The HyperTexts

The Most Overrated Songs of All Time

These are, in one man's opinion, the most overrated songs of all time. It takes two things to make a song overrated. First, it has to be hyped as being really good. Second, it has to miserably fail the test of being as good as the hypers claim.

I will base my choices largely on lyrics. I'm a "lyric man." I love good music, but bad lyrics set my teeth on edge. Songs with terrible lyrics should not be hyped; rather, they should become instrumentals or be hummed very softly to oneself. Ironically, some of the best songwriters have written some of the worst lyrics; for instance, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Dan Fogelberg, Jim Morrison, Sting, Brian Wilson and Adele.

The Top Ten Most Overrated Songs (with number one being the worst of all)

(#10) Any song by the early Beatles, who were as pop-fizzy as any modern boy band. (The lads did eventually improve with masterpieces like "Eleanor Rigby" and "A Day in the Life.") It's hard to pick an absolute worst early Beatles song, but any of these will do nicely, if you're a masochist:

"Love Me Do"
"She Loves You"
"Can't Buy Me Love"
"All My Loving"
"I Want to Hold Your Hand" 
"Please Please Me"

(#9) Any numbingly monotonous and endlessly repetitious song by K. C. and the Sunshine Band (which means take your pick from their entire catalog).

(#8) "Ben" by the Jackson 5 has the most ludicrous theme of all time, since it's a wildly melodramatic love song to a rat. Eeek!

"Ben" was written by Don Black and composed by Walter Scharf for the 1972 film of the same name (it was the sequel to the 1971 killer rat film Willard). The song was performed in the film by Lee Montgomery and Michael Jackson over the closing credits. Jackson's single, recorded for the Motown label in 1972, spent one week at the top of the U.S. pop chart. It was Jackson's first U.S. #1 solo hit. Billboard ranked it the No. 20 song for 1972. It spent eight weeks at the top of the Australian pop chart, incontrovertibly proving that Aussies have even worse taste in music than Americans. "Ben" won a Golden Globe for Best Song. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1973, losing to "The Morning After" from The Poseidon Adventure. But the strangest thing about "Ben" is that there are worse songs to come! Oh, the humanity!

(#7) "Ice, Ice Baby" by Vanilla Ice. This (alleged) "song" or "rap" sucks so horribly and so pretentiously, no explanation is required.  

(#6) "All I Wanna Do Is Make Love to You" by Heart; all we wanna do is not hear another freakin' cliché! Great band, terrible song, utterly horrendous lyrics.

(#5) Anything written by Barry Manilow, but especially "I Write the Songs" (which he didn't even write, sheesh!). And please don't get me started on "Copacabana"!

Barry Manilow is among the most prolific of annoying singers, with a long string of musical annoyances: "I Write the Songs," "Copacabana," "Can't Smile Without You," "Looks Like We Made It," "Weekend in New England," "Even Now," "Could It Be Magic," "It's a Miracle," etc. (The real miracle is that anyone pays good money to listen to such bad songs.) Although he may have a smidgen of talent, no singer-songwriter has ever been more consistently annoying that Manilow. Thus he takes the all-time soggy angel fluff cake, over Rupert Holmes, Stephen Bishop and company. But someone really should smash all their guitars, or at the very least lock them up permanently!

(#4) Adele's growing list of stalker songs.

Adele is the neediest and clinging-est ex-lover of all timethe shameless queen of the passive-aggressive psycho stalkers. As one critic put it, Adele is "one lyric away from a restraining order." Sad, but true. In "Someone Like You" she abjectly pleads "Don't forget me, I beg." In "Rumor Has It" she encourages her ex to cheat on his new lover: "Like when we creep out and she ain't around." In "Rolling in the Deep" she becomes threatening: "Don't underestimate the things that I will do!" and "You're gonna wish you never had met me!" But all that is mere stalker foreplay. Adele climaxes in "Hello"—a musical "Sixth Sense"—where she continues to stalk her ex from the "other side." Shades of the Stalking Dead! But there may be hope, since Adele said, "I am never writing a breakup record again. I’m done with being a bitter witch."

(#3) "My Way" as performed by alleged "rock stars" and bad lounge and karaoke acts around the globe: "The record shows that WE took the blows when you sang it your egomaniacal way."

(#2) "McArthur Park" as performed melodramatically, pretentiously and über-bombastically by Richard Harris. Someone left your brain out in the rain and it got all soggy.

(#1) "Gangnam Style" by PSY. I propose a radical cure called "Hangman Style."

What Was Rolling Stone Thinking?

(#49) "Hotel California" by the Eagles → "Heartbreaker," "Piece of My Heart," "Down on Me," "Cry Baby," "Summertime" or "Try" by Janis Joplin
(#42) "Waterloo Sunset" by the Kinks → "Without You" by Harry Nilsson
(#40) "Dancing in the Street" by Martha and the Vandellas → "Taxi" by Harry Chapin
(#38) "Help!" by the Beatles → "Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen
(#35) "Light My Fire" by the Doors → "Riders on the Storm" by the Doors
(#23) "In My Life" by the Beatles → "Unchained Melody" by the Righteous Brothers
(#22) "Be My Baby" by the Ronettes → "Comfortably Numb" by Pink Floyd
(#19) "Hound Dog" by Elvis Presley → "That's Alright Mama" or "American Trilogy" by Elvis Presley
(#16) "I Want to Hold Your Hand" by the Beatles → "Eleanor Rigby" by the Beatles
(#11) "My Generation" by the Who → "Love Reign O'er Me" by the Who

None of the songs above are bad songs. But these are not among the fifty best songs of all time, so I have suggested replacements. Here are some other worthy contenders:

"House of the Rising Sun" by the Animals
"Whiter Shade of Pale" by Procol Harum
"Mercy Mercy Me" and "What's Goin' On" by Marvin Gaye
"Who Wants to Live Forever" and "The Show Must Go On" by Queen
"Wild Horses" and "Angie" by the Rolling Stones
"Nothing Compares 2 U" by Prince and Sinead O'Connor
"Black" by Pearl Jam
"The Freshmen" by the Verve Pipe

Dishonorable Mentions (returning to the Top Ten)

"Could It Be Magic" by Take That, their cover of a classic Manilow trainwreck. Could it be tragic? Is it "take that," as in cyanide?
"Wonderwall" by Oasis. "Wonder Wail" would more accurate. "Champagne Supernova" is even worse.
"All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight" by Hank Williams Jr. was male chauvinism reaching its absolute nadir ... until Donald Trump oinked.
"(You're) Having My Baby" by Paul Anka; innocent babies deserve much better than mothers who demonstrate their "love" by providing their eggs to be gratuitously fertilized!
"Escape (The Pina Colada Song)" by Rupert Holmes should be used in ads for the return of Prohibition!
Anything sung by a "boy band" but especially Duran Duran, Backstreet Boys, 'N Synch, One Direction, Menudo, LFO, The Osmonds, Hanson and the Jonas Brothers.
Early girl bands could be just as annoying: "Leader of the Pack," "He's So Fine," "Stop in the Name of Love" ... Yes, please, in the name of Love, do stop! IMMEDIATELY!
"Friday" by Rebecca Black, who single-handedly took the "Thank God" out of TGIF.
"Achy Breaky Heart" by Billy Cyrus, who apparently taught Miley everything he knows about cheesy lyrics.
"The Heart of Rock & Roll" by Huey Lewis and the News. Apparently, rock & roll needs heart surgery, stat!
"Who Let the Dogs Out" by Baha Men. The real question is: Who let the "singers" out? Someone impound them, quick!
"The Thong Song" by Sisqo. And all other songs about underwear, hindquarters, "junk," anacondas, etc. For the sake of decency and our sanity, please keep it above the belt!
"Rockstar" by Nickelback, who apparently have no idea how to be real rock stars. Mick Jaggers, Robert Plants and Freddy Mercuries, they are not.
"Photograph" by Nickelback is high (i.e., low) on online lists of the worst songs.
Gay men fawning over Cher? Really? Shouldn't you have much better taste in fashion and music? Aren't you in the same unglamorous position as nondescript Sonny Bono?
"You're Beautiful" by James Blunt, a song which has "bluntly" been called "the worst song in the history of mankind." Also, the least original and the worst come-on.
"(Everything I Do) I Do It for You" by Bryan Adams. Robin Hood must be rolling over in his grave.
Taylor Swift actually sounds kinda cute when she complains that she knew a bad boy was "twubble" when he walked in ("I Knew You Were Trouble").
Lionel Richie is old enough to know better, but in "All Night Long" he claims in pidgin English: "we going to parti', karamu', fiesta, forever!"
"Forever Young" by Rod Stewart is one of his many, many, many covers of better singers' songs. However, in this case he sounds a lot like the original ...
"Forever Young" was written in 1973 by Bob Dylan as a lullaby for his infant son ... and pop's terrible tykes have been gravitating to it ever since!
"Muskrat Love" by the Captain and Tennille reached number two on the Cash Box chart and was the 30th biggest hit of 1976.
"The Joker" by the Steve Miller Band reached number one in the UK, forcing multitudes of Brits to puzzle out what a "pompatus" is.
"You're the Inspiration" by Chicago
"Silly Love Songs" by Wings
"Dancing Queen" by ABBA

Please feel free to take your pick of alleged "songs" by Yoko Ono, Tiny Tim, Duran Duran, Justin Bieber, New Kids on the Block, Insane Clown Posse, Nicki Minaj, Kanye West, Ricky Martin, Rico Suave, Vanilla Ice and any other white rapper whose name is not Eminem.

Top Ten Overrated Bands

The Sex Pistols
Grateful Dead
K. C. and the Sunshine Band (if anyone still listens to them)
Huey Lewis and the News (ditto)
Black Eyed Peas

Dishonorable Mention: Creed, Doors, Green Day, Hanson, The Killers, Kings of Leon, LCD Soundsystem, Limp Bizkit, Maroon 5, Dave Matthews Band, Menudo, Milli Vanilli, New Kids on the Block, Nickelback, One Direction, Osmonds, Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Slipnot, Smashing Pumpkins

Top Ten Overrated Musicians, Singers and Rappers

Justin Bieber (#1 in every poll)
Barry Manilow
Ted Nugent
Kanye West
Chris Brown
Lil' Wayne
LL Cool J
Taylor Swift
Miley Cyrus
Nicki Minaj

Dishonorable Mention: Rebecca Black, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Ke$ha, Insane Clown Posse, Katy Perry, Pitbull, Courtney Love, One Direction, Ariane Grande, Limp Bizkit/Fred Durst, John Mayer, Jason Derulo, Carly Rae Jepsen,, Shakira, Chainsmokers, Adele, Iggy Azalea

Hopelessly Pretentious Songs

(#1) The hands-down winner is Barry Manilow's icky and vastly overblown "I Write the Songs."
(#2) "My Way" is a very close second
(#3) "McArthur Park" would be in the running, except that it's too ridiculous to be taken seriously.
(#4) "Hammer Time" by M. C. Hammer, who spawned the Frankenstein-like monsters below ...
(#5) "Ice Ice Baby" by Vanilla Ice, a ghastly pale Hammer clone.
(#6) "Rico Suave" by Gerardo, a slicked-up Hispanic version of Vanilla Ice.
(#7) "Will 2K" by Will Smith, the too-fresh prince extolling the coming "Will-ennium."
(#8) "Everybody have fun tonight! / Everybody Wang Chung tonight!" (I, for one, will take a pass!).
(#9) "Crank that Soulja Boy" by Soulja Boy Tell 'Em (Well perhaps, if someone can crank that jaw!).
(#10) "Bad" by Michael Jackson (the least "gangsta" singer on the planet).
(#11) "Sunglasses at Night" by Corey Hart (who is almost as un-gangsta as MJ).

Hall of Shame

I have created a Hall of Shame for the all-time worst writers, selectors and singers of wrenchingly bad, fluffy, corny and cheesy lyrics ...

(10) The early Beatles, Jackson 5, Monkees, Duran Duran, Boyz II Men, Backstreet Boys, 'N Synch, Take That, New Kids on the Block (at least slightly better than the cheese-fests below)
(9) Oasis, New Edition, One Direction, Menudo, 98 Degrees, All-4-One, Color Me Badd, LFO, Hanson, Nelson, Jonas Brothers, O-Town, JoDeCi, B2K, BBMak, 3Deep, 5ive, Take 6
(8) Spice Girls, Go-Go's, Bangles, TLC, Destiny's Child, En Vogue, Bananarama, Wilson Phillips, Salt-N-Pepa, Pussycat Dolls, Fifth Harmony, Little Mix, Stooshe, Sugababes, Atomic Kitten
(7) Bay City Rollers
(6) Vanilla Ice and Nicki Minaj (not together—that would be too horrible to even consider!)
(5) The Osmonds (and Donny Osmond as a solo act)
(4) Pat Boone and Debby Boone
(3) Huey Lewis and the News
(2) K. C. and the Sunshine Band (and Harry Wayne Casey as a songwriter)
(1) Barry Manilow

Dishonorable Mention: Paul Anka, Justin Bieber, Blackeyed Peas, Bobby Goldsboro, Gilbert O'Sullivan, Paris Hilton, Rupert Holmes, Yoko Ono, Captain and Tennille, Steve Miller Band, Blink 182, Green Day, Coldplay, Helen Reddy, Billy Ray Cyrus, Miley Cyrus, Britney Spears, MC Hammer, Phil Collins, late Beach Boys, Kiss, Van Halen, Def Leppard, Grateful Dead, Korn, Goo Goo Dolls, Train, Smash Mouth, Insane Clown Posse, Limp Bizkit, Creed, Nickelback

Nickelback has been nominated as the most despised and/or hated band of all time. When comedian Brian Posehn was discussing a study that tied violent lyrics to violent behavior, he quipped, "No one talks about the studies that show that bad music makes people violent, like [listening to] Nickelback makes me want to kill Nickelback." One critic opined that using the song "Rockstar" in a cheesy furniture ad proved that Nickelback doesn't "understand the difference between a band and a jukebox." The Kensington Police Department threatened to punish DUI offenders by making them listen to Nickelback on their way to jail. David Grohl, of Nirvana and Foo Fighters fame, tweeted: "If you play a Nickelback song backwards you'll hear messages from the Devil. Even worse, if you play it forward you'll hear Nickelback." There is a Facebook page called called "Can This Pickle Get More Fans Than Nickelback?" According to The Guardian, the pickle had more fans than the band's Facebook page. When I googled "most hated bands," sure enough the first name I found was Nickelback.

Creed has been accused of being like "Nickelback before there was Nickelback."

Songs that Try Too Hard to Cheer Us Up

"Don't Worry Be Happy" by Bobby McFerrin
"Walking on Sunshine" by Katrina and the Waves
"Dancing on the Ceiling" by Lionel Ritchie
"Party in the U.S.A." by Miley Cyrus
"Party All the Time" by Eddie Murphy
"1999" by Prince and the Revolution
"You're the Inspiration" by Chicago

"People (Who Need People)" with lyrics by Bob Merrill tries to cheer us up with the sunny revelation that "We're children, needing other children / And yet letting a grown-up pride / Hide all the need inside." So we are childish, proud, deceptive and needy. And yet "People who need people / are the luckiest people in the world." Well, fortunately it is better to be lucky than good!

The Worst White-Bread Rap

"American Life" by Madonna
"Rapture" by Debbie Harry and Blondie (did she mean "Rupture"?)
"Wannabe" by the Spice Girls
Anything and everything by Vanilla Ice
"Cotton Eye Joe" is a truly weird hybrid of rap, neo-country/bluegrass and techno-pop delivered in broken English by what appears to be a deranged Swedish serial killer!

Ickiest Come-On Songs

"Your Body is a Wonderland" by John Mayer (the wonder is that he's not in jail for various acts of perversion!)
"Barbie Girl" by Aqua (a band that seems "all wet," pardon the pun)
"Stupid Hoe" and "Anaconda" by Nicki Minaj (these appear to be icky "companion" pieces)
"My Humps" by The Black Eyed Peas with Fergie in a duet (or eeeew!-et) with
"Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke

Lines that Make Us Go "Eeeew!"

Ed Sheeran wins this category easily by asking his lover "Will your mouth still remember the taste of my love?" when they reach age 70. Eeeew!

The next line is nearly as yucky: "Will your eyes still smile from your cheeks?" Is Sheeran singing a love song to a badly-assembled Bride of Frankenstein? Who has eyes in their cheeks? And to think that the song in question, "Thinking Out Loud," won a Grammy. Double Eeeew!

Sheeran seems to specialize in bizarre lyrics. For instance, these lines from "Wake Me Up":

And I know you love Shrek
Because we’ve watched it 12 times.

Triple Eeeew!

Missy Elliot is a too-close runner-up with:

Take my thong off and my ass go boom!

Exploding asses? Quadruple Eeeew! Please keep that thong ON or, better yet, put on some granny panties or adult diapers!

Ultra-Creepy Sex Lyrics

"This sex is on fire." (Kings of Leon, then by any and all means, PUT IT OUT! And please stop playing with flammables and matches!)
"I'm too sexy for my shirt." (Well then, Right Said Fred, please put on a sweater and an overcoat because we don't want to see your pale, exposed chest!)
"I wanna sex you up." (Please, Color Me Badd, don't bother!)
"Sometimes when we touch / the honesty's too much / and I have to close my eyes and hide." (Dan Hill sheds new light on the term "undercover lover")
"You love my lady lumps / my hump my hump my hump!" (Blackeyed Peas reach new lows of female objectification with "My Humps")
"Honey got a booty like pow, pow, pow! / Honey got some boobies like wow, oh wow!" (Usher channels his perverted inner Robin in "OMG")
"She bangs! Oh baby! ... She looks like a flower but stings like a bee! Like every girl in history! She reminds me that a woman only got one thing on her mind! (Ricky Martin "She Bangs")
"But you're an animal / Baby, it's in your nature." (Robin Thicke appeals to a woman's "inner animal" because it's her "nature" to crave sex with sexist alpha sopranos like Thicke!)
"Chew your meat for you, / Pass it back and forth in a passionate kiss / From my mouth to yours, sloppy lips to lips." (Nirvana will "Drain You" to the absolute dregs)
"Shorty just text me, says she want to sex me / LOL smiley face / LOL smiley face." (Trey Songz, "LOL Smiley Face")
"I die over these Reeboks, you ain’t even know it, / Put molly all in her champagne, she ain’t even know it / I took her home and I enjoyed that, she ain’t even know it." (An ode to date rape with Rocko featuring Rick Ross and Future in "U.O.E.N.O.")

Couples actually get married to the stalker strains of Sting's "Every Breath You Take" and Heart's "Alone." Does true love "chill us to the bone," really? People also get married to the anguished relationship-in-the-process-of-disintegrating  lyrics of U2's "One." I have a separate category for such weirdness, later on this page. Some songs are so verbally repulsive and in such bad taste that I blanch to quote the lyrics. Songs in this category include "P***y Monster" by Lil Wayne, "Show Ya P***y" by R. Kelly with Juicy J and Mingos, and "P***y" by The-Dream (or perhaps The-Nightmare?). Hey, when you have to put asterisks in your song's title, haven't you already crossed a bridge too far? Are your mothers impressed with how much "p***y" you get, and how you brag about it for money?

More Accurate Song and Album Titles, Please!

For the sake of truth in advertising, it should be ...

(#1) "Sexual Stealing" by Robin Thicke.
(#2) "Thicke as a Brick" by Robin Thicke.
(#3) "Moves Like Stagger" by Maroon 5's Adam Levine (since he's always singing about drinking and getting wasted).
(#4) "Vice, Vice Baby" by Vanilla Ice, since pride is one of the Seven Deadly Sins.
(#5) "Clap for the Wolfman" by Train (with all those "untrimmed" chests!).
(#6) "Your Body is my Blunderland" by John Mayer (since his song reminds us of Trump's tweets).
(#666) "Sympathy for the Donald" by the Rolling Stones, since Trump is so very clearly the Devil in the flesh. For instance, the Trump family owns the tower at 666 Fifth Avenue, a street that symbolizes money (Mammon). Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner paid $1.8 billion dollars for the property, and 18 = 6+6+6. As Yogi Berra said, "You could look it up." If you do a search for "Trump 666" you will find many other connections of the Trumps to the Number of the Beast.

The Ten Worst Number One Songs of All Time


"Gangnam Style" by PSY ("Style" has nothing to do with it! These F- songs have no redeeming values whatsoever.)
"Lovin' You" by Minnie Ripperton (The perfect ad for dog whistles ... if owners want to drive their dogs away forever.)
"Reunited" by Peaches & Herb (Performed by David Hasselhoff at the Berlin Wall leveling, this song drove entire nations back to communism!)
"Escape (The Pina Colada Song)" by Rupert Holmes (Has there ever been a more annoying song by a more annoying singer?)
"(You're) Having My Baby" by Paul Anka and Odia Coates (How many eggs have been fertilized to this musical monstrosity?)
"Sussudio" by Phil Collins (Suss-suss-suss-stupido!)
"You're Beautiful" by James Blount (James apparently toked waaaay too many blunts when he wrote this sappy mess.)
"MacArthur Park" by Richard Harris was later covered in a disco version by Donna Summer (Oh Joy!)
"Ice Ice Baby" by Vanilla Ice (Not only is the song terrible and terribly pretentious, but it was plagiarized to boot.)
"I Write the Songs" by Barry Manilow (False advertising! Manilow didn't write the song, and the real songwriter should pay us damages!)

Two things have convinced me that the modern world is beyond salvation: (1) the election of Trump to a position I refuse to use in relation to his name, and (2) songs like "I Write the Songs" inexplicably being purchased, much less topping the charts. I can only conclude that the ancient prophets were correct: these are the Last Days and we're doomed! All we have left is foxhole humor, to amuse ourselves, until the final Trump sounds (dark pun intended).

The Other Worst Number One Songs of All Time


"Baby Don't Forget My Number" by Milli Vanilli (Terrible song, but at least they have the excuse of not really singing it.)
"One Bad Apple" by the Osmonds (Actually, one bad number one song does create a lot of spoilage, especially when it copies the Jackson 5.)
"Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley (Great deep, rich baritone voice, but a dismal song.)
"Kokomo" by the Beach Boys (The group had some kickass songs; this is not one of them.)
"Go Away Little Girl" by Steve Lawrence (Later covered by Donnie Osmond, time did not improve this bit of daffodil fluff.)
"Love Letters in the Sand" by Pat Boone (Pat Boone personified "white soul," sans the soul.)
"You Light Up My Life" by Debby Boone (She was truly her father's white bread, sugary sweet daughter. Nice sentiments, terrible song.)
"Ebony and Ivory" by Stevie Wonder and Sir Paul McCartney (More nice sentiments by two seasoned singers who should know better.)
"I Just Called to Say I Love You" by Stevie Wonder (To quote another music critic, "Take it to the mall!")
"I Just Can't Stop Loving You" by Michael Jackson (This terribly needy song features the creepiest spoken intro in pop music history.)
"Batdance" by Prince (Even a genius can have a bad day, apparently.)
"One More Try" by Timmy T (The video and the singer's stage name may be even worse than the song, if that is possible!)
"MMMBop" by Hanson (Cute kids, if you're beguiled by moppets, but a bubblegummy song.)
"Achy Breaky Heart" by Billy Ray Cyrus (Miley Cyrus's career was an unforeseeable consequence of this catchy but ultra-corny hit.)
"Wild Wild West" by Will Smith (The hip-hop and cowboy genres are like oil and water and never can mix.)
"Running Bear" by Johnny Preston (A not-so-brave Native American is "running bare" after "little white girls" with war whoops in the background!)
"Hollaback Girl" by Gwen Stefani (A 35-year-old cheerleader making absolutely no sense, except to Blake Shelton on a bender?)
"Disco Duck (Part 1)" by Rick Dees & his Cast of Idiots (We were very fortunate not to have been subjected to Part 2!)


"My Sweet Lord" by George Harrison (This love epistle to God was plagiarized from "He's So Fine" by the Chiffons!)
"London Bridge" by Fergie (At least the "Oh Shit!" intro is on spot.)
"Billy, Don't Be a Hero" by Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods ("Billy, Don't Be a Zero" would make more sense.)
"Honey" by Bobby Goldsboro (A forced tear-jerker with saccharine-sweet, calorie-free lyrics.)
"Love Yourself" by Justin Bieber (If you really care absolutely nothing about a former lover, why write them a song?)
"I Want It That Way" by the Back Street Boys (We want it the "highway" way: Vamoose!)
"Hello" by Lionel Richie (Please say "Goodbye!" and hang up the damn phone!)
"We Built this City" by Starship ("Marconi plays the mamba"? Really? Where, on Mork's planet Ork?)
"Macarena" by Los Del Rio (The limp macaroni of Latino dance music!)
"Who Let the Dogs Out" by the Baha Men (Please sic the dogs on the singers, pronto!)
"Don't Worry, Be Happy" by Bobby McFerrin ("Don't Worry, Be Sappy" is more like it.)
"Silly Love Songs" by Wings

Terrible Lines from Otherwise Great Songwriters

(#1) Bob Dylan bottoms out with: "If dogs run free, then why not we ..."
(#2) Dylan waxes redundant in "Tin Angel" with: "He pondered the future of his fate ..."
(#3) Paul Simon was not at his best in "Cars Are Cars" or his Great Wall of China metaphor in "Something So Right."
(#4) Simon sounds pompous and silly with: "Hear my words that I might teach you" in "Sounds of Silence."
(#5) Dan Fogelberg's "Longer" should be considerably shorter, and lighter on the poeticisms ("forest primeval").
(#6) Jim Morrison and the Doors should have ended "The End" a lot sooner (it's eleven minutes overlong).
(#7) Billy Joel equates the earthshaking and trivial with: "China's under martial law, rock & roller cola wars!"
(#8) R.E.M. may have overglossed "Shiny Happy People."
(#9) Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys went plumb stark cuckoo with "Kokomo."

Most Affected Pronunciations and Worst Annoying Mispronunciations

This award goes to Charlie Puth for his song "One Call Away," in which he claims that "Superman ain't got nothin' on me." But Superman does have something on Puth, because the Man of Steel knows that the word "me" is pronounced with a long "e," making it rhyme with "sea" and "tree." Puth tries to make "me" rhyme with "away," stretching it out into numerous bizarre syllables, resulting in a verbal monstrosity.

How may syllables are there in the word "bridge"? If you guessed one, you guessed wrong, according to Adele singing "Water Under the Bridge." Adele somehow manages to pronounce "bridge" as though it has a dozen or more syllables. She must REALLY work on her breath control! (Adele has a number of things going for her, but an unaffected singing style is not one of them.)

Ed Sheeran makes another appearance, again for "Thinking Out Loud," when he wails "People fool in love in mysterious ways." Quintuple Eeeew! (But in his case, "fool" may well apply.)

Hammiest Performances and Worst "Over the Top" Performances

A closely related category is "hammy" singing and dancing, as in "hamming it up." In this category, no one can possibly hold a candle to our co-winners ...

"Hammy" Sammy Davis Jr. performing "Mr. Bojangles" like a deeply tanned English troubadour, wearing impossibly tight pants with what I hope is a sock (but pray to never know with any surety!).

Richard Harris pretentiously and bombastically performing "MacArthur Park" like King Lear on a bad acid trip. All that "sweet green icing flowing down" must have given him a sugar high.

Not really close, but worth dishonorable mentions: Liberace, Tiny Tim, David Lee Roth, Boy George, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Freddy Mercury, Adam Lambert, David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Meatloaf, KISS, and just about any "hair" band.

Worst Use of Mindless, Mind-Numbing Repetition

This is by far the easiest category to judge. Any song by K. C. and the Sunshine Band wins, hands down. Some rock bands have been accused of playing the same three chords over and over again. K. C. and the Sunshine Band upped the ante by also droning the same three words over and over again, ad infinitum:

I'm your boogie-man ... I'm your boogie-man ... I'm your boogie-man ... I'm your boogie-man ... I'm your boogie-man ...
Get down tonight ... Get down tonight ... Get down tonight ... Get down tonight ... Get down tonight ... Get down tonight ...
Shake-shake-shake, shake-shake-shake, shake your booty ... Shake-shake-shake, shake-shake-shake, shake your booty ...

K. C. and the Sunshine Band, you are not our boogeyman, but the bogeyman to anyone who appreciates good lyrics!

Nicki Minaj gets a special dishonorable mention for tasteless and classless repetition in "Stupid Hoe": "You a stupid hoe / You a / You a stupid hoe / (stupid, stupid)." She and Big Sean then repeat the word "ass" something like 20 times in "Dance Ass."

Other Dishonorable Mentions:

Justin Bieber for "Baby," which repeats the word "baby" over and over like a broken record.
Paul McCartney also seems to be channeling a broken record in "Live and Let Die": You know you did you know you did you know you did ... Live and let die (live and let die) live and let die (live and let die) ...
Rihanna repeats the word "cake" incessantly in "Birthday Cake." 
James Blunt gets an unhonorable mention for: You're beautiful ... you're beautiful ... you're beautiful ... it's true ... (After you've told us something repeatedly, is it really necessary to insist that what you told us is true, unless you're a serial liar?)
The Black Eyed Peas are also contenders in this dismal category with "My Humps": My hump, my hump, my hump (ha!), my lovely lady lumps (check it out!)
And then of course there is "Who Let the Dogs Out" by Baha Men.

So there you have it: the worst song lyrics of all time, according to me. Of course records are meant to be broken (please pardon the pun), so stay tuned for more abysmally bad lyrics, which surely lie in waiting around the next bend ...

Related pages: The Best Singers of All Time, The Best Singer-Songwriters, The Best Female Singer/Songwriters, The Best Songs of All Time, The Best Sad Songs, The Best Protest Songs and Poems, The Best Love Songs, Rock Jukebox: the Poetry of Rock, The Best Vocal Performances of All Time, The Worst Song Lyrics Ever, The Most Overrated Songs of All Time, The Best Rock Lyrics, The Best Female Poets, The Best Sappho Translations, The Best Metaphors and Similes, The Best Lines from Songs and Poems

The HyperTexts