Picking bad lyrics from pop music is like shooting fish in a barrel. It’s too easy. Pop music, in and of itself, is supposed to be about the hook, the melody, the chord progressions – not the lyrics. We leave that to Bob Dylan and Springsteen.
I’m sure I’ll get lots of additions to this list, but I compiled this list of bad lyrics based on my six-hour trip to the beach this week. They’re not the worst ever, but they’re pretty bad. Like I said, this was too easy. Maybe I’ll do part 2 based on the ride back home.
“Sometimes When We Touch” – Dan Hill. Sometimes when we touch / the honesty’s too much / and I have to close my eyes and hide / I wanna hold you till I die / Till we both break down and cry / I wanna hold you till the fear in me subsides. So, sometimes when you touch, you have to close your eyes and hide, but then other times, if you hold someone too long you’ll cry, or die, or the fear in you will subside. That’s like playing Russian roulette.
“The Reflex” – Duran Duran. The reflex is an only child, he’s waiting in the park / The reflex is in charge of finding treasure in the dark / And watching over lucky clover isn’t that bizarre / Every little thing the reflex does / Leaves you answered with a question mark. There are lots of questions marks here. Why is a reflex a child? Who leaves a child in charge of finding treasure in the dark? And who’s watching over this clover? Yes it is bizarre.
“Here I Go Again” – Whitesnake. ‘Cause I know what it means / To walk along the lonely street of dreams. I’m glad you know what it means, because I have no clue what you’re talking about.
“Tonight” – Kool & The Gang. Tonight / Oooh / This is the night you’ll see the light. So apparently, a girl takes the lead singer by the hand and says these words to him. Is she a psychic? Does she have contact with aliens? WTF kind of light is it? Jeez. If a girl did that to me, I’d run the other way.
“Discotheque” – U2. You know you’re chewing bubblegum/You know what it is/But you still want some/’Cause you just can’t get enough/Of that lovie-dovie stuff. Yeah, it’s bubblegum lyrics. But this is U2, writers of “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and “With or Without You?” This was definitely the nadir of their career. They should be ashamed.
“When it’s Love” – Van Halen. How do I know when it’s love? / I can’t tell you but it lasts forever / How does it feel when it’s love? / It’s just something you feel together. This sounds like a little kid asking his dad about love, but the dad is obviously busy and annoyed. “I don’t know, kid, I can’t tell you. It’s just something you feel together.” What a half-assed answer.
“The Union of the Snake” – Duran Duran. Telegram force and ready / I knew this was a big mistake / There’s a fine line drawing my senses together / And I think it’s about to break… / The Union of the Snake is on the climb / Moving up it’s gonna race it’s gonna break through the borderline. I give up. I have no clue about this one. It’s like they’re reaching into a hat and pulling out words, like that magnetic poetry.
“Jump!” Van Halen. “I ain’t the worst that you’ve seen/Oh, can’t you see what I mean/Might as well jump/Jump!/Might as well jump”. She can’t see that you’re not the worst, David? What the hell. Might as well, um, jump.
“MacArthur Park” – Donna Summer (and others). 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. This has to rank as the worst of all time. So MacArthur’s Park is a cake? Why did you name a cake, and why did you name it that? Why did someone leave it out in the rain? And why didn’t you write down the damn recipe? Oh no!
“Bip Bop” – Paul McCartney. Bip bop, bip bip bop / Bip bop, bip bip band / Dig your bottom dollar / put it in your hand / Try to hang out underneath the stand / Put your hands together / gonna see a band / Treat me like a good boy / Treat me like a man / Take me hair and curlers / But treat me like a man. That’s it. That’s the whole thing. Nonsensical lyrics aside (You couldn’t come up with anything, like, “Hey you, hey hey man, we’re gonna see a band?”), what are you doing with curlers when you want to be treated like a man? No second verse? Third verse? Sigh.
“Love” – John Lennon. Love is real, real is love / Love is feeling, feeling love…Love is touch, touch is love Love is reaching, reaching love / Love is you / You and me / Love is knowing / we can be. Lennon was known as the wordsmith of the Beatles, but this is astonishingly simple and elementary. Some might point to the simplicity as the genius behind the song. But all I see is repeating plays on words (Hey! He’s just reversing the words!) that mean nothing and sound abstruse.
“Smooth” – Santana featuring Rob Thomas. Man, it’s a hot one / Like seven inches from the midday sun / Well, I hear you whispering the words that melt everyone / But you stay so cool. OK, I know it’s a simile, but seven inches from the sun? Really? I’m surprised he didn’t use the words “literally”. And how does she stay so cool at 10,000 degrees F?
“My Humps” – Black Eyed Peas. What you gon’ do with all that junk? / All that junk inside your trunk? I’ma get, get, get, get, you drunk / Get you love drunk off my hump / My hump, my hump, my hump, my hump, my hump / My hump, my hump, my hump, my lovely little lumps. Ah yes, the reason behind this blog, the worst lyrics ever created. They should be brought up on charges for these lyrics.