The Worst Lyrics

A post in another thread got me thinking about the band Men Without Hats and how absolutely awful their lyrics are. This is how they began one of their songs. Yes, it was meant to be serious:

They got the red book, they got the new look
All the little people that are living in China
They got the answers to all the questions
All the little people that are living in China

So let’s all post some terrible lyrics we’ve heard. I’m sure we all have examples.

Here’s another, from Rush’s Roll the Bones:

Jack, relax
Get busy with the facts
No zodiacs or almanacs
No maniacs in polyester slacks
Just the facts
Gonna kick some gluteus max
It’s a parallax, you dig?
You move around
The small gets big, it’s a rig
It’s action, reaction
Random interaction
So who’s afraid
Of a little abstraction?
Can’t get no satisfaction
From the facts?
You better run, homeboy
A fact’s a fact
From Nome to Rome, boy

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Genesis:

Got out of bed, wasnt feeling too good
With my wallet and my passport, a new pair of shoes
The sun is shining so I head for the park,
With a bottle of tequila, and a new pack of cigarettes

I got a cousin and she got a friend,
Who thought that her aunt knew a man who could help
At his apartment I knocked on the door,
He wouldnt come out until he got paid.
Now dont tell anybody what I wanna do
If they find out you know that theyll never let me through, cos

Its no fun being an illegal alien, no
Its no fun being an illegal alien

Down at the office had to fill out the forms
A pink one, a red one, the colours you choose,
Up to the counter to see what they think
They said it doesnt count man, it aint written in ink.
I dont trust anybody, least not around here, cos

Its no fun being an illegal alien, I tell ya
Its no fun being an illegal alien, no no no no no
Its no fun being an illegal alien, I mean it when I tell ya that
Its no fun being an illegal alien,
An illegal alien, o.k.

Consideration for your fellow man
Would not hurt anybody, it sure fits in with my plan
Over the border, there lies the promised land
Where everything comes easy, you just hold out your hand

Keep your suspicions, Ive seen that look before
But I aint done nothing wrong now, is that such a suprise
But Ive got a sister whod be willing to oblige
She will do anything now to help me get to the outside

So dont tell anybody what I wanna do
If they find out you know that theyll never let me through, because

Its no fun being an illegal alien, I tell ya
Its no fun being an illegal alien, and its getting me down
Its no fun being an illegal alien, no no no no no
Its no fun being an illegal alien, yeah yeah yeah

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Some very cringeworthy lyrics from Genesis considering where the world is today-

From Land of Confusion:

I won’t be coming home tonight
My generation will put it right
We’re not just making promises
That we know we’ll never keep

Every time I hear it, I think, “yes you are.”

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I submit, “I’ve Been to Paradise, But I’ve Never Been to Me.” There are so many dreadful lines in this song, but here’s a gem that has always stuck with me like bad Mexican food:

I’ve been undressed by kings
And I’ve seen some things that a woman ain’t s’posed to see
I’ve been to paradise but I’ve never been to me…

Like what? The secret man hand shake?

3 Likes

This one has bothered me for a long time:

U2 wrote a fairly ok song called Stuck in a Moment…:

I’m not afraid
Of anything in this world
There’s nothing you can throw at me
That I haven’t already heard
I’m just trying to find
A decent melody
A song that I can sing
In my own company
I never thought you were a fool
But darling, look at you (Ooh)
You gotta stand up straight, carry your own weight
These tears are going nowhere baby
You’ve got to get yourself together
You’ve got stuck in a moment

But, then they couldn’t think of anything good for the next line, so they flung this stinker:

And now you can’t get out of it

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I give you the only time Midnight Oil wrote a love song. It’s not especially bad - I in fact give them credit for using ‘reciprocating’ in describing the relationship. But just the mental image of Peter Garrett singing this gives me pause. So here is Head Over Heels:

I’m head over heels
You know how it feels to be in love
I’m head over heels
Holding back the chills in love
I think I like the sound we’re chasing
I’m giving it all and you’re reciprocating

I’m head over heels
Turning back the wheels of love
We’re stealing the show
You’re stealing my money and love
You’re all the same you part-time lovers
When it starts to rain
You’re hiding under the covers

It just don’t add up
This summer fever
She turns the truth
And I don’t believe her
Stories flying, love is dying
In the end I can’t understand her lying

Head over heels in love
I’m head over heels in love
Head over heels in love
Head over heels in love…

I think I like the sound we’re chasing….

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I love Lou Reed, but the song Caroline Says I has the line “Just like poison in a vial, she was often very vile.” Terrible, Lou. Terrible.

Similarly, “Love Me, I’m a Liberal” by Phil Ochs is a great song. But it opens with “I cried when they shot Medgar Evers, tears ran down my spine.”

Tears ran down your spine? How does that work? “A shiver ran down my spine” would have been a bit less tortured.

For a song I don’t like, there’s Fly Away by Lenny Kravitz. My big issue is it’s about 30 seconds of music repeated over and over to become a song. But the lyrics? Woof.

I wish that I could fly
Into the sky
So very high
Just like a dragonfly

Congratulations on essentially rhyming “fly” with “fly.”

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Medgar Evers was killed by being shot in the back, so I imagine Ochs was using his tears as a metaphor for Evers’ blood.

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Roll the Bones was my intro to Rush at age 11 on MTV. Rush are my favorite classic rock band since I got into them in Summer 2008 but they’ve had some duds like Tai Shan. This one is where Neil Peart acts like the Buscemi 30 Rock meme in regards to the world wide web in 1996.

Virtuality

Like a shipwrecked mariner adrift on an unknown sea
Clinging to the wreckage of the lost ship ‘Fantasy’

I’m a castaway, stranded in a desolate land
I can see the footprints in the virtual sand

Net boy, net girl
Send your signal 'round the world
Let your fingers walk and talk
And set you free

Net boy, net girl
Send your impulse 'round the world
Put your message in a modem (put your message in a modem)
And throw it in the Cyber Sea (and throw it in the Cyber Sea)

Astronauts in the weightlessness of pixelated space
Exchange graffiti with a disembodied race

I can save the universe in a grain of sand
I can hold the future in my virtual hand

Net boy, net girl
Send your signal 'round the world
Let your fingers walk and talk
And set you free

Net boy, net girl
Send your impulse 'round the world
Put your message in a modem (put your message in a modem)
And throw it in the Cyber Sea (and throw it in the Cyber Sea)

Let’s dance tonight
To a virtual song
Press this key
And you can play along

Let’s fly tonight
On our virtual wings
Press this key
To see amazing things
To see amazing things

Like a pair of vagabonds who wave between two passing trains
Or the glimpse of a woman’s smile through a window in the rain
I can smell her perfume, I can taste her lips
I can feel the voltage from her fingertips

Net boy, net girl
Send your heartbeat 'round the world
Let your fingers walk and talk
And set you free

Net boy, net girl
Send your impulse 'round the world
Put your message in a modem
And throw it in the Cyber Sea

Put your message in a modem (put your message in a modem)
And throw it in the Cyber Sea (and throw it in the Cyber Sea)

3 Likes

“Take your baby by the ears
And play upon her darkest fears.”
–Wang Chung, Dance Hall Days

“And 'cause never was the reason for the evening
Or the tropic of Sir Galahad.”
–America, Tin Man

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I Gotta Feeling by the Black Eyed Peas was a song so stupid that it inspired an entire Cracked video, and this was back when Cracked was a website worth going to.

Fill up my cup, mazel tov
Look at her dancin’, just take it, off
Let’s paint the town, we’ll shut it down
Let’s burn the roof, and then we’ll do it again

Truly, pure poetry right there.

And then, of course, there’s Miracles by the Insane Clown Posse, which I will not share the lyrics as this is a family friendly board and good heavens, there’s a lot of cuss words in that one.

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Hmmm, I was hoping to Wang Chung tonight

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Magnets - how do they work?

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Yeah, ooh, Virtuality is not good at all. Not “Tai Shan” bad–but then, nothing short of getting a carpet tack through the kneecap is that bad.

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A lyric that is so bad it actually transcends to being excellent comes from “Being With You” by Smokey Robinson:

One thing I know for sure is really really real

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Can I suggest from Sugababes, “In the Middle”:

I’m caught up in the middle,
Jumping through the riddle,
I’m falling just a little tonight

That second line makes zero sense.

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

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Just a sample from the masterpiece of lyrical terribleness that is Life by Des’ree

I’m afraid of the dark
'Specially when I’m in a park
And there’s no one else around
Ooh, I get the shivers
I don’t want to see a ghost
It’s a sight that I fear most
I’d rather have a piece of toast
And watch the evening news

Life, oh life, oh life, oh life
Doo doo doo doo
Life, oh life, oh life, oh life
Doo doo do

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I mean, I feel so obvious picking on Nickelback and those suspected of being Nickelback, but honestly, this:

Blockquote
A world full of killing
And blood spilling
That world never came

Is just. . .not good.

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I did Rush’s rap before, so it’s time for Blondie’s even worse rap from Rapture:

Fab Five Freddy told me everybody’s fly
DJ spinnin’ I said, “My my”
Flash is fast, Flash is cool
François c’est pas, Flash ain’t no dude
And you don’t stop, sure shot
Go out to the parking lot
And you get in your car and drive real far
And you drive all night and then you see a light
And it comes right down and it lands on the ground
And out comes a man from Mars
And you try to run but he’s got a gun
And he shoots you dead and he eats your head
And then you’re in the man from Mars
You go out at night eatin’ cars
You eat Cadillacs, Lincolns too
Mercurys and Subaru
And you don’t stop, you keep on eatin’ cars
Then, when there’s no more cars you go out at night
And eat up bars where the people meet
Face to face, dance cheek to cheek
One to one, man to man
Dance toe to toe, don’t move too slow
‘Cause the man from Mars is through with cars
He’s eatin’ bars, yeah wall to wall
Door to door, hall to hall
He’s gonna eat ‘em all
Rapture, be pure
Take a tour through the sewer
Don’t strain your brain, paint a train
You’ll be singin’ in the rain
Said don’t stop to punk rock

Well now you see what you wanna be
Just have your party on TV
‘Cause the man from Mars won’t eat up bars where the TV’s on
Now he’s gone back up to space
Where he won’t have a hassle with the human race
And you hip-hop, and you don’t stop
Just blast off, sure shot
‘Cause the man from Mars stopped eatin’ cars and eatin’ bars
And now he only eats guitars, get up

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