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Posted at 10:43 AM ET, 01/19/2007

Friday List: Worst-Rhyming Lyrics Ever?

By Liz Kelly

Bob Dylan: King of rock or ruiner of rhymes? (AP)

Today's Friday list may have a detrimental side effect: There is a slight risk of getting sub-par song lyrics stuck in your head. This is a risk we must take, however, if we are to consider and expand on Cracked.com's list of the 20 worst rhymes in pop music history.

The list contains a few real stinkers -- "I'm like a bowl of gumbo/You ain't hotter than this/I'm what they play in the clubo" (Mariah Carey, "Don't Stop" ) -- and gives top honors to Bob Dylan for his "contacts"/"lumberjacks"-rhyming "Ballad of a Thin Man." But I'm not convinced that the bulk of the songs on the list have committed any grave transgression. This is pop music we're talking about, so Jimmy Buffett's "flip flop"/"pop top" rhyme in "Margaritaville" doesn't detract from the experience (which, for the record, is a cheesy experience).

I expected to see more lazy rhymes, like Geezer Butler's lame rhyme of "masses" with "masses" in the otherwise exceptional "War Pigs" by Black Sabbath: "Generals gathered in their masses/Just like witches at black masses," but I was sorely disappointed.

I rely on you to help bolster this list. Share your additions to the list of worst rhymes in music history.

Via: EW

By Liz Kelly  | January 19, 2007; 10:43 AM ET
Categories:  Friday Lists  
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Comments

"How ya livin Biggie Smalls? In mansion and Benz's
Givin ends to my friends and it feels stupendous"
-- Notorious BIG - Big Poppa

Also annoying is when he says he's going to fill his belly with a T-bone and Welch's grape.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 19, 2007 11:00 AM | Report abuse

"How ya livin Biggie Smalls? In mansion and Benz's
Givin ends to my friends and it feels stupendous"
-- Notorious BIG - Big Poppa

Also annoying is when he says he's going to fill his belly with a T-bone and Welch's grape.

Posted by: not bluto | January 19, 2007 11:00 AM | Report abuse

One of my all-time favorites comes from Mick Jagger: "Lonley at the top; Baby it's hot".

It's from his first solo record. Do we really think this was the best he could do?

Posted by: sb | January 19, 2007 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Maybe it's the editor in me, but Paul McCartney drives me nuts on 'Live and Let Die':

But if this ever-changing world IN WHICH WE LIVE IN, makes you give in and cry ...

Posted by: Snyder | January 19, 2007 11:32 AM | Report abuse

"Don't hate because I'm a superstar! And I'm married to a superstar! Nothin' come between us no matter who you are!"
--- Kevin Federline, Does it really matter what the song is?

I know using him is way to easy but I wanted to participate and for some reason other bad rhyming lyrics aren't coming to mind at the moment.

Posted by: petal | January 19, 2007 11:34 AM | Report abuse

I was reading the list and some of them are dumb - just repetition, not rhymes. And the first one, they complain about the song in general but the door floor rhyme works.

Posted by: mfd | January 19, 2007 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, guys - for my money the WORST goes to Lou Reed:

"like poison in a vial
she was often very vile..."

PUH-leeeez. And this was back when he was even good, VU days, I think or just after.

Posted by: Bogota | January 19, 2007 11:40 AM | Report abuse


From Carly Simon's "You're So Vain":

"You walked into the party like you were walking onto a yacht
Your hat strategically dipped below one eye
Your scarf it was apricot
You had one eye in the mirror as you watched yourself gavotte"

The rhyme works, but "gavotte" is such a pompous silly word!

Posted by: KiKi | January 19, 2007 11:41 AM | Report abuse

In Geezer's defense, the masses/masses rhyme is a pun; they're homonyms with one being a group of something and the other being a part of a religious service. The two words have different etymologies. It's unclear if it's lazy or tweely too clever.

(ack. did I just call Black Sabbath twee?)

Posted by: jburka | January 19, 2007 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Kiki---I thought Carly Simon was saying "as you watch yourself grow hot"

HA!

I'll have to look up gavotte, sounds Yiddish to me!

Posted by: JMM | January 19, 2007 11:49 AM | Report abuse

I can't stand this forced rhyme in "Papa Don't Preach," it should be "deep trouble" not "trouble deep." Who on earth ever says "trouble deep?"

Papa don't preach, I'm in trouble deep,
Papa don't preach, I've been losin' sleep


Also gotta hand it to Foreigner for "Cold As Ice."

You're as cold as ice, you're willing to sacrifice our love
You never take advice, someday you'll pay the price, I know

Posted by: C-Dawg | January 19, 2007 11:49 AM | Report abuse

"My my my music hits me so hard
Makes me say "Oh my Lord"
Thank you for blessing me
With a mind to rhyme and two hype feet "
MC Hammmer-Can't Touch This

No wonder he went broke.

Posted by: Lisa | January 19, 2007 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Sheryl Crow:

"Good is good and bad is bad
you never know which one you had."

Whatever!

Posted by: b | January 19, 2007 11:53 AM | Report abuse

how could they miss????:

"so happy together...
and how is the weather....."

Posted by: Jo | January 19, 2007 11:57 AM | Report abuse

how could they miss????:

"so happy together...
and how is the weather....."

Posted by: Jo | January 19, 2007 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Steve Miller Band, "Take the Money and Run"

"Billy Mack is a detective down in Texas,
You know he knows just exactly what the facts is."

Ooooookay.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 19, 2007 12:00 PM | Report abuse

sorry bout the double post--weird computer thing.....

Posted by: Jo | January 19, 2007 12:00 PM | Report abuse

"Everybody's Rapping Like It's A Commercial/
Actin' Like Life Is A Big Commercial"

Beastie Boys - Pass The Mic

Posted by: Dee | January 19, 2007 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Completely unrelated, I always thought it was "awhoooo railroads of thunder"

Posted by: not bluto | January 19, 2007 12:03 PM | Report abuse

You forgot the rest of the quatrain in the Steve Miller song:

Billy Mack is a detective down in in Texas
You know that he knows just exactly what the fact is,
He ain't gonna let those two escape justice,
He makes his living off the people's taxes.

Sheer poetry.

Posted by: Bill Mac | January 19, 2007 12:05 PM | Report abuse

What about these junky lyrics:

But there came an early snow
There's been a hoot-owl howling by my window now
For six nights in a row
She's coming for me, I know
And on Wildfire we're both gonna go

???

Posted by: not bluto | January 19, 2007 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Forget bad rhymes. What about bad metaphors? The worst:

"But I'm still an embryo
with a long, long way to go"

-- "I Am Woman" Helen Reddy (and Ray Burton?), released 1972

Posted by: Mike | January 19, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse

All songs by P. Diddy, Puff Daddy, Sean Combs... Whatever

Future generations will condemn us for allowing this man to write.

Posted by: Lisa | January 19, 2007 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Before this forum ends, let's not let Norah Jones get away with the following lines (in a song whose musical beauty makes the rhyme abuse hurt much worse):

I waited 'til I saw the sun
I don't know why I didn't come
I left you by the house of fun
I don't know why I didn't come
I don't know why I didn't come

Posted by: Carl | January 19, 2007 12:12 PM | Report abuse

this is probably too obscure but interpol's otherwise very good song "obstacle 1" has a terrible rhyme, or at least a terrible lyric used to make a rhyme, that has always stuck out to me:

"her stories are boring and stuff / she's always calling my bluff"

Posted by: guy | January 19, 2007 12:14 PM | Report abuse

The Sheryl Crow "good is good" makes me want to cry every time, but the worst lyric I've ever heard was in the Counting Crows cover of "Big Yellow Taxi": "Late at night, I heard the screen door slam/And a big yellow taxi took my girl away." Now, I know "slam" and "man" isn't the best rhyme in the world, but in what universe do "slam" and "away" rhyme? It ruins the whole song! (Besides, I always thought Joni was talking about her dad being old and considered useless, so the CC lyric doesn't even make sense.)

Posted by: R | January 19, 2007 12:16 PM | Report abuse

For some reason this has me wondering if anyone has ever set Ogden Nash to music.
(Ode to a Baby: A bit of talcum / Is always walcum.)

Posted by: WW | January 19, 2007 12:17 PM | Report abuse

More on jburka's comment:

mass (as in a large quantity of people) is derived from the Latin "massa," meaning a lump or dough

mass (the liturgical ceremony) is derived from the Latin "missa" ("messe" in French), the feminine of the past participle for mittere (to dismiss)

Is rhyming them really bad poetry? I would point out that, in Chaucer's day, rhyming homonyms (à la Geezer) was considered an act of great poetic skill.

Posted by: Justin | January 19, 2007 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Madonna:

I don't like cities/But I like New York
Other places make me feel like a Dork

Unforgivable. And I'm a huge fan, but come on.

Posted by: Gtown | January 19, 2007 12:20 PM | Report abuse

No, no, no, that list was bad because most of the rhymes did, in fact, RHYME. The bad ones are the ones where they use the same words to rhyme and the ones where the words don't, in fact, rhyme. Most of the time, though, the words rhymed -- it's just that the lyrics themselves were bad. That's completely different.

Anyway, to everyone here: Rather than coming up with simply bad lyrics, find the bad RHYMES -- i.e. those words that don't actually rhyme or that have to be mispronounced to rhyme.

Posted by: Ryan | January 19, 2007 12:21 PM | Report abuse

This doesn't have much to do w/ rhyming, but this from Werewolves in London:

Little old lady got mutilated late last night.

I've never been able to figure out if it is really good or really bad, but it's fun to sing along with.

Posted by: jlr | January 19, 2007 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Or there's the Digital Underground's Humpty Dance which has the immortal lyrics:

I get stupid,
I shoot an arrow like Cupid,
I use a word that don't mean nothin',
like loopid

At least he's up front about how bad the rhyme is.

Posted by: Phil at Mason | January 19, 2007 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Phil at Mason, that's a good one. :)

Posted by: Ryan | January 19, 2007 12:29 PM | Report abuse

I believe the McCartney lyric is "But if this ever-changing world IN WHICH WE'RE LIVIN', makes you give in and cry."

I'm with those who cite Steve Miller's "Take the Money and Run." Really, really bad.

Posted by: Tony | January 19, 2007 12:31 PM | Report abuse

from dreamy rick springfield:

how do i talk to girls?
i get tangled up in their curls.

also, how far we going back here? what about

lana lana bo bana banana fana fo fana, mi my mo mana, lana?

Posted by: m | January 19, 2007 12:31 PM | Report abuse

My vote for the all-time most pathetic, vapid rhymes ever to make their way into a hit song: Lenny Kravitz's "Fly Away." And I'm talking about the ENTIRE SONG. (I have omitted the brilliant chorus...)

I wish that I could fly
Into the sky
So very high
Just like a dragonfly

I'd fly above the trees
Over the seas in all degrees
To anywhere I please

Lets go and see the stars
The milky way or even mars
Where it could just be ours

Lets fade into the sun
Let your spirit fly
Where we are one
Just for a little fun
Oh oh oh yeah !

Posted by: Nick | January 19, 2007 12:32 PM | Report abuse

But Nick, they RHYME. That's a huge improvement over lines that have to be fudged to rhyme. What you're citing are (in your opinion) just bad lyrics. Quite different.

Posted by: Ryan | January 19, 2007 12:35 PM | Report abuse

The Cracked.com list loses all credibility not only for slagging Dylan, but also for not knowing that 'Black Betty' is not a RamJam original; it was written by Leadbelly.

Posted by: Wilmot Proviso | January 19, 2007 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Madonna:

I don't like cities/But I like New York
Other places make me feel like a Dork

Unforgivable. And I'm a huge fan, but come on.

I hate Madonna and her fake English accent.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 19, 2007 12:39 PM | Report abuse

^^ wahhhhoooooooo railroads of thunder

Posted by: not bluto | January 19, 2007 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Rick Springfield (again), from "Jesse's Girl":

"You know I feel so dirty when they start talking cute/
I wanna tell her that I love her, but the point is probably moot."

End the contest, right now. The word "moot" has no business being in a rock-and-roll song, ever, under any circumstances. My personal theory is that it was simply a "place-holder" rhyme that Rick intended to change before recording, but he lost track of the time and never got around to it.

Posted by: Jeff T. | January 19, 2007 12:42 PM | Report abuse

I was reading Cracked's list and fully expecting this to be number one... "except for the pope maybe in rome"??????????????????????? This is horrendous.

What if god was one of us
Just a slob like one of us
Just a stranger on the bus
Trying to make his way home
Just trying to make his way home
Like a holy rolling stone
Back up to heaven all alone
Just trying to make his way home
Nobody calling on the phone
Except for the pope maybe in rome

Posted by: The Pittsburgh Kid | January 19, 2007 12:45 PM | Report abuse

more Madge..

I've had other lips
I've sailed a thousand ships
But no matter where I go
You're the one for me baby this I know

Posted by: sh | January 19, 2007 12:46 PM | Report abuse

"God save the Queen...She Ain't No Human Bein'" The crushed ryhme somehow still makes the point that was the Sex Pistols.

Posted by: bobb dobbs | January 19, 2007 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Em, how about Don McLean and American Pie lyrics? Which I know Gene W. has covered in his chat already, but come on, 'broncin' is not a word, according to dictionary.com.

I was a lonely teenage broncin' buck
With a pink carnation and a pickup truck

Posted by: Charlietown | January 19, 2007 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Oasis, Little James

"Have you ever played with plasticine,
Even tried a trampoline?"

Posted by: Mike | January 19, 2007 12:54 PM | Report abuse

What about the line from Lenny Kravitz' "Are you gonna go my way"

We've got love
and rub a dub

Posted by: mike | January 19, 2007 12:56 PM | Report abuse

How about Nickelback's "Photograph"?

Look at this photograph
Everytime I do it makes me laugh

That's about as phoned-in as it gets.

Posted by: wmt | January 19, 2007 12:56 PM | Report abuse

another police song - don't stand so close to me....good song, but i never liked this part.

It's no use he sees her
He starts to shake he starts to cough
Just like the old man in
That book by Nabakov

Posted by: jcm | January 19, 2007 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Re: "her stories are boring and stuff / she's always calling my bluff"

Interpol is obscure? Oh me oh my!

I'm not a huge fan, but I own the album on which that lyric appears, and I think the "and stuff" is hilarious, because I see it as the singer taking a stab at himself for insulting the girl in question. Like, "Her stories are boring, but I'm so unimaginative myself that all I can think to end a line with is 'and stuff.'" The English major in me is probably reading too much into that, but I don't think it's a horrible line, by far, and the rhyme is entertaining.

Posted by: KateR | January 19, 2007 1:00 PM | Report abuse

lou bega:

one, two, three four five
everybody in the car so c'mon let's drive
to the liquor store round the corner
for some gin and juice but i really don't wanna
beer bust like i had last week
i must stay smooth cause talk is cheep

i won't add the chorus--it's so bad it's infectious

Posted by: b | January 19, 2007 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Jimmie Martin may have the market cornered. For starters:

from Sophronie:
she's loving another man...hold her hand
...Till my Sophronie left me so lonely

from Sugar Coated Love:
sugar on a plate...something I had ate

Jimmie's acquaintance with grammer was pretty sketchy too, or is that another category?

Posted by: Cliff | January 19, 2007 1:02 PM | Report abuse

My fave has always been the Steve Miller Band's rhyme of "facts is" with "Texas." I believe it is in "Take the Money and Run."

Posted by: Erin | January 19, 2007 1:03 PM | Report abuse

I've learned something today. I always thought that the "Live and Let Die" lyrics were "in which we live in" too. Hmm.

There's a k.d. lang song with a similar double "in" but I can't remember it at the moment. (She also says "excape" in one song, but that's a separate crime.)

So many bad un-rhymes to choose from. Can I cast a vote for "Africa" by Toto?

"The wild dogs cry out in the night
As they grow restless longing for some solitary company
I know that I must do what's right
Sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti"

"Company" and "Serengeti"? (They also jam in those Serengeti syllables too. UGH.)

Posted by: Tim | January 19, 2007 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Very funny, Not Bluto. You've got quite a memory on you.

Posted by: Liz | January 19, 2007 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Also from Ogden Nash

When called by a panther, don't answer.

But then he knew what he was doing and why.

Posted by: Cliff | January 19, 2007 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Hooters. "All You Zombies." Worst rhyme ever. In a song full of 'em:

Only Noah saw it coming
40 days and 40 nights
Took his sons and daughters with him
Yeah, they were the Israelites!

Posted by: Philly shout out | January 19, 2007 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Also not a rhyme, but along the lines of "in this ever changing world in which we live in" is John Mellencamp's "I cannot forget from where it is that I come from".

Posted by: sb | January 19, 2007 1:10 PM | Report abuse

I'm amazed that Joe Diffie's absolutely immortal lyric has remained this obscure:

"Did I leave the door wide open and let the chill just kill that old desire?
Should I put my arms around you or put another log on the fire?
Is it my imagination or did the temperature just drop a notch or two?
Is it cold in here? Or is it just you?"

Real song. I swear. Heartbreakingly earnest, too, if you've ever heard it. My roommates and I (one of whom was an unabashed country fan) made GREAT sport of mocking that song in college.

Posted by: Dr Chuck | January 19, 2007 1:11 PM | Report abuse

And Dee took care of the Beastie Boys lyric I was going to post originally, so here's my hip-hop lyric of choice, thanks to Method Man:

They don't know I'm wicked, when I start to kick it /
With the raw sound, wash it down with a Mystic /
Then I add a Snapple, n*gga want the juice /
But he don't want the hassle...

This song, Release Yo' Self (or sometimes "Delf"), is really, really good, and I actually love the very lines I'm questioning right now. Just wanted to share and see what other people thought. Or to yell "Hey, look at me, I like Method Man, I'm so cool!" on the Internet. Same thing.

Posted by: KateR | January 19, 2007 1:12 PM | Report abuse

There are so many things wrong with that Lou Bega song, I think rhyming is the least of its problems.

Posted by: not bluto | January 19, 2007 1:12 PM | Report abuse

From XTC's "Season Cycle" (1986):

Darling don't you ever stop to wonder,
About the clouds about the hail and thunder,
'Bout the baby and its umbilical:
Who's pushing the pedals on the season cycle?

To get the last couplet to rhyme, Andy Partridge sings it as um-bi-LIKE-al.

Posted by: eb | January 19, 2007 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Finally, chiming in on "ever-changing world in which we live in" -- yes, Paul sings "in which we're livin'," but the reason why a lot of people think it's "in which we live in," I surmise, is because that's what Axl Rose sings in the Guns 'n' Roses cover version. Thanks, Axl!

Posted by: KateR | January 19, 2007 1:15 PM | Report abuse

As for this earlier post:

"It's no use he sees her
He starts to shake he starts to cough
Just like the old man in
That book by Nabakov"

man, I'd forgotten how pretentious Sting was. Don't forget these moan-worthy gems from the Synchronicity album:

Walking in Your Footsteps: "Hey mighty brontosaurus, don't you have a lesson for us"

Wrapped Around Your Finger: "You consider me the young apprentice
Caught between the Scylla and Charibdes"

Posted by: Tim | January 19, 2007 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Busta Rhyme's verse in "Scenario"

try to step to this I will put you in a turban
and your head (?) smelling like the most stale urine

I've always found those lines a little unsettling.

Posted by: cb | January 19, 2007 1:18 PM | Report abuse

I thought Old Man and Old Lady in the 60s/70s generally meant significant other more than parent.

Posted by: Big Yello Taxi | January 19, 2007 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Anyone ever hear Leonard Nimoy sing "The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins?" (That great little Hobbit that we all admire?)

Bilbo, Bilbo Baggins, only 3 feet tall
Bilbo, Bilbo Baggins, bravest little Hobbit of them all.

That's just the chorus. The rest is much worse.

Posted by: Barb | January 19, 2007 1:20 PM | Report abuse

"Take the money and run" was going to get my vote (Billy Mack is a detective down in in Texas/You know that he knows just exactly what the facts is) until till Philly Shout Out reminded me of the Hooters. "Yeah they were the Israelites" is the worst.

Oh, and "Little old lady got mutilated late last night" is the best alliterative lyric EVER.

Posted by: Sam888 | January 19, 2007 1:25 PM | Report abuse

How about:

"Inagoddadavita I love you
Inagoddadavita I'll always be true"

by Iron Butterfly. WTF is a Inagoddadavita?

THis song has a great drum solo for it's time, but not much else.

Posted by: SoMD | January 19, 2007 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Anything by the Doors is easy picking, but I particularly like these two:

Now, I'm gonna love you
Till the heavens stop the rain
I'm gonna love you
Till the stars fall from the sky for you and I

And

Don't ya love her madly
Wanna be her daddy
Don't ya love her face
Don't ya love her as she's walkin' out the door
Like she did one thousand times before

Posted by: Chevy Chase | January 19, 2007 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Carl, I'd have gone with the bit from the bridge:

My heart is drenched in white
But you'll be on my mind

Insipid, nonsensical, and the rhyme's awkward. Sounds like a "winner" to me.

Posted by: fs | January 19, 2007 1:32 PM | Report abuse

"another police song - don't stand so close to me....good song, but i never liked this part.

It's no use he sees her
He starts to shake he starts to cough
Just like the old man in
That book by Nabakov"

jcm -

Is it the rhyme flow that you don't like? I'm sure you are aware of how appropriate the Lolita reference is, in regards to this song.

With that said, I now submit P. Diddy for his lyrical transgressions against the world. Every time I heard him say something like "even gave you extra cheese", I recoiled in pure horror.

Dishonorable mention: Jay-Z's lazy appearance in "Frontin" by Pharell. Rhyming "are" with "are" does not befit someone of his reputation and stature. Now whether or not his reputation, is justified is another discussion........

Posted by: Trent Banks | January 19, 2007 1:32 PM | Report abuse

who can forget this Paul McCartney gem -the man writes great music but some of the strangest lyrics ever...this from Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey

Hand across the water
Heads across the sky
Hand across the water
Heads across the sky
Admiral halsey notified me
He had to have a berth or he couldn't get to sea
I had another look and i had a cup of tea and butter pie
the butter wouldn't melt so i put it in the pie

Posted by: jcm | January 19, 2007 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Every single song that tries to take the rhyme past 3 words with the same sound. I don't know any that don't turn high school poetry immediately.

Posted by: Bethesdan | January 19, 2007 1:34 PM | Report abuse

How about:

"Inagoddadavita I love you
Inagoddadavita I'll always be true"

by Iron Butterfly. WTF is a Inagoddadavita?
---------
"In the Garden of Eden"

it's sort of a marijuana reference.

Posted by: Bethesdan | January 19, 2007 1:35 PM | Report abuse

the Fresh Prince theme song..

I whistled for a cab and when it came near
The license plate said Fresh and it had dice in the mirror
If anything I can say this cab is rare
But I thought 'Naw forget it' - 'Yo homes to Bel Air'

I pulled up to the house about 7 or 8
And I yelled to the cabbie 'Yo homes smell ya later'
I looked at my kingdom
I was finally there
To sit on my throne as the Prince of Bel Air

Posted by: sara | January 19, 2007 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Liz, didn't Weingarten have a whole essay on what each line of "Ballad of a Thin Man" meant? I thought the Lumberjacks line actually made sense to someone old enough to have been listening to that song when it was first released.

Also, looking at the context of the Ashlee Simpson song, perhaps "la la" was initially supposed to be "get laid" before her Dad told her to change the lyrics and act more like her sister. (the phrase fits with the context of the verse and also rhymes with the "french maid" part)

Posted by: bendejo | January 19, 2007 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Man, that's stuff's better than chicken fried bacon grease
Come on with me boys down the road apiece

Amos Milburn, Down The Road Apiece

My gal is red hot
Your gal ain't doodley squat

Billy Lee Riley, Red Hot

Well, the little green men they were real hep cats
Rockin and a rollin to the crazy flats

Billy Lee Riley - Flyin' Saucer Rock And Roll

Posted by: spike | January 19, 2007 1:40 PM | Report abuse

From Destiny's Child song Bills, Bills, Bills:
"Can you pay my bills?
Can you pay my telephone bills?
Do you pay my automo' bills?
If you did then maybe we could chill"

It may be the perfect storm of 1) stupid lyrics, 2) "rhyming" a word with the word itself and 3) making up words.

Posted by: mizbinkley | January 19, 2007 1:41 PM | Report abuse

I've always liked how this lyric from Balloon Man by Robyn Hitchcock and the Egyptians starts bittersweetly and ends with silliness. An hilarious cop out for the sake of a rhyme!

And it rained
Like a slow divorce
And I wish
I could ride a horse

Posted by: zabah | January 19, 2007 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Those songs are all brilliant btw.

Posted by: spike | January 19, 2007 1:41 PM | Report abuse

By far the most cringe-worthy rhyme in a pop song was by ELO, in "Don't Bring Me Down":

"You're looking good just like a snake in the grass,
One of these days you're gonna break your glass."

Which actually made me feel embarrassed for them.

Posted by: Uncle Mike | January 19, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse

From Smack That [though really, how much can you expect from a song with that title]

I feel you creepin', I can see you from my shadow.
Wanna jump up in my Lamborghini Gallardo.
Maybe go to my place and just kick it, like Taebo.

It's the 'kick it like Taebo' that makes it truly bad.

Posted by: what the... | January 19, 2007 1:43 PM | Report abuse

LFO HAS to be added to the list for their song Summer Girls and its true rhyme butchery. A few choice lyrics:

"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"

Loooved laughing at that song in college. Another college favorite is from Will Smith's fabulous Gettin Jiggy Wit It:

"You gotta Prada
bag with alotta
stuff in it."

Genius!


Posted by: Linz | January 19, 2007 1:44 PM | Report abuse

I am a HUGE fan of Beck, and "Odelay" is magnificent (IMHO). But the lyrics are inane beyond description. I know Beck does the nonsensical thing on purpose, but some of these are just plain out there. Here's just a few, but anything will work:

"Hotwax"
It takes a backwash man
To sing a backwash song/
Like a frying pan when the fire's gone/
Driving my pig while the band's taking pictures in the grass/
In my radio smashed

"Sissy Neck"
All my friends
Tell me something is getting together/
I got a beard that would disappear
If I'm dressed in leather

"New Pollution"
She's got cigarette on each arm/
She's got the lily-white cavity crazes/
She's got a carburetor tied to the moon/
Pink eyes looking to the food of the ages

And finally ...
"Novocane"
Circumcised for the operation/
Full spectrum generation/
Cyanide ride down the turnpike/
After hours on the miracle mic

OK, so pick a song, any song. Crazy thing is these songs are hypnotic!

Posted by: chris | January 19, 2007 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Then there are the intentional terrible rhymes from Monty Python and the Holy Grail (and now Spamalot):

We're knights of the Round Table
we dance whene'er we're able.
We do routines and chorus scenes
with footwork impec-cable,
We dine well here in Camelot,
we eat ham and jam and Spam a lot
We're knights of the Round Table,
our shows are for-mi-dable.
But many times we're given rhymes
that are quite un-sing-able,
We're opera mad in Camelot,
we sing from the diaphragm a lot.
In war we're tough and able,
Quite in-de-fa-ti-gable.
Between our quests we sequin vests
and impersonate Clark Gable
It's a busy life in Camelot
I have to push the pram a lot.

Posted by: Spamalot | January 19, 2007 1:47 PM | Report abuse

It hardly gets any worse than Hootie and the Blowfish singing...oh, let's pick "Only Want to be With You"...(dylan fence was a far superior band btw)...

You and me, we come from different worlds
You like to laugh at me when I look at other girls

Put on a little Dylan, sittin' on a fence
I said "that line is great" you asked me what it meant by
Said I shot a man named Gray
Took his wife to Italy
She inherited a million bucks, and when she died it came to me
I can't help it if I'm lucky
I only want to be with you
Ain't Bobby so cool
I only want to be with you

Sometimes I wonder if we'll ever end
You get so mad at me when I go out with my friends

Posted by: SC | January 19, 2007 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Oh, also, the Indigo Girls song "Galileo" when they have the protracted line of:


If we wait for the time till all souls get it right
Then at least I know there'll be no nuclear annihilation In my lifetime, I'm still not right

Great song, but the cadence of that last line just drags on forever.

Posted by: bendejo | January 19, 2007 1:48 PM | Report abuse

No question - From "Bootylicious" by Destiny's Child:

I don't think you're ready/
For this jelly


*shudder*

Posted by: Bethesda, MD | January 19, 2007 1:50 PM | Report abuse

From Destiny's Child, "Bills, Bills, Bills":

"Can you pay my bills?
Can you pay my telephone bills?
Do you pay my automo' bills?"

Aagh! "Automo bills?" Infuriating.

Posted by: Stephanie D. | January 19, 2007 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Notorious B.I.G.

Birthdays were the worst days
Now we sip champagne when we're thirs...tay?!?!

Posted by: ATL Dad | January 19, 2007 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Why inordinate fascination with celebrities is not good for our society in general: From another PostBlog, AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Hours after Gov. Rick Perry kicked off his second full term in office, Ted Nugent helped him celebrate at a black-tie gala, but not all attendees were pleased by the rocker's performance.

Using machine guns as props, Nugent, 58, appeared onstage as the final act of the inaugural ball wearing a cutoff T-shirt emblazoned with the Confederate flag and shouting offensive remarks about non-English speakers, according to people who were in attendance.

Perry's spokesman, Robert Black, downplayed the Tuesday-night incident.

"Ted Nugent is a good friend of the governor's. He asked him if he would play at the inaugural. He didn't put any stipulation of what he would play," Black said.

Others said the appearance was inappropriate.

"I think it was a horrible choice," GOP strategist Royal Masset said. "I hope nobody approved it."

Classy, Mr. Perry, very classy. Alienate every black and hispanic person in a state heavily populated by blacks and hispanics. I'm sure someone had a video camera...probably up on UTube already.

Posted by: DC | January 19, 2007 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Kurtis Blow (Christmas Rappin')

And grownups got some presents too
A new TV and a stere...u?!?!

Posted by: ATL Dad | January 19, 2007 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Let's not forget this immortal stanza from the Kaiser Chiefs "Saturday Night":

P-p-p-pneumothorax is a word that is long.
They're just trying to put the punk back into punctured lung
Pe-pe-pe-panic over party off party on
'Cause we are birds of a feather and you can be the fat one

On the other hand, perhaps it should be forgotten...

Posted by: musickna | January 19, 2007 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Why is it that the Red Hot Chili Peppers insist on using states' names as rhyming devices? They have done this in "Around the World" and in "Dani California." Find a new theme.

The worst rap lyrics that come to mind are by Missy Eliott. I love seeing Virginians do well, but I have never understood why people think she's talented.

From "Get Ur Freak On": Aint no stoppin me
Copywritten so, dont copy me
Yall do it, sloppily
From "Cop That Sh*t": And to the bootleggers lovin' the bootlegs, we breakin' off both of ya legs

Ooooh, she rhymed "bootlegs" with..."legs!" Brilliant!

Posted by: musicgeek | January 19, 2007 1:58 PM | Report abuse

I gotta agree that Bob Dylan got a bit lazy later in his career. Take a look at the lyrics to "Hurricane."

We want to put his ass in stir
We want to pin this triple murder on him
He ain't no Gentleman Jim."

He has to overpronounce the first syllable of "murder" to kind of make it rhyme with "stir." Awful.

Another gem from that very long song:

And when it's over I'd just as soon go on my way
Up to some paradise
Where the trout streams flow and the air is nice
And ride a horse along a trail.
But then they took him to the jailhouse
Where they try to turn a man into a mouse.

Posted by: C-Dawg | January 19, 2007 2:02 PM | Report abuse

I present to you , the lamest set of lyrics ever.

"Let the bodies hit the floor
Let the bodies hit the floor
Let the bodies hit the floor
Let the bodies hit the floor
Beaten why for
Can't take much more
One - Nothing wrong with me
Two - Nothing wrong with me
Three - Nothing wrong with me
Four - Nothing wrong with me
One - Something's got to give
Two - Something's got to give
Three - Something's got to give"

Bodies" by Drowning Pool

Posted by: BF | January 19, 2007 2:04 PM | Report abuse

It's nine o'clock on a Saturday
The regular crowd shuffles in
There's an old man sitting next to me
Making love to his tonic and gin.

Billy Joel reverses a drink order to make his rhyme work. Sorry! Real lame.

Posted by: Kurt | January 19, 2007 2:04 PM | Report abuse

For C-Dawg at 11:49 am:

Wake up, little Susie, wake up
Wake up, little Susie, wake up
We've both been sound asleep, wake up, little Susie, and weep
The movie's over, it's four o'clock, and we're in trouble deep
("Wake Up Little Susie," Everly Brothers, 1957)

Bad news, bad news,
Come to me where I sleep,
Turn, turn, turn again.
Sayin' one of your friends
Is in trouble deep,
Turn, turn to the rain
And the wind.
("Percy's Song," Dylan, 1985)

I'm drinkin' myself to sleep. There's no harm in counting sheep,
'cause while I'm awake I'm in trouble deep.
Yes, I'm drinking myself to sleep.
("Drinking Myself to Sleep," The Condors, 2005)

Just saying there IS is a precedent.

Posted by: Lotta Lyrics | January 19, 2007 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Everyone's got their own idea of what bad lyrics are. I like the Cracked interpretation of, "when the author just gave up on it making sense and threw in jibberish," along with "mispronouncing or augmenting words that don't even come close to rhyming." Hence "gumbo/clubo" and "contacts/lumberjacks."

How has Paul Simon not made any of these lists?

Well the sun gets weary
and the sun goes down
And ever since the watermelon

????? It doesn't even rhyme. It doesn't make sense. It just scans, that's all. Or

Then I fall to my knees
shake a rattle at the skies
I'm afraid that I'll be shaken
Abandoned, forsaken
in her cold coffee eyes

WHAT?!?

And of course, from Rocky Horror Picture Show

Dammit, Janet, I love you

For the record, I happen to love the "Nabokov" rhyme in Don't Stand So Close To Me. If literary references get on your nerves, don't freakin' listen to the Police.

Posted by: Michael in Durham | January 19, 2007 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Just heard this on XM '70s radio (yeah, okay, so I listen to XM '70s radio), from the Beach Boys' "Rock & Roll Music":

I must admit they have a rockin band
Man they was blowing like a hurrican(e)

How 'bout that one, Ryan? Bonus points for bad grammar!

Posted by: wmt | January 19, 2007 2:11 PM | Report abuse

regarding the McCartney/Wings lyric from "Live and Let Die," I believe it's "In this ever-changing world in which we're livin'," which is much better gramatically if not musically.

Posted by: BryanRDC | January 19, 2007 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Jay-Z in the Missy Elliot songe "Wake Up"

Ivizu Jeans cover the rectum, my kick game just like David Beckham

Posted by: Hoova Hater | January 19, 2007 2:12 PM | Report abuse

It's a stupid article, and it completely ignores the fact that a great lyric should not stand apart from the music. If the lyric reads well on its own, its probably a lousy lyric. And besides, they forgot to mention every single lyric written by Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth--easily the crappiest lyricist of all time.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 19, 2007 2:12 PM | Report abuse

To Michael in Durham (who apparently has been to The Rialto a few times on Saturday night):

Isn't it "Damnit, Janet, I wanna screw ..."

oh, wait, no, that's the audience version :0

Posted by: chris | January 19, 2007 2:16 PM | Report abuse

What about R. Kelly's whole "Trapped in the Closet" series? That whole thing drove me crazy!

Here is just a sampling from one of the 'chapters':

"Here we are. The four of us...
In total shock... Me and her.
I closed my mouth and swallowed spit,
And I'm thinking to myself, "This is some deep s**t!"
And I said "So you're gonna tell me he's the one he's been talking to?"
He says, "Yes", I say, "No",
He says, "Yes", I say, "No"

Posted by: from Williamsburg, VA | January 19, 2007 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Now Michael in Durham, some people hate the "Nabokov" rhyme in "Don't Stand So Close To Me" because of the way Sting pronounces the name. Lots of people pronounce it differently (almost no one seems to pronounce it as Nabokov did) but there seems to be a general sense that Sting's pronunciation is one of the worst:
http://www.lib.ru/NABOKOW/Inter05.txt

So rock on Police lovers who still take issue with "Don't Stand So Close To Me"!

Posted by: mizbinkley | January 19, 2007 2:24 PM | Report abuse

It's gotta be anything by Will "the Fresh Prince" Smith. Especially Parents just don't understand. See lyrics.

http://www.sing365.com/music/lyric.nsf/Parent's-Just-Don't-Understand-lyrics-Will-Smith/147028ACAB35DB3C48256BCD00086EAF

Posted by: Nate | January 19, 2007 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Barenaked Ladies' "One Week":

http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/barenakedladies/oneweek.html

Chickity China the Chinese chicken
You have a drumstick and your brain stops tickin'
Watchin' X-Files with no lights on
We're dans la maison
I hope the Smoking Man's in this one
Like Harrison Ford I'm getting frantic
Like Sting I'm tantric
Like Snickers, guaranteed to satisfy

Like Kurasawa I make mad films
Okay, I don't make films
But if I did they'd have a Samurai
Gonna get a set a' better clubs
Gonna find the kind with tiny nubs
Just so my irons aren't always flying off the back-swing
Gotta get in tune with Sailor Moon
'Cause the cartoon has got the boom anime babes
That make me think the wrong thing

Posted by: Columbia, MD | January 19, 2007 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Columbia, what's wrong with the ryhming in the BNL song?

Posted by: SC | January 19, 2007 2:33 PM | Report abuse

not bluto:

yup, mambo no. 5 is a seriously twisted work. that's why it's my weapon of choice. the mere threat of it will put down your average insurgency.

as in: "don't make me get out my cd of 'mambo no. 5."
or "I have a Lou Bega CD and I'm not afraid to use it."

Posted by: b | January 19, 2007 2:34 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe no one got this one from Primus's "Mr. Knowitall"

They call me Mr. Knowitall
I am so eloquent.
Perfection is my middle name
And whatever rhymes with eloquent.

And of course this one from Alice Cooper:

Well we got no class
And we got no principles
And we got no innocence
We can't even think of a word that rhymes

Posted by: Maureen | January 19, 2007 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Paula Cole ("I Don't Want to Wait") makes her lyrics grammatically incorrect for an approximate rhyme:

So open up your morning light,
And say a little prayer for I

Awful.

Posted by: sneezer | January 19, 2007 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Don't know if this would be considered a *pop* song, but it is so great it deserves a mention: George and Ira Gershwin's "Just Another Rhumba"

There are so many priceless lyrics in this song, but I'll just include the ones that *rhyme* with the title:

Just another rhumba
But it certainly has my num-bah
So much so that I can't eat or slum-bah
Can you imagine anything dumb-bah?

Just another rhumba
Which I heard only last Septemb-bah
I'm a wreck, why did I have to succumb-bah
Can you imagine anything dumb-bah?
Why did I have to succumb-bah
To that rhumba?

When Ella Fitzgerald sings it, she really does manage to make all of those words rhyme. It's quite miraculous, really.

Posted by: argilamain | January 19, 2007 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Paula Cole ("I Don't Want to Wait") makes her lyrics grammatically incorrect for an approximate rhyme:

So open up your morning light,
And say a little prayer for I
---
Heavens, that's horrible. I'd never noticed it before. Perhaps because whenever I start to hear that song I turn the station immediately.

Posted by: to sneezer | January 19, 2007 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Hats off to Frank Zappa for the endlessly amusing:

"Momma stroked his dinger,
Daddy got a stinky finger"

(From "Wild Love" on "Sheik Yerbouti")

Thanks to Tipper Gore and the PMRC for publicizing this gem.

Posted by: Rxtr | January 19, 2007 2:46 PM | Report abuse

I think double rhymes are the worst, especially when you don't notice them at first.

For example:

"You may say I'm a dreamer
but I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
and the world will live as one."

So beautiful. But so so annoying.

Posted by: dc | January 19, 2007 2:51 PM | Report abuse

I wish everyone would stop the cover-up for Sir Paul. I've listened closely, wanting to hear what you're hearing. Maybe in the liner notes they've cleanup up his poor grammar, but it's grating to hear "we live in." I dig the song, tho. And when I sing along in the car, I correct the grammar and chuckle to myself, too, because he's a genius songsmith.

(And I switch the station when the Guns 'n' Roses version comes on. Ugh! Why did Axl think he had to be an artist instead of a rocker, which he was excellent at ... how's that for poor grammar.) ;-)

Posted by: snyder | January 19, 2007 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Eww. Now I've got these bad visuals of Paula Cole rambling incoherently while Tipper Gore rants about dingers and fingers.

Quick, somebody post something else!

Posted by: Tim | January 19, 2007 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Any variation of

"you know I love you so"

It was time to put that one to rest a loooong time ago.

Posted by: ray | January 19, 2007 3:02 PM | Report abuse

And one final post: Nobody's gotten to Neil Peart's conflated lyrics with Rush?

Each of us a cell of awareness
Imperfect and incomple-ete
Genetic blends, with uncertain ends
On a fortune hunt that's far too fleet

Great rhyming, but spare us the Ayn Rand philosophy.

Gotta run, my wife, the No. 1 Rush fan, is gonna kill me. Nice knowin' y'all.

Posted by: Snyder | January 19, 2007 3:05 PM | Report abuse

And one final post: Nobody's gotten to Neil Peart's conflated lyrics with Rush?

Each of us a cell of awareness
Imperfect and incomple-ete
Genetic blends, with uncertain ends
On a fortune hunt that's far too fleet

Great rhyming, but spare us the Ayn Rand philosophy.

Gotta run, my wife, the No. 1 Rush fan, is gonna kill me. Nice knowin' y'all.

Posted by: Snyder | January 19, 2007 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Not a rhyme but how could anyone forget:

"lightning crashes, a new mother cries/her placenta falls to the floor"

When that song comes on DC 101 I just continually chant "placenta" until the song ends.

Posted by: Jagshemash | January 19, 2007 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Also, on the same album as the Leonard Nimoy song ("Spaced Out"), "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" read (with great feeling) by William Shatner. You can really dig those stinky lyrics when they are spoken by Capt. James T. Kirk.
I would love to get a copy of "Super Freak" by Rick James because I think there must be some good lyrics in there....I recall something about "incense, wine and candles" and my friend thought he was singing "intersecting candles". Maybe because he was kind of drooling.

Posted by: Barb | January 19, 2007 3:06 PM | Report abuse

In the same vein of non-pop songs that push the rhyming envelope...

The post of the intentionally silly Spam-a-lot lyrics made me think of the song "Young man, despair" from Gilbert and Sullivan's wonderfully satirical operetta, Mikado. It features at least four lines that rhyme with executioner, a couple of which I had to look up to know what they meant. I actually really love the way this song works.

Young man, despair
Likewise go to
Yum-Yum the fair
You must not woo
It will not do, I'm sorry for you
You very imperfect ablutioner

. . .

To wed the Lord High Executioner

. . .

She'll toddle away as all aver
With the Lord High Executioner

. . .

It's a hopeless case as you may see
And in your place away I'd flee
But don't blame me
I'm sorry to be
Of your pleasure a diminutioner

. . .

Her honeymoon
with that buffoon
At seven commences, so you shun her.

Posted by: argilamain | January 19, 2007 3:10 PM | Report abuse

For those of you who aren't familiar with the Beach Boys, may I present these lyrical gems from some of their more obscure late 60s-early 70s (non-surfin') albums? Some of those albums contain some of their best, most-unfairly-overlooked songs... but then for every great tune like "Til I Die" or "Sail On Sailor," there's one with lyrics like this:

"Transcenden-
tal Meditation can
Emancipate the man
And get you feelin' grand
It's cool!
It's cool!"
(TRANSCENDENTAL MEDITATION)

"I wash the dishes and I rinse up the sink
Like a busy bee
I make up a song as I'm workin' along
No one's watchin' me
I keep wishin' you were here to help me dry
When's the last time you baked me a pie?"
(I'D LOVE JUST ONCE TO SEE YOU)

"They say the students scared the guard
Though the troops were battle-dressed
Four martyrs earned a new degree:
The Bachelor of Bullets
I know we're all fed up with useless wars and racial strife
But next time there's a riot well you best keep out of sight"
(STUDENT DEMONSTRATION TIME)

"So we volleyed a while
With small talk and a smile
And as push comes to shove
I'd say this must be
The match point of our love"
(MATCH POINT OF OUR LOVE)

"Saturn has rings all around it
I searched the sky and I found it
Solar system
Brings us wisdom"
(SOLAR SYSTEM)

"I do 'em when I'm down in the tub
With avocado cream they'll take a rub
They wrinkle like raisins if I stay too long
I wouldn't want to do 'em wrong"
(TAKE A LOAD OFF YOUR FEET)

Posted by: Margo | January 19, 2007 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Tom Lehrer used to have with intentionally terrible rhymes. Here is the opening to "We will all go together when we go." (He actually sings "sooner or later", but cuts the phrase so that it sort of rhymes):

When you attend a funeral
It is sad to think that sooneral-
ater those you love will do the same for you

Although you may have thought it tragic
not to mention other adject-
ives when you think of all the weeping they will do.

(It actually turns into a song of very dark humor that celebrates how nuclear war will spare us the weeping process, since we'll all die at the same time.)

One of the last lines is:

When the air becomes uraneous*
We will all go simultaneous

*filled with uranium, I guess.


Posted by: Ray | January 19, 2007 3:29 PM | Report abuse

The rhyme I hate the most comes in a song that I ctually like, and it's the scansion that's the problem. The song is Toto's "Africa," and the this is the lyric:

"The wild dogs cry out in the night
As they grow restless longing for some solitary company
I know that I must do whats right
Sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti"

The problem arises with the last word. The way the scansion works, they have to pronounce it "serrrrr'-en-get-eeeeeeeeeee'" And it sounds HORRIBLE! FINGERNAILS ON CHALKBOARD HORRIBLE!

But the rest of the song rules. :-]


Posted by: Will Seabrook | January 19, 2007 3:31 PM | Report abuse

I wanted to mention the "Live And Let Die" post from early in this chain.

In fact, I used to have the same exact problem as that poster did, until one day

I realized that he my not be saying

"ever-changing world in which we live in,"

but actually is probably saying

"ever-changing world in which we're living."

Which would be fine, and the only fault would be that it's easily misinterpreted.

gitbox@gmail.com

Posted by: Will Seabrook | January 19, 2007 3:38 PM | Report abuse

http://www.lyricsfreak.com/p/paul+mccartney/live+let+die_20105856.html

"But in this ever changing world in which we live in"

Also, getting back to BNL, the song rhymes (to a point), but does not make much sense!

Posted by: Columbia, MD | January 19, 2007 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for mentioning "Serengetiiiiiiiii," which always made me cringe.

And my favorite Intentionally Horrible Tom Lehrer couplet of all time, from "The Elements":

These are the only ones of which the news has come to Harvard
And there may be many others but they haven't been discovered

Posted by: Max | January 19, 2007 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Don McLean's "broncin' buck" is a play on words for "bucking bronco". Sigh. I amazed somebody didn't get that. The American Pie album is a place where you'll find not only excellent lyrics, but true poetry. Listen to "Vincent".

Posted by: bkp | January 19, 2007 3:50 PM | Report abuse

My favorite: In the song Rico Suave, "appearance" is somehow rhymed with "parents"

How I remember this fact, I will never know. I'm sure it's taking up space in my brain that should be dedicated to math or current events.

Posted by: wheaton gal | January 19, 2007 3:51 PM | Report abuse

don mclean has one of the greatest sendups of rhyming in "On the Amazon."

There's a danger zone, not a stranger zone
Than the little plot I walk on that I call my home
Full of eerie sights, weird and skeery sights
Ev'ry vicious animal that creeps and crawls and bites!!

On the Amazon, the prophylactics prowl On the Amazon, the hypodermics howl On
the Amazon, you'll hear a scarab scowl and sting zodiacs on the wing

All the stalactites and vicious vertebrae
Hunt the stalagmites while laryngitis slay
All that parasites that come from Paraguay in the spring
Hmm, hmm hmmm

Snarling equinox among the rocks will seize you
And the fahrenheit comes out at night to freeze you

Wild duodenum are lurking in the trees
And the jungle swarms with green apostrophes
Oh, the Amazon is calling me

On the Amazon, the pax vobiscum bite
On the Amazon, the epiglottis fight
On the Amazon, the hemispheres at night all slink where the agnostics drink

All the hippodromes that lie concealed in mud
Hunt the metronomes that live in swamp and flood
Then the kodachromes run out and drink their blood, poor ginks

While velocipedes among the weeds will scare you
And the menopause with hungry jaws ensnares you

Frenzied adenoids infest the hills and slopes
Everyone avoids the deadly stethoscopes

Oh, the Amazon is calling
Yes, the Amazon is calling
Oh, the Amazon is calling me-ee!!

Posted by: b | January 19, 2007 4:01 PM | Report abuse

May I just say that, once again, the list that we've compiled puts the "official" list from EW to shame. My PARENTS could come up with lamer lyrics than that kid who wrote that article.

Posted by: Margo | January 19, 2007 4:02 PM | Report abuse

GOD MAY FORGIVE YOU (BUT I WON'T)
(Harlan Howard-Bobby Braddock)

You say that you're born again
Cleansed of your former sins
You want me to say I'll forgive and forget
But you've done too much to me,
Don't you be touchin' me
Go back and touch all those women you met.

[chorus]
God May Forgive You (But I Won't)
Yes, Jesus loves you, but I don't.
They don't have to live with you,
Neither do I.
You say that you're born again
Well, so am I
God May Forgive You (But I Won't)
I won't even try.

The kids used to cry for you,
I had to try to do
Things that a dad should do,
Since you were gone.
You really let us down
You may be heaven-bound
But you made one hell of a mess
Here at home.

Posted by: cjumper | January 19, 2007 4:02 PM | Report abuse

To me, the worst rhyming lyrics are those that done rhyme at all. Example, the first four lines of Joan Osborne's "Right Hand Man" (from her freshman album Relish):

Let me use your toothbrush.
Have you got a clean shirt?
My panty's in a wad
At the bottom of my purse.

Posted by: Robbie | January 19, 2007 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Can't speak for anyone else, but what bothers me about the "shake and cough"/"Nabokov" rhyme is that Sting is pronouncing "cough" and "-kov" as the same sound. He's rhyming "cough" with itself. It's a slightly higher-brow version of "automo-bills."

Posted by: Re: | January 19, 2007 4:14 PM | Report abuse

I am quite sure that Andy Partridge was lauging his arse off (and wanted you to laugh yours off too) when he rhymed 'umbilical' and 'cycle'. Also, that's probably off the best almbum ever, by anyone, and should be given the benefit of the doubt.

Posted by: re. eb/XTC | January 19, 2007 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Someone mentioned Method Man already, but he has an even worse one (and for the most part, he is quite skilled). From "Method Man" off the first Wu-Tang Clan album, "Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers..."

Hey, you, get off my cloud
You don't know me and you don't know my style.

Apparently, the Method Man School of Rhyme dictates that the word style is pronounced "STOOWWWWL". He's forcing the words to rhyme simply by yelling them, which only makes how ridiculous they are even more noticeable! Plus, they're the first lines in the song! It's like he wants us to see how shamelessly bad his rhyming skills are. And even worse, the first line is lifted from The Rolling Stones! Apparently, he wanted to look rock-literate (most rap I hear these days just lift lines from other rap singles that came out weeks before), but COME ON, METH!! Do Mick Jagger justice!!

Posted by: Lindsay | January 19, 2007 4:15 PM | Report abuse

I guess intentionally bad rhymes don't count? Some from Adam Sandler are pretty amusing:

Two-time Oscar winner Dustin Hoffman-ica celebrates Hanukah...

Love to eat the turkey at the table
I once saw a movie with Betty Grable

Thanksgiving is a special night
Jimmy Walker used to say Dynomite
That's right

Posted by: Rrrr | January 19, 2007 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Let's not overlook NWA's Gangsta, Gangsta:

"And then I realized it's time for me to go
So I stopped, jumped in the vehicle"

Except they pronounce vehicle as "vehic-oh". Classic.

Posted by: Stro | January 19, 2007 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Love and Rockets had some really lazy lyrics, and were masters of using the same word to rhyme with itself:

Our little lives get complicated
It's a simple thing
Simple as a flower
And that's a complicated thing
("No New Tale to Tell")

My head is full of magic, baby,
And I can share this with you
I feel I'm on top again, baby,
That's got everything to do with you
("So Alive")

Seems all that we get here are showers
Take a look at all the flowers
Relying on the showers
("Waiting for the Flood")

With their frequent "pop zen" themes I suppose such simplistic lyrics are fitting, though, and I can almost forgive their authors.

Posted by: J-Bo | January 19, 2007 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Boy, I can't believe no one's already mentioned this:

"Spiderwebs" - No Doubt

Sorry Im not home right now
Im walking into spiderwebs
So leave a message
And Ill call you back
A likely story, but leave a message
And Ill call you back

And its all your fault
I screen my phone calls
No matter matter matter matter who calls
I gotta screen my phone calls

Posted by: PopMuzak Hater | January 19, 2007 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Also, if "Werewolves of London" has the line with the best alliteration, Rush's "The Spirit of Radio" has the worst:

Begin the day with a friendly voice
A companion, unobtrusive
Plays that song thats so elusive
And the magic music makes your morning mood

Though I think Neil Peart wrote some pretty good lyrics as well -- I disagree with the earlier poster and think "Free Will" is actually one of his better efforts.

Posted by: J-Bo | January 19, 2007 4:42 PM | Report abuse

And my all-time favorite rap rhyme:

"I'll serve your ass like John McEnroe;
If your girl steps up, I'm smacking the ho"

From House of Pain's classic Jump Around. Now that's clever rhyming.

Posted by: Stro | January 19, 2007 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Elton John - Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

Back to the howling old owl in the woods
Hunting the horny back toad
Oh I've finally decided my future lies
Beyond the yellow brick road

Who hunts horny back toads? How would one go about hunting horny back toads?

Posted by: Josh | January 19, 2007 5:41 PM | Report abuse

You n' me baby ain't nothin' but maMMals;
So lets do it like they do on the Discovery chaNNel.

AAAAH!

A technical note: Lenny Kravitz's products are not actually songs. They are commercial jingles. Yeaaaah, yeaaaah, yeaaaaah.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 19, 2007 6:11 PM | Report abuse

This gem from REO Speedwagon's "Time For Me To Fly" has to be my all-time personal favorite:

I've had enough of the falseness
Of a worn-out relation -
Enough of the jealousy
And the intoleration.

Simply wonderful - Kevin Cronin inexplicably cuts one word and completely makes up another just for the sake of a rather dubious rhyme. Pure genius - I smile very time I hear it.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 19, 2007 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Worst. Rhyme. Ever.

Long distance with my girl and I'm talking on the cellular/
she said that she was sorry and I said "Yeah, the hell you were"

Beastie Boys. High Plains Drifter on Paul's Boutique.

Great record, though

Posted by: yan | January 19, 2007 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Just pretend "this ever-changing world in which we live in" is actually "this ever-changing world in which we're livin'." Thought I'd throw that out there.

Posted by: Bill | January 19, 2007 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Happen to love the masses/masses line in War Pigs. As it was mentioned above, that's a homonym, and thus is spared inanity status.

Jim Morrison is full of awful rhymes, but the worst is probably one of the most famous:

Come on baby, light my fire
Come on baby, light my fire
Try to set the night on... fire

And as an earlier poster mentioned, the worst rhyming song in its entirety is "Fly Away" by Lenny Kravitz-- a worthless song from a worthless entertainer.

Posted by: Joe the Fan | January 19, 2007 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Who could forget Debbie Harry's mic rockin' in Rapture:

And you don't stop, sure shot
Go out to the parking lot
And you get in your car and you drive real far
And you drive all night and then you see a light
And it comes right down and lands on the ground
And out comes a man from Mars
And you try to run but he's got a gun
And he shoots you dead and he eats your head
And then you're in the man from Mars
You go out at night, eatin' cars
You eat Cadillacs, Lincolns too
Mercurys and Subarus
And you don't stop, you keep on eatin' cars
Then, when there's no more cars
You go out at night and eat up bars where the people meet
Face to face, dance cheek to cheek
One to one, man to man
Dance toe to toe
Don't move to slow, 'cause the man from Mars
Is through with cars, he's eatin' bars
Yeah, wall to wall, door to door, hall to hall
He's gonna eat 'em all
Rapture, be pure
Take a tour, through the sewer
Don't strain your brain, paint a train
You'll be singin' in the rain
I said don't stop, do punk rock
Well now you see what you wanna be
Just have your party on TV
'Cause the man from Mars won't eat up bars when the TV's on
And now he's gone back up to space
Where he won't have a hassle with the human race
And you hip-hop, and you don't stop
Just blast off, sure shot
'Cause the man from Mars stopped eatin' cars and eatin' bars
And now he only eats guitars, get up!

(sound of mic hitting floor)

Posted by: LH | January 19, 2007 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Sooner or later
you're going to listen to Ralph Nader
I don't want to cause a fuss
about how fast cars, are, so, dangerous

-Buzzcocks: Fast Cars

The Ramones apparently didn't know how to pronounce massacre (the following rhymes when they sing it):

Texas chainsaw massacre
they took my baby, away from me.

(Mass-uh-crE)

Posted by: Paul | January 20, 2007 3:55 AM | Report abuse

Everyone who ever tried to rhyme "girl" and "world." You know who you are.

Posted by: Fairfax County | January 21, 2007 12:14 AM | Report abuse

I'm surprised no mention of Sublime:

Love's what I got/don't start a riot

(Pronounced "rye-aught")

Posted by: Sean | January 22, 2007 9:05 AM | Report abuse

How could we have forgotten the Red Hot Chili Peppers:

I like pleasure spiked with pain,
And music is my aeroplane.

So many things wrong -- starting with the non-sensical connection between the 2 lines to make a rhyme, then the bad metaphor trying to characterize music as airborne transportation, then the need for the arcane spelling just so he can stretch out the "o" in the middle of "aeroplane" to make the line fit the meter. Craptastic!

Posted by: VoR | January 22, 2007 9:20 AM | Report abuse

I love me some Beasties, but just can't stomach the Q-Tip solo in Ill Communication, even though he admits he botched the rap:

I eat the f--kin' pineapple Now 'N Laters.
Listen to me now, or listen to me later.
F--k it cause I know I didn't make it f--kin' rhyme for real
But yo technically, I'm as hard as steel.

Posted by: lizpoppe | January 22, 2007 10:07 AM | Report abuse

I don't know if anyone's posted these yet, but two of Beyonce's:

"Imma let 'im check up on it
Ladies let 'im check up on it"

and

"I could have another you in a minute
Matta fact, he'll be here in a minute"

Or Akon:

"Smack dat, all on the flo'
Smack dat, gimme some mo'
Smack dat, till you get so'
Smack dat, ohh-ohh-ohh-ohhh"

Did he really change three words that rhymed together so that they would all rhyme with "oh"?

Posted by: Mona | January 22, 2007 10:51 AM | Report abuse

lizpoppe, I remember reading somewhere back in the day that entire song was done freestyle, so I think you can give him more credit. but maybe I'm wrong.

Posted by: OD | January 22, 2007 11:22 AM | Report abuse

What about this gem:

"I'll be up in the gym just working on my fitness.
He's my witness."

Proof that doing meth messes with your brain function.

Posted by: Lorton | January 22, 2007 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Let's not forget this forced rhyme by Coolio in the otherwise good song "Fantastic Voyage":
"You can't help me if you can't help yo'self/ We better take a left."

Posted by: Steve | January 23, 2007 11:58 AM | Report abuse

yan, (January 19, 2007 06:44 PM)

I hate the Beastie Boys but I think that was a really good, creative lyric.

Posted by: charlie | January 23, 2007 2:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm showing my age here but the one that gets me is in Neil Diamond's "Play Me":

Songs she sang to me
Songs she brang to me

Brang? The man is from New York! I don't even think that word would fly in the Ozarks.

Posted by: Doreen | January 23, 2007 3:45 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe no one has mentioned "Jingle Bell Rock"! It is truly worse than rhyming masses with masses.

Giddy-up jingle horse, pick up your feet
Jingle around the clock
Mix and mingle with the jingling feet
That's the Jingle Bell Rock!

Ok 1) this song has just rhymed the word "feet" with . . . "feet", and 2) the resulting lyric makes no sense. It has gotta be the worst rhyme ever.

Posted by: Huggy | January 23, 2007 4:35 PM | Report abuse

My favorite rhyme, especially on a day like today. Bob Dylan, in Isis:

The wind it was a-howling, and the cold was outrageous/
We chopped through the night, and we chopped through the dawn.
When he died, I was hoping that it wasn't contagious/
But I made up my mind that I had to go on!

Anyone who can rhyme "outrageous" and "contagious" is okay in my book.

Posted by: themegnapkin | January 26, 2007 10:24 AM | Report abuse

"Everybody's Rapping Like It's A Commercial/
Actin' Like Life Is A Big Commercial

"Whoever posted this obviously doesn't know the story about these lyrics:

Mike D made a mistake while recording and said "commercial" in the second line instead of "rehearsal". "Acting like life is a big rehearsal." The other members wouldn't let him redo it because that would contradict what the lyric is all about.

Posted by: Kevin | January 30, 2007 6:18 PM | Report abuse

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