Lyrical Gangstas

Driving home from my parents-in-law last week, I decided to give our selection of home-made mix CDs a rest and try out the radio.  “It’ll be good for us,” I told my husband,  “We can find out what Young People are listening to at the moment.”

What an inspirational, not to say instructional, decision that was.  With thanks to Demi Lovato, I bring you… Top Ten Dreadful Song Lyrics of All Time!

Okay, I take that back… Not “of all time”.  Just the couple that made me shout loudest on that particular afternoon, together with some gems that have always had a “special” place in my heart.  A quick Google shows me I’m not alone in having a bit of a thing about this – there are some impressively well-researched lists of bad lyrics out there.  This one doesn’t fall into that category.

Expectations managed? Right, on with the show!

10.  OneRepublic, Counting Stars  Venus fly trap

     I see this life

     Like a swinging vine

Er, what? In what possible way is your life like a vine?

But hold on, perhaps I’m being too hasty.  Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt – perhaps he’s pretending to be Tarzan and his life is swinging like a vine waiting for him to reach out and grab it? That could be it, right?

Wrong.  It goes on…

     Swing my heart across the line

     In my face is flashing signs

     Seek it out and ye shall find

Why would a vine be swinging your heart?  Indeed how? Is it perhaps a vine attached to a massive Venus fly trap?  And where are the flashing signs coming from in this jungle environment?  (I’m not even going to mention the is/are thing – oh sorry, I have.)

And what, pray, are we supposed to be seeking out? Is it the man-eating Venus fly trap?  I think I’ll give that expedition a miss, thanks all the same.

To sum up: WHAT????!

9. Demi Lovato, Skyscraper

     Like I’m made of glass

     Like I’m made of paper

     Go on and try to tear me down

     I will be rising from the ground

     Like a skyscraper!

     Like a skyscraper!

Made of glass – ok, I get it, you’re fragile.  Paper – er, easily torn? What was wrong with the glass simile?  Couldn’t you just have left it there?

Ah no, because we need a rhyme!  Because here we go, here is the pièce de résistance, the Simile Queen: you’re rising from the ground like a skyscraper!

Taking months or years to rise, then, yes? A hundred feet tall perhaps?  Covered in scaffolding? Concentrating the glare of the sun into a beam that blisters the paintwork on unfortunately parked cars?

No. No you’re not, are you.  Nothing at all like a skyscraper, in fact.  Now go away and rethink your life.

7. Eminem, Love The Way You Lie

Now, I’m a fan of Eminem.  I love the raw aggression and the irresistible rhythm of his work. It pains me to put him here, but the evidence is irrefutable…

     Now you get to watch her leave out the window

     Guess that’s why they call it window pane

I defy you to finish that couplet without groaning.  Has Marshall Mathers been body-snatched by Bruce Forsyth?

And incidentally, why is she leaving through the window?

There’s nothing more to be said: let us draw a veil and move on.

6. Madness, Driving in My Car

This is there purely for the crime of the tortured, non-scanning rhyme:

     I’ve been driving in my car

     It’s not quite a Jaguar

Fair enough, the Jag-yew-ARRR reminds me a bit of that joke (Why are pirates called pirates?  Because they arrrr!) but that’s not sufficient reason to leave this off the list.  Sorry, it just isn’t.  Plus I’ve never had any time for ska.  Or should that be skarrrr?

5. Van Halen, Why Can’t This Be Love

     Only time will tell

     If we stand the test of time

Well, you can’t argue with that.  Irrefutable evidence that if Van Halen were in your toolbox, you wouldn’t need to worry about injuring yourself as you rummaged around.

4. The Killers, All These Things That I’ve Done

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

Oh really? You have soul, you say, and you’re not even a soldier? Remarkable!

This is possibly the most ridiculous attempt at word association ever.  And they’re not even proper homonyms! The Killers should be embarrassed at even having thought of this lyric, let alone including it in a song.  Are they though? Not a bit of it.  It is repeated TEN TIMES IN A ROW.

That’s just shameful.  Something should be done. Where’s that man-eating Venus fly-trap when you need it?

3. One Direction, What Makes You Beautiful

     Baby you light up my world like nobody else

     The way that you flip my hair gets me overwhelmed

Really?  I know they’re ever so young and all, but do these boys really get overwhelmed when a girl flips her hair?  I mean, that must make the world a pretty exciting place! Heaven forbid anyone buys them a Kelly Brook calendar.

I just feel sorry for their mums: imagine being the one to change their bed linen…

2. Jimmy Webb, MacArthur Park

     Someone left the cake out in the rain

     I don’t think that I can take it

     ‘Cause it took so long to make it

     And I’ll never have that recipe again

The first time I heard this was on the CD player in my dad’s car.  You think the lyrics are ridiculous? Now imagine them being sung with the utmost earnestness by a Welsh male voice choir.  I rest my case.

1. Ooh, I hate this one! I really, really hate it! In at  number one, pop pickers, it’s…

Fleetwood Mac/ The Corrs – Dreams

     Thunder only happens when it’s raining

NO IT DOES NOT!  And with both Fleetwood Mac and The Corrs coming from the UK/ Ireland surely they have seen enough bad weather to know this?!

This song has made me an angrier person.  Every time I hear thunder I find myself checking for the presence of precipitation, this check frequently followed by, “You see! You see, Andrea Sodding Corr! There’s thunder but IT ISN’T RAINING!!”

And then I get that annoying bloody Irish fiddling in my head.

Fleetwood Mac are just as much to blame.  They might not have the folksy twiddling instrumentals, but they came up with the nonsense in the first place.

A plague on both their houses.


14 thoughts on “Lyrical Gangstas

  1. Miranda Stone

    This is hilarious–made me chuckle several times. But “Dreams” (the Fleetwood Mac version) is one of the greatest songs of all time! Surely you can overlook one little meteorologically inaccurate line?

    1. yakinamac Post author

      No, I’m sorry – this was always going to be my number 1! It might be the combination of Andrea Corr and the annoying lyric that’s done it, and Fleetwood Mac might be suffering the consequences (I’m afraid to say that The Corrs’ version was the first I heard and let’s face it, they’re infuriating anyway), but that’s just the way it is. And there really isn’t any excuse – it’s not like there’s even a true rhyme at stake! I’m sure they could have come up with some alternatives to go with “Players only love you when they’re playing” if they’d put some proper thought into it. What about “You only get eggs when hens are laying”? Or “Wolves are only hungry when they’re baying”. Okay, that last one might not be accurate either, but unless you’re Richard Attenborough, you probably can’t say for sure. At least it’s not going to be disproved on a regular basis, causing blameless women to shout like lunatics and wave their fists at the sky. Alright, that might just be me…

    1. yakinamac Post author

      I do almost wonder whether some of the people on this list were going for the “So bad it’s good” angle. Black Eyed Peas’ “My Humps” sadly just missed out on a top 10 place, but surely that has to be the only explanation for that one?! Good luck with the composing – sure you’ll do much better than this lot!

  2. vanderhorstmark1

    You know that I know that you know you love to sing Fleetwood Mac in the shower… and you have always wanted to play the fiddle… even more than the pony for Christmas…
    Love it

    1. yakinamac Post author

      My guilty secret is that I did actually play the violin when I was younger – I was pretty rubbish though. Now you mention it, perhaps my own feelings of fiddling inadequacy are to blame for my dislike of The Corrs!


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