September 23, 2008

Worst. Lyrics. Ever.

Responding to a part of Tornwordo’s latest post, readers are commenting on misunderstood lyrics. This got me to thinking about lyrics that I wish I could say were misunderstood. Or that could be rewritten well enough to make sense. There are a number of songs I could list, but I thought I’d leave that up to you. Here’s my vote for worst lyrics ever written, to a melody comprised of two notes.

"Horse With No Name" by America

On the first part of the journey 

I was looking at all the life 

There were plants and birds and rocks and things 

There was sand and hills and rings 

The first thing I met was a fly with a buzz 

And the sky with no clouds 

The heat was hot and the ground was dry

But the air was full of sound

Chorus:

I've been through the desert on a horse with no name

It felt good to be out of the rain 

In the desert you can remember your name 

'Cause there ain't no one for to give you no pain

La, la ... 



After two days in the desert sun 

My skin began to turn red 

After three days in the desert fun 

I was looking at a river bed 

And the story it told of a river that flowed 

Made me sad to think it was dead 



(Maddeningly inane chorus)

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 

The ocean is a desert with its life underground 

And a perfect disguise above 

Under the cities lies a heart made of ground 

But the humans will give no love 



(There's that chorus again)

What’ve you got?

17 comments:

Java said...

Yes, I agree, that's a particularly bad one. However, the one that has bothered me the most since its appearance in my tragic 6th grade year, is

Band on the Run
Stuck inside these four walls, sent inside forever,
Never seeing no one nice again like you,
Mama you, mama you.
If I ever get out of here,
Thought of giving it all away
To a registered charity.
All I need is a pint a day
If I ever get out of here.

Well, the rain exploded with a mighty crash as we fell into the sun,
And the first one said to the second one there I hope youre having fun.
Band on the run, band on the run.
And the jailer man and sailor sam were searching every one

For the band on the run, band on the run, band on the run, band on the run

Well, the undertaker drew a heavy sigh seeing no one else had come,
And a bell was ringing in the village square for the rabbits on the run.
Band on the run, band on the run.
And the jailer man and sailor sam, were searching every one

For the band on the run, band on the run, band on the run, band on the run

Well, the night was falling as the desert world began to settle down.
In the town theyre searching for us every where, but we never w ill be found.
Band on the run, band on the run

And the county judge, who held a grudge
Will search for evermore
For the band on the run, band on the run, band on the run, band on the run

Roxrocks said...

I like BOTH of those songs!

I'd have to say the song "I Don't Want to Lose You" by Jan Terri is THE worst song ever! And the video? OMG! Check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OE2l6CPna4M It's Craptastic!

Roxrocks said...

Does this work better?

Java said...

Hey, Rox, how did you put a link into a comment? That is one sorry a$$ piece of song there. Did you look at this one?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?z=gWOzUzJd6wM

Java said...

Off the first topic, but on the second topic (how to put a live link in a comment)

Good pictures, not bad music

Kinda complicated, Birdie...

Me Online said...

Well now I feel stupid. I like both of those songs and use to sing along with them all the time (many, many moons ago). I guess I just never put all the words together. How lame!!

Birdie said...

Rox, that is jaw-dropping.

Java, you've given us ridiculous and sublime!

Meo, defend to the death the music you like. I crank up Abba just to make my kids groan.

somewhere joe said...

The rest of the Beatles hated Paul's Obla-di Obla-da, and George took a swipe at it in Savoy Truffle - "We all know Obla-di Obla-da, but can you tell me who you are?"

But to return to actual misunderstood lyrics, the most famous is

"Don't go around tonight,
well, it's bound to take your life
there's a bathroom on the right"

You could swear that's what it says.

The effect by the way has a name: it's called a mondegreen.

Sooo-this-is-me said...

Well... I guess if you wrote a song in the desert that would do it to you! Probably smoking up first did not help either! ;P

Hey what is wrong with ABBA, all their songs are perfect. "Dum dum diddle to be your fiddle" I mean poetic or what!

Birdie said...

Ohmigosh, Joe, you ARE the Woman Who Knows Everything.

Nothing's wrong with Abba, no matter what my kids say.

tornwordo said...

There was one lately with the refrain "it's gettin hot in here, so take off all your clothes", I don't know why but it struck me as hilariously lame every time I heard it.

the song

Birdie said...

Torn, I couldn't help but notice that the latest gangsta gear includes a bandaid. Whoa, I'm so down now with my papercut.

bigislandjeepguy said...

Mine is a local song by Harold Kama Jr...altho, I think some bigger named artists have sung it:

Guava Jelly

You say you love me
I say I love you
So why don't you stop your cryin'
Dry your weeping eyes
You know I love you
Baby, here I am,
Come rub it on my belly
Like Guava Jelly
Baby, here I am,
Come rub it on my belly
Like Guava Jelly

You say you need me
I say I need you too
So why don't you stop your cryin'
Dry your weeping eyes
You know I love you

Baby, here I am,
Come rub it on my belly
Like Guava Jelly
Baby, here I am,
Come rub it on my belly
Like Guava Jelly.

I have *no* frickn' clue what this song really means. And everytime it comes on, I shake my head in amazement.

alto said...

And here I thought I was the only one.

"Here’s my vote for worst lyrics ever written, to a melody comprised of two notes. "

Of course all belted out by a guy who sounds like he is concentrating a little too hard on getting the words right. Reading while attempting to sing is damn difficult, don't you know!

Birdie said...

Jeepguy, I don't want to think about why I would rub guava jelly on anyone's belly. Ewwww.

Al, great minds think alike.

Patrick said...

Blogger has refused to let me comment all week, and this entry was tormenting me. Not sure what blogger is trying to tell me; my computer kept saying it couldn't find the comment page. Uh-huh, heard that before.

Horse with No Name still wins in the 'trying to sound poetic/profound but just sounding stupid' category. Can anyone remind me who the comedian was who said "if you were spending all that time in the desert with a horse, don't you think you could have gotten around to naming it"?

There are all those songs out there where the lyrics are supposed to be ridiculous, hell the B-52s raised it to an art form, if you ask me. Mambo #5, Surfin' Bird, there are some classics, but yes, Horse with No Name is in a class by itself, if you ask me.

Birdie said...

Patrick, the danger in trying to be profound is that if you fail you sound self-indulgent and pompous instead. "Horse With No Name" nailed it, lyrically and musically.