Like Poetry to my Ears

7 May

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.

I rest my case.

Know any ridiculous ones?


13 Responses to “Like Poetry to my Ears”

  1. Sam May 7, 2012 at 11:35 am #

    Haha. I can’t think of really ridiculous off the top of my head – but remember that awful Pussycat Dolls song?

    “When I grow up I wanna be famous/I wanna be a star/I wanna be in movies/When I grow up I wanna see the world/drive nice cars/I wanna have groupies.”

    Don’t know if it happened over the pond but in SA, for some strange reason, many people heard “boobies” instead of “groupies.” Clubs, restuarants, shops… where ever it played someone decided to sing a long and change that last word. Funny at first but eventually, while I understand how people can equate being famous with boobs, I just could not understand why people thought Nicole would be howling out “boobies” with a straight face.

    • tinkerbelle86 May 7, 2012 at 12:38 pm #

      hahah, i always sing boobies when i hear that..

      • Sam May 7, 2012 at 12:43 pm #

        You know, after I posted the comment I thought “I bet she sings boobies and I’m going to look like a wanker.” Hahaha. Bam on the money.

  2. prenin May 7, 2012 at 11:38 am #

    Hi hun! 🙂

    I can’t stand (c)rap, it’s just garbage! 😦

    The rest is OK though – I have a broad spectrum of tastes when it comes to music! 🙂

    Love and hugs!


  3. twindaddy May 7, 2012 at 12:44 pm #

    Damn near anything on pop radio is awful. One song that gets on my nerves is the one about “I love you like a love song.” What does that mean, that you only love me in 3 minute increments and want the ability to turn it off at any time you so choose? Does that mean your love for me is so weak that it can compare to the love of a horribly written, but commercially successful ballad? Or does it mean that you have an unhealthy attraction to a certain love ballad and you stalk whoever plays it?

    I don’t get it. I’ve heard love compared to many things, but not a love song. How pathetic.

  4. bdewayne May 7, 2012 at 12:44 pm #

    A song from my youth;Mac Arthur Park.Sadly I still enjoy listening to it I just never have had the foggiest idea what the song was trying to say.Especially the parts about leaving the cake in the rain.So much for idea of growing older AND wiser.

  5. The Byronic Man May 7, 2012 at 4:54 pm #

    I often have to try not to understand the lyrics to songs I like. Once I know the lyrics are idiotic I really have trouble enjoying the song any more, so sometimes – if I have a hunch about the artist – I engage in willful ignorance.

  6. gojulesgo May 7, 2012 at 10:03 pm #

    I’ve been thinking about this topic this week (are you in my head?!), and now of course I can’t remember the song that made me think it. It was a song I like, and then realized the lyrics were kind of gross. But even songs like “Teenage Dream” are kinda dicey, when you picture the little girls that go around singing it.

    “MmmBop” is amazing. But the lyrics are ridiculous. It’s okay, though, because an 11-year-old wrote them. 😉

    • tinkerbelle86 May 8, 2012 at 8:34 am #

      its where ive been living this week… i heard there was a balloon ride in the midst and i just couldnt resist!!

  7. Chris Sheridan May 8, 2012 at 4:28 am #

    There is so much trash in current music that it should all be bulldozed into a landfill and buried, and then a musical time warp created so we could go back to the early 1960s and start over. Only this time we try to see where the musical train left the tracks last time, and avoid going off the rails again.

  8. Marvin the Martian May 8, 2012 at 1:26 pm #

    Lyric craft has declined so dramatically in the past fifty years, I can’t bear to listen to the words anymore.

  9. Richard Wiseman May 13, 2012 at 1:32 pm #

    In the Bruce Willis film ‘The Last Boy Scout’ Willis’ character is standing in front of the bad guy who has a knife to Willis’ eye. The bad guy says in a threatening way pressing the knife to the eye gently ‘Tell me Joseph, what would it take to make you scream?’ Willis replies ‘Play some rap music’. I rest my case.

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