Sometimes we love a song because it's stupid. When the Flaming Lips immortalized a girl for not using jelly, for instance, we treasured the witty idiocy of it all. These are not those songs. These are the radio hits that tortured us with their inane babbling, with lyrics that sound epic and sentimental at first but are ultimately as shallow as a kiddie pool. There are a few stinkers here by some legendary artists, and there is also the rare unicorn of a mostly decent song being unfairly matched with some cringe-worthy lyrics. Keep reading for the first ten of the fifty worst rock/pop lyrics of all time.
50. Cher - "Believe"
"Do you believe in life after love/I can feel something inside me say/I really don't think you're strong enough"
It often sounds as if the producer Mark Taylor did everything he could to chop and distort the words of this song. Unfortunately, they still come in as clear today as they did when this song was first released in the late '90s -- and they're just as unpleasantly infectious.
49. Steve Miller Band - "The Joker"
"Some people call me the space cowboy, yeah/Some call me the gangster of love/Some people call me Maurice/'Cause I speak of the pompatus of love"
"The Joker" has always been a jukebox favorite of piss-drunk meatheads who believe they're charming enough to approach strangers. Which is appropriate, because the songwriter also seems to believe he's Oscar Wilde, yet he writes the lyrical equivalent of a soiled beer mat.
48. The New Seekers - "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing"
"I'd like to build the world a home/And furnish it with love/Grow apple trees and honey bees/And snow-white turtle doves"
Begins as a Coca-Cola ad, becomes a twelve-million-selling single, finishes as a lesson to marketing students about how not to be a jackass while trying to appropriate youth culture.
47. Puddle of Mudd - "Control"
"I love the way you look at me/I love the way you smack my ass/I love the dirty things you do/I have control of you"
How much control can you have while someone is smacking your ass and doing dirty things to you?
46.Oasis - "D'You Know What I Mean"
"All my people right here, right now/D'you know what I mean? (yeah, yeah)"
There is no greater illustration of Noel Gallagher's 1997 demise as a songwriter than his inability to finish this sentence.
45. Warrant - "Cherry Pie"
"She's my cherry pie/Cool drink of water/Such a sweet surprise"
Is she a dessert or a beverage? First lesson in lyric writing: Don't mix your metaphors.
44.Enrique Iglesias - "I Can Be Your Hero"
"I can be your hero, baby/I can kiss away the pain"
Uh, maybe try Vicodin instead?
43.Christina Aguilera - "Genie in a Bottle"
"If you want to be with me, baby/There's a price to pay/I'm a genie in a bottle/You gotta rub me the right way/If you want to be with me/I can make your wish come true/You gotta make a big impression/Gotta like what you do"
The attempt at innuendo here, as Aguilera sings of her "Genie," is as crass anything ICP ever wrote.
42.The Hollies - "Carrie Anne"
"People live and learn but you're still learning/You use my mind, and I'll be your teacher/When the lesson's over you'll be with me"
The first two verses of this song describe a creative, independent young lady, with each bandmember singing a different verse. But when it comes time for Graham Nash to step up to the mic, he delivers this creepy string of words that could easily read as a cult leader talking to a younger subject.
41. Herman's Hermits "Mrs. Brown You've Got a Lovely Daughter"
"Mrs. Brown you've got a lovely daughter/Girls as sharp as her are somethin' rare/But it's sad, she doesn't love me now.../If she finds that I've been 'round to see you/Tell her that I'm well and feelin' fine/Don't let on, don't say she's broke my heart...
It's obvious why the daughter of Mrs. Brown left this chump: He hangs out with her mother, trawling for sympathy. Something fishy's going on there.
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