Saturday, January 16, 2010

Lyric Fails

For the last day of Lisa Schroeder week I thought we'd look at songs--since they're basically verse set to music, and I happen to know that music plays an integral role in Lisa's writing process (and mine).

But since music taste is subjective, and listing a bunch of song lyrics could be pretty boring--especially if you guys aren't familiar with the melodies--I thought instead we'd explore a rather bizarre and upsetting phenomena: When Bad Lyrics Happen to Good Bands

You all know what I'm talking about. You're listening to your favorite band, following the words and melody to a state of pure, unadulterated bliss, when something pulls you out, makes you sit up and think, "What?" You back the song up, hoping you heard it wrong. But no. It's even worse than you thought, and you want to call the band up and ask them why, WHY did they do it? How could they ruin such an amazing song with such a random or weird lyric?

What you're experiencing my friends, is a lyric fail (or #lyricfail, for you Twitter afficianados)

And here--in my opinion at least--are a few of the greatest offenders.

Dashboard Confessional
Sure, sometimes they're too Emo--even for me--and if I listen to too many of their songs in a row I could sink into severe depression and never come out. But in small doses their music is amazing. All except:

(from Screaming Infidelities)
"Your hair, it's everywhere
Screaming infidelities, and taking it's wear"

Um...what? That doesn't even make sense!

And if that wasn't bad enough, here's the chorus:
As for now I'm gonna hear the saddest songs and sit alone and wonder
How you're making out.
And as for me I wish that I was anywhere with anyone
Making out.

I have no words.
But the judges say: #lyricfail

Next up: Taking Back Sunday
Yes, they're Screamo. But I'm not ashamed to say I love them and they are amazing live. And yet...

(from MakeDamnSure)
My inarticulate store-bought hangover Hobby Kit it talks
And it says, 'you, oh, you are so cool.'

What is an inarticulate store-bought hangover hobby kit, why does it talk and why would it say "you, oh, you are so cool"?
I still love the song, but that definitely earns them a MAJOR #lyricfail

Last--and worst of all: Shakira
I'll admit, she has some funky lyrics in her songs. But nothing tops this:

(from Whenever, Wherever)
"Lucky that my breasts are small and humble so you don't confuse them with mountains"

Yes, you read that right. OMG-WHY WOULD ANYONE SING THAT?
Definitely #lyricfail
(Heh, I'm giggling right now because that's EXACTLY what Frankie has to do when her book sells. Crazy girl and her crazy deals with the universe. )

Okay, those are the best ones I could remember off the top of my head (editing is not helping my brain function). Can anyone else think of any others I've missed? If so, post them in the comments. I'd LOVE to read them.

And, as a reminder, you only have until 11:59 pm tomorrow (Sunday) night to enter to win all three Lisa Scroeder books. So hop on over there and enter if you haven't already. Contest winner will be posted Monday. Good luck!


  1. Well, what we have here is they lyric writers trying to be clever. And failing, because they're not communicating their meaning clearly, which, even though it's a song, they should still be doing.

    The "store-bought hobby hangover kit" saying "You're so cool," if I read it correctly, is talking about how drinking makes you feel cooler than you are. (Hangover kit = booze)

    Just 'cause I think I understand it, though, doesn't mean it's not a stupid way of saying it. :)

    My all-time favorite bands for retarded, incomprehensible lyrics are Bush (Gavin Rossdale has NO IDEA what he's talking about half the time), Live (a placenta falls to the floor in Lightning Crashes? WTF?) and, uh... oh there are lots more. Those are my examples.

    Oh! I just figured out what the first lyric might mean. If she's sleeping around, she's leaving hair in other people's beds, and it's screaming her infidelity by its presence! How about that?

    Okay, fine. I'm done with the analysis now. Simon out. *click*

  2. This is freaking hilarious. I love your analysis (analyses???). Anyways, the only thing worse than actual lyrics are the lyrics my husband makes up to every song he sings aloud. No matter how many times he listens to a song, he will never, ever get them right. Even classics--like "Silent Night"--wrong. Over Christmas, he sang this one as a goodnight song and he would sing, "round, young version..." instead of "virgin." Perhaps trying to make it more PG?

  3. Yeah see where as Lisa and Laura's husband tries to make his versions more PG, mine strives to make his more NC-17 (that is worse than R right?)

    How bout that stupid "Hanson" band. Oooh or Aqua. I could totally go all day...

    Remember this one. (Seriously LOVE this song, I'm weird)

    Yo listen up
    Heres the story about a little guy that lives in a blue world
    And all day and all night and everything he sees is just blue like him
    Inside and outside
    Blue his house with a blue little window and a blue corvette
    And everything is blue for him and his-self
    And everybody around cuz he aint got nobody to listen.

    Im blue da ba dee da ba di
    da ba dee da ba di
    da ba dee da ba di
    da ba dee Da ba di
    da ba dee da ba di
    (repeat once)

    I have a blue house with a blue window
    Blue is the color I thought that i'd wear
    Blue are the streets and all the trees are too
    I have a girlfriend and she is so blue
    Blue are the people here that walk around
    Blue like my corvette its standing outside
    Blue are the words I say and what I think
    Blue are the feelings that live inside me.

    Im blue da ba dee da ba di
    da ba dee da ba di
    da d ba dee da ba di
    da ba dee Da ba di
    da ba dee da ba di
    (repeat twice)

    Indside and outside
    Blue his house with the blue little window and a blue corvette
    And everything is blue for him and his-self
    And everybody around cuz he aint got nobody to listen.

    Im blue da ba dee da ba di
    da ba dee da ba di
    da ba dee da ba di
    da ba dee da ba di
    da ba dee da ba di
    (repeat once)

    But WTF does any of THAT mean?!?! Smurfs?

  4. hahah fun post to read today Shannon <3 I always just assume weird things like that are inside jokes or have hidden meaning for someone in the group...

    I've always liked Dashboard :-) ESPECIALLY because they have a song called "Ender Will Save Us All"... And Ender's Game is one of my favorite books of all time, so...

  5. lol, too funny. Foo Fighters are famous for this too.

    From: This is the call...

    Fingernails are pretty
    Fingernails are good
    Seems that all they ever wanted was a marking

    Them balloons are pretty
    Big and say they should
    Ever fall to ground
    Call the magic marker

    Uh, yeah. The song still rocks though. :)

  6. These are hilarious!! I can't think of any off the top of my head, and I'm off to work, but I'll see what I can come up with :)

  7. I love Tori Amos but some of her lyrics...whoa!

    How about from Marianne:

    A little blubber in my igloo

    Or from Bliss:

    Father, I killed my monkey
    I let it out to taste the sweet of spring

  8. This is why we all love you, Shannon! LOL! You just keep us coming back for more - this blog is a drug! I'm addicted.

  9. Simon: Heh, my resident expert on booze and hangovers. ;) I mean...I figured that's what they meant, but it took way too much thought to figure that out--and how dumb does their phrasing sound. And you are SO right about Bush. Gavin Rossdale was the love of my 15-yr-old life so I could't flog him publicly, but omg-every song is a #lyricfail. And I forgot about "her placenta falls to the floor" What WAS that?

    Lisa and Laura: Heh. My husband does the same thing. But the worst is my DAD. OMG-, he has RUINED songs with his wrong lyrics (there's a few songs where all I can hear is the stupid lyrics he made up. SO annoying). It should be a crime. :)

    Marybeth: LOL-you're right that song makes no sense. (And I really hope you copied that from a lyrics website because if you have that song THAT well memorized I think we need to do an intervention.

    Sara: Yah for Dashboard fans! And heh, I do that with music too. If it reminds me of a book I love I'll LOVE the song because of that. We have way too much in common--its almost eerie. Maybe thats why we're CPs.

    Roni: LOL-definite #lyricfail. The Foo Fighters are pretty guilty of that. Still love them, (and that song) but yikes.

    Jemi: Heh, if you think of something come back and post it. This is SO much fun.

    Lenore: Ooo, Tori Amos is another one. Her lyrics can be beautiful or WAY too random.

    Shannon: Aw, thanks. I'm so glad you enjoyed (I was worried people would think this post was stupid). :)

  10. I fear sometimes poets and lyric writers stare at their bellybuttons too long. Mysterious is good; obtuse is not. Of course, a lot of bands may figure nobody's gonna hear the lyrics well enough to try to decode them anyway. And I've had a good time with many a song I couldn't comprehend. It's the music, baby.

  11. Haha! Funny. =) That Dashboard Song really was odd.

  12. Homer: Yes, yes it is. I don't get it. Great melody though...

  13. Tricia: Oops-I missed you (blonde moment) And you're right, if there's a good melody I can forgive a bad lyric. But I'd prefer both be good. :)

  14. I'm baaack. Left you something on my blog. mwahahaha.

  15. I like all those songs! LOL I could probably find a ton, but I let everyone else speak for me :o) Those are great examples though!


Yay-I love comments! Thank you so much! (But please remember to keep your comments spoiler-free. Also, I try to keep this a happy, positive place. Friendly debate is fine, but always be kind to each other). <3