A great song is nothing but the masterful combination of music and lyrics. However, sometimes composers just don't play enough attention to lyrics. I know that no one expects, for example, dance music to have good lyrics... In fact, I don't think anyone expects dance music to have any lyrics at all let alone deep and thought provoking ones. However, Rock/Pop music does require good lyrics. Still, many a times lyricists just run dry and end up with ridiculous stuff they're try to pass as sublime... get my drift?... These are my Top 20 worst song lyrics ever.
01. MacArthur Park.
Lyrics by Jimmy Webb. Recorded, among others, by Richard Harris, Donna Summer, Liza Minnelli, Waylon Jennings. Is all this whining really about a lost cake recipe? Ah, c'mon!!
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 / Oh, no!
Lyrics by Prince Sampson & Des'ree. Recorded by Des'ree. Hmm, A ghost vs a piece of toast? Tough choice!!
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
3. Fish Heads
Lyrics by Bill Mumy and Robert Haimer. Recorded by Barnes & Barnes. This song is pure profound poetry!!
In the morning laughing happy fish heads / In the evening floating in the soup / Fish heads fish heads / Roly poly fish heads / fish heads fish heads / eat them up, yum!
4. Whenever Wherever
Lyrics by Shakira & Gloria Estefan. Recorded by Shakira. I think Shakira should stick to writing in Spanish - something really gets lost in translation here...
Lucky that my lips not only mumble / They spill kisses like a fountain / Lucky that my breasts are small and humble / So you don't confuse them with mountains
5. The War Song
Lyrics by George O'Dowd. Recorded by Culture Club. Ok.. War is stupid, and people are stupid, and you are stupid, and everything is stupid... Great lyrics a 5-year old can write.
War is stupid and people are stupid / And love means nothing in some strange Quarters / War war is stupid and people are stupid / And I heard them banging on hearts and fingers / War!
6. I Am I Said
Lyrics by Neil Diamond. Recorded by Neil Diamond. Neil, dude... you've written some great songs, but.. huh?.
"I am," I said / To no one there / An no one heard at all / Not even the chair
7. Smooth Operator
Lyrics by Sade Adu & Ray St. John. Recorded by Sade. Sade, I know you're Nigerian, but still... get a map!!! I mean, Chicago is nowhere near the coast.
Coast to coast, LA to Chicago, Western Male / across the north and south, to Key Largo, love for sale
8. We Build This City
Lyrics by Bernie Taupin. Recorded by Starship. Bernie, these lyrics here just make no sense at all... I mean, Knee deep in the hoopla??? Mamba?? Marconi plays a snake?? No wonder many people consider this song one of the worst ones ever recorded...
Say you don't know me, or recognize my face / say you don't care who goes to that kind of place / Knee deep in the hoopla, sinking in your fight / Too many runaways eating up the night / Marconi plays the Mamba / Listen to the radio Don't you remember? / We built this city / We built this city on rock and roll!
9. That Was Then But This Is Now
Lyrics by Martin Fry. Recorded by ABC. Ok, Martin shoot that poison arrow, and I won't grumble as long as you give me apple crumble...
Can't complain, Mustn't grumble / Help yourself to another piece of apple crumble
10. Your Song
Lyrics by Bernie Taupin. Recorded by Elton John. I always thought this was one of the most beautiful romantic songs of all time. The truth is that Bernie's lyrics here suck and make no sense at all... again!
If I was a sculptor, but then again, no...
11. Anyone Else But You
Lyrics by The Moldy Peaches. Recorded by The Moldy Peaches. This is a ridiculously simple song with a few great one-liners. However, it also has some of the worst lyrics ever - this is my great true example of going from sublime to ridicule within 3 minutes.
Squinched up your face and did a dance / You shook a little turd out of the bottom of your pants / I don't see what anyone can see, in anyone else but you
12. Muskrat Love
Lyrics by Willis Alan Ramsey. Recorded by The Captain & Tenille. If you ever find yourself writing a love song about muskrats dancing... trust me, it ain't gonna work...
Muskrat Suzie, Muskrat Sam / Do the jitterbug out in Muskrat Land / and they shimmy... Sam is so skinny
13. Time (Clock of my Heart)
Lyrics by George O'Dowd. Recorded by Culture Club. Second entry by Mr. Boy George... ooops!!!
Don't make me feel any colder / Time is like a clock of my heart / Touch we touch was the heat too much
14. A Horse with No Name
Lyrics by America. Recorded by America. Yeah, I know this is supposed to be a metaphor for a heroin (horse) trip. But even if you're writing a song when flat-out stoned, you should.. like.. get a Thesaurus... so you don't run out of rocks and birds and things... to say...
After nine days I let the horse run free 'cause the desert had turned to sea / There were plants and birds and rocks and things / There was sand and hills and rings
15. Honky Tonk Bandonkadonk
Lyrics by Trace Adkins. Recorded by Trace Adkins. When you mention Donkey Kong and slapping your grandma in the same song, there's gotta be something wrong with you boy!
With that honky tonk badonkadonk / Keepin' perfect rhythm / Make ya wanna swing along / Got it goin' on like Donkey Kong /
And whoo-wee / Shut my mouth, slap your grandma / There outta be a law / Get the Sheriff on the phone / Lord have mercy, how's she even get them britches on / With that honky tonk badonkadonk
16. Ass Like That
Lyrics by Eminem. Recorded by Eminem. I have defended Enimen lots of times before, but when your pee pee goes doing doing doing, there ain't much I can do for you, dude.
So Gwen Stefani, will you pee pee on me please? / I ain't never seen an ass like that / Cuz the way you move it, you make my pee pee go doing, doing, doing
17. Manic Monday
Lyrics by Christopher (aka Prince). Recorded by The Bangles. You know you're in trouble when you have to make up words to force your lyrics to rhyme, right, Prince?.
It's just another manic Monday / I wish it was Sunday / Cause that's my fun day / I don't have to runday / It's just another manic Monday
18. Cherry Pie
Lyrics by Jani Lane. Recorded by Warrant. Hmm... I didn't know that bitchin' was what was keeping me from swingin' in the kitchen... ain't that special?
Swingin' in the living room / Swingin' in the kitchen / Most folks don't cause they're too busy bitchin'
19. Why Can't This Be Love?
Lyrics by Sammy Hagar. Recorded by Van Halen. What can I say?... well.. DUH!!!
I tell myself, Hey only fools rush in / Only time will tell If we stand the test of time
Lyrics by David Paich & Jeff Pocaro. Recorded by Toto. This is actually one of my favorite songs, but, hey, I gotta admit the lyrics don't make much sense... solitary company? Also, Olympus is a peak in Greece (nowhere near Africa) which is actually about half the height of Kilimanjaro... so, for Kilimanjaro to rise like a smaller mountain in another part of the world, does not really make sense or does it?
The wild dogs cry out in the night / as they grow restless longing for some solitary company / I know that I must do what's right / as sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serangetti