The Century’s Dumbest Lyrics

15 03 2010

Fleetwood Mac

I never could stand Fleetwood Mac.  The fact that they had like 8,126 major hits over the span of their career really boggles my mind.

Normally, as soon as I hear the first few bars of a Fleetwood song on the radio, my hand automatically changes the station. But a couple days ago, both my hands were busy holding the wheel and texting (just kidding Mom. but seriously, I was holding the wheel and trying to eat an egg sandwich), and I was forced to listen to that God-awful Fleetwood song, “Dreams.” You know the one– the chorus goes like this:

Thunder only happens when it’s raining
Players only love you when they’re playing
They say, women, they will come and they will go
When the rain washes you clean, you’ll know
You will know

Seriously… what the f*ck does this mean?  First of all, its main premise is not even true.  Sometimes thunder happens when it’s not raining.  In fact, thunder often happens before it rains.  I mean, you could argue that it’s always raining somewhere, but then that line would just be stupid because everything technically happens when it’s raining somewhere.

Secondly, the thunder/rain analogy has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO with the second line about players only loving you when they’re playing.  They were clearly just trying to make a rhyme.  You could just as easily open the chorus with “Athletes don’t drink liquor when they’re training,” or “Good poops only happen when you’re straining,” and the song would not lose any of its meaning.

I got so angry listening to this song that I decided to write a post about the absolute dumbest lyrics of the past century.  Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” gets the number one spot, because the song just grates on my nerves so much.  But here are a few other idiotic, meaningless lyrics that I wish had not been hits:

Elton John- “Your Song”

If I was a sculptor…/But then again, no.

Are you schizophrenic, Elton? You’re a sculptor if you sculpt things.  This is not rocket science.

Rolling Stones- “Sweethearts Together”
Sweethearts together

We’ve only just begun

Sweethearts together

We’ll take life as it comes

Sweethearts forever

Two hearts together as one

Did you hear that sound? It was me vomiting all over my black leather pumps.  I love the Stones more than just about anyone, but this song is like every bad love lyric all mashed into one hideous conglomeration of crap.

Radiohead- “Idioteque”

Who’s in bunker, who’s in bunker
I’ve seen too much
I haven’t seen enough
You haven’t seen enough
I’ll laugh until my head comes off
Women and children first
And children first
And children..

I’m sure I’ll take heat for this one, since Radiohead is all but immortal, but come on.  “Who’s in bunker?” These lyrics prove that even Thom Yorke is not immune to mistakes.

Bob Dylan- “Forever Young”

May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you

Ew, when did Bob Dylan turn into a Beatitude?  This song is mushier than a 3-month-old banana. NEXT.

Three Dog Night- “One”

One is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do
Two can be as bad as one
It’s the loneliest number since the number one

No is the saddest experience you’ll ever know
Yes, it’s the saddest experience you’ll ever know
`Cause one is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do
One is the loneliest number, worse than two

So wait, let me get this straight.  Being alone makes you feel lonely?  I’m sorry Three Dog Night, you did some good stuff in your day, but this song is embarrassing.  It’s like Dr. Seuss for depressed toddlers.

Mims- “This is Why I’m Hot”

Chorus:

I’m hot cause I’m fly (fly)

You ain’t cause you not (Mims)

This is why

This is why I’m hot [2x]

This is why I’m hot

Catch me on the block

Every other day

Another bitch another drop

16 bars, 24 pop

44 songs, nigga gimme what you got

I’m in there driving cars

Push ’em off the lot

I’m into shutting stores down so I can shop

If you need a bird I can get it chopped

Tell me what you need you know I get ’em by the flock

How many one-syllable words can you think of that contain the short “O” vowel sound?  I’m pretty sure Mims thought of them all. Why?  Because he wanted to tell you why he’s hot, but the explanation was so brief that he ended up having to kill another 2 minutes and 30 seconds.

Seal- “Kiss from a Rose”

There used to be a graying tower alone on the sea.

You became the light on the dark side of me.

Love remained a drug that’s the high and not the pill.

But did you know,

That when it snows,

My eyes become large and

The light that you shine can be seen.

Baby,

I compare you to a kiss from a rose on the gray.

Now, I have a graduate degree in English.  I’ve written many, many a bullshit essay on contemporary poems that don’t even appear to be written in English.  But I have absolutely zero idea what Seal is talking about here.  I’m picturing him standing in a graveyard with his eyes all bugged out.  In the snow.  Am I missing something? Lyrics fail.

Backstreet Boys- “Everybody”

Everybody, yeah

Rock your body, yeah

Everybody, yeah

Rock your body right

Backstreet’s back, alright

Hey, yeah

Oh my God, we’re back again

Brothers, sisters, everybody sing

Gonna bring the flavor, show you how

Gotta question for you better answer now, yeah

Am I original?

Yeah

Am I the only one?

Yeah

Am I sexual?

Yeah

Am I everything you need?

You better rock your body now

…This album sold over 32 million copies worldwide.  We should all kill ourselves.

Manfred Mann- “Blinded by the Light”

Chorus:

Blinded by the light,

revved up like a deuce,

another runner in the night

Madman drummers bummers,

Indians in the summer with a teenage diplomat

In the dumps with the mumps as the adolescent pumps his way into his hat

With a boulder on my shoulder,

feelin’ kinda older,

I tripped the merry-go-round

With this very unpleasin’,

sneezin’ and wheezin,

the calliope crashed to the ground

But she was…

Blinded by the light,

revved up like a deuce,

another runner in the night…

I’m sorry, Manfred Mann.  Your lyrics are so non-sensical that the majority of the world thinks that “revved up like a deuce” is actually “wrapped up like a douche,” and honestly, does it matter which is which?  Your version doesn’t make any more sense than ours.

Timbaland- “The Way I Are”

Verse 2:

I ain’t got no money

I ain’t got no car to take you on a date

I can’t even buy you flowers

But together we could be the perfect soulmates

Talk to me girl

Chorus:

Baby if you strip, you can get a tip

‘Cause I like you just the way you are

I’m about to strip, and I want it quick

Can you handle me the way I are?

You don’t needs the cheese or the car keys

Girl I like you just the way you are

Let me see you strip, you can get a tip

‘Cause I like yah, like yah, like yah, like yah

Timbaland really knows how to sweep a girl off her feet with this grammatical failure of a song that seems to be saying, “I like you so much as a person that I’ll tip you if you strip for me.” Uh… where do I sign up?

Billy Ray Cyrus- “Achy Breaky Heart”

You can tell my arms:

Go back into the farm!

You can tell my feet

to hit the floor.

You can tell my lips

to tell my fingertips,

they won’t be reaching out

for you no more.

Chorus:

But don’t tell my heart,

my achy breaky heart,

I just don’t think he’d understand.

And if you tell my heart,

my achy breaky heart,

he might blow up and kill this man!

…All I can say is that I wish your achy breaky heart would blow up and kill me every time I hear this song, Billy Ray Cyrus.

This country is so chock full of lyrical geniuses that I continue to be surprised when new artists are able to top those that came before them.  Who are some of your faves?

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28 responses

15 03 2010
bros

I dont know how you can hate on fleetwood when they are also responsible for one of the most lyrically beautiful and gut wrenching songs ever-Landslide. I also dont even know how they could be talked about in the same breath as the cyrus clan or backstreet boys.

15 03 2010
districtramblings

“Thunder only happens when it’s raining”? What really bothers me about them is that they’re trying to be so profound, but they often fail miserably to accomplish that. At least miley and backstreet don’t pretend to be deep.

15 03 2010
graber

yeah, and Lindsey Buckingham is a dude…with a girls name. Stevie Nicks sings like a NYC subway drunk slurring their words…

And for the record, it’s douche, not deuce. Springsteen’s words, not mine.

15 03 2010
slab pie

FLEETWOOD MAC RULES. I’m sorry, they are amazing and brilliant. I agree with “bros”- they deserve better than to be pinned against the backstreet boys and others.

15 03 2010
meh

no offense, but this post is embarrassing. i’d wager you know very little about the INDISPUTABLY CLASSIC Fleetwood Mac. their back story is one for the ages, a compelling soap opera that played out across several huge records. they were also a band long before Steve Nicks even entered the picture. read up on your read ups.

15 03 2010
districtramblings

HAHA! “No offense, but this post is embarrassing.”

No offense, but your comment is completely irrelevant to what I wrote. I don’t like the band, and I especially don’t like that song– it has nothing to do with Stevie Nicks or their back story soap opera. I could “read up on my read ups” all day long, but the music will still not be pleasing to my ears.

15 03 2010
meh

just saying, as others have — they certainly don’t belong in the company of miley cyrus and MIMS.

dissecting most any pop lyric off a page is bound to baffle/humor/whatever you. in context i personally find the mood and emotion of the song pretty affecting, and entirely authentic, if nothing else.

it’s fine if you hate them, but aside from reaching for the dial on their radio hits, do you really know much of their music? honest question.

15 03 2010
districtramblings

Of course. Doesn’t everyone who listens to the radio know most of their music? It’s been force-fed to us every day since we were born.

I like a couple of their songs– “Rihanna” is good, “Landslide” is ok in moderation. But for the most part, I find them extremely overrated.

15 03 2010
districtramblings

I would also like to add that i am not putting the whole band in the company of Miley Cyrus and Mims. I am putting that particular lyric in the company of other bad lyrics, even though it appears to be cloaked in profundity.

15 03 2010
geof

What!?! How dare you defame the UNDENIABLY INCREDIBLE Backstreet Boys by comparing them to other pop artists. For one, they had really original dance moves that they synchronized. Two, they had rad hair and were super badass all the time. Three, I find soap operas compelling. Four, I think they wrote some of their own songs, or maybe it was their own dance moves. Either way, don’t ever put them into a list again unless they are the only ones on that list.

15 03 2010
taylor's friend

Meh — You’ve pointed out that Fleetwood Mac had several hits proclaimed to be wonderful by the public (as did DistrictRamblings), but you do nothing to actually counter her specific Mac-attack. She is correct – the lyrics of that song are outrageously dumb. Babe Ruth had an amazing career, but he was not immune from the “3 strikes, yer out” rule simply because he swatted 714 home runs in his career. Similarly, simply citing that Fleetwood Mac had a bajillion records sold does not cancel the fact that “Dreams,” as written, is really a nightmare.

Also, just because you say “no offense,” or “with all due respect,” as a preface does not qualify everything that flows therefrom as polite.

15 03 2010
districtramblings

**owned**

15 03 2010
bros

its just that you have no scale-I might agree with you on that one line you seem to be hung up on (I would hate to think though, that your objection to it is that you think it is stating the obvious that it only thunders when its raining and that that statement is somehow a dumb lyric, because your ‘no duh’ beef with it seems rather facile) but the dumbness of any fleetwood mac songs pale in comparison with the other amateurs you have up there. its like lame ass #1, lame ass #2, backsteet boys, miley freaking cyrus, and the FLEETWOOD MAC. are you serious? even on their worst day they are better and more profound than miley cyrus. It’s also weird to be picking on a songwriter who has enjoyed a long iconic career precisely for the profundity of her lyrics.

15 03 2010
bros

I also think you are letting your dislike of fleetwood bias how you feel about their lyrics. I will now challenge you to provide 5 examples of dumb lyrics from singer/songwriters or bands that you love…..or do all bands that you love have no bad lyrics?

15 03 2010
districtramblings

I love that Seal song, “Kiss from a Rose.” I seriously heart that song and it’s on my iPod. That doesn’t change the fact that the lyrics are unintelligible.

But I accept your challenge, as it’s a good one, and I will update this post with more bad lyrics from generally good songwriters that I like. Check back later.

15 03 2010
meh

zzzzz. no ownership to be found on this page.

my specific counter is that the whole exercise is much ado about nothing. so the lyrics of a smash hit are retarded when you break them down on paper — shocker. i’m much more interested in how they sound in context. it’s entirely subjective, but i’d argue they’re capable of taking on new meaning and weight.

i’m not convinced fleetwood mac deserves to be singled out, especially when their catalog offers so much to the contrary (again, clearly subjective).

15 03 2010
taylor's friend

What is the ‘new meaning and weight,’ if I may ask? And, assuming you come up with something, could it not be argued (as it has) that “Athletes don’t drink liquor when they’re training” or “Good poops only happen when you’re straining” are equally intelligent in providing new meaning and weight?

15 03 2010
rockymtnhigh

Well…for the record…there are lot more dumb lyrics out there that precede Fleetwood Mac. But the Cyruses or Backstreet Boys? Too easy.

How about these little ditties that go waaaay back.

Bob Rivers’ singing “Who Put the Bop in the Bop Shoo Bop Shoo Bop”
The title alone says everything you need to know about the vacuous lyrics that will follow.

The entire Doo Wop genre IS vacuous lyrics but the fact that they stick in your head like taffy tells you how simple our brains are.

Britney Spears’ “Email My Heart”. How do I know this one? A friend gave me her CD as a joke b-day present. I ran over it with my car after I backed into a dumpster when this song came over the speakers like a harpie calling sailors to shore…

“It’s been hours seems like days, since you went away,
And all I do is check the screen to see if you’re ok.
You don’t answer when I phone, guess you wanna be left alone.
So I’m sending my heart, my soul, and this is what I’ll say:

[CHORUS]
I’m sorry, oh so sorry, can’t you give me one more chance to make it all up to you.
E-mail my heart and say our love will never die
and that I know you’re out there and I know that you still care.
Email me back and say our love will stay alive.
Forever, Email my heart.”

Now…I’ll dig into my CD closet and pull out some of my hidden secrets. Like the fact that I’m a huge Pet Shop Boys fan and yet despite having some of the more literary lyrics they also come up with some complete duds. What makes these lyrics forgivable is the phrasing, the irony and the extended remix on their Introspective EP. But I will admit these lyrics suck big teabags.

‘I Want a Dog’

I want a dog,
A chihuahua
When I get back to my small flat
I want to hear somebody bark
Oh, (oh oh) you can get lonely
Don’t want a cat,
Scratching its claws all over my
Habitat
Giving no love and getting fat
Oh, (oh oh) you can get lonely
And a cat’s no help with that
I want a dog,
To walk in the park
When it gets dark, my dog will bark
At any passers-by
Oh, (oh oh) you can get lonely
I want a dog
I want a dog,
A chihuahua
When I get back to my small flat
I want to hear somebody bark
Oh, (oh oh) you can get lonely
I want a dog

Finally I will close with this masterpiece by the Smiths. Such a great song and the lyrics go from good to bad back to good again. Not because the rhyme is wrong but because it’s so cheeky. Who else can sing about getting hit by a ten ton truck and make you want to sing along, by yourself, in the car?

There’s a Light That Never Goes Out

“Take me out tonight
Where there’s music and there’s people
Who are young and alive
Driving in your car
I never never want to go home
Because I haven’t got one anymore

Take me out tonight
Because I want to see people
And I want to see life
Driving in your car
Oh please don’t drop me home
Because it’s not my home, it’s their home
And I’m welcome no more

And if a double-decker bus
Crashes into us
To die by your side
Is such a heavenly way to die
And if a ten ton truck
Kills the both of us
To die by your side
Well the pleasure, the privilege is mine

Take me out tonight
Take me anywhere, I don’t care
I don’t care, I don’t care
And in the darkened underpass
I thought Oh God, my chance has come at last
But then a strange fear gripped me
And I just couldn’t ask

Take me out tonight
Oh take me anywhere, I don’t care
I don’t care, I don’t care
Driving in your car
I never never want to go home
Because I haven’t got one
No, I haven’t got one

And if a double-decker bus
Crashes in to us
To die by your side
Is such a heavenly way to die
And if a ten ton truck
Kills the both of us
To die by your side
Well the pleasure, the privilege is mine”

15 03 2010
districtramblings

You say Cyrus and Backstreet are “too easy,” then you quote Britney Spears?

15 03 2010
rockymtnhigh

oh yeah…easy like sunday morning.

15 03 2010
geof

nice, rockmnthigh! i just heard this last song the other day and it was delightfully ridiculo-ha-ho-ha-ous (that is the typed version my Morrisey impression which i shamelessly yodel out my car window).

15 03 2010
Hagana

Re: Mims

I think Mims’ strongest argument that he’s “hot” is his subtle reference to his choice of poultry, namely, duck. Mims knows that most African Americans prefer chicken, but he’s trying to distinguish himself as a man of a higher class who likes duck, as that is the only bird that you regularly order “chopped” from your local Chinatown, and he gets them by the flock. The socioeconomic and racial undertones of this song are quite complex considering the amount of tension between African Americans and Chinese Americans in urban America.

Re: Seal

Seal is an old abandoned lighthouse alone on an island, and the object of his affection is a flower that miraculously sprang forth on the side of the lighthouse that is usually in the shadow. But because Seal is a lighthouse, there is a clear, possibly glass component at the top of the lighthouse where there once was a light source, and now, when it snows, the sunlight that under normal circumstances could never reach the flower is diffracted by the crystalline structure of the snowflakes to reach the flower.

Re: Backstreet Boys

“Everybody” is clearly a shout out and a reference to the people who bought their album.

Re: Timbaland

I actually see quite a lot of romance in these lyrics. Timbaland is willing to violate the iron rules of American grammar so that he can rhyme his own being in the first person with that of his lover. He doesn’t expect you to change, he likes you just the way you are, so much that he also wants to be the way she are.

15 03 2010
bored at work

Mim’s lyrics in that song are pretty retarded, but the way I understand it, that is what it’s supposed to be. The songs starts with:
“This is why I’m hot
I don’t gotta rap
I can sell a mill saying nothing on the track”

15 03 2010
DC's oto-san

I am sorry, but any article about the dumbest lyrics ever which doesnt include MacArthur Park is……..well……with all due respect……a dumb article.

“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!”

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16 03 2010
districtramblings

Haha- that is pretty bad. But would we call that song a “hit”?

16 03 2010
leverman

The song was first recorded by Richard Harris on his album A Tramp Shining in 1968 and was released as a single. It was an unusual single, running for more than seven minutes, with a long, climactic orchestral break. Harris’s topped the music charts in Europe and peaked at number two on the U.S. charts. The song peaked at #10 in Billboard’s Easy Listening survey, and was #8 for the year on WABC’s overall 1968 chart.[4]

This song went on to win a Grammy for Best Orchestration in 1969.

Donna Summer recording:
A multi-million selling disco version of the song by Donna Summer topped the U.S. charts for three weeks in 1978. Her recording, which was included as part of the “MacArthur Park Suite” on her double album Live and More, ran to 8:40 in its full-length version. The shorter single edit of the song was Summer’s first single to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MacArthur_Park_(song)

18 03 2010
SallyTwoDicks

I once had this friend who really hated his life, but he didn’t have the balls to off himself.

I suggested putting on some Fleetwood Mac.

He’s probably listening to thunder in heaven right now. Of course, on the other hand, it’s entirely possible that listening to Fleetwood Mac when you’re punching your own ticket on the ol’ game of Life is an almost certain way to find yourself in Hell for eternity.

Just saying.

16 04 2010
Julian Wolfe

I have to agree that while I like the musical sound of some of Fleetwood Mac’s stuff (including Dreams) the lyrics rarely make sense.

From “Monday Morning”:
Monday morning you sure look fine
Friday I got travellin’ on my mind
First you love me, and then you say it’s wrong
You know, I can’t go on believing for long
But you know it’s true, yes
You only want me when I get over you
First you love me
Then you get on down the line

What is this gibberish?

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