Everyone has their own tastes in music, but I think we can all agree that there are some songs which fall a little short in the lyric department. A great song needs to have lyrics, but there are some songs out there that would definitely be better off without them! Most of the time we don’t give our full attention to the music that we have on, which makes it easy for writers to get by with minimal effort. Well no more! We’re going to put some popular songs on blast, and expose their shoddy lyric writing for what it really is: crap!
There have been some pretty horrible song lyrics over the years, but which ones deserve to be called the worst of all? We’ve listened to numerous albums in order to bring you the best of the worst; most musicians don’t even write their own lyrics these days, but if this list is any indication of their actual writing abilities, then I think we should all feel a bit grateful for that. Brace yourselves, because it’s about to be a bumpy ride: here are the top 10 song lyrics that should have never made it on the radio!
#10 – Give my Everything (Pitbull)
Perhaps it’s my fault for expecting decent lyrics from a guy that’s named after a dog breed, but even Pitbull fans should be a little let down with this one. As we explore the opening song lyrics for “Give Me Everything,” let’s try and play a game called “name the company who happens sponsors this artist.” Ready? “Me not working hard, yeah picture that with a Kodak. Better yet, go to Times Square… take a picture of me with a Kodak.” I know, right? I don’t have any ideas either.
I mean I can’t blame an artist for trying to double down on that sweet sweet product placement money, but did he seriously have to rhyme Kodak with Kodak?! I still can’t figure out what Armando Perez was trying to accomplish with these lyrics. I get this dirty sinking feeling in my stomach when I think about how clever he must have felt after writing those lines; he was probably patting himself on the back like “Pitbull you’ve done it again.” If I was his producer I would have started swatting him with a newspaper: Bad Pitbull, bad!
#9 – You’re So Vain (Carly Simon)
If you’re running short on song writing materials then have no fear: you can always just write a song about one of your exes, at least that’s what Carly Simon did. Simon’s hit song “You’re So Vain” was meant to be the ultimate “F.U.” anthem for the time after those nasty break ups, but upon closer inspection of the rest of the song the chorus just doesn’t make any sense; it seems like the chorus was written first, and she struggled to write the rest of the song.
The chorus of “You’re So Vain” is loud and proud: “you’re so vain, you probably think this song is about you, you’re so vain, I’ll bet you think this song is about you. Don’t You? Don’t you?” And Carly Simon’s point might make total sense, if only the rest of her song didn’t describe the person in unmistakable detail: how many men with apricot scarves have dated her? The mystery man who has earned the scornful eye of Carly Simon also happens to gavotte, moved to Saratoga, won a horse race, owns a Lear jet, went to Nova Scotia, and dated the wife of a close friend? Does that just sound like all of your old relationships or what? It practically describes everyone!
#8 – Invisible (Clay Aiken)
Clay Aiken may be an incredibly talented singer, but one thing he is not is the smartest man alive. According to Aiken, however, he would in fact be the smartest man… if only he were invisible; fail to see the connection? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. The premise of “Invisible” is simple enough: if we could magically make ourselves disappear, then we could spy on the people we were in love with… you know, to see what they were up to and find out all of their most personal secrets… because we love them.
But the lyrics of Invisible aren’t stupid because it’s creepy to stalk your dates: it’s stupid because of the last three lines of the chorus which bellow out “I would be the smartest man, if I was invisible, (Wait… I already am). If Clay Aiken is so smart because he turned invisible (a cause and effect relationship I still haven’t pieced together yet) then why did it take you so long to, in fact, realize that you were invisible? And if the delayed realization wasn’t bad enough, he also apparently suffers from amnesia, since he makes the discovery two more times throughout the course of the song.
#7 – Summer Girls (LFO)
Who doesn’t have a bunch of fond memories from their younger years in the summertime? Apparently Rich Cronin had a summer experience that was memorable enough to write a song about, but he might have included a few unnecessary details. The chorus of “Summer Girls” opens with sensible a line that tells us how long ago this story takes place… “New Kids On The Block, had a bunch of hits,” but it’s immediately followed by a line of absolute genius: “Chinese food makes me sick.” Bravo, LFO, bravo.
I should make a song that is littered with unrelated (yet true) facts about myself and see how well it sells; I could tell you all about my fear of the water, love of garlic bread, and a crush that I had back in junior high. As if the chorus wasn’t bad enough, “Summer Girls” is loaded with these brilliant revelations: “I like Kevin Bacon, but I hate “Footloose,”’ “Billy Shakespeare wrote a whole bunch of Sonnets,” and “The great Larry Bird Jersey 33.” When asked about his questionable song lyrics, Rich said that he wrote the lyrics in his parent’s basement as an inside joke and never thought the song would be released, but I could have told you that the first time I heard it.
#6 – Life (Des’Ree)
I’ll admit that I happen to like Des’Ree’s song, “Life,” but that doesn’t stop me from taking songs way too seriously, and placing their lyrics under a microscope for dissection. I don’t know where Des’Ree learned to write songs, but I’d wager that it was in the same place as LFO, since they both seem to share a knack for sharing useless details; “Life’s” genius lyrics need no explanation: “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.”
You know what? I can’t disagree, Des’Ree. I too would like to avoid ghosts at all costs, and (if given the choice for some odd reason) would also rather eat toast and watch the news, but I simply never felt compelled to write a song about it. Is there anyone in the world who doesn’t feel like this? Is there anyone who would rather face a ghost head on? Are we the Scooby Doo gang? Des’Ree later informs us that she “never walks under ladders” because she’s superstitious, but also claims that she’ll accept any dare you give her… I think I might see an easy way to win that bet.
#5 – I Gotta Feeling (The Black Eyed Peas)
Ask somebody what the worst song to ever be written is and they’ll probably tell you “Friday,” by Rebecca Black, but at least she got the days of the week right; The Black Eyed Peas have produced some incredibly catchy tunes, but it seems they still struggle with that simple task: in their song “I Gotta Feeling” they chant off the days of the week: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Saturday to Sunday. No wonder those guys have so much time to make music: they have an extra day to get stuff done!
“I Gotta Feeling” is a rad party song, that’s for sure, but it’s full of some absolutely horrendous advice: spend all of your money partying, burn the roof of the building that you’re dancing in, get drunk, and smash everything in the room; I promise you that doing those things won’t release any stress, it’s just going to create a whole bunch more stress for you in the morning. The Blacked Eyed Peas might also be the kings of peer pressure, since they yell at you to “do it” with them literally 33 times over the course of the song. No means no… I have finals!
#4 – Blurred Lines (Robin Thicke)
“Blurred Lines” was one of the biggest songs of 2013, but beyond its addicting rhythm, Robin Thicke is simply not a good lyricist. Exactly how bad is Robin Thicke’s song writing ability? It’s pretty bad. His writing is bad enough that when he can’t think of a good line to rhyme with “you wanna hug me,” he literally includes the line “what rhymes with hug me?” When most artists can’t think of a good lyric they call it writer’s block, but when Robin Thicke can’t think of a good lyric he just calls it writing.
“Blurred Lines’ was the center of some rather spicy controversy when it released, due to its suggestive and (some would say) sexually aggressive lyrics, which had activist groups claiming that the artist condoned the view that it was ok for men to push themselves onto unsure or hesitant women because they secretly “want it.” Thicke claimed that his intentions with blurred lines was to illustrate that it wasn’t easy to understand what people truly want sexually, and that the ambiguous nature of how we express ourselves results in “blurred lines,” but personally I’ve never had a hard time determining when someone doesn’t want to sleep with me. Keep it up, Robin, and you might have to change the lyrics to “you wanna arrest me, what rhymes with arrest me?”
#3 – Love Story (Taylor Swift)
Young artists certainly love their literary metaphors, but you probably shouldn’t be using them if you have never actually read the story. Taylor Swift’s “Love Story” makes it abundantly clear that Taylor should spend a little less time writing and a little more time reading. “Love Story” is all about (surprise surprise) her romantic escapades with an attractive gentleman, who lifts her off her feet, takes her away, and eventually marries her (with her father’s wishes). So what’s the problem? Swift is comparing herself to Juliet, and her new love interest to Romeo.
I don’t mean to bust your bubble, T. Swift, but Romeo and Juliet died horribly, Juliet’s father wanted her to marry Paris, and the two never got a happy ending. In fact, if you asked me what story I would want to base my relationship on the least? I would probably pick “Romeo and Juliet.” Taylor wasn’t satisfied with messing up one story, so she also had to also call herself a “Scarlet Letter” in the song, which forces me to conclude that she simply doesn’t know what a Scarlet Letter is, other than a book that her target demographic has to read in school.
#2 – Fergalicious (Fergie)
Fergie has made a bunch of hit songs in her time, but it’s a good thing that her friend “will.i.am.” became a musical artist rather than an English teacher; in her hit song “Fergalicious,” he (unironically) tries to compliment his lovely companion by exclaiming: “T to the A, to the S T E Y – girl you’re tastey, T to the A to the S T E Y – girl, you’re tastey.” That’s certainly an odd way to spell tasty, “will.i.am,” I think you might need a “B to the O to the O K.”
Fergie said in an interview that she was completely aware of the misspelling within her song, but that it simply sounded better with the extra letter added, to which I would respond… so what? There are a lot of words that would sound better if you just start throwing letters around all willy nilly, but the challenge of a song writer is to create lyrics that sound good despite that limitation; call me a cynic if you like, but anyone can write a song if they just start making up words, heck even Snoop Dogg agrees with me… fo shizzle ma nizzle.
#1 – Miracles (Insane Clown Posse)
The fact that Insane Clown Posse is still together after all these years is a miracle in and of itself. I am flat out embarrassed by the lyrics of “miracles,” and rather than talk about the song any longer, let me give you some examples of things that the Insane Clown Posse consider to be “miracles” and “magic:” oceans, stars, the sky, mountains, trees, anything “chilling” underwater, snow, lava, rain, fog, cats, dogs, giraffes, childbirth, the sun, the moon, mars, the milky way, stars (again), UFOs, seeds, the pyramids, rainbows, fire, air, dirt, butterflies, and music. You might be thinking that most of these things don’t seem like magical at all, and to that these singer songwriters would say… shut up.
“Miracles” also features an irrelevant story about a pelican trying to eat Violent J’s cell phone, a genuine inquiry into how magnets work, and the assertion that scientists anger them because they lie. Music is magic because “you can’t even hold it,” and despite the fact that we can see sound waves, you apparently can’t see it either. If you don’t already hate this song (and I truly cannot understand why you wouldn’t), “Miracles” finishes off with an advertising pitch about a “music” event that the artists hold every year…if you can even call it that.