I consider myself a pretty good lyricist, but I also know that I have probably written a couple of stinkers. Hopefully none of them are quite as wrong as these:
1.Sade's "Smooth Operator"
"Coast to coast
L.A. to Chicago"
(shouldn't that be...Coast to Great Lake?)
2. Madonna's "I Love New York"
"I don't like cities
But I like New York
Make me feel like a dork"
("dork" could be funny, but not by Madonna)
3. Barry Manilow's "Could it be Magic"
"Lady take me
high upon a hillside
High up where the stallion meets the sun"
(bad sexual pretty pony imagery)
4. Kiss's " C'Mon and Love Me"
"She's a dancer, a romancer/I'm a Capricorn
And she's a Cancer"
5. Paul Anka's "Having My Baby"
"Didn't have to keep it
Wouldn't put ya through it
You could have swept it from you life
But you wouldn't do it. No, you wouldn't do it
Having my baby"
6. Black Eyed Peas' "My Humps"
The line "my lovely lady lumps" made me gag a little every time.
7. Train's - "Meet Virginia"
"And she wants to be the queen
And she thinks about her scene
Pulls her hair back as she screams
I don't really wanna be the queen"
And that guy is also responsible for the most truly unforgivable line in "Drops of Jupiter" - "the best soy latte that you ever had and me."
8. Back Street Boys' - "I Want it That Way""Tell me why - Ain't nothing but a heartache
Tell me why - Ain't nothing but a mistake
Tell me why - I never wanna hear you say
I want it that way"
Um, what way?
Seriously, does this song make any sense to anyone? You know what? It isn't meant to. It is a well-known fact among us songwriters, that the president of the BSB's label made a major attempt at replacing those lyrics with ones that actually "meant something". The professionals were called in, one try got particularly close (by the guy who wrote "Genie in A Bottle,") but nothing beat the "English as a Second Language" lyric writing of the original Swedish songwriter. In fact, this could be a category unto itself - along with "Hit Me Baby One More Time" and "Since U Been Gone."
Finally, because our collective attention span is too short to even get to the requisite list number "10," we will turn to our friend Mike Daly for a few heavy metal gems -
9. Metallica's "For Whom the Bell Tolls"
"For a hill men will kill.
10. Iron Maiden's "Only the Good Die Young"
"Measure your coffin,
Does in measure up to your lust?"
11 .And finally - W.A.S.P.'s "Evermore"
"Only those who stand within
Can hold the keys that let us in"
We know it's hard to top, but we ask you, the readers, to go ahead and continue this list...
And now, The Provocateurs are announcing their choice for President - Barak Obama! (like you didn't already know).
In the words of the recent LA Times endorsement:
"In the language of metaphor, Clinton is an essay, solid and reasoned; Obama is a poem, lyric and filled with possibility. Clinton would be a valuable and competent executive, but Obama matches her in substance and adds something that the nation has been missing far too long -- a sense of aspiration."
Again, lyrics come up - but good ones this time. Lyrics that can rouse the independent, the cynical artist and that ever-promising youth vote. We also think (and what do we know?) that he has a better chance of beating a Romney or McCain. So our decision is not just kumbaya, but strategic.
Our endorsement for Vice President: Hillary?
But of more importance is our choice for NFL champs - The NY Giants! We like the underdog.
added note: Sting's "If You Love Sombody Set Them Free" always skeeved me out. And a secret...I actually do like Manilow.