Wednesday, 7 April 2021

What about elephants?

We're not exactly in Yip Harburg territory here...

Music fan? Ever listened to the lyrics of a song you love and thought ‘wait – what the f**k’? These songs are, on close attention, completely deranged:

Yellow by Coldplay

"I swam across / I jumped across for you / What a thing to do / ’Cause you were all yellow"

Yellow is a hard colour to sell in a love song, associated as it is with piss. Chris Martin gets off to an okay start, saying that stars are yellow, which kind of, and that the song is called Yellow which is tautalogical but accurate. But when he starts hinting his lover might possibly have jaundice, that’s weird.

Earth Song by Michael Jackson

"What about elephants? / Have we lost their trust?"

Lost their trust? Did Jacko borrow a fiver from a pachyderm and not pay it back? In the wider context of a song about perpetual human suffering and a ravaged earth bringing up one specific animal and questioning whether it would still vouch for us is mental even for him.

Buck Rogers by Feeder

"We’ll start over again, / Grow ourselves new skin / Get a house in Devon, / Drink cider from a lemon / But I don’t wanna talk about it anymore"

The lyric that makes most sense is not wanting to talk about it any more, because it’s incomprehensible. Why would you put an apple-based drink in a lemon? Literally any county/food combination would fit better. ‘Get a house in Surrey, drink cider with a curry’. There, you guitar-thrashing muppets.

Happy by Pharrell Williams

"Because I’m happy / Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof"

Having already claimed to be like a "hot-air balloon that could go to space", which is a "no", because of "physics", Pharrell goes on to assert that a roofless room is his happy place. Really? A room where the rain comes in? Where the sun beats down? A room that quite frankly isn’t much of a room at all? And you expect us to clap along?

Stayin’ Alive by The Bee Gees

"Well, you can tell by the way I use my walk / I’m a woman’s man, no time to talk"

Coked-up helium-voiced nonsense. If some twat with a stupid walk asked if you could tell it meant he was a ‘woman’s man’, you’d honestly be left wanting for any possible reply.

Human by The Killers

"Are we human? / Or are we dancer?"

Repeat offenders, because "open up my eager eyes / I’m Mr Brightside" means bugger all when you think about it, this lyric is not only lunatic babbling but ungrammatical. We are human. We are not ‘dancer’. Glad that’s settled.

The Daily Mash

Of course.

I'd humbly add to this list the following embarrassments:

You Gotta Be by Des'ree

“I don’t want to see a ghost/It’s the sight that I fear most/I’d rather have a piece of toast/Watch the evening news”

Rhythm Is A Dancer by Snap

“I’m as serious as cancer when I say rhythm is a dancer”

That Was Then But This Is Now by ABC

“More sacrifices than an Aztec priest/Standing here straining at that leash/All fall down/Can’t complain, mustn’t grumble/Help yourself to another piece of apple crumble!”

New Moon on Monday by DuranDuran

"Shake up the picture the lizard mixture/With your dance on the eventide/You got me coming up with answers/All of which I deny"

Your Song by Elton John

"If I was a sculptor/But then again, no/Or a man who makes potions in a travelling show"
Nonsense, each and every one...

Now what are your suggestions, dear reader?


  1. All good entries, but my fave remains sticking “How is the weather?” into the Turtles’ “Happy Together.” It’s just blatantly lazy lyric writing.

    And then there’s any song by America — Horse With No Name, Ventura Highway, I Need You, etc... love ‘em all, but not one of ‘em makes a damn bit of sense! xoN

    1. Oh, yes - A Horse With No Name is a nonsense song of the first order! Jx

  2. "yummy yummy yummy, I've got love in my tummy"

    "having my baby, what a lovely way of saying how much you love me"

    "eleanor, gee I think you're swell, and you really do me well, you're my pride and joy etcetra"

    "she blinded me with science"

    "tracy, when I'm with you, something you do, bounces me off the ceiling"

    many 70s songs had such shitty lyrics!

    1. I despise that awful Paul Anka Having My Baby song! It's almost as bad as Bobby Goldsboro's Honey... Jx

  3. I enjoyed this! I can't think of a specific song off the top of my head, but I recall in the grocery store a few months back a 60's/70's song was playing that used to be very popular with catchy, happy-sounding piano riffs but as I started to listen to the lyrics I realized the guy was a condescending, manipulative asshole patronizing the woman because she was moving on in life without him.

    1. That could be any number of songs from that era... Jx

  4. "Oh, I wish I was a punk rocker with flowers in my hair" irritating as fuck and another one that boils my piss is "Closest Thing To Crazy" I don't know the cunt who sings it or the lyrics but I am sure that they will be something in them that doesn't make sense, enough to make you wild and anything by Joss Stone.

    1. I sense a bit of a thread going on with your "most hated" selection. Sandi Thom, Katie Melua and Joss Stone are very similar - simpering, clean-cut, dull girly singer-songwriters who you'd never even recognise if any of them was beside you in the queue at Morrisons. And I agree, all of 'em have a back-catalogue of annoying crud songs [my personal bête noire being Miss Melua's Nine Million Bicycles] that are just the sort of thing you'd imagine a daytime telly presenter like Holly Willoughby playing in her car. Jx

      PS I believe we could probably add the likes of Gabrielle Aplin, Laura Marling, Kate Nash and Norah Jones to that list...

  5. Elephants are wise. They never trusted Michael Jackson.

  6. Hmmm... the Elton one does make sense... in other words - he's not a sculptor or a snake oil salesman. He just writes song. Anyhoo. As for Michael. He may have been the king of pop, but his ballads 100% sucked azz. He was so sentimental it made me barf. And remember when HiSTORY came out and he included that pathetic drawing of little Michael sitting lotus position with big eyes? Like... I'm a pedophile, but I was once a sad little child whose father beat until I sang for my supper. Just treacle. Most of what you've listed. Spot on. I would love to hear more. Oh, and Duran Duran? They played word salad... like Bowie. If it sounded like it WAS something, it was in. Very funny stuff.

    1. I find Your Song really moving, a picture of an inarticulate man trying to declare his love, rambling through different ideas, or different careers he could have had, and taking ages to get to the point.

    2. Every time I hear "...but then again, no" it makes my flesh creep.

      As for Mr Jackson, I never liked him, nor his music. It was probably Ben aka the "love song to a rat" that finally did it for me, however... Jx


    3. It might explain your dislike of Mickey mouse, too.

      Your Song could easily have been terrible, but I think of it as a very good song from the perspective of someone who doesn't know how to write songs.

  7. 1. Blinded by the Light. "Little Curly Whirly came by in his Hurley Burley?"
    The whole song is like something you'd get by opening a book at a random pace and using the first word that came up.
    2.Bungle in the Jungle. "Walking through forests of palm tree apartments, Scoff at the monkeys who live in their dark tents, Down by the waterhole, drunk every Friday, Eating their nuts, saving their raisins for Sunday! WTF JETHRO TULL
    3. Bye Bye Miss American Pie, Don McLean. It has no meaning! There are no hidden references! It's the Cocaine National Anthem FFS!
    4. Sweet Freedom, Michael McDonald. This literally IS the Cocaine National anthem, all in coded language. The line 'Just leave all the madness in yesterday, You're holdin' the key..." in the middle of this jumble of happy happy happy nonsense gives it away. *snerk, snuffle* yeah.

    1. Not so much cocaine use as much as the entire GDP of Columbia, methinks - not to mention the dope, LSD and every other psychotropic that all these songwriters could get their hands on! Jx

  8. WOW! I guess I just haven't really been paying attention to lyrics lately! xoxo

    1. With the majority of this selection, I wouldn't bother trying to listen to the lyrics... Jx

  9. The Osmond family.And then those members who went solo. Any evangelical nonsense.The dreadful "other songs" that filled an LP that only had one hit from the Broadway it any wonder I preferred non-vocal music!

    1. I had a massive crush on Donny Osmond when I was a kid. Then I grew up. Over here, we have the so-called "national treasure" Sir Cliff Richard, whose dire back-catalogue (especially around Xmas) is full of god-bothering shit; I am with you on that front!

      Showtunes/soundtracks are different - we have literally hundreds of such "original cast albums" (film and stage), and some definitely do have "filler" songs, but if you like a show/film you do tend to know them all, move on, and skip to the "showstopper" numbers... Jx

    2. Yes. Well, I skip to others! Cliffbloodyrichard! I remember two girls in my home friends, one a Presley fan, the other a Cliff devotee.Blcch!
      I am glad you grew up, dear!

    3. I can't see the appeal of either, to be honest. Jx

  10. Macarthur Park:

    Spring was never waiting for us, girl
    It ran one step ahead
    As we followed in the dance
    Between the parted pages and were pressed
    In love's hot, fevered iron
    Like a striped pair of pants
    MacArthur's Park is melting in the dark
    All the sweet, green icing flowing down
    Someone left the cake out in the rain
    I don't think that I can take it
    'Cause it took so long to bake it
    And I'll never have that recipe again
    Oh no!

    1. That has to be one of the most bewildering songs ever (alongside A Whiter Shade of Pale). Lord only knows what was going on in Mr Jimmy Webb's mind when he wrote it!

      Bearing in mind that Mr Webb also wrote Wichita Lineman and By the Time I Get to Phoenix, it's certainly a departure from his more straightforward "story ballads"... Jx

  11. I love Macarthur Park!
    Anyhow, I like instrumentals, you don't have to make sense of a piano.

    1. Very true - you can't go wrong with a bit Mrs Mills, Winnie Atwell or Russ Conway... Jx

  12. Like Savvy, I don't often pay much attention to lyrics - even when I know them all and sing along not really knowing what I'm singing.
    I'm sure to notice some bizarro lyrics soon, so I'll report back with my example.

    P.S. I'm listening to "Witchita Lineman" right now (having seen mention of it up there) - one of my favourites! Glen Campbell could be singing about a compost heap as far as I'm concerned - the music is sublime!

    1. You must be great at karaoke. Jx

      PS Wichita Lineman is a faboo song!

  13. "Are we human? / Or are we dancer?"
    Drives me nuts every time I hear it !

    1. Me too! Their lyrics in general are very annoying, even if the music's OK - which is true of several songs here, of course. Jx


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