Bad Songs Say So Much
I love music. I’m not really married to a particular genre, and have many styles that I enjoy immensely from 80s synth to Kanye, to Enya (no relation). In celebration of that fact, and this month’s topic of Poetry and Pabulum, I decided to present some of what I consider to be the worst abortions of poetic art as they exist in popular music.
Shakira is a fine example of a poetic abortion, and has a few songs worthy of mockery (check out “She-Wolf” for her unintentionally hysterical howl) but the song perhaps most worthy of ridicule is also one of her most famous in the States. In “Whenever, Wherever,” Shakira sings about her titties. It’s a train wreck lyrically, but the best awful lyric comes in the form of:
Lucky that my breasts are small and humble
So you don’t confuse them with mountains
Whoa nellie! Way to put a positive spin on your mosquito bites, Shak! Seriously though… google the lyrics of the song and have a good laugh.
Also in my target reticle (stolen from Sarah Palin who usually aims them at liberal elected officials and Russian turkeys) is Madonna. Now, I am a thirtysomething gay man, which means by Judy’s law, I have to love Madonna. And I do. But- and this is a big but (as big as Shak’s titties are tiny)- what is the deal with “I Love New York” off her otherwise nifty “Confessions on a Dance Floor” album. ILNY contains the following memorable bit:
I don’t like cities/ But I like New York
Other places/ Make me feel like a dork
That rhyme is eerily reminiscent of one made by a fellow student in a 5th grade poetry assignment at Martin E. Young elementary school when I was still a chubby little cherub. Come on Madonna. Aren’t you smarter than a fifth grader?
What about Jewel. Toss aside the fact that she went from indie music darling to disposable razor song woman, and you’ll see a woman who fancied herself a poet enough to release a book of her amazing gems. Someone should really tell Jewel that rhyming and two words does not make poetry… or they should have before she released “Hands”:
My hands are small I know
But they’re not yours, they are my own
What? Come on JewJewBe. Is that the best you can do? At the very least if you’re going to write lyrics like that, at LEAST have the brains to hide them in an upbeat dance song where people might not make it out of their K hole to notice. But hey don’t sweat the small stuff… your abnormally sized hands should work fine for Shakira’s baby boobies. Make that happen.
Oh Ke$ha. Apparently Kesha is Swedish for “don’t touch that… you don’t know where it’s been.” In “Dirty Pictures,” the woman so slutty she has a dollar sign in her name to remind you to leave a 50 on the dresser sings (or raps?) with Taio Cruz the following:
Whenever you are gone, I just wanna be wit ya
Please don’t get me wrong, I just wanna see a picture
That doesn’t even rhyme. Whore.
And for my final stab at music and pop culture, I am going to “go there.” Patrick Swayze. Oh yeah… he’s dead. They say it was cancer, but I suspect he heard himself sing and was pulled forever back into some kind of dingy mullet dimension. The only reason “She’s Like the Wind” was as popular as it was is because it touched women in that place only Ke$ha and Margaret Cho admit to touching:
She’s like the wind/ Through my tree
I think he was singing about getting a blow job, but probably not from Dirty Dancing co-star Jennifer Grey, as I’d imagine that giant snout would have gotten in the way. It would be like jousting gone wrong- nose vs. penis. Maybe that’s why she got the nose job that left her looking like another human being entirely. But I digress. Pat…baby… we loved you. I can’t imagine anyone else who would have been able to keep a straight face filming Road House. May you rest in peace… and may the rest of us never hear “She’s Like the Wind” again. Amen.
So that’s that! Hope you enjoyed my lengthy tirade, and I hope you’ll consider sharing some of your favorite terrible song lines. As a side note, all lyrics quoted above are the sole properties of their respective owners, though I don’t expect any issues, as it would require people to publicly acknowledge they own those terrible songs.
P.S. What the fuck is a pabulum?