CB Top 5: Classic Songs With Terrible Lyrics

By CB Staff 2008-03-30 11:25:35
The majority of music fans who also fancy carousing their local bookstore have probably skimmed through a copy of Gavin Edwards' 'Scuse Me While I Kiss This Guy: And Other Misheard Lyrics. This book title, a notoriously mistaken lyric from Jimi Hendrix's "Purple Haze" that actually reads 'Scuse me while I kiss the sky, was met with plenty of ooh's, ahh's and Woah, Jimi was a fag? There are a plethora of misheard lyrics to choose from throughout several decades of music, but what about lyrics that are all around retarded and confusing in pure form?

Grunge rock demi-God Kurt Cobain bore an entire generation with such poignant descriptions as An Albino/A Mulato/A mosquito/ My libido, and he meant it. Only, God knows what he meant. Here now are the Top 5 most beloved songs with the world's most thought provoking lyrics – probably inspired by an autistic, strung-out five-year old.

Cinema Blend Top 5: Classic Songs With Bad Lyrics

5. Stairway To Heaven by Led Zeppelin


Rema Rahman:In Chuck Klosterman's Killing Yourself to Live, the Spin writer asserts that Led Zeppelin is the "most popular rock band of all time" because "every straight man born after the year 1958 has at least one transitory period in his life when he believes Led Zeppelin is the only good band that ever existed." Having been born in 1983, and only half succeeding in living life through a straight man's eyes, I guess I missed out on this life-altering time period. I think Led Zeppelin is still great despite criticism, however they never landed on the list of bands I can't live without. Where they did land was on this list for creating quite possibly the stupidest line from one of the best songs of the 1970s, and there were plenty to chose from this era of semi-conscious guitar-rock ego/nymphomaniacs.

So what the hell did Robert Plant and Jimmy Page intend with "If there's a bustle in your hedgerow/ Don't be alarmed now/ It's just a spring clean for the May Queen?" Being that, since its release, it has become the most played song on FM radio – having illuminated airwaves well over three million times - I'm surprised, no one has a fucking clue.

4. Wouldn’t It Be Nice by The Beach Boys


Peter Kimmich:I know what you think this song is about. It’s about the frustrations of teenager-hood, not being old enough, and having to wait to get what you want – a peaceful, sedentary American life with the sweetheart of your dreams. Right?

Sorry to smash your pretty little cloud to smithereens, you naïve schmuck, but Brian Wilson must have had a twinkle in his eye when he wrote this one – the same twinkle I’m sure he had as a teenager, smiling at the unsuspecting girls who spent all those Saturday nights in his passenger seat down at makeout point. Could Wilson really have been the grinning, doe-eyed high-school boy the musical press wants to make him out to be? Maybe. Or maybe he was a hormone-driven carnivore who used his band status and often-touted muscle cars to prey upon girls like a lion on the Serengeti. A sharp eye will reveal “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” to be nothing more than a script for one of Wilson’s weekend night conquests, and a keen insight into the mind of an agile predator. Let’s go to the lyrics.

“Wouldn’t it be nice if we were older / Then we wouldn’t have to wait so long / And wouldn’t it be nice to live together / In the kind of world where we belong.”

So far it’s pretty non-suspect. He could be saying this to a girl in his car with no intention of taking it anywhere. Or could he be laying the trap? Let’s keep going.

“You know it’s gonna make it that much better / When we can say goodnight and stay together.” Wait. The prey senses something is not right. What are you hinting at, Brian, she says. Do you want me to spend the night with you? Or are you just going on about “living together?” You don’t have an agenda, do you?

Undeterred, Brian the lion continues his slow, deadly ambush.

“And after having spent the day together / Hold each other close the whole night through.” Oh, Brian, I didn’t know you felt that way, um, I have to think….

This, Sally, is where the lion locks eyes with its prey.

“Happy times together we’ve been spending / I wish that every kiss was never-ending….” Well, Brian, we have been spending a lot of time together, but I kind of feel pressured. I wish you would just let me think.

The song’s bridge eases up the tension a bit, giving Brian’s quarry room to breath – and a false sense of security.

“Maybe if we think and wish and hope and pray, it might come true / Baby then there wouldn’t be a single thing we couldn’t do….” Oh Brian, I know, I want it too – but we’re too young, I don’t feel right. Why are you looking at me like that?

Right about now Brian is in complete control, and his girl is feeling like a rabbit caught in headlights. Then the trap springs shut.

“We. Could. Be. Married.” Oh, Brian, put your arms around me and take me right here in your little Deuce Coup, you sweet talker, you!

Yes, it’s all right there. He wrote it himself, with wingman Tony Asher. The entire formula to his feverish slaying of so many innocent girls, disguised in subtle, heart-swooning verse by the same man who wrote “I Get Around” and “California Girls.” Brian, you cad. And it does seem the more he talks about it, it only makes it worse to live without it. So he just keeps talking about it – until he gets what he wants. Isn’t that nice?

3. Whole Lotta Love by Led Zeppelin



Jessica Grabert: I assume the rebel mentality explains why people get off so much to fucking Led Zeppelin. Throw on say, “Whole Lotta Love,” and you get that instant cocaine-effect, as if you are suddenly intensely cooler than you’ve ever felt in your life. The music is aggressive to the point it seems unchastely dangerous, and goddamn if you can’t help but nod your head, smiling slightly along with everyone else experiencing the song, like you’re the only people on the face of the planet privy to the “secret” that is Led Zeppelin.

It doesn’t seem to matter that Led Zeppelin practically stole the song from blues mastermind Willie Dixon. It remains irrelevant that the only base part of the song written by a member of Led Zeppelin is the guitar rift, which is catchy to the point I’d like to strangle it about a minute in every time. What matters is that lyrically the boys of Led Zeppelin were using the blues method of borrowing lyrics to create their Rolling Stone Magazine-hailed greatest song of all time, a process that fact: makes them sound like grammatical ass-clowns hounding some virginal-esque women to be schooled in the ways of making love to Robert Plant. Because God, what the world really needed soon after the summer of love were three poorly written verses about the proper way to screw a rock star. Not that sex isn’t a common theme in Led Zeppelin songs or rock songs in general. I guess I just can’t imagine anyone, musician or no, walking up to me and saying, “Shake for me, girl. I wanna be your backdoor man. Keep it coolin', baby.”

Unless I was on cocaine. And needed something to masturbate to.

2. Walk Like An Egyptian by The Bangles


Mack Rawden:Arguably the best song with a whistle solo ever released, The Bangles’ “Walk Like An Egyptian” documents a mysterious alternate reality , in which cigarette-chomping, precious metal-colored crocodiles enforce a strict anti-nicotine policy and hieroglyphics reanimate for a resurrected run in order to teach humanity a stylish, synchronized dancing routine. Not willing to be outdone by deceased scribbles from multiple-millennia ago, the 5-0, punk-loving children, and dandelion-haired waitresses put on their blue suede shoes and organize a vague wager placed on the east bank of the Nile. Poses are struck on Cadillacs and a two-step terror, not seen since the gang warfare of West Side Story, paints the streets red. Rhythmically-challenged white people may have been euthanized to clear space for a new super-race of Toni Basil cryogenically-created clones, though this theory isn’t directly validated. It just seems logical.

There’s no flight; it’s all fight, baby. Osiris, Ra, and Isis have amassed a throng of mummified former Pharaohs–still irate over looters destroying their Kas. Armageddon must be fought, will be danced off in some sandy battlefield between Gaza and Cairo. So, slide your feet up the street and bend your back. Shift your arm and then pull it back. It’s animalistic, it’s epileptic, it’s a pissed off Jehovah’s eleventh plague against Egyptian tyranny.

If taken at face value and not discarded as mere superficial mutterings that fit nicely into the lyrical structure, “Walk Like An Egyptian” may well be the transcribed bastard child of Hunter S. Thompson’s The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent And Depraved and everything Samuel Taylor Coleridge scribbled in crayon after plunging into his final opium den. Upton Sinclair, that putz, couldn’t jungle fuck my mind with over two hundred pages in half the ways these vixens did with ten stanzas (oh-whey-oh).

1. MacArthur Park by Richard Harris


Rema Rahman:Don't know who Richard Harris is? Neither do I, but I know Donna Summer made it her first number one single, hauntingly splurging Someone left a cake out in the rain/ I don't think that I can take it / Because it took so long to bake it/ And I'll never have that recipe again. Remember, this is supposed to be a song about lost love, washed away in some LA park in the 1970s where people were probably sleeping under the stars (not by choice) and injecting themselves with dirty needles (by choice.) My question is - who was having a case of the munchies during this songs recording session? Betty Crocker might not have had much to do with the tune, but it's pretty clear that whoever wrote this mystical allusion to romance must have been craving some Entenmanns. Which one of you were dancing it up at Studio 54 back when they were blowing angel dust through the vents?

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