Saturday, June 9, 2012

Top Ten "I can't believe I'm listening to this drivel"

There are some terrible songs out there. Insipid songs, boring songs, songs with no musicality. But there are some songs that are terrible on principle, whose lyrics suggest some pretty awful things. And I hate myself when I sing along because, damnit, they're catchy too.

10. S&M (Rhianna):
Sticks and stones may break my bones
but chains and whips excite me
For someone with domestic abuse in their past, I feel like this was a bad choice. I mean, it's a bad choice no matter what, songs about fetishes rank high on the TMI scale, but, particularly if you've suffered physical abuse, it seems to be in bad taste.

9. Tonight (Enrique Inglesias):
I'm not even going to put the lyrics for this one. If you haven't heard the song, you can find it. Essentially, it goes something like "I'm [profanity for intercourse]-ing you tonight." Buddy Holly and I have a theory that as we lose all modesty or skill for innuendo, music will eventually just describe the sex act in scientific detail. To be fair, it won't just be in music. There is a distinct regression in the sexual innuendo used in James Bond films. In the twenty-two Broccoli franchise films we've gone from such delightfully clever repartee as "That's a nice little bit of nothing your almost wearing" or "I won't be needing these" (said of oysters on the half-shell) to "I don't like cock fights." *facepalm*

8. Don't Trust Me (3oh3):
Shush girl, shut your lips,
do the Helen Keller and talk with your hips
I think this one is pretty self-explanatory. Not only a slander at Helen Keller but pretty much all women. This is right up there with Dr. Pepper 10's great 'not for women' advertising campaign.

7. Peacock (Katy Perry):
Katy Perry took a lot of flack for I Kissed a Girl, another catchy tune that many find questionable, but that song has never bothered me overly much. She isn't my favorite artist but I also wouldn't call her the worst, I enjoyed Friday Night and Hot N Cold. But this song was inexcusable. A terribly flimsy innuendo without a hint of wit. I'm also not really sure what the song is supposed to achieve, except for the wild panting of fanboys everywhere, of course.

6. California Girls (Katy Perry):
We'll melt your Popsicle
Yeah, I know, two strikes against her. I also dislike Fireworks but only because it's trite and overplayed. This one is not to be confused with the California Girls of the Beach Boys. The lyrics here are not the worst though the tone of the song seems to suggest the loose ways of the feminine population in California. It's really the music video that is so offensive - the disturbing fantasies of a Candy Land fetishist.

5. Just a Toy (Tommy Sands & Annette Funicello):
In this movie, Mary Quite Contrary and Tom Thumb make a visit to Toyland (amongst other things). Whilst helping the Toymaker make toys for Christmas. As they clean up the toyshop for the evening, Mary begins to sing about a doll and what her life must be like, waiting for the joy of being found on Christmas morning and finally belonging. Then Tom begins singing:
I love to see 'neath my Christmas tree
one special doll meant for me.
Smiling eyes, silken hair
you'll need such loving care,
you're just a toy.
You were planned and designed
with one person in mind,
to hold you and keep you forever,
and you'll live for the love
and the happiness of
this lonely boy
and each night he will say
in a whimsical way,
you're just a toy.
Yes, you, my beloved, are an inanimate, immobile object that can neither think nor speak. You will "live for the love and the happiness of" your predetermined mate. Each evening he will whimsically mock your static circumstance.

4. Bobby's Girl (Marcie Blane):
When people ask of me
what would you like to be
now that you're not a kid anymore
I know just what to say,
I answer right away,
there's just one thing
I've been wishing for...

I want to be Bobby's girl,
I want to be Bobby's girl
that's the most important thing to me
and if I was Bobby's girl,
if I was Bobby's girl,
what a faithful, thankful girl I'd be.
Aspiring, from a young age, to be the girl of a particular guy seems like aiming low. No other aspirations? No desire to see the world? Or make the perfect souffle? No bucket list? Just Bobby's girl, huh? Mk, then.

3. Baby It's Cold Outside (various artists):
Widely recognized as the Christmas date-rape song, owing much to a single line, "Say what's in this drink?", though "The answer is 'no'" is a nice follow up too. But, despite it's questionable lyrics, it remains one of the most popular Christmas duets in existence. The most upsetting of these is the She & Him version with a role reversal.

2. Wishin' & Hopin' (Dusty Springfield):
You gotta show him that you care just for him,
do the things he likes to do,
wear your hair just for me,
'cause you won't get him,
thinkin' and a prayin',
wishin' and a hopin'
I love this song, I do. It's so much fun, especially as the credits for My Best Friend's Wedding. But it is a truth universally acknowledged that the only way to get your man is to change everything about yourself for him. Hide your personality, forget everything that you enjoy, mold yourself to your love.

1. Standing on the Corner (Dean Martin):
This hurts the most because I love Dean Martin so very much. I sing along to this every time I listen to my Dino album, it can't be helped. But it is so creepifying and awful:
Standing on a corner watching all the girls go by,
standing on a corner watching all the girls go by.
Brother, you don't know a nicer occupation,
matter of fact, neither do I,
than standing on a corner watching all the girls,
watching all the girls, watching all the girls go by.

I'm the cat that got the cream.
Haven't got a girl but I can dream.
Haven't got a girl but I can wish,
so I'll take me down to Main Street
and that's where I select my imaginary dish.

Standing on a corner watching all the girls go by,
standing on a corner giving all the girls the eye.
Brother, if you've got a rich imagination,
give it a whirl, give it a try,
try standing on a corner watching all the girls,
watching all the girls, watching all the girls go by.

Brother, you can't go to jail for what you're thinking
or for that woo look in your eye,
standing on the corner watching all the girls
watching all the girls, watching all the girls go by.

Okay, folks, what songs have I missed. What awful song can you not help singing along to?


  1. I Kissed A Girl... *whacks head* I wasn't just singing that yesterday when it came on my sister's iPod...not at all...

  2. I don't know all of these songs but I gotta admit there are some really bad lyrics out there... have you listened to "Whistle" from Florida? I think it should be on this top!

    Drawing Dreaming

    1. I actually just heard "Whistle" for the first time this past weekend. Had I known it at the time of writing, it would have made the list without a doubt.

  3. A lot of the oldies that make me crazy are from Oldies. That Just a Toy song I haven't heard but it makes me want to strangle someone. Here are two that occurred to me right off.

    Run for Your Life - The Beatles:
    "Well I'd rather see you dead, little girl
    Than to be with another man
    You better keep your head, little girl
    Or I won't know where I am

    You better run for your life if you can, little girl
    Hide your head in the sand little girl
    Catch you with another man
    That's the end'a little girl

    Well you know that I'm a wicked guy
    And I was born with a jealous mind
    And I can't spend my whole life
    Trying just to make you toe the line"
    This isn't the only Beatles Song that indicates abusive tendencies, but it's the most flagrant. Nothing about this is okay.

    I Will Follow Him - Little Peggy March
    Of course, when you think stalker songs, the first that comes to mind is Sting's Every Breath You Take, however, this one would give that one a run for its money:
    "Love him, I love him, I love him
    And where he goes I'll follow, I'll follow, I'll follow
    I will follow him, follow him wherever he may go
    There isn't an ocean too deep
    A mountain so high it can keep me away
    I must follow him, ever since he touched my hand I knew
    That near him I always must be
    And nothing can keep him from me
    He is my destiny
    I love him, I love him, I love him
    And where he goes I'll follow, I'll follow, I'll follow
    He'll always be my true love, my true love, my true love
    From now until forever, forever, forever"
    And, of course, it's also repetitive and cliche-ridden, even in its time period.

    1. I think it's the use of the word 'follow' that bothers me so much, and how childish Little Peggy March sounds, both the moniker and her voice. This doesn't come off as a mature relationship, as her merely being with her love forever. It sounds like, should he dump her, she would continue to follow him, across oceans or mountains. Bad plan.

    2. As a lover of the 40s and 50s doo-wop and rockabilly era, I can relate. "I Will Follow Him" has so much of a stalker vibe to it but I still sing along when it comes on Pandora. I am ashamed. The 50s are notoriously bad for girls desperately clinging to one man (usually the wrong one, "Leader of the Pack") songs. Granted, the boys spend a lot of time pining after the girls too ("Punch & Judy"). Were the 50s nothing but a decade of unrequited love??

      I have not heard that Beatles song but my jaw dropped seeing those lyrics. What in the world?!

  4. Both of these are on my iPod, and I sing along regularly. There are so many offending songs that I can't stop listening to. If I remember, I'll come back and share when I hear one.

    I'm actually really amused by Leader of the Pack. For one thing, I think he would probably be super pissed if he knew she were telling everyone how they met in the candy store. Way to ruin a guy's street cred. Maybe he just needed more candy cigarettes. Yeah. Manly. Then she dumps him, despite her love, because of dad's opinion. He speeds away, sobbing, while she cries for him to go slow. Poorly done screeching sounds as he crashes to his death. This is seriously one of the most hilarious songs ever!

    Yeah, The Beatles song makes me mad...yet I bop along. They seem all cute and British, but there was a dark underbelly!

    Here's another I thought of, although I actually love it, because it's more tongue in cheek (I think). The lyrics are super offensive though:
    If You Wanna Be Happy - Jimmy Soul
    "If you wanna be happy
    For the rest of your life,
    Never make a pretty woman your wife,
    So from my personal point of view,
    Get an ugly girl to marry you.

    A pretty woman makes her husband look small
    And very often causes his downfall.
    As soon as he marries her
    Then she starts to do
    The things that will break his heart.
    But if you make an ugly woman your wife,
    You'll be happy for the rest of your life,
    An ugly woman cooks her meals on time,
    She'll always give you peace of mind.

    Don't let your friends say
    You have no taste,
    Go ahead and marry anyway,
    Though her face is ugly,
    Her eyes don't match,
    Take it from me she's a better catch.

    Say man.
    Hey baby.
    Saw your wife the other day.
    Yeah, she's ugly.
    Yeah, she's ugly but she sure can cook.
    Yeah?. Okay."