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20 Worst Lyrics

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[From playonlyrics.com]

Back in the day, one time Tonight Show host and hack musician Steve Allen used to read out lyrics from popular songs just to make fun of young musicians. That used to bug us. Taking lyrics out of context can be a distasteful and irrelevant exercise by the smug and untalented. After all, “The Doo Ron Ron†is a great song about nothing.

But, sometimes lyrics are just so bad you just have to stop and ask the question “what were they on when they wrote that?â€

So here is PlayOnLyric’s look at 20 particularly banal, pretentious or weird lyrics.

20. John Mayer, “Something’s Missingâ€

Friends. Check

Money. Check

Well-slept. Check

Opposite sex. Check

Guitar. Check

Microphone. Check

Messages waiting for me

When I get home. Check

How come everything I think I need

Always comes with batteries?

What do you think it means?

We don’t know John, what does it really mean? You use a vibrator?

19. Black Eyed Peas, “My Humpsâ€

My hump, my hump, my hump, my hump, my hump,

My hump, my hump, my hump, my lovely lady lumps.

Fergie: setting back feminism 50 years. And it isn’t even sexy in a trashy, slutty kinda way.

18. Bruce Springsteen, “Glory Daysâ€

He could throw that speed ball by you

make you look like a fool

The Boss is a great lyric writer and we feel bad for even bringing this up. But this song was about remembering high school and a baseball player. Perhaps he could blow a ‘fast ball’ past you, but a ‘speedball’ is something that John Belushi or Chris Farley would blow past you.

17. The Killers, “All These Things I've Doneâ€

I've got soul but I'm not a soldier.

I've got soul but I'm not a soldier

I've got soul but I'm not a soldier

We got it the first time. People are slowly starting to realize that they sound interesting in a retro way but their lyrics are utter dross.

16. Wang Chung, “Everybody Have Funâ€

Everybody have fun tonight

Everybody have fun tonight

Everybody wang chung tonight

“Rats, what rhymes with fun? Er…wait a moment. Wang Chung! That rhymes. Hurrah! That was lucky.†Yes there was some good music in the 1980s. And then there was Wang Chung.

15. Poison, “Unskinny Bopâ€

Unskinny bop

Just blows me away

Unskinny bop, bop

All night and day

Unskinny bop, bop, bop, bop

She just loves to play

Unskinny bop, nothin' more to say.

Making fun of 80s hair bands is too easy; it is like shooting fish in a barrel. But this steaming pile of rubbish has to win some award. Unskinny means fat, right?

14. Destiny's Child, “Bills, Bills, Billsâ€

Can you pay my bills?

Can you pay my telephone bills?

Can you pay my automo' bills?

Then maybe we can chill

I don't think you do

so you and me are through

Before Beyonce et al were inventing words like Jelli and Bootilicous there were writing stuff like this. So, I can only be with you if I pay your bills? That would make you a…what exactly?

13. Gwen Stefani, “Hollaback Girlâ€

This ******* is bananas

B-A-N-A-N-A-S

It’s a spelling bee from the blonde leader of No Doubt. The whole song led to debates about what exactly a hollaback girl was. But this line was just plain weird.

12. Alanis Morissette, “Ironicâ€

A traffic jam when you're already late

A no-smoking sign on your cigarette break

It's like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife

It's meeting the man of my dreams and then meeting his beautiful wife

I am sure she is sick of hearing about this. They are not bad lyrics, but the only ironic thing about any of the lyrics in this song is that they have nothing to do with irony. I think Sarah Vowell said it best – “Irony isn't a black fly in your chardonnay. Irony is naming your national airport after the president who fired all the air traffic controllers.â€

11. Avril Lavigne, “SK8tr Boiâ€

He was a boy, she was a girl

Can I make it any more obvious?

Not really. Wow that’s two young Canadian singers in a row. Can Celine be far behind?

10. The Police, “Don’t Stand So Close To Meâ€

He starts to shake and cough

Just like the old man in

That book by Nabakov

Sting just reminding you that he reads. Pretentious? Moi?

9. Billy Idol, “Flesh for Fantasyâ€

Face to face

And back to back

You see and feel

My sex attack

My sex attack? Where’s the romance?

8. Kanye West “Jesus Walksâ€

I'm just trying to say the way school need teachers,

The way Kathie Lee needed Regis that's the way y’all need Jesus.

Sometimes it works so well for Kanye. And then there’s this time.

7. Emerson, Lake and Palmer “Taste Of My Loveâ€

You need love, I need love, here it comes , the taste of my love.

I'm gonna love you like nobody ever loved you

climb on my rocket and we'll fly.

Over the moon past the sun till we find

the gates of heaven open wide for lovers

I'm gonna love you like nobody ever loved you

climb on my rocket and we'll fly.

It is pretty easy to find a lot of pretentious twaddle put out by 1970s prog rockers. But this has to take the cake. Rumour has it that ELP put out a deliberately cheesy album after being made to fulfill a record contract. This would be very cheesy though.

6. Prism, “Starship Superstarâ€

I'm a spaceship superstar

I've got a solar-powered laser beam guitar

(he's a spaceship superstar)

I'm at the top of all the charts on Mars

Laser beam guitar?? If this is life on Mars I don’t want to go.

5. David Hasselhoff “Is Everybody Happyâ€

If you’re surrounded by clouds of thunder

Don’t let it get ya and pull-pull you under

You gotta fight it and learn your lesson

Or you will end up in deep deep depression

Whatever the hang up

We’re getting a gang up

And we are gonna have us some fun

Oh God. Where’s that bucket?

4. America, “A Horse With No Nameâ€

On the first part of the journey

I was looking at all the life

There were plants and birds and rocks and things

Things? What, after three lines of the song the lyrical well ran dry?

3. Billy Ray Cyrus, Achy Breaky Heart

And if you tell my heart,

My achy breaky heart,

He might blow up and kill this man.

Country music is often a well of heartfelt, clever and poignant lyrics. Then there is Billy Ray – king of the mullet and writer of this beauty.

2. Captain and Tennille, “Muskrat Loveâ€

Muskrat Susie, Muskrat Sam

Do the jitterbug out in muskrat land

And they shimmy

And Sammy's so skinny

And they didn’t wing this. They actually wrote it down. With a straight face.

1. Richard Harris/Donna Summer, “MacArthur Parkâ€

Someone left the cake out in the rain

I don't think I could take it, `cause it took so long to bake it

And I'll never have that recipe again, oh no!

The most famous of all bad lyrics. Whether it was Richard Harris belting it out in the original four hour version or Donna Summer doing the disco version the whole song is just priceless.

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4. America, “A Horse With No Nameâ€

On the first part of the journey

I was looking at all the life

There were plants and birds and rocks and things

I love this one. I always crank up the volume when this song comes on just to hear that line. :grin:

I quite like the song, though.

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I drink alone, yeah, with nobody else.

I drink alone, yeah, with nobody else.

Yeah, you know when I drink alone, I prefer to be by myself.

I love George Thorogood, but this line usually gets to me whenever I hear it...

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Wow, they did suck! I have just two (2) comments...

Number One: they shouldn't have laid it on the Captain & Tenille for writing "Muskrat Love" - the two for marrying each other, maybe; the Captain for wearing that god-awful hat, probably; both of them for recording ANY music at all, most definitely - but that "song" was a remake, written by some old hillbilly guy. They should have dragged HIS cursed, obscure name through the mud, not the poor Captain.

And Number Two: I kinda like the lyrics to #5. :drummer:

:afro: :afro: :afro: :jester: :jester:

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14. Destiny's Child, “Bills, Bills, Billsâ€

Can you pay my bills?

Can you pay my telephone bills?

Can you pay my automo' bills?

Then maybe we can chill

I don't think you do

so you and me are through

Before Beyonce et al were inventing words like Jelli and Bootilicous there were writing stuff like this. So, I can only be with you if I pay your bills? That would make you a…what exactly?

Sure, some of Destiny's Child's stuff is a tad banal, and I can't believe I'm going to defend this song, but I would be remiss if I didn't. This song is about a guy who is mooching off of a girl. He uses all the gas in her car, borrows money without paying it back, runs up her cell phone bill with no intention of paying it back, etc. She is simply saying if he can't be an equal partner in the relationship, he's got to go. The chorus was taken out of context.

Go ahead and make fun of me. See if I care.

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