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!
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.