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WORST single lines

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Lonesome EJ 05 May 99 - 03:33 PM
Allan C. 05 May 99 - 03:43 PM
SeanM 05 May 99 - 04:41 PM
Rick Fielding 05 May 99 - 05:48 PM
RWilhelm 05 May 99 - 06:51 PM
JOField 05 May 99 - 07:31 PM
alison 05 May 99 - 08:15 PM
emily rain 05 May 99 - 09:04 PM
05 May 99 - 09:31 PM
bseed(charleskratz) 05 May 99 - 10:32 PM
katlaughing 06 May 99 - 08:52 AM
Peter T. 06 May 99 - 08:56 AM
Rick Fielding 06 May 99 - 09:01 AM
Peter T. 06 May 99 - 09:17 AM
Brian Hoskin 06 May 99 - 09:21 AM
Folk1234 06 May 99 - 10:35 AM
Felipa 06 May 99 - 10:39 AM
Peter Fisher 06 May 99 - 11:07 AM
KingBrilliant 06 May 99 - 11:13 AM
Lowcountry 06 May 99 - 12:09 PM
dwditty 06 May 99 - 01:11 PM
RWilhelm 06 May 99 - 04:35 PM
Kathleen Morgain 06 May 99 - 04:50 PM
Guy Wolff 06 May 99 - 07:58 PM
Lonesome EJ 06 May 99 - 10:15 PM
Wotcha 06 May 99 - 10:44 PM
DonMeixner 06 May 99 - 11:27 PM
Sandy Paton 07 May 99 - 01:01 AM
bseed(charleskratz) 07 May 99 - 03:27 AM
leprechaun 07 May 99 - 04:17 AM
Matthew B. 07 May 99 - 06:55 AM
Sean MacRuaraidh (inactive) 07 May 99 - 07:20 AM
Rick Fielding 07 May 99 - 10:37 AM
emily rain 07 May 99 - 02:55 PM
Peter T. 07 May 99 - 03:41 PM
Lonesome EJ 07 May 99 - 08:42 PM
Matthew B. 07 May 99 - 09:00 PM
Alice 07 May 99 - 09:10 PM
Lonesome EJ 07 May 99 - 09:42 PM
Alice 07 May 99 - 09:56 PM
Alice 07 May 99 - 10:08 PM
Rick Fielding 07 May 99 - 10:39 PM
Big Mick 07 May 99 - 10:46 PM
Rick Fielding 07 May 99 - 10:53 PM
Wotcha 08 May 99 - 11:58 AM
Rick Fielding 08 May 99 - 02:14 PM
The Shambles 08 May 99 - 08:27 PM
The Shambles 09 May 99 - 07:01 AM
Peter T. 10 May 99 - 09:51 AM
WyoWoman 10 May 99 - 10:19 AM
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Subject: WORST single lines
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 05 May 99 - 03:33 PM

Since so many responses came in for the Best single line thread, I thought it might be interesting to see which lines we love to hate. My personal favorite is a Dan Fogleberg line, can't remember the song title. He's talking about trying to revive a love affair, and says that love "once deceased is not easily exhumed." Pretty unsavory image, eh?

Another one that gags me is Barry Manilow confessing "I am music, and I write the songs." Thank God there's some other people writing them, too.

LEJ


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Subject: RE: WORST single lines
From: Allan C.
Date: 05 May 99 - 03:43 PM

She was bitten in the udder by an adder. I never saw her die that way before.


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Subject: RE: WORST single lines
From: SeanM
Date: 05 May 99 - 04:41 PM

This isn't precisely songs, but one of my alltime favorite worst lines comes from the classic epic 'Beowulf'

"And with mighty strokes, the lord of Seamen came upon the land"

Teacher read this aloud in 9th grade english (Age 14)...

Took about the next half hour to stop everyone laughing...

M


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Subject: RE: WORST single lines
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 05 May 99 - 05:48 PM

"leather boots are still in style for manly footwear", from "Okie From Muskogee".

Any line from "I'm an Undertakin' Daddy" from Wayne Raney(who other than that song is one of the greatest artists I've ever heard)

"...where you keep your Rolling Stones records and a photo of Sacha Distel" from Peter Sarstedt's horrifying (sorry) "Where Do You Go to My Lovely"

You've got me goin' now, and I'll probably think of hundreds more, but perhaps the all-time worst (for me) has to be "...fearless men who jump and DIE!!" from Stuffed Sargent Sadly Battered's "Ballad of the Green Berets". Guys, guys! Open your parachutes, and you'll live!

By the way, don't take offence at my last choice. Believe me, bad song lines come from the political left AND right. Melanie, and Buffy St.Marie wrote quite a few clinkers in their day as well.


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Subject: RE: WORST single lines
From: RWilhelm
Date: 05 May 99 - 06:51 PM

In the desert you can't remember your name cause there ain't no one for to give you no pain.


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Subject: RE: WORST single lines
From: JOField
Date: 05 May 99 - 07:31 PM

"I'm drunk because that you are gone..." from Here I Am, I'm Drunk Again.

But the song loaded with the worst lyrics of modern times goes:

Don't be afraid, it will not harm you, It's only me pursuing something I'm not sure of, Across the fields with nets of wonder, I chased the bright, elusive butterfly of love.

And while we're at it, I always thought that "Light My Fire" displayed an especially dumb-dumb approach to songwriting: "You know that it would be untrue...etc." Long way to go for a rhyme.


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Subject: RE: WORST single lines
From: alison
Date: 05 May 99 - 08:15 PM

Can't complain, mustn't grumble
Help yourself to another piece of apple crumble.....

(ABC... sometime in the 80's.. pity, the Look of Love CD was so good.......)

Slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: WORST single lines
From: emily rain
Date: 05 May 99 - 09:04 PM

the dan fogelberg lyric is from "longer", as in "longer than there've been fishes in the ocean... i've been in love with you"


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Subject: RE: WORST single lines
From:
Date: 05 May 99 - 09:31 PM

"Pretty Peggy, O", the American version (1880, and probably by Rosinna Emmett). "The captain fell in love with a lady like a dove"


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Subject: RE: WORST single lines
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 05 May 99 - 10:32 PM

JOField named the worst song ever written as far as lyrics are concerned, "Light My Fire." By far the worst single line is its second verse:

The time to hesitate is through;
No time to wallow in the mire--
Try and we can only lose,
And our love become a funeral pyre.

Come on, baby, light my fie---urr.

It jus' don't get any worster'n thet.

--seed


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Subject: RE: WORST single lines
From: katlaughing
Date: 06 May 99 - 08:52 AM

Top 40 in the last couple of years; can't remember the band:

She don't eat meat, but she sure like the bone!

Nasty!!! And a slight to vegetarians everywhere!


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Subject: RE: WORST single lines
From: Peter T.
Date: 06 May 99 - 08:56 AM

Unfortunately, the Beatles, from one of their finest songs ("She's Leaving Home"):
"Fun is the one thing that money can't buy".

Virtually destroys the rest of the song.
And how about:

"And in this ever-changing world in which we live in!" McCartney, "Liva nd L:et Die"
Yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: WORST single lines
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 06 May 99 - 09:01 AM

Thank you for pointing out just how inane the lyrics of Jim Morrison were, and not just "light My Fire". Holy cow, why couldn't they have just said "he's dreamy, he's cute, he's oh so sexy...and left it at that!


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Subject: RE: WORST single lines
From: Peter T.
Date: 06 May 99 - 09:17 AM

"The perfume that she wore came from some corner store, on the down side of town,
and it lingered on, long after she'd gone."
(Gordon Lightfoot)

What did you expect with corner store perfume, Gord?

Yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: WORST single lines
From: Brian Hoskin
Date: 06 May 99 - 09:21 AM

Was it Hal David who wrote something like:

What do you get when you kiss a girl,
Enough germs to catch pneumonia
And when you do she'll never phone-ya
I'll never fall in love again.

oooh, nasty!

Brian.


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Subject: RE: WORST single lines
From: Folk1234
Date: 06 May 99 - 10:35 AM

Almost anything by Leonard Cohen. I say 'worst' because of the doom and darkness of the lines. Nevertheless, have great admiration for his use of the language. For example: "Now in Vienna there's ten pretty women. There's a shoulder where death comes to cry. There's a lobby with nine hundred windows. There's a tree where the doves go to die. There's a piece that was torn from the morning..." from Take this Waltz. And then there's this from Tower of Song:"I said to Hank Williams: how lonely does it get? Hank Williams hasn't answered yet, but I hear him coughing all night long a hundred floors above me in the Tower of Song..."


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Subject: RE: WORST single lines
From: Felipa
Date: 06 May 99 - 10:39 AM

Daddy's Girl (country western song) - "I must be daddy's number one, for he loves me like I was his son" !


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Subject: RE: WORST single lines
From: Peter Fisher
Date: 06 May 99 - 11:07 AM

"Drop kick me, Jesus, through the goal posts of life
End over end through those righteous uprights."
If you write badly enough, its impossible for someone else to do a parody of it.


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Subject: RE: WORST single lines
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 06 May 99 - 11:13 AM

How about this little rhyming couplet.. from Barry White I think ..

"take off your brassiere, my dear"

I stand in awe!!!

Kris


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Subject: RE: WORST single lines
From: Lowcountry
Date: 06 May 99 - 12:09 PM

Almost everything from the worst supposed-to-be-decent CD of all time: "Over the Borderline" by Willie Nelson. Christ, Willie, give us a break!


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Subject: RE: WORST single lines
From: dwditty
Date: 06 May 99 - 01:11 PM

Can't remember the line, but the one where Neil Diamond is engrossed in a conversation with a chair, of all things. It is from "I Am...I Said" As Bill Murray said in one of his movies, "There are two kinds of people in the world. Those that love Neil Diamond and those that hate him." I am of the latter. My wife is of the former. We try to talk each other instead of the furniture, although she does occasionally catch me mumbling about "someone being on my cloud."

DW


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Subject: RE: WORST single lines
From: RWilhelm
Date: 06 May 99 - 04:35 PM

Someone left the cake out in the rain.


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Subject: RE: WORST single lines
From: Kathleen Morgain
Date: 06 May 99 - 04:50 PM

Now I agree with the aesthetic reactions to the above named lines, with the possible exception of "drop kick me Jesus" which has always made me grin, but as for practicality, how many have stumbled many times over:

"we've patched her rents, stopped her vents, dogged hatch and porthole down.."

I love Stan Rogers songs, but that's a mouthful...

-Kathleen


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Subject: RE: WORST single lines
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 06 May 99 - 07:58 PM

For a wedding once we had to learn a song that went... "you are my ...something ...something ...You are my instant pleasure dome but la la la la la you are my home"..... Gag. The couple loved it though when we sang it .We also made the kind of money one can only make at a wedding.{Dose that make me a musition of the night?} You can see why I don't remember it all.Ah the seventies.What lyrics... Cheers to all~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


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Subject: RE: WORST single lines
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 06 May 99 - 10:15 PM

Hey, Rick! Morrison didn't write "Light My Fire", Robbie Krieger did. However, describing animals jettisoned from Spanish galleons in "Horse Latitudes", Morrison described their silent terror as they drowned as "mute nostril agony", which is either a brilliantly conjured image, or a hoot, depending on what mood you're in.

LEJ


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Subject: RE: WORST single lines
From: Wotcha
Date: 06 May 99 - 10:44 PM

"You're only twenty nine/but when your mummy dies/she'll not return" The Sex Pistols

"Ich hast du" [I hate you] Rammstein.

"I used to talk to the trees/but they put me away ..." Spike Milligan.


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Subject: RE: WORST single lines
From: DonMeixner
Date: 06 May 99 - 11:27 PM

"The Ballad of Johnny Willow"

Johnny Willow is a soldier in the US Infantry, Right now he fights in Viet Nam to keep our country Free.

and after several more equally brilliant lyrics

A fightin' young man with a letter in his hand and a carbine in his right.... sung by Frankie laine

Don


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Subject: RE: WORST single lines
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 07 May 99 - 01:01 AM

Fellow we met in Ann Arbor a long time ago, sang a sort of C&W parody (?) with the line:

I woke up crying in the night, and what do you suppose?
The raging river of my tears had washed out the bridge of my nose!

Now that I think about it, maybe that one belongs in the "best lines" thread, not here.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: WORST single lines
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 07 May 99 - 03:27 AM

I got tears in my ears from lying on my back in my bed as I cried over you--from the song of that name. Another that could go either way. --seed


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Subject: RE: WORST single lines
From: leprechaun
Date: 07 May 99 - 04:17 AM

I can't get over you, so you'll have to get up and turn the light off yourself.


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Subject: RE: WORST single lines
From: Matthew B.
Date: 07 May 99 - 06:55 AM

Here are some of my favorites:

How can I miss you when you won't go away?
from Dan Hick & his Hot Licks

and

From the gutter to you ain't up
origin unknown


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Subject: RE: WORST single lines
From: Sean MacRuaraidh (inactive)
Date: 07 May 99 - 07:20 AM

Hot dog, jumping frog, Alberquerque.


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Subject: RE: WORST single lines
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 07 May 99 - 10:37 AM

Hey "Lonesome", I'm gonna have to re-evaluate Jim Morrison. The "drowning horse nostrils" has got me seriously thinking.

I always thought that Good King Wenceslas had a rather familiar manner with his underlings. After all you don't expect a king to greet a servant with "Hi there page...."

What I'm finding surprising is that no one is jumping in to defend any of these "worst lines". At times in the past when I wanted to get some adrenalin flowing in a club gig, I just had to suggest to the audience that we'd have a medley of "worst songs ever written" and ask for requests. Inevitably folks would call out "You Light up My Life, Feelings, Green Green Grass of Home, Horse With No Name, Taxi, Tie a Yellow Ribbon, Honey, etc. No sooner would someone call one out, when someone else would protest "hey, that's a GREAT song, waddaya mean it's bad?" After I got them communicating with each other, I'd try to get them ALL singing on something like "Irene". Ahh, the good ol' days singing in bars.


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Subject: RE: WORST single lines
From: emily rain
Date: 07 May 99 - 02:55 PM

yeah, there's something strangely wonderful about a truly bad song... nothing makes me happier than my favorite terrible terrible song, "engine 143":

his head lay 'gainst the firebox door
the flames were rollin' high
i'm proud to be born for an engineer
and the c 'n' o road to die

... "i want to die for the engine i love
one hunnerd and forty-three!"

his face was covered up with blood
his eyes they could not see
and the very last words poor georgie cried
were "nearer, my god, to thee"

ha ha ha ha ha! what joy!


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Subject: RE: WORST single lines
From: Peter T.
Date: 07 May 99 - 03:41 PM

O.K. Well, if that's the way you want it, Fielding (a Commie name if there ever was one, probably related to that pornographer Henry Fielding), Speaking as a paratrooper who has always felt that Barry Sadler and Lou Adler were two of the greatest Marine Band songwriters ever, I hobble to my computer to remind you that in our day we eschewed parachutes (because they made a noise like eschew, which was somewhat unnerving) NO!! BECAUSE WE WERE TOUGH!!!! Sure there were some who complained about having their knees driven up into their faces, but as psychological warfare against the Cong, it couldn't be beat!! And when we came out of the Green Beret shaped holes we had made in the landscape, we also had the advantage that we were now as short as the VC, and blended right in!!!
SO CEASE TO MOCK!!!
(It isn't much to assuage your disappointment, Rick, but does that help?)
I blush to admit that I never completed compiling the results of the grand Mudcat survey of Worst Songs ever that I sort of launched a long time ago (it is on a thread here, but I can't do blue thingies for some reason) as promised -- also Dave Barry published a book on the subject in the meantime. But it was certainly one of the most fun threads ever!! What puzzles me is how we could have missed "Where Do You Go To My Lovely?" the first time around.

Well, how about this:
Certainly, "Where Do You Go To My Lovely?" does not appeal to all, but as a searing indictment of the glitterati, and as a window into the soul of, on the one hand, a girl from the back streets of Naples rising from rags to Rags, and on the other, her childhood sweetheart whose passionate words are, as it were, the simulacra of a face pressed against the windowpane of his own life -- of such poignant art what can one say?

Yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: WORST single lines
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 07 May 99 - 08:42 PM

"manic depression is a frustrated mess" - Hendrix. Jimi, that ain't the half of it!

"if there's a bustle in your hedgerow, don't be low now- it's just a spring-clean for the May Queen." - Led Zepplin. HaHaHa- WHAT?

"Did you here about the frog who dreamed of being a Prince - and then became one-

well, except for the names and a few of the changes- my story is the same one." Neal "Mr Introspection" Diamond

"everybody's talkin bout a new way of walkin- do you wanna lose your mind?" The Generic 60's Folkie Group


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Subject: RE: WORST single lines
From: Matthew B.
Date: 07 May 99 - 09:00 PM

I agree with the point about the hilariously awful lyrics in most of the songs by Jim Morrison and the doors.


Unlike the Beatles, most of whose lyrics belong in poetry books (Eleanor Rigby, I Will, It's Only Love, to name a few), the Doors' music was popular because we were all so stoned in those days (and ascribing meaning to that) that we tried to read meaning into the inebriated, discombobulated rantings they set to their music.


Jim Morrison's aloofness (due to his total contempt for all people and all things) just made him seem all the more "cool" to us when we were at that susceptible age.


The less understandable a song was, the more profound we imagined it to be. We loved it because we were young, but most of us outgrew the idea that their songs were saying anything altogether amazing. Seeing those embarrassingly dumb lyrics through adult eyes only makes it that much clearer to us now.


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Subject: RE: WORST single lines
From: Alice
Date: 07 May 99 - 09:10 PM

lyrics from Rod McKuen poems

for more on the Worst song, Worst line, etc.,
click here

alice


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Subject: RE: WORST single lines
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 07 May 99 - 09:42 PM

" yellow-matter custard - dripping from a dead dog's eye" -another profound example of Beatles poetry

LEJ (who never outgrew Jim Morrison's discombobulated rantings)


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Subject: RE: WORST single lines
From: Alice
Date: 07 May 99 - 09:56 PM

LEJ, my son recently had to take some "facts about the Beatles" to music class, and we found this ( Pete Shotton's book) on the internet about "yellow matter custard" as one of the facts. There are additional stories about the old circus poster and some of the acts on it that inspired For The Benefit of Mr. Kite.


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Subject: RE: WORST single lines
From: Alice
Date: 07 May 99 - 10:08 PM

The story of how Lennon wrote that line, I think, is really an inspiration for how we pull together lyrics for songs, all the way from our childhood memories.


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Subject: RE: WORST single lines
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 07 May 99 - 10:39 PM

Lord, Lord, How could we have forgotten "Seasons in the Sun" by Terry Jacks? Thanks for the thread Alice. Oh and any line from it will do. How about: "Goodbye my friend it's hard to die, with all the birds singing in the sky". Arghhh, I haven't even got a joke..that says it all!


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Subject: RE: WORST single lines
From: Big Mick
Date: 07 May 99 - 10:46 PM

Blast you, Fielding. I love you to death, but I had just about wiped out all residual traces of that horrible song from my memory bank and you bring it back up. I will now spend the NEXT thirty years trying to lose it. I will fix your royal backside. Here is one back. "Yummy Yummy Yummy I got love in my tummy". And being Irish, It is not good enough to get even, we must get ahead, so how about "Na na, na na na na, hey hey, goodbye".

JOKE: Do you know the definition of Irish Alzheimers? You forget everything but the grudges.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: WORST single lines
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 07 May 99 - 10:53 PM

Peter T. You have given me my biggest laugh in three weeks. (and I've needed one!)

First of all: I AM definitely related to Henry Fielding, although if he'd written one more like "Shamela" I'd be denying it. As to my communist affiliations: I didn't own enough Ben Shahn prints so I was expelled. Now about "Where Do You Go To My Lovely", I was about to renew my attack when Heather walked by and said "Oh, are you folks talking about your favourite songs? I LOVE that one!" So as far as I'm concerned from now on, "I want to look inside your head" is a wonderful line. Truthfully though, the damned thing CAN grow on you a bit. I think it's the chord pattern.


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Subject: RE: WORST single lines
From: Wotcha
Date: 08 May 99 - 11:58 AM

Peter T. :

Airborne! How about the hackneyed Jody Call, "C-130 rolling down the strip/Airborne daddy gonna take a little trip..."

And let's not forget another jumper's favorite "Blood on the Risers..." He ain't gonna jump no more ...

Awful as these songs are, only the 82d Airborne Chorus can actually make them sound good.... Cheers, Brian


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Subject: RE: WORST single lines
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 08 May 99 - 02:14 PM

Dear Mick

"We had joy, we had fun, we had seasons in the sun,....."

My sincere apologies. But just tell how that (expletive deleted) song has sold over 50 million copies. I mean, I want to feel optimistic as we head into the new millenium, but Jayzus!

If it's any consolation, I can't get "Where do You Go to My Lovely" out of my head now. And I'm trying to remember, did anybody figure out who the protaganist was? I heard Sofia Loren, but I can't picture her listening to Mick Jagger. Or WAS she Jagger in drag? Remember "You're So Vain"? Oh my God, I've done it again! Another Clinker, with a good tune. hummm, hummm, humm.


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Subject: RE: WORST single lines
From: The Shambles
Date: 08 May 99 - 08:27 PM

Rick

Seasons in the sun I had forgotten, thank you very much for bringing it up again.

As for 'Your so vain'. How can the person featured in the song, be accused of being so vain for thinking the song is about him, when the song IS about him?

As for King Wencislas, didn't he say "hither page", meaning, come here page, rather than HI THERE PAGE?

In your version I think they must have been pretty cool about this rank thing. "Hi to you too, Kingy Baby, how about you and me going out for some winter fuel"?


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Subject: RE: WORST single lines
From: The Shambles
Date: 09 May 99 - 07:01 AM

Didn't you know that 'You're so vain' was about ME?


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Subject: RE: WORST single lines
From: Peter T.
Date: 10 May 99 - 09:51 AM

I suppose Noel Coward said it best of all -- strange how potent cheap music is.
I suspect that one reason the words and the songs get stuck in your head is that they are slightly wrong, like a jammed screw, and nothing you can do will get rid of them. I have tried for 15 years to get rid of ABBA song lyrics ("The history book on the shelf is always repeating itself!" from the immortal (curse it) "Waterloo". ABBA is a classic example: incredibly crafted, utterly danceable, almost but not quite coherent drivel. Anti-ABBA pills, please -- in all honesty, what would life be, without a song or a dance what are we, so I say thank you for the music, for giving it to me. --- AAAAArrrrgghhhhh!

Yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: WORST single lines
From: WyoWoman
Date: 10 May 99 - 10:19 AM

As a teenager back then, I, along with every other female I knew at the time, secretly harbored the belief that if we could spend ONE night with Jim Morrison, we could help make his bleak vision sunny, could save him from all that beautiful-but-destructive despair and lift the soul-deep angst that permeated his dark, obtuse lyrics.

Then we came to, at least I did, sometime in the '70s, and realized that the guy was an idiot with a bad sense of rhythm and a worse sense of rhyme. But great hair. The guy had great hair.

As for truly bad lines, someone mentioned Rod McKuen, who wasn't really a songwriter, although his stuff was always recited with that deliciously icky woo-woo music floating around in the background, so maybe it counts. My favorite awful one of his is, "You've been in the sun so long you even taste like the sun..." (Ouch)

kc


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Mudcat time: 19 September 9:57 AM EDT

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