I love a good top 10 list – I do them often with my friends. I’m probably the female-equivalent of John Cusack in High Fidelity. I recall a three-hour trip to London with my friend Jade and the entire 180 minutes was spent making top 10 lists. Top 10 people I’d like to be at my ‘end of the world’ dinner party… Top 10 people I’d like to reverse over in my car. you know, the usual!
This list however, did not come to me like the others.
As you know from reading my blog, I love singing with my guitar. I also did a Welsh and Music degree 12 years ago. Combine these two facts together and you’d think I’d like writing my own songs to sing. Unfortunately, this is not the case. I can come up with funky little hooks and melodies all day long but asking me to write song lyrics is like asking J.K. Rowling to write a rap song. It’s not where our powers lie – I’m all about the long game. Over the years I’ve loved writing stories and novels but my poetry skills are somewhat lacking. Don’t get me wrong, I can rhyme with the best of them but great song lyrics aren’t about rhyme as you know. They’re about meaning, sound, flow and how they fit in with the melody. Easy-listening for the ear and all that jazz…
Lately however, I’ve started to re-evaluate my lyric-writing. Mainly due to the fact that I’ve heard so many songs where it sounds like the writers have just typed phrases onto their iPhones and autocorrect has had a field day! This then got me thinking, what are the “Top 10 Worst Song Lyrics in the World?” It’s a question I’ve tackled in this blog. Let me know if you agree/disagree or have some new ones to add. It’s worth noting too that this ‘Top 10 Worst Song Lyrics’ is not original in the slightest – there are thousands of blogs about this subject on the net, but the list of songs is very definitely my own. I’ve tried not too be too obvious and have avoided the easily-targeted ‘gimmicky songs’ (think ‘I’ve got a Brand New Combine Harvester) – these aren’t included in my list for reasons of fairness. FYI Katy Perry, you should be grateful you’re not in this list!
10. “Human” – The Killers – These guys start the countdown at ten. They’re a great band with some fantastic lyrics and annoyingly awesome songs but I have to say, I despise this song as much as I despise spiders. Brandon Flowers is on his knees trying to find out if we are human (which we are) or ‘dancer.’ That’s all I’m saying about this as I’m getting riled up just typing about it!
“Are we human or are we dancer?
My sign is vital, my hands are cold
And I’m on my knees looking for the answer
Are we human or are we dancer?”
9. “Happy” – Pharrell Williams – OK, I LOVE this song so I feel slightly guilty about including it in my list but the first line of the chorus just cannot be forgiven. Sorry Pharrell!
“Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof.”
8. “A Neverending Dream” – Cascada – Yes, Cascada is a bit of Europoppy fun and yes, they’re a band that we all loved to dance to about ten years ago but any song that overuses the words You, Too and Do for the sake of rhyme deserves to be struck off the ‘acceptable cheesy pop list!’ I have never wanted to evacuate the dance floor faster. Exhibit A:
“A neverending dream a dream of you, I believe I received a sign of you,tonight I want to hide my feelings too, as you do and I want to be with you.”
7. “Buck Rogers” – Feeder – I loved this song growing up. I remember giving it a lot of air time on my school radio station (back in my DJ-ing days – bet you never knew I did that!) and everybody loved it. Back then at age 17, I never thought about the words and what they meant, I just loved screaming it out in the DJ booth in the School Technology block. Years later though I can’t help looking back and wondering if Devonians actually drink cider from lemons…
“We’ll start over again, grow ourselves new skin, get a house in Devon, drink cider from a lemon (lemon, lemon, lemon…)”
6. “Town Called Ugley” – Ward Thomas – This is a song I’m loathed to put in as it’s actually ridiculously catchy and hilarious to sing in the car whilst pretending you’re driving through a little town in America with your best girl-mate, Thelma. That and the fact I actually like Ward Thomas. That being said, there are are a couple of lines in this song that are just unforgivable and shoots it straight in at number six on my list.
“Swerved more than a couple times for a black alpaca, delayed in every kind of way so time was a factor, only made worse by a broken down tractor…”
5. “Whenever, Wherever”/“SheWolf”– Shakira – I’ve loved singing along and dancing to the lovely Shakira since her intriguing voice and weird ‘bendiness’ burst onto the scene in 2001, but whether it’s bad translation or what, some lyrics one just can’t forgive. I’ve cheekily slotted in two separate Shakira songs here (think of it as 5a and 5b if you will).
“Lucky that my breasts are small and humble so you don’t confuse them with mountains.” – Whenever, Wherever
“Starting to feel just a little abused like a coffee machine in an office.” – SheWolf
4. “MacArthur Park – Donna Summer – Singing about a cake left out in the rain? I once left a tube of half-eaten Pringles in my car boot for two years. Not really inclined to write a song about it though!
“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
3. “Annie I’m Not Your daddy – Kid Creole and the Coconuts – I love the start of this song because it mentions my favourite place in the world, St. Tropez. However the song quickly goes downhill – talk about harsh!
“Oh Annie, I’m not your daddy
Mama’s baby’s, papa’s baby
See if I was in your blood
Then you wouldn’t be so ugly.”
2. “Every Picture Tells a Story” – Rod Stewart – This song came out 12 years before I was born and the seventies wasn’t really famous for being politically correct, however that’s no excuse for these lyrics. Epic fail Rod, epic fail.
“On the Peking ferry I was feeling merry
sailing on my way back here
I fell in love with a slit eyed lady
by the light of an eastern moon
Shangai Lil never used the pill
She claimed that it just ain’t natural
She took me up on deck and bit my neck
Oh people I was glad I found her
Oh yeah I was glad I found her”
- “Life” – Des’ree – Surely you guessed this song would feature in this list? This song sparked a 20-minute rant from my friend Layla and I. There are possibly too many lyrics in this song which annoy me for me to list here so perhaps I’ll stick to the first two verses and the chorus.
“I’m afraid of the dark
Especially 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 doo doo”
After thinking long and hard about this list, It’s made me realise that I shouldn’t be so nervous about writing lyrics and being judged by others. Surely there is NO WAY on this Earth I can outdo these ten beauts?
Right, CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!