These Are A Few Of My Favorite (Stupid) Songs

15 Mar

Maybe it’s because I’m a writer, but I judge music by the lyrics almost more than the melodies. Oh, I’ll occasionally love a song for a bass line or a guitar solo (Beat It, anyone?), but generally good lyrics seal the deal for me.

Some of my favorite songs, loved for their lyrics, are Billy Joel’s And So It Goes, When She Loved Me by Randy Newman and Bad Sneakers by Steely Dan. I like song lyrics that make a statement; Imagine comes to mind. I like song lyrics that make me feel all mushy about my kids. I can’t keep from crying when I hear Bruno Mars sing, “. . . and when you smile, the whole world stops and stares for a while” because that’s exactly what happens for me when I see my kids smile.

Funny lyrics can save a song for me. I run to Sexy and I Know It because it’s freaking hilarious and I need that at about mile three in a four mile run. I have a soundtrack for every run, in fact. Train in Vain and September are perfect for that first five-minute warmup, just the right tempo for a quick walk. Wanna Be Startin’ Something cues me that it’s time to pick up the pace. Towards the end, when I need an extra kick, there are the songs that push me to run just a little faster. Try running to Four Sticks, which has the added distraction of keeping up with that wacky time signature. A few songs make the playlist just because their titles make me smile in the context of running. There’s Long Road to Ruin and Everlong by the Foo Fighters.  Finally, I find it amusing to cool off to Hard To Concentrate, a Red Hot Chili Peppers tune.

My favorite lyrics, though, are stupid ones and there is such a plethora! Try this:

They say
Winners and losers are two of a kind
You know, it’s that way

Really, winners and losers are the same? I thought winners won and losers, well, they lose. Those seem to be diametrically opposed ideas. In fact, if I were teaching my second graders about antonyms, I’m pretty sure they’d pick “loser” as the opposite of “winner.” Probably not a big surprise that the band responsible for this idiocy has a really stupid name: Hamilton, Joe Frank, and Reynolds. Why some of the players are known by their first names and others by their last is a mystery. These are the same guys who were going to “lay me down and cry for a hundred years.” Do you think they’re still crying?

Journey’s Any Way You Want It is a gold mine of stupid lyrics. As if “any way you want it, that’s the way you need it” weren’t dopey enough, the song also includes “she loves the lovin’ things.” I used to think Steve Perry was singing, “she loves eleven things.” I’ll admit that’s even dumber than the actual lyrics, but not by much. Then there’s “she loves to laugh, she loves to sing, she does everything,” as if the lyricist hit writer’s block and only vague generalities came to mind. I picture him, tapping his pencil on the keyboard, desperately trying to come up with something that rhymes with “sing” but isn’t completely idiotic. How about “she loves a lot of bling” or “she loves those cherries Bing.”

I’m pretty sure Gino Vanelli had writer’s block when we wrote People Gotta Move. The chorus goes something like this:

You gotta move

You gotta move

You gotta move

You gotta move

People gotta move.

You gotta mo-ove

Gino should have gotten writer’s block on the first verse:

People come on and do it right
Shake your behinds like dynamite
Chuck all your worries and toss your thighs
To be tame is a pain when you realize

This song actually has potential for my running playlist. It’s about movement and I think it would make me laugh even in the middle of a calf cramp. I could hobble all the way home hardly aware of the pain in my lower leg while singing about tossing my thighs.

My daughter, son and I can’t agree if Selena Gomez sings a lot of stupid lyrics or not. In Naturally, she sings, “you know who you are and to me that’s exciting.” I think that’s just an awkward construction; I’d edit it out of a student’s paper. My son thinks it’s ridiculous. My daughter thinks Selena Gomez is da bomb and anything Selena says is solid gold.

I used to think the lyrics of Off The Chain were ridiculous. I mean, what does this mean: “The chemistry is crazy, and you make me feel amazing, and I can’t explain, your love is off the chain.” I’ve since learned that the lyrics aren’t ridiculous. I don’t get it because I’m too old. “Off the chain” is some new-fangled lingo for “da bomb.” So, my daughter wins the Selena Gomez debate.

We all agree that some of the craziest, laziest, frighteningly stupid lyrics come from Anthony Keidis and The Red Hot Chili Peppers. Here’s something from The Zephyr Song:

Did you meet your fortune teller?
Get it off with no propeller
Do it up, it’s always stellar
What a way to finally smell her

I’m pretty sure I know what he’s talking about when he sings about flying on his zephyr. “What a way to finally smell her”? I’d like to stay blissfully unaware of what that means. Then there’s this from Storm In A Teacup:

Come on come on baby
Let me show you what I’m talkin’ about
You try to be a lady
But you’re walkin’ like a sour kraut

A sour kraut? Does Anthony mean a German person with a bad disposition or is he referring to pickled cabbage? And if it’s the cabbage, how does it walk? Frankly, how does a crabby German walk? It doesn’t really matter, though. Every time I hear that lyric, I giggle. Lazy Lyricist Mr. Keidis may be, but his stupidity makes me laugh. And that’s what’s really special about stupid lyrics.

Please note: I’ve tried to include links to official videos where possible. If not, then I tried to choose a video that uploaded quickly for me. If it doesn’t for you, well, too bad. If you’ve got a little while, watch the Foo Fighters videos. They always star the guys from the band and they are always funny, sometimes hilarious, and really, really stupid.

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8 Responses to “These Are A Few Of My Favorite (Stupid) Songs”

  1. Jim March 16, 2012 at 6:45 am #

    Holy cow, I had no idea Hamilton Joe Frank & Reynolds had more than the one hit, you know, the other one your referenced.

    • jmlindy422 March 16, 2012 at 7:25 am #

      They had bunches! I can’t remember them all. I guess most of them weren’t as stupid as the two I know.

    • jmlindy422 March 16, 2012 at 7:26 am #

      Oh, the other one is “Don’t Pull Your Love Out On Me,” which sounds kind of dirty now that I think about it.

  2. The Waiting March 16, 2012 at 6:07 pm #

    There’s definitely a lot to say for the poetic utterances of Mr. Anthony Kiedis. I think he frequents kindergarten classes and asks the students for rhyming words to base his lyrics on. Then there’s “Under the Bridge” which has a bit more girth to it. When I was a kid I remember thinking that that song was specifically about my life. But all I have to do is point you towards some of the posts I’ve written about myself during my middle school years, and you’ll know that the concept of being strung out on coke under a bridge was lost on me completely.

    • jmlindy422 March 16, 2012 at 6:50 pm #

      He probably had a kid so he could hang out with kindergarteners without looking like a pedophile. Hey, don’t sell your druggie cred short; you’re the girl who brought a beer to school.

  3. philosophermouseofthehedge March 19, 2012 at 6:17 pm #

    Really enjoyed this post! (why is it the ones with the really silly lyrics stick in your head the most?)

    • jmlindy422 March 19, 2012 at 8:35 pm #

      I left out “Leather and Lace” in which Stevie Nicks sings, “Give to my your leather, take from me my lace.” Sounds like Friday night at the sorority house. “Mindy! Give me your leather skirt and you can borrow my lace cami!”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Desperately Seeking Search Terms « Snide Reply - April 12, 2012

    […] genitals or nakedness in any way. I’m pleased to report I’m a source for advice on good songs to run to as well as Thich Nhat Hahn and the Naperville Library. People find me looking for Journey […]

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