Playlist of the Month: Songs With Terrible Lyrics

Songs are poetry set to music. And today, on Bad Poetry Day, we remember that not all poems are good. Some of them make awkward word choices trying to force a rhyme. Others use clumsy metaphors. And still others do things with English grammar that, well, you just can’t do. Out of the hundreds of songs released every year, it’s no surprise that some aren’t necessarily bad music – but the lyrics are terrible poetry.

Listen to the entire playlist below or click here!

Molly’s Picks

Empire State Of Mind – Jay-Z feat. Alicia Keys

I like Jay-Z. I like Alicia Keys. I even like this song, as in I know every word to the rap verses. But the chorus drives me crazy every time. “Concrete jungle where dreams are made of?” There are so many easy ways to fix this. Take off the “of.” Change the “where” to “that.” Hell, even toss in a few commas and change the “where” to “which” and bingo, we have a restrictive clause: concrete jungle, which dreams are made of…

Sexy Bitch – David Guetta feat Akon

There are SO MANY words to describe a girl without being disrespectful. For instance: brunette. Like 5’6, 5’7. Looks like that one girl who was in our sociology class. Wears a lot of patterns. Basically anything you would  say when making a witness report. David Guetta and Akon find none of them.

Champagne Supernova – Oasis

Where were you when Oasis was getting high? Not sure, but I know where Noel Gallagher was: writing this song. He’s said himself that “slowly walking down the hall, faster than a cannonball” makes no sense so I don’t even feel bad about this.

Whenever, Wherever – Shakira

The real question is what does this guy do when he comes across breasts that are NOT small and humble? I picture Shakira’s paramour shrugging dejectedly, reaching for his Columbia backpack, clipping on a few carabiners and filling up the ol’ Nalgene when he meets a busty lady, sighing “this is going to be a steep climb.”

Sk8er Boi – Avril Lavigne

This is what the pop-punk trend of the early 2000s wrought: ratty straightened hair, lots of hot pink, spikey bracelets, and Sk8r Boi. It makes no sense. A ballerina who’s not allowed to be into punk because she has to – what, listen to Tchaikovsky always? And why do her friends all share a single nose? But that plot twist near the end makes the terrible lyrics almost all worth it. AVRIL is with the SK8ER BOY? Did not see that one coming.

Traci’s Picks

My Humps – Black Eyed Peas

You could basically choose any Black Eyed Peas song and I assure you there will be at least one stupid line. In this particular song, the offense comes from the word “lumps” – sorry, more specifically, “my lovely lady lumps”. Come on Fergie, you really thought this would be a great way to describe your breasts? Although, you did change your name from Stacey Ferguson to just Fergie, so maybe it’s just in your blood to name things horribly.

Eenie Meenie – Justin Bieber ft. Sean Kingston

A good rule of thumb is not to use children’s nursery rhymes in your songs. Especially if those lyrics are slightly sexist. “Eenie meenie miney mo/Catch a bad chick by her toe/If she holla (if, if, if she holla) let her go” Does that even make sense? If a girl does holla, wouldn’t that be a good thing (for him)?

I Want It That Way by Backstreet Boys

Listen. I love the Backstreet Boys. If you’re new to our blog, this is not brand new information, as evidenced here. But I will gladly admit this song does not make any sense. Like the chorus and the verses don’t want the same thing. Also, what is “it”? In fact the boys themselves will admit it doesn’t make any sense. I’ve even seen them multiple times say in interviews and stuff, “What way? You want it what way??” Kevin’s explanation was that Max Martin, Swedish superproducer, wrote the song and at the time his English wasn’t that good. Too bad it’s like their most popular song ever.

Soda Pop by Britney Spears

Britney Spears isn’t really known for her lyrics. Or her singing. Don’t get me wrong, I love the girl but, come on, let’s all be honest with ourselves. If you grew up in our generation, you know how big this … Baby One More Time album was. A deep cut from said album is Soda Pop, a song referring to a beverage that no one actually calls “soda pop”. But props to Brit for namedropping the likes of Homer, Agamemnon and Zeus then later singing, “Open a soda pop, watch it fiz and pop/The clock is tickin’ and we can’t stop/Open a soda pop, bop-a shu-bop shu-bop” But the real reason why she’s popular is that you get these songs inexplicably stuck in your head for the next few hours.

Any song by Kesha

I feel like there is a clear line before Ke$ha and Kesha. Pre-Kesha was so much more of a shit show, and her lyrics reflected that. Particularly on her 2010 album Animal, which included her breakout hit song TiK ToK, and other notable songs called Dinosaur (about an old man hitting on her), Stephen (in which she’s an annoying little bitch asking why Stephen won’t call her back) and Party at a Rich Dude’s House (which is exactly what it sounds like). Then there’s the song Blah Blah Blah that’s about Ke$ha meeting some dude at a bar and she wants him to just shut up and have sex with her and it’s maybe borderline non-consensual? “Come put a little love in my glove box/I wanna dance with no pants on, holla” Everything about that lyric is horrible.

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GOOOOAALLLL!! Ranking The Best World Cup Songs

THE 2014 WORLD CUP STARTS TODAY Y’ALL!!!!!!!

Alright, in all honesty, I’m sorry if those caps lock letters (and the gif of Ross hyping himself up to play RUGBY) misled you  – I actually don’t care about the World Cup. I’m not into soccer, and I didn’t realize it was a huge deal and, like, the soccer Olympics until 2010 when I was fairly new to Los Angeles and everyone was super into it. Sports have just never been my main jam, okay?

You know what is my jam? Music by artists I recognize. Every year, there’s an official championship theme song used during the course of the World Cup and in ads to promote it. While some are less than inspirational, there are a number that have perfectly captured the spirit of the games. After listening to all the songs, I’ve compiled a list of the best songs since its inception in 1962.

A few notes: I only chose songs that were official World Cup anthems (with one exception) and again, since I have never had interest in the World Cup, I am basing my ranking on hearing these tracks for the first time (with two exceptions), and going with my gut Olivia Pope style, so clearly this list is purely subjective.

8) Anthem by Vangelis

{South Korea & Japan 2002}

I appreciate that this is just a pure dance track with no inspirational lyrics at all, going against all the previous songs, which you know, have lyrics. At least it goes well with the montage in this video.

7) El Rock del Mundial by Los Ramblers

{Chile 1962}

There’s something to be said about a song that captures not only the spirit of the World Cup but the time period as well. There’s no doubt that this song was made in 1962 – it’s like listening to a time capsule. I’m not a hardcore audiophile, so I don’t think I’ve ever heard 60s rock and roll music that wasn’t in English – and for 2 minutes and 47 seconds, I felt like I was transported to Chile and living in a black and white world.

6) Futbol by Maryla Rodowicz

{Germany 1974}

Although the World Cup was in Germany, this song is in Polish, and I can’t get over how wonderfully disco and corny it is. Literally the chorus is “Futbol, futbol, futbol”. I mean, at least this chick is on message – and SUPER passionate about it.

5) Gloryland by Daryl Hall, Sounds of Blackness

{USA 1994}

Daryl Hall. Of Hall & Oates. This song screams America – which kind of defeats the purpose of being all “the world is gathering in one place in the spirit of good sportsmanship”, but whatever. Daryl Hall’s voice has a quality about it that makes me believe whatever he is selling. As in, he could be singing Maneater and I’m all, ‘YEAH THAT BITCH IS DEFINITELY CRAY’ and with Gloryland, he’s singing ‘Believe in what you do/and you’ll go straight to see it through/on the road to Gloryland’ and I’m all ‘I CAN ACHIEVE ALL MY HOPES AND DREAMS, DARYL HALL! I’M ON MY WAY TO GLORYLAND!’ I buy it.

4) Un Estate Italiana by Gianna Nannini & Edoardo Bennato

{Italy 1990}

Speaking of passion, these Italian dudes definitely have it. We all know that everyone in Europe and Latin America are super hardcore about ‘football’ and these singers are showing their love for the sport in this track. Plus, it just sounds better when you sing in Italian, “magic nights following a goal under the sky of an Italian summer”. Even Daryl Hall couldn’t pull that off without sounding like a pretentious dillweed.

3) Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) by Shakira, featuring Freshly Ground

{South Africa 2010}

I feel like Shakira was put on this planet to record the official song for the World Cup. It just first her, you know?

2) Wavin’ Flag by K’naan feat. David Bisbal

{South Africa 2010}

Okay, so this song wasn’t the official track for South Africa that year – Shakira took that title. But K’naan – a Somalia-born Canadian – wrote this song inspired by the stories of refugees, and that theme of not giving up, both in the face of adversity and as simple as losing a soccer match, is what makes this song perfect for the World Cup.

1) The Cup of Life by Ricky Martin

{France 1998}

Like many people who tuned into the 1999 Grammy Awards, I distinctly remember watching Ricky Martin perform this, and that’s when my crush formed for this Latin heartthrob. It’s everything that a sports anthem should be – upbeat, catchy, celebratory, and include lyrics that everyone can remember and sing along to. It’s hard not to feel pumped up for a game – or for anything in life for that matter – when hearing this song.