It must be very difficult to write a good song. I’m not denying that. I know it’s hard enough to write an essay, and that doesn’t even have to rhyme. However there are certain instances where I feel the songwriter isn’t even trying. As though they had an hour to put the song together, took a gander at the screaming girls sitting outside TRL and said “ef it” just write whatever rhymes with ‘girl, I love you.’ And then laughed all the way to the bank. The following ten are the most blatant offenses I can find in my mental song library. Some songs by artists I usually respect; some not so much. Though, I do feel inclined to admit most are on my iPod.
10. So Yesterday (Hilary Duff)
Some things are brilliant in their simplicity. Some things are just simple. Hilary’s break up tune is just simple. Lyrics like:
“But I’m gonna keep your jeans.
And your old black hat – cause I wanna.
They look good on me.
You’re never gonna get them back
At least not today, not today, not today”
My, my how empowering. What stellar advice to women everywhere. If your boyfriend dumps you, just keep his jeans. And if you and your boyfriend wear the same size jeans, maybe be happy you’re no longer together. But my real favorite in this ditty is the next prophetic gem: “If the light is off then it isn’t on.” Waaaaiiiit, if the light is off then it isn’t on? Eureka! I’ve been arguing with my electric providers about how to define ‘off’ for years now! Full lyrics at azlyrics.com.
9. As Long As You Love Me (Backstreet Boys)
This song is insulting. It’s like they were singing at a third grade reading level. I’m referring to lines like: “… although loneliness has always been a friend of mine, I’m leaving my life in your hands.“ Who are you singing to? Your doctor? Who has your life in their hands? “People say I’m crazy and that I am blind. Risking it all in a glance.” Well boys, if you’re blind… risking anything in a glance probably is a little bit crazy. The chorus really is where they take it home: “I don’t care who you are, where you’re from, what you did As long as you love me…” Sounds a little desperate. Have you no standards?
You tell me later: “…it doesn’t really matter if you’re on the run.“ Call me old fashioned, but if a guy tells me he’s on the run I become concerned. I’m not saying it’s a deal breaker for sure, but I think we should at least have a conversation about it. Also how many people are the Backstreet Boys coming in contact with that are on the run? I for one have never met someone on the run, and I think they mostly met 14 year old girls. Begs the question, from where did the inspiration for this song come? Not from the heart I think, not from the heart indeed. Full lyrics at azlyrics.com.
8. If I Was Invisible (Clay Aiken)
These lyrics are stupid for many reasons. For one, why would you admit to anyone that if you were invisible you’d watch them in their room? No one wants to hear that. I don’t even like my dog in my room while I change.
“If I was invisible, I would be the smartest man.“ Clay, either you’re already the smartest man or you aren’t… as far as I know invisibility doesn’t change your IQ. Otherwise when everyone answered the “If you could have any superpower in the world what would it be?” question, more people would say “invisible”. Duh.
“Wish you could touch me with the colors of your life.” You can’t just make total nonsense poetry by adding words like color and touch. Finally I think you need to face facts, when you tell me “even when I scream out, baby you don’t hear me.” I become concerned, why are you being so aggressive, there’s no need to scream. This girl clearly isn’t interested in you and she doesn’t want to hear all the creepy things you’d do with invisibility. Full lyrics at azlyrics.com.
7. 4 Minutes to Save the World (Madonna, featuring Justin Timberlake and Timbaland)
Here’s what I gather from these lyrics: Madonna, Justin Timberlake and Timbaland have apparently been commissioned to save the world. They have 4 minutes to do so. Now here’s where it gets tricky:
“Time is waiting
We only got 4 minutes to save the world
Grab a boy, grab a girl.”
I, the listener, am left unclear on how they are saving the world. Is it with their gift for song? Or are they recommending to us procreation as a vehicle for world redemption? They do after all tell us to grab a boy or a girl. Either way, this song’s delusion of grandeur is off-putting. The lyrics don’t get any better as we look outside the chorus. At one point, there is a conversation between Justin and Madonna. Madonna says to Justin, “Sometimes I think what I need is a you intervention, yeah,” to which the listener says, “Pardon?” Yet Justin responds with an incomprehensible, “And you know I can tell that you like it, and that it’s good, by the way that you move, ooh, hey.” Madonna answers Justin with a totally inappropriately placed proverb: “The road to hell is paved with good intentions, yeah.” At which the listener gives up on these lyrics. Full lyrics at metrolyrics.com.
6. Dolla [P.Diddy] (Kesha)
This is the first single I’ve ever heard from Kesha and I can’t really imagine where she’ll go from here. To be honest I couldn’t really imagine where she was going to go from the first line of this song. “Wake up in the morning feeling like P. Diddy.” How? I have nothing else to say to that, except, how do you feel like P. Diddy? Because I don’t understand. She goes on to tell us that she brushes her teeth with a bottle of Jack and she explains that this is because when she leaves for the night she’s not coming back. I have to take issue with this. You can’t defend to me a desire to brush your teeth with whiskey. In fact, I think if your goal is to find someone to spend the night with your chances must decrease by quite a bit if your teeth are brown and your breath stinks like a day old Jack and Coke. Just don’t brush them at all.
Kesha has questionable judgment. She later tells us she kicks men to the curb unless they look like Mick Jagger. I begin to wonder if Kesha has recently seen Mick Jagger. Maybe he was attractive 30 years ago, but now he kind of looks like a caricature, or something that got stuck in a drain. Kesha, you currently have no credibility with me. Full lyrics at metrolyrics.com.
5. Girlfriend (Avril Lavigne)
I hate this song not only because the lyrics are so dumb, but also because as I sit here writing this I have begun to sing it to myself, and I don’t know when that will stop. Infectious in the way a virus is; this song has very little redeeming it. Firstly, Avril is coveting a man we understand to be committed to someone else. And secondly, it sounds like chanting that you’d hear at an elementary school playground. “Hey, Hey, You, You, I don’t like your girlfriend. No way, No way, I think you need a new one.” This is the musical equivalent to ‘I know you are but what am I.’ Throughout the tune, Avril gives us some key pieces of information: this man is interested in her in spite of having a girlfriend and Avril doesn’t like this girlfriend because allegedly she is stupid (you’ve heard the one about the pot and the kettle, Avril?). Avril tells this man about his girlfriend: “She’s like so whatever, and you can do so much better.” She also tells him “Hell, yea, I’m the mother f***ing princess.” Which is a head scratcher because I didn’t know there was a country known as MotherF***er, is it a commonwealth, part of the United Kingdom maybe? Is it a sovereignty where these lyrics aren’t terrible?
4. MmmBop (Hansen)
You had to know this was coming. These can barely be called lyrics. Half of the lines of this song are dimly lit attempts at existentialism while the other half are not comprised of actual words. We learn about relationships being able to disappear in an mmmbop, which I assume is some measure of time, comparable to a minute. Then Hansen says:
“In an mmm bop they’re not there.
Until you lose your hair.
No, But you don’t care.”
Which I can’t understand. Apparently mmm bopping has quite a bit to do with hair loss because they mention it several times. They’re also mystified by things that perhaps shouldn’t be so difficult to grasp, for instance:
“Plant a seed, plant a flower, plant a rose
You can plant any one of those
Keep planting to find out which one grows
It’s a secret no one knows
It’s a secret no one knows
No one knows”
Hansen, let’s be clear, this is not a secret no one knows. If you simply mark in where you planted a seed, you shouldn’t have any trouble predicting what will grow. A truer example of a secret that no one knows is how this song ever got airtime. Full lyrics at sing365.com.
3. Love Story (Taylor Swift)
I think the world has seen the type of wrath that can be incurred if one upsets Taylor Swift (thanks to Kanye) so I will include a disclaimer. I love Taylor Swift, I think she’s great. However we can not all just close our eyes and pretend that these lyrics don’t contain some fundamental problems. Taylor seems to have misunderstood two crucial pieces of literature: Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare and The Scarlet Letter by Nathanial Hawthorne. For instance:
“Romeo take me somewhere we can be alone,
I’ll be waiting all there’s left to do is run.
You’ll be the prince and I’ll be the princess,
It’s a love story baby just say yes.”
Taylor, Romeo and Juliet both kill themselves because they can’t be together. It’s heavy stuff. All that’s left to do is not run. They don’t “just say yes” (unless you’re referring to saying yes to suicide and this song is much darker than I thought). You can’t talk about the famous ill-fated lovers and discount their ill-fated-ness; it just leaves too many doors open.
Another issue, you tell us “…’cause you were Romeo, I was a scarlet letter” which again really doesn’t work. You can’t be a scarlet letter; you wear a scarlet letter and you wear it for being an adulteress. Without some impressive metaphor, you can’t really work this so it means anything else, especially since at this point I’m not convinced that you’ve read either of these books. Next time maybe consult with your local high school English teacher and use more accurate (and less morbid) literary references. Full lyrics at metrolyrics.com.
2. My Humps (Black Eyed Peas)
There are many songs dedicated to the female form. And they’re generally all stupid. To rank which is stupider than which isn’t really fair, so suffice it to say the song My Humps is more than just number two on this list, it is a representative of an entire genre. It is the representative on my list, mainly because at one point Fergie says “my humps” ten times in a row. You win. My humps is a stupid enough thing to say once, and it would be stupid even to just slip into a verse, but to make it the title and the focal point of the song, well that just elevates this to a different level.
Throughout the song Fergie explains all of the goodies she gets from having |”lovely lady lumps.” These lumps, she explains, are “in the back and in the front”. Methinks I know which lumps she’s referring to. Due to these “lumps” and “humps” Fergie tells us she gets “…ices, Dolce and Gabanna, Fendi and then Donna.” She also is given “Seven jeans and True Religions” and, never the mooch, she tells us that “I say no but they keep givin’…” Apparently if you have humps like Fergie’s you can acquire a great amount of material goods. What a wonderful celebration of the female anatomy. I didn’t read The Feminine Mystique, but I imagine some of these lyrics were taken right from the pages of that book. Maybe I’ll ask Taylor Swift… Full lyrics at azlyrics.com.
1. Girl You Know it’s True (Milli Vanilli)
The number one song on this list is also a bit older than the others. But it’s also far and away the stupidest assortment of lyrics I have ever heard. I know that everyone was mad at Milli and Vanilli for lip-synching. I vaguely remember that from my childhood, or perhaps from a recap of the event as seen on Behind the Music. But how could anyone have cared that they were lip-synching when they heard what it was that they were saying? I know their fans felt duped, but shame on anyone for taking them seriously enough, ever, for lip synching to matter. The first line of the song is, “I’m in love with you girl cause you’re on my mind.” Is that how you know you’re in love, because earlier today after I read an article on the Bush Administration, Dick Cheney was on my mind and now I’m thinking about sandwiches. So I think we need some more concrete reasons. They tell this girl, “Your soft, succulent so sweet and thin, that’s kind of like a vision upon your skin” and I make a confused face.
“You contain a quality that I admire. You’re pretty plain and simple…” Firstly, gee, I wonder why they admire things that are plain and simple. Secondly, who puts that into a love song? That’s not even a nice thing to say. That’s like saying your favorite color is eggshell. Some of these lines defy explanation: “Come with your positive emotion, love, making enjoyin’ …that’s for me to bust it’s like a girl and a boy.”
“Together we’re one separated we are two.” To which I must simply say, congratulations Milli Vanilli, on this list you are one. Full lyrics at lyricsdownload.com.
by Elaine Rooney