Saturday, February 20, 2010

Terrible Song Lyrics


“Century” -  LIVE
I can smell your armpits
you stole my idea
you stole my idea
you stole my idea
this puke stinks like beer and everybody's here
I don’t even know where to begin. This cut off of 1997’s Secret Samadhi is either an extremely vivid account of a party attended by paranoid inventors with questionable personal hygiene or a failed exercise in hallucinogenic free association. Either way, it is difficult to defend a reference to fragrant underarms in a rock song. While lyrically this band has always been eccentric (they are likely the only artist to produce a top twenty hit that contains the word “placenta”) they have truly outdone themselves with “Century.”

“Chevy Van” - Sammy Johns
'Cause like a princess she was layin' there
Moonlight dancin' off her hair
She woke up and took me by the hand
We made love in my Chevy van
And that's all right with me
I put her out in a town that was so small
You could throw a rock from end to end
A dirt-road main street, she walked off in bare feet
It's a shame I won't be passin' through again
I imagine that every little girl dreams of one day being picked up by a nomadic sex predator in a minivan only to be unceremoniously deposited in a nameless town without her shoes. Apparently it was this very mindset that inspired Sammy Johns to pen this 1973 platinum single about the romance of the open road. Despite the fact that it reads like the deposition from a federal kidnapping case, the song was subsequently covered by several other artists including Sammy Kershaw, but as of yet has not been used in any General Motors marketing campaigns. And that’s all right with me….

“Rico Suave” - Gereardo
So please don't judge a book by its cover
There's more to being a Latin lover
You got to know how to deal with a woman
That won't let go
The price you pay for being a gigolo
I'm used to good ol' fashioned
Homestyle Spanish cooking
If I try that I'll be puking
In this 1991 hit, Gerardo urges listeners not to “judge a book by its cover” which is apropos considering he spends most of this song’s music video dressed like the gypsy pirate leader of a metro sexual biker-gang. Gerardo’s entire persona became a caricature of every derogatory Latino stereotype available and the nauseatingly smarmy lyrics were mercifully dissected by several seconds of Spanish dialogue. It is also worth noting that just because two words end in “ing” does not necessarily mean that they rhyme. We can only hope that Mr. Suave made a better male escort than he did a lyricist.

"Let’s Get Retarded" – Black Eyed Peas
Everybody, everybody, let's get into it.
Get stupid.
Get retarded, get retarded, get retarded.
Let's get retarded , let's get retarded in here. Let's get retarded, let's get retarded in here.

The fourth single from 2003’s Elephunk album, most people would recognize it by its less offensive reincarnation, Let’s Get It Started. Apparently it took a team of attorneys and corporate publicists to convince the Black Eyed Peas that a song advising its listeners to “get retarded” and “stupid” could potentially be offensive so they changed the title and questionable lyrics after release. The word “retarded” is repeated over thirty-four times throughout the song while the verse instructs us to “disconnect from all intellect.” Perhaps even more chilling is the fact that these lyrics are the finished product of countless studio hours and brainstorming sessions. If getting “retarded” was the best and most marketable idea to emerge, I can only imagine the ideas they discarded early:
·         Let’s Get Dyslexic
·         Let’s Get Paraplegic
·         Let’s Get Gangrenous
·         Let’s Get Cancerous
·         Let’s Get Transgendered
·         Let’s Get Hemorrhagic



"Feed Jake" – Pirates of the Mississippi
If you get an ear pierced, some will call you gay.
But if you drive a pick-up, they'll say 'No, he must be straight.'
What we are and what we ain't, what we can and what we can't,
Does it really matter?


Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I die before I wake, feed Jake, he's been a good dog,
My best friend right through it all, if I die before I wake,
Feed Jake

Released as a single in 1991, it remains the band’s highest charting song and to this day no one knows what message the band was attempting to convey. The verse seems to indicate that a direct correlation can be drawn between a man’s sexual orientation and the motor vehicle he owns.
·         Man with pierced ear + 1990 Chevrolet Silverado = Not Gay
·         Man with pierced ear + 1984 Chevrolet Celebrity = Gay
·         Man with no piercings + 1984 Chevrolet Celebrity = Single
Although this type of information is certainly important, the song’s title and chorus indicate that canine malnourishment is also weighing heavily on the composer’s mind. The chorus transforms the song into an awkward combination of a living will and an Alpo commercial, pleading with someone to feed his beloved Jake since “he’s been a good dog.” A band member later explained the song “means something different to everyone who hears it.” This is musician code for “we had no idea that the song was to be released to the public and I have been blindsided by this question.”

“21 Things That I Want In a Lover” – Alanis Morrisette
Do you have a big intellectual capacity but know
that it alone does not equate to wisdom?
Do you see everything as an illusion
but enjoy it even though you are not of it?
Are you both masculine and feminine, politically aware, and don't believe in capital punishment?
These are 21 things that I want in a lover
Not necessarily needs but qualities that I prefer
Do you derive joy from diving in and seeing that
loving someone can actually feel like freedom? Are you funny and self-deprecating, like adventure, and have many formed opinions?

This track off Alanis’s 2002 release Under Rug Swept, was apparently used as a melodic personal ad for the Canadian rocker. This was unfortunate since the underlying track featured the guitar stylings of the brilliant Dan DeLeo of Stone Temple Pilots. While I am not qualified to criticize the qualities Alanis finds attractive in a mate, I must say that her delivery leaves something to be desired. The lyrics carry the emotional weight of a 1040 Tax form and read like an intrusive phone survey set to music. Perhaps worst of all she seems to contradict herself. She detests ambivalence, unless it involves gender, desires someone intelligent enough to be thoroughly disillusioned, but simple-minded enough to be happy about it, and someone who is self-depreciating and humble about their “big intellectual capacity.” Isn’t it ironic…..


"Big Girls Don’t Cry" - Fergie

And I'm gonna miss you like a child misses their blanket
But I've got to get a move on with my life
It's time to be a big girl now
And big girls don't cry
This is perhaps one of the worst analogies ever to appear in a love song. It is inexcusable that someone with practically limitless financial resources cannot produce a more appropriate phrase to capture their emotional longing for another human being. This songs makes “It’s not you, it’s me” read like a Walt Whitman poem. Again, we can only speculate at the ideas that were discarded in favor of this little nugget:
·         I’m gonna miss you like Ike misses Tina
·         I’m gonna miss you like infant dehydration misses Pedialyte
·         I’m gonna miss you like my colon misses dietary fiber
·         I’m gonna miss you like OPEC misses 2008
·         I’m gonna miss you like a parrot misses a pirate’s shoulder
·         I’m gonna miss you like scurvy misses Vitamin C


1 comment:

  1. Here are two of my favs:

    "You and me baby ain't nothin' but mammals so let's do it like they do on the discovery channel."

    "I like your booty but I'm not gay."

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