December 28, 2013

"The 17 most jaw-droppingly terrible lyrics of 2013."

This stuff is so bad I don't know how the author (a writer at Salon) could be troubled to listen through it to find these items in the first place. Or do the tunes just jump off the radio or the internet and accost you until you pay attention and hate them?

Speaking of attacks against one's will, the worst lyric seems to be: "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."

52 comments:

Alex said...

By contrast here is Steven Wilson's Luminol:

Here we all are
Born into a struggle
To come so far
But end up returning to dust

Oxfam panache tips his hat
(Laces undone)
He has no truck with idle chat
(Work to be done)
The songs he learned from scratched LP's
Stops in mid-flow to sip his tea

He strums the chords with less than grace
(Songs we all know)
Each passing year etched on his face
(Sun, rain or snow)
The words he sings are not his own
They speak of things he'll never know

Alex said...

Or this lyric:

Could you imagine the final sound as a gun
Or the smashing windscreen of a car?
Did you ever imagine the last thing you'd hear as you're fading out
Was a song?

Alex said...

Whatever happened to quality:

Beatles, Eleanor Rigby:

Ah, look at all the lonely people
Ah, look at all the lonely people

Eleanor Rigby, picks up the rice
In the church where a wedding has been
Lives in a dream

Waits at the window, wearing the face
That she keeps in a jar by the door
Who is it for?

All the lonely people
Where do they all come from?
All the lonely people
Where do they all belong?

Father McKenzie, writing the words
of a sermon that no one will hear
No one comes near

Look at him working, darning his socks
In the night when there's nobody there
What does he care?

All the lonely people
Where do they all come from?
All the lonely people
Where do they all belong?

Ah, look at all the lonely people
Ah, look at all the lonely people

Eleanor Rigby, died in the church
And was buried along with her name
Nobody came

Father McKenzie, wiping the dirt
From his hands as he walks from the grave
No one was saved

All the lonely people
(Ah, look at all the lonely people)
Where do they all come from?
All the lonely people
(Ah, look at all the lonely people)
Where do they all belong?



Read more: Beatles - Eleanor Rigby Lyrics | MetroLyrics

betamax3000 said...

"He lit Daisy’s cigarette from a trembling match, and sat down with her on a couch far across the room where there was no light save what the gleaming floor bounced in from the hall. Then Gatsby put Daisy all in her champagne, She ain’t even know it. Gatsby took her home and enjoyed that: She ain’t even know it."

betamax3000 said...

"Her face, above a spotted dress of dark blue crêpe-de-chine, contained no facet or gleam of beauty, but there was an immediately perceptible vitality about her as if the nerves of her body were continually smouldering. He Then 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."

betamax3000 said...

"He went out of the room calling 'Ewing!' and returned in a few minutes accompanied by an embarrassed, slightly worn young man, with shell-rimmed glasses and scanty blond hair. He Then Put Ewing all in his champagne/ He ain’t even know it/ He took Him home and He enjoyed that/ Ewing ain’t even know it."

betamax3000 said...

"A tray of cocktails floated at us through the twilight, and we sat down at a table with the two girls in yellow and three men, each one introduced to us as Mr. Mumble. Mr. Mumble then Put Molly all in her champagne/She ain’t even know it/ Mr. Mumble took her home and He enjoyed that/She ain’t even know it."

betamax3000 said...

Context.

America's Politico said...

I think the biggest issue for 2013 is the treatment of women in India.

Here is the issue:

Indian diplomats treating women badly in the US, see http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/28/world/asia/india-consular-employee-retaliation.html

Indian women are not safe in India on Christmas, see
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-25527401

Just canceled plans to visit India from Nepal in Feb.

Tari said...

My 13 year old frequently listens to a song that has as a part of the chorus, "my songs know what you did in the dark". I think that wins. Especially when repeated until your mother's head explodes.

madAsHell said...

There was only 17??
They must have excluded Kanye West.

subduedchick said...

Molly refers to a drug, so I believe the question of will is rather moot.

Bob Ellison said...

Those lyrics don't all seem so bad. The author starts right off with PC jab at "Accidental Racist". There's a real historical reference here that's kind of interesting, but the author seems unaware of it.

"Is Katy Perry aware that rainbows don’t have eyes?"

Is the author of the essay aware that not every allusion needs literal interpretation? Or is the author reaching for sophomoric irony?

I stopped reading after that one.

CWJ said...

Bob Ellison,

it pretty much continues on the same from there.

Both lyrics and commentary wre pretty bad.

Scott said...

Nico Lang uses marginally dumb song lyrics as an emetic for puking a thousand words of humorless snark. It's very Salon. And it makes him look dumber than the songwriters he puts down.

These artists are pikers. Nobody will ever top Steve Miller for dumb lyrics.

Well I've been lookin' real hard
And I'm tryin' to find a job
But it just keeps gettin' tougher every day
But I got to do my part cause I know in my heart
I got to please my sweet baby, yeah

Well, I ain't superstitious
And I don't get suspicious
But my woman is a friend of mine
And I know that it's true that all the things that I do
Will come back to me in my sweet time

So keep on rock'n me baby
Keep on a rock'n me baby
Keep on a rock'n me baby
Keep on a rock'n me baby

I went from Phoenix, Arizona
All the way to Tacoma
Philadelphia, Atlanta, L.A.
Northern California where the girls are warm
So I could be with my sweet baby, yeah

Keep on a rock'n me baby
Keep on a rock'n me baby
Keep on a rock'n me baby
Keep on a rock'n me baby
Baby, baby, baby
Keep on rock'n
Rock'n me baby
Keep on a rock'n
Rock'n me baby


... etc.

William said...

Song lyrics are best when they include open vowels and obvious or,at least, evocative meanings. Song lyrics are not poetry, but neither are they graffiti........Robertson got criticized for accepting the happy black faces at face value. But if the blues are sincere and were motivated by racism, who's to say that the joy in spirituals is not also sincere and motivated by religious faith.........I'm not that knowledgable about rap lyrics, but are kids really that pissed off about life......Once upon a time black people put on smiling, happy faces when they performed for white folks. Nowadays blacks have learned that horniness and a scowling face are the way to go.

Scott said...

Black. It's more than just a race. It's a franchise.

Scott said...

I was talking with my unregistered domestic partner of six years (a Black rapper and seller of Verizon cellphones) about how pretentious the lyrics to Jimmy Webb's "MacArthur Park" were. He defended Webb saying that the lyrics were an impressionistic pastiche. Or something.

I still think Webb had some kind of childhood trauma he was trying to work out.

"Jimmy! You naughty boy! You left the cake out in the rain!"

EDH said...

Jailbreak, by Thin Lizzy

Searchlight on my trail
Tonight's the night all systems fail
Hey you, good lookin' female,
Come here!

Tonight there's gonna be a jailbreak
Somewhere in the town
Tonight there's gonna be a jailbreak
So don't you be around

Tonight there's gonna be trouble
I'm gonna find myself in
Tonight there's gonna be trouble
So woman stay with a friend


Jailbreak? Somewhere in the town? Maybe, I dunno, the jail?

And does he want the "good lookin' female" to come along or stay?

Scott said...

EDH: LOL

William said...

I think the best lyricist ever was Lorenz Hart. Only alcoholic, homosexual midgets can truly understand the tragedy and fatuity in one's pursuit of love.

Bob Ellison said...

Well, if we're talking bad lyrics of all time, we must at least consider "Lay, Lady, Lay" by Bob Dylan. He's a genius, so I prefer to assume that he knew better and decided to go that way. It sounds better his way, too. "Lie, Lady, Lie" would suck as a lyric.

Schmoetic license.

Bob Ellison said...

I think I'm repeating myself here, but Dylan may have been speaking about a hen named Lady. Then his lyrics would make sense, although it wouldn't make much sense to encourage her to lay across his big, brass bed, given that hens lay eggs out their poopers, so the eggs are usually schmeared with brown stuff.

Bob R said...

Scott - Steve Miller put himself beyond criticism when he wrote:

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

mccullough said...

"Suckin' on a chili dog outside the Tastee Freeze" is one of the best bad lyrics of all time. I like a lot of Mellencamp's stuff but this image is so anti-erotic that it ruins young love. But maybe chili dogs are the ultimate aphrodisiac. Anyway, this is the worst lyric that has stuck in my head over the years

Scott said...

@Bob R: Touche. I had NO IDEA what "pompatus" meant, so I looked it up on Wikipedia. And I still have no idea.

@William: Lyricists and economists. (I couldn't remember Robert Reich's name, so I did a search on Bing for "midget economists" and *bam* there he was.)

One of Paul Simon's biggest regrets was writing "feelin' groovy" as the hook for "The 59th St Bridge Song". It made a really good song feel silly and dated.

mccullough said...

"I've had enough of the falseness
Of a worn out relation
Enough of the jealousy
And the intoleration."

Somehow intoleration never caught on as a word

Scott said...

Damn. Somebody already reserved pompatus.com

Scott said...

Suckin' on a chili dog across my big brass bed...

Ruffy Beth Plush said...

I think the forced commentary was more painful than any of those lyrics.

John Lynch said...

Someone got paid to complain about pop music.

Revenant said...

I kind of liked the "now I'm a mile away and I've got your shoes" line, although I haven't heard the actual song. Maybe it is worse in context.

FullMoon said...

A representative of the Gay community?"Nico Lang is a contributor at the L.A. Times, Huffington Post and Thought Catalog as well as the co-editor of BOYS, an anthology series featuring the stories of gay, queer and trans* men. Lang's debut novel, "The Young People Who Traverse Dimensions While Wearing Sunglasses," was released earlier this year. "

Mountain Maven said...

I'm in my post-music phase, although I break out my Ipod to rock the oldies now and then. Photography and Skiing are my art things these days.

Ray Stickler said...

Don't forget "A Horse With No Name" by America :

You see Ive been through the desert on a horse with no name
It felt good to be out of the rain
In the desert you can remember your name
Cause there aint no one for to give you no pain

TA said...

Also lame were the author's comments, making sure we understand what's wrong with the lyrics

john said...

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion, too.


It has been mathematically proven impossible to configure English letters in such a way as to make a worse lyric.

Bob R said...

I think I heard the "walk a mile in a man's shoes" joke five years ago in Deep Thoughts or a similar site. It was worth a chuckle at the time. Don't see it working in a song.

virgil xenophon said...

I always thought "pompatus of love" came into being because it was simply really the slurred lyrics of "properties of love." Listen closely, it's easy to see how this came about. Sort of like how Iron Butterfly's "Inna-Godda-da-vida" lyric came into being, it being a drug induced slurring of "In the Garden of Eden."

virgil xenophon said...

PS: It's like the 1982 song by Men Without Hats entitled "Safety Dance." If one listens to the lyrics closely, the lyrics actually are: "It's Safe to Dance," but the British pronunciation slurs it all into one word.

Skeptical Voter said...

These folks don't listen to enough country stuff. There are some great lyrics in country music and some real downright awful stuff.

A couple of my favorites: "We don't need a refrigerator in our house, we just put the six pack next to my baby's cold cold heart."


Or you could go with maybe another Steve Miller (?) lyric for David Allan Coe---

Well I was drunk the night my Mom got out of prison.
Before I could get to the station in my pickup truck, she got runned over by a damned old train.


There you have it; drinking, prison, Mom, trucks and trains--the perfect country lyric.

Skeptical Voter said...

These folks don't listen to enough country stuff. There are some great lyrics in country music and some real downright awful stuff.

A couple of my favorites: "We don't need a refrigerator in our house, we just put the six pack next to my baby's cold cold heart."


Or you could go with maybe another Steve Miller (?) lyric for David Allan Coe---

Well I was drunk the night my Mom got out of prison.
Before I could get to the station in my pickup truck, she got runned over by a damned old train.


There you have it; drinking, prison, Mom, trucks and trains--the perfect country lyric.

virgil xenophon said...

@Skeptical voter/

One of my favorites is : "Ah KNOW whut I was feeling, but WHUT was I thinkin' ?" LOL---been there, done that!

virgil xenophon said...

And then there's always: "Get your clothes out of the closet, your feet from under the table, and your tongue out of my mouth, 'cause I'm kissin' you good-by!" LOL!!!

Ray Stickler said...

If we're going Country, let's not forget the lyrics to the song sung by John Denver (yes, THAT John Denver) -


You dun stomped on my heart.
And you mashed that sucker flat.
You just sortta stomped on my aorta.

St. George said...

The girls today in society go for classical poetry.

So to win their hearts one must quote with ease Aeschlyus and Euripedes.

"Brush Up Your Shakespeare" by Cole Porter from his play "Kiss Me Kate." Here's the song from the 1950s movie of that name.

And if you don't like it, you need a kick in the Corio...

William said...

The trouble with most forgettable lyrics is that you forget them. MacArthur Park remains the most quoted and memorable bad song of all time. I'm still not sure if it wasn't some kind of clever parody of an overwrought love ballad.

Alex said...

Is it a miracle that The Beatles wrote so many memorable & GOOD songs?

Robert Cook said...

"'Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion, too.'


"It has been mathematically proven impossible to configure English letters in such a way as to make a worse lyric."


Wrong.

Your objections to a lyric imagining a world in which we recognize our common humanity and no longer make war do not mean the lyrics are bad lyrics.

Christy said...

Anyone catch the Garth Brooks special on TV last night? All about his musical influences. It was a tour de force of performances of songs from the 60s on and he had a lot of fun with meaningless lyrics.

mccullough said...

It's certainly easier to pick on bad lyrics than to identify what you like because people might think you have bad taste. If I had to pick, I'd say Joni Mitchell has my favorite lyrics of any popular singer.

St. George said...

I went to Staten Island, Sharon
To buy myself a mandolin
And I saw the long white dress of love
On a storefront mannequin
Big boat chuggin' back with a belly full of cars
All for something lacy
Some girl's going to see that dress
And crave that day like crazy.

"Song for Sharon" Joni Mitchell