I have blogged before about how often I hear a song and wonder about the point of the lyrics, but I swear to whomever it’s politically correct to swear to these days that the world of music is headed sharply for the bottom of the pond.
At work, we have a carefully selected music system, where we all submit an eight-hour playlist, and these playlists are rotated so that there is harmony on the songs that are played and the regularity in which we hear them. You would think that given this system, there would be relative calm and a happy work environment, but there is not. I’m not sure what possesses some people to select songs that feature on their playlist, but I can assure you this; they never admit to it. I personally love a good selection of Wham!, but I wouldn’t actually go as far as to opt for it as part of my eight hours, for fear of becoming a social pariah in the office. It was bad enough when the Beach Boys came on and when the moaning started I stood up and hotly claimed ownership, arguing that I defied anyone to not feel happy when the Beach Boys were playing. They couldn’t. Win.
So far we have had all sorts. The office is a melting pot of ages, sexes and upbringings, so there is of course a wide variety of songs, from The Eagles to Daft Punk, Rihanna to Bob Marley. What you can guarantee, and is as certain as death is to life, that at least once a week we will get Imogen Heap, and also a song that sounds like a smurf has been carefully fed into the paper shredder, with someone drilling behind it.
And the lyrics! Some rap songs, for example, make it really hard for me to understand what the hell is going on, and the motivation for this particular lyrical avenue. It’s almost like the dictionary had a lobotomy, and I just know Bob Marley is turning in his grave, alarmed at the amount of overshare that we get as an insight into these people’s lives.
Historically, rap (I use this in the loosest terms so I don’t get abuse) hasn’t had much to look up to. Lets take the unique Vanilla Ice
“cooking MC’s like a pound of bacon / Take heed cos I’m a lyrical poet (that’s opinion) / if there was a problem, yo ill solve it / check out the hook while my DJ revolves it”
And then, years later, graduates from the Vanilla Ice school of lyric writing, LFO:
New kids on the block had a bunch of hits / Chinese food makes me sick… when you take a sip you buzz like a hornet / Billy Shakespeare wrote a whole bunch of sonnets
Apparently, if it rhymes, you’re good to go. I hear these boys also wear a badge stating they are poets but they just don’t know it.
And even today, they are still at it, with Kanye West leading the pack
You should make your own toilet roll, cos you the s**t”
Compliments a plenty with that one, hey? Obviously, this is a cultural pandemic and not just specific to rappers. The worst ones have quite a catchy tune so you find yourself humming along, but then you clock the words and have to head off to the loo to apply some brain bleach to the affected areas.
And here are my top 5 terrible song lyrics, as chosen by me:
5) Hanson – Mmbop
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.
Lets be sure of this people, it is a secret we know. You plant a seed, and the majority of the time, it will grow. Sure, if you find the seed on the street it will be a surprise as to what actually grows out of it, but chances are, the majority of seeds will grow.
4) Black Eyed Peas – My Humps
So don’t pull on my hand boy / You ain’t my man, boy / I’m just tryn’a dance boy / And move my hump.
This upsets me as Will.I.Am wrote the lyrics to Ordinary People, a song that I absolutely adore. And then this. How. HOW?!
3) Vanilla – No Way No Way
Ah, if you got the genes and think / Ah, you can buy me with one drink / Ah, come we’re livin’ in a dreamworld, boy / Ah, no no no no no way, no way, man-ah man-ah man-ah
Is a highlight. Lyrical genius.
2) Vengaboys – Boom Boom
Boom, boom, boom, boom / I want you in my room / Let’s spend the night together / from now until forever / Boom, boom, boom, boom / I wanna double boom / Let’s spend the night together / together in my room
What a double boom is ‘bear thinking about.
1) Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney
Because she’s mine /The doggone girl is mine / Don’t waste your time / Because the doggone girl is mine
I can’t help but think that this trend for terrible lyrics comes from looking up to Michael Jackson and Sir Paul McCartney. I just cant fathom how two of the greatest songwriters ever were put in a room together and the only word they could think of to describe the girl they were fighting over was doggone.
Know any ridiculous ones?