they are not.
(#9) "You're Beautiful" by James Blunt, a song which has "bluntly" been called "the
worst song in the history of mankind." Also, the least original and the
(#10) Please feel free to take your pick of alleged "songs" by Yoko Ono, Tiny Tim, Duran Duran, Justin Bieber,
New Kids on the Block, Insane Clown Posse, Nicki Minaj, Kanye West, Ricky
Martin, Rico Suave, Vanilla Ice and any other white rapper whose
name is not Eminem.
"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
... hey, shouldn't the police protect us from stalkers?)
"And now it chills me to the bone ... how do I get you alone?" (Heart
creepily belts out the
ultimate stalker anthem, "Alone")
"I've had you so many times but somehow I want more!" (Adam Levine and Maroon 5
sound an ugly Trumpian note: girls and women are to be "had" as many times as
"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 return
as stalkers in "Animals")
"I put a spell on you / because you're mine." (Screamin' Jay Hawkins lets us
know what it's like to be stalked by a voodoo witchdoctor)
However, Adele is the hands-down "winner" in this category. She's the neediest
and clinging-est ex-lover of all time—the shameless
queen of the passive-aggressive psycho stalkers. As one critic put it, Adele is
"one lyric away from a restraining order." Sad, but true. In "Someone Like You"
she abjectly pleads "Don't forget me, I beg." In "Rumor Has It" she encourages
her ex to cheat on his new lover: "Like when we creep out and she ain't around."
In "Rolling in the Deep" she becomes threatening: "Don't underestimate the
things that I will do!" and "You're gonna wish you never had met me!" But all
that is mere stalker foreplay. Adele climaxes in "Hello"—a
musical "Sixth Sense"—where she continues to stalk her ex from the "other
side." Shades of the Stalking Dead! But there may be hope, since Adele said, "I
am never writing a breakup record again. I’m done with being a bitter witch."
Ultra-Creepy Sex Lyrics
"This sex is on fire." (Kings of Leon, then by any and all means, PUT IT OUT!
And please stop playing with flammables and matches!)
"I'm too sexy for my shirt." (Well then, Right Said Fred,
please put on a sweater and an overcoat because we don't want to see your pale,
"I wanna sex you up." (Please, Color Me Badd, don't bother!)
"Sometimes when we touch / the honesty's too much / and I have to close my eyes
and hide." (Dan Hill sheds new light on the term "undercover lover")
"You love my lady lumps / my hump my hump my hump!" (The Black Eyed Peas
reach new lows of female objectification with "My Humps")
"Honey got a booty like pow, pow, pow! / Honey got some boobies like wow, oh
wow!" (Usher channels his perverted inner Robin in "OMG")
"She bangs! Oh baby! ... She looks like a flower but stings like a bee! Like
every girl in history! She reminds me that a woman only got one thing on her
mind! (Ricky Martin "She Bangs")
"But you're an animal / Baby, it's in your nature." (Robin Thicke appeals to a
woman's "inner animal" because it's her "nature" to crave sex with sexist alpha
sopranos like Thicke!)
"Chew your meat for you, / Pass it back and forth in a passionate kiss / From my
mouth to yours, sloppy lips to lips." (Nirvana will "Drain You"
to the absolute dregs)
"Shorty just text me, says she want to sex me / LOL smiley face / LOL smiley
face." (Trey Songz, "LOL Smiley Face")
"I die over these Reeboks, you ain’t even know it, / Put molly all in her
champagne, she ain’t even know it / I took her home and I enjoyed that, she
ain’t even know it." (An ode to date rape with Rocko featuring Rick Ross and
Future in "U.O.E.N.O.")
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-the-process-of-disintegrating
lyrics of U2's "One." I have a separate category for such weirdness, later on
Some songs are so verbally repulsive and in such bad taste that I blanch to
quote the lyrics. Songs in this category include "P***y Monster" by Lil Wayne,
"Show Ya P***y" by R. Kelly with Juicy J and Mingos, and "P***y" by The-Dream
(or perhaps The-Nightmare?). Hey, when you have to put asterisks in your song's
title, haven't you already crossed a bridge too far? Are your mothers impressed
with how much "p***y" you get, and how you brag about it for money?
Truly Creepy Songs
In "Once I Was Seven Years Old," Lukas Graham lispingly croons: "Once I was eleven years
old; / My daddy told me / Go get yourself a wife or you'll be lonely!" as if
this was wonderfully good advice. Then Graham devolves into Paul Anka "Having My
Baby" territory: "I'm still learning about life; / My woman brought children for
me / So I can sing them all my songs / And I can tell them stories." Apparently,
Graham's crowds are not large enough, so he has his "woman" get pregnant so that she can "bring" him captive audiences
glory-seeking songs and stories (however creepy and completely unsuitable for children).
The whole family should seek professional help,
"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
"(Single Ladies) Put a Ring on It" is a very creepy song by Beyoncé. What does
she mean by "it"? I think we all know! It's bad enough when men objectify "it."
But when a woman calls herself "it" ... well, the songs just creeps me out. And
when Beyoncé implores her man to "say I'm the one you own," it sounds like a
willing return to slavery! Her video does nothing to change my mind. If I grok
the video, "it" seems to equate her ring finger and her crotch.
Beyoncé appears to be saying,
"If you want this genitalia, you should have put a ring on that finger!"
"Excitable Boy" by Warren Zevon is an oddly upbeat song about insanity,
psychosis, rape, murder, mutilation, cannibalism and necrophilia. It has been called a "profoundly disturbing" song. Perhaps the strangest
thing is how nonchalant the song is about all the deviant madness. It's like
crooning "Oh, what a lonely boy" to Charles Manson while he's hacking people to
"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 "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, throws her hands up in the air, begs Jesus to "take the wheel" and surrenders to fate.
The song makes absolutely no sense, because after her prayer is answered and the car comes
to a stop, the mother bows her head to pray "for the first time in a long time."
But she had just prayed for salvation seconds before!
In "Alone Again (Naturally)" we are informed by Gilbert O'Sullivan that he
intends to commit suicide in order to prove to "whoever" that he's "shattered."
He then blames his loneliness on God, rather than his actions scaring people away.
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!" Apparently, God needs to take lessons from Gandhi on the
enlightened path to peace: nonviolence.
"Amazing Grace" lacks one very obvious 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 the terrible
things he had done. 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
your loved ones "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")
"She was cool when I met her but I think I like her better dead." (Gnarls
"If I was invisible, then I could just watch you in your room." (Clay Aiken
longs to be an invisible stalker in "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
Blubbery Baby-Talk by Adult Singers
In this bizarre category, adult singers choose to sound like blubbery infants.
Someone should refer them to the advice of Harry Styles: "Just stop your crying,
it's a sign of the times."
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").
James Arthur has a beard but sounds like a lisping toddler on "(Just) Say You Won't Let
"Pillow Talk" by Zayn gets off to a pretty decent start but he soon descends
into babyish blabbing with "Be in the bed all day." He sounds like he
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"!
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."
"Forever Young" by Alphaville with the contradictory lines "Sitting in a
sandpit, life is a short trip" but still the singer intends to be "forever young."
"Stay" by Zedd featuring Alessia Cara insists "We don't have to grow up / we can
stay forever young" but hopes for the winds of change nonetheless.
"Closer" by the Chainsmokers features various doleful lamentations followed by the
ebullient chorus "We ain't never gettin' older!"
"Style" by Taylor Swift claims her tight little skirts will "never go out of
style" ... but let's reserve judgment till she's 60, 70, 80, 90 ...
"Never Grow Up" by Taylor Swift cannot apply to her age, but she may
be speaking credibly if she's talking about her juvenile behavior.
"Here's to Never Growing Up" by Avril Lavigne sounds like a silly
toast between inebriates.
"Teenage Dream" by Katy Perry features the highly 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 Young" by Rod Stewart is one of his many, many, many covers
of better singers' songs. However, in this case he sounds a lot like the
"Forever Young" was written in 1973 by Bob Dylan as a lullaby for his infant son
... and pop's
terrible tykes have been gravitating to it ever since!
More Accurate Song and Album Titles, Please!
For the sake of truth in advertising, it should be ...
"Sexual Stealing" by Robin Thicke.
"Thicke as a Brick" by Robin Thicke.
(#3) "Moves Like Stagger" by Maroon 5's Adam Levine (since he's always singing
about drinking and getting wasted).
"Vice, Vice Baby" by Vanilla Ice, since pride is one of the Seven
"Clap for the Wolfman" by Train (with all those "untrimmed" chests!).
"Your Body is my Blunderland" by John Mayer (since his song reminds us of
"Sympathy for the Donald" by the Rolling Stones, since Trump is
so very 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
Number of the Beast.
The Ten Worst Number One Songs of All Time
"Gangnam Style" by PSY ("Style" has nothing to do with it!
These F- songs have no redeeming values whatsoever.)
"Lovin' You" by Minnie Ripperton (The perfect ad for dog whistles ... if owners
want to drive their dogs away forever.)
"Reunited" by Peaches & Herb (Performed by David Hasselhoff at the Berlin Wall
leveling, this song drove entire nations back to communism!)
"Escape (The Pina Colada Song)" by Rupert Holmes (Has there ever been a more
annoying song by a more annoying singer?)
"(You're) Having My Baby" by Paul Anka and Odia Coates (How many eggs have been
fertilized to this musical monstrosity?)
"Sussudio" by Phil Collins (Suss-suss-suss-stupido!)
"You're Beautiful" by James Blount (James apparently toked waaaay too many blunts
when he wrote this sappy mess.)
"MacArthur Park" by Richard Harris was later covered in a disco version by Donna Summer
"Ice Ice Baby" by Vanilla Ice (Not only is the song terrible and terribly
pretentious, but it was plagiarized to boot.)
"I Write the Songs" by Barry Manilow (False advertising! Manilow didn't write
the song, and the real songwriter should pay us damages!)
Two things have convinced me that the modern world is beyond salvation: (1) the
election of Trump to a position I refuse to use in relation to his name, and (2)
songs like "I Write the Songs" inexplicably being purchased, much less topping
the charts. I can only conclude that the ancient prophets were correct: these
are the Last Days and we're doomed! All we have left is foxhole humor, to amuse
ourselves, until the final Trump sounds (dark pun intended). /bookmark/
The Other Worst Number One Songs of All Time
"Baby Don't Forget My Number" by Milli Vanilli (Terrible song, but at least they
have the excuse of not really singing it.)
"My Sweet Lord" by George Harrison (This love epistle to God
was plagiarized from "He's So Fine" by the Chiffons!)
"One Bad Apple" by the Osmonds (Actually, one bad number one song does create a lot of
spoilage, especially when it copies the Jackson 5.)
"Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley (Great deep, rich baritone voice,
but a dismal song.)
"Kokomo" by the Beach Boys (The group had some kickass
songs; this is not one of them.)
"Go Away Little Girl" by Steve Lawrence (Later covered by Donnie Osmond, time
did not improve this bit of daffodil fluff.)
"Love Letters in the Sand" by Pat Boone (Pat Boone personified "white soul,"
sans the soul.)
"You Light Up My Life" by Debby Boone (She was truly her father's white bread,
sugary sweet daughter. Nice sentiments, terrible song.)
"Ebony and Ivory" by Stevie Wonder and Sir Paul McCartney (More nice sentiments
by two seasoned singers who should know better.)
"I Just Called to Say I Love You" by Stevie Wonder (To quote another music
critic, "Take it to the mall!")
"I Just Can't Stop Loving You" by Michael Jackson (This terribly needy song features the
creepiest spoken intro in pop music history.)
"Batdance" by Prince (Even a genius can have a bad day, apparently.)
"One More Try" by Timmy T (The video and the singer's stage name may be even
worse than the song, if that is possible!)
"MMMBop" by Hanson (Cute kids, if you're beguiled by moppets, but a bubblegummy song.)
"Achy Breaky Heart" by Billy Ray Cyrus (Miley Cyrus's career was an unforeseeable
consequence of this catchy but ultra-corny hit.)
"Hello" by Lionel Richie (Please say "Goodbye!" and hang up the damn phone!)
"London Bridge" by Fergie (At least the "Oh Shit!" intro is on spot.)
"Billy, Don't Be a Hero" by Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods ("Billy, Don't Be a
Zero" would make more sense.)
"Honey" by Bobby Goldsboro (A forced tear-jerker with saccharine-sweet,
"Love Yourself" by Justin Bieber (If you really care absolutely
nothing about a former lover, why write them a song?)
"I Want It That Way" by the Back Street Boys (We want it the "highway" way:
"Hollaback Girl" by Gwen Stefani (A 35-year-old cheerleader making absolutely no
sense, except to Blake Shelton on a bender?)
"Disco Duck (Part 1)" by Rick Dees & his Cast of Idiots (We were very fortunate
not to have been subjected to Part 2!)
"Wild Wild West" by Will Smith (The hip-hop and cowboy genres are like oil and
water and never can mix.)
"Running Bear" by Johnny Preston (A not-so-brave
Native American is "running
bare" after "little white girls" with war whoops in the
"We Built this City" by Starship ("Marconi plays the mamba"? Really? Where, on
Mork's planet Ork?)
"Macarena" by Los Del Rio (The limp macaroni of Latino dance music!)
"Who Let the Dogs Out" by the Baha Men (Please sic the dogs on the
"Don't Worry, Be Happy" by Bobby McFerrin ("Don't Worry, Be Sappy" is more like
Terrible Lines from Otherwise Great Songwriters
Bob Dylan bottoms out with: "If dogs run free, then why not we ..."
Dylan waxes redundant in "Tin Angel" with: "He pondered the future of his
Paul Simon was not at his best in "Cars Are Cars" or his Great Wall of China
metaphor in "Something So Right."
Simon sounds pompous and silly with: "Hear my words that I might teach you"
in "Sounds of Silence."
Dan Fogelberg's "Longer" should be considerably shorter, and lighter on the
poeticisms ("forest primeval").
Jim Morrison and the Doors should have ended "The End" a lot sooner (it's eleven
Billy Joel equates the earthshaking and trivial with: "China's under martial law,
rock & roller cola wars!"
R.E.M. may have overglossed "Shiny Happy People."
Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys went plumb stark cuckoo with "Kokomo."
Hopelessly Pretentious Songs
The hands-down winner is Barry Manilow's icky and overblown "I Write the Songs."
"My Way" is a very close second
"McArthur Park" would be in the running, except that it's too ridiculous to be
"Hammer Time" by M. C. Hammer, who spawned the Frankenstein-like monsters below
"Ice Ice Baby" by Vanilla Ice, a ghastly pale Hammer clone.
"Rico Suave" by Gerardo, a slicked-up Hispanic version of Vanilla Ice.
"Will 2K" by Will Smith, the too-fresh prince extolling the coming "Will-ennium."
"Everybody have fun tonight! / Everybody Wang Chung tonight!" (I, for
one, will take a pass!).
"Crank that Soulja Boy" by Soulja Boy Tell 'Em (Well perhaps, if someone
can crank that jaw!).
"Bad" by Michael Jackson (the least "gangsta" singer on the planet).
"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
"People (Who Need People)" with lyrics by Bob Merrill tries to cheer us up with
the sunny revelation that "We're children, needing
other children / And yet letting a grown-up pride / Hide all the need inside."
So we are childish, proud, deceptive and needy. And yet "People who need people
/ are the luckiest people in the world." Well, fortunately it is better to be
lucky than good!
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
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.
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.
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 number 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
(Which, however, may make perfect sense with the nation's election of President
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
ultra-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 Bowie because the knife "cuts both ways."
However, badass Texan pioneer Jim Bowie pronounced his name "boo-ee"
(rhymes with "dewy"), while in video footage the singer clearly
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"
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!
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)." She and Big
Sean then repeat the word "ass" something like 20 times in "Dance Ass."
Other Dishonorable Mentions:
Justin Bieber for
"Baby," which repeats the word "baby" over and over like a broken
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
to insist that what you told us is true, unless you're a serial liar?)
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.
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
"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
"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
The Most Blatantly Sexist and 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
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
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 Rhymes
The Steve Miller Band wins with:
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"?
"Around The World" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers is another contender ...
Bonafide ride, step aside my johnson.
Yes I could in the woods of Wisconsin.
Pitiful Puns and Wrenching Word-Play
"I kick plenty of ass, so call me an astronaut." (Dr. Dre, "Keep Their Headz
"I've got soul but I'm not a soldier." (The Killers, "All These Things That I've
"Now you get to watch her leave out the window. / Guess that's why they call it
window pane." (Eminem, "Love the Way You Lie")
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.
"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
"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,
"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?
"Caught beneath the landslide in a champagne supernova in the sky." (Oasis,
"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, 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
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
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
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
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
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
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'
"Silly Love Songs" by Sir Paul McCartney and Wings
Abundant Redundancy: The 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
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,
Neil Sedaka chimes in with:
I'm living right next door to an angel
and she only lives a house away.
"Together we're one, separated we're two." ("Girl You Know It's True" as
not sung by Milli Vanilli)
"If the light is off, then it isn't on." ("So Yesterday" by Hillary Duff should
be re-titled "So Obvious")
"You had a bad day." (Repeated over and over and over, like a broken record, by
Daniel Powter in "Bad Day")
"The heat was hot." ("Horse with No Name" by America)
"She got a big booty so I call her Big Booty." (2 Chainz, "Birthday Song")
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."
"I'll slink in when you boys are in a French knot." (Peaches, "Two Guys For
"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
"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
"Teddy Bear" by Elvis Presley
"Go Away Little Girl" by
"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
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
Deep Is Your Love" by the Bee Gees
"Soul Sister" by Train
"Love Is Real" by
"Sex On Fire" by Kings of Leon
"Drips" by Eminem
"Horse With No
Name" by America
This City" by Starship
"Rockstar" by Nickelback
Insane Clown Posse
"Fanny Be Tender With Your Love" by the Bee Gees
Rock" by Bob Seeger
"Ballad Of A Thin Man" by Bob Dylan
"Glory Days" by Bruce
"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
"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
"Dancing in the Streets" by David Bowie and Mick Jagger
"Might as Well Get Juiced" by the Rolling Stones
"Mother" by Sting and the Police
"Staying Power" by Queen
"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 Best Singers of All Time,
The Best Singer-Songwriters,
The Best Female Singer/Songwriters,
The Best Songs of All Time,
The Best Sad Songs,
The Best Protest Songs and Poems,
The Best Love Songs,
Rock Jukebox: the Poetry of Rock,
The Best Vocal Performances of All Time,
The Worst Song Lyrics Ever,
The Most Overrated Songs of All Time,
The Best Rock Lyrics,
The Best Female Poets,
The Best Sappho Translations,
The Best Metaphors and Similes,
The Best Lines from Songs and Poems