Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The Worst Song of All Time

CNN has been doing an ongoing poll over what should be deemed the "Worst Song of All Time." It seems that Paul Anka's "(You're) Having My Baby" is the worst. I don't think I know the song, but it should certainly win the Most Superfluous Parentheses In A Song Title award. Incidentally, I can't stand parentheses in song titles. They're pretty much always unnecessary and wouldn't make sense in the actual lyrics. People who make these lists, though, are always basing their criticism of the lyrics rather than the music. I watched this show a while back, and nearly every discussion of a song started with, "What makes it so bad is the lyrics." Many of the best pop songs have innane, sloppily written lyrics! Sometimes I think that's part of their charm. The man behind my favorite band of all time, in fact, often points out that his lyrics have no meaning.

The real problem, however, with any kind of list like this is that the actual worst song of all time is probably something no one has ever heard. It's probably some jingle a child shrieked out impromptu on the playground, leading the other children to immediately silence the child, the song never heard again. Or perhaps it's some notes someone put together in their head and never sang for anyone at all out of embarrassment. Hit songs must at least be competent.


Blogger Ann Althouse said...

Maybe by "worst" they mean: did the most damage.

Who's the worst person who's ever lived? Some guy so evil no one ever listened to him and he got locked up in prison early on... or Hitler?

1:36 PM  
Blogger Christopher Althouse said...

Shouldn't the worst song of all time, then, be a song that greatly influenced pop music and inspired a change for the worse? They seem to be picking on tame, unthreatening songs that are just annoying to listen to. If they asked, "What's the Adolf Hitler of songs?" I think they'd get a different answer.

11:46 PM  
Blogger Wade_Garrett said...

"Happy Birthday" is in my opinion the worst and least-sincere song ever written.

Strictly speaking, these wouldn't count, but covers that miss the entire point of the original song anger me more than any horrible-but-somewhat-creative song ever could. The Counting Crows' cover of "Big Yellow Taxi" is one recent example.

12:49 AM  
Blogger Christopher Althouse said...

Terry: If you think that's bad, you should listen to Janet Jackson's "Got 'Til It's Gone," which uses samples of "Big Yellow Taxi" and sets it to R&B. It's pretty bad. Even worse, though, is Lil Kim's "Don't Mess With Me," in which Lil Kim sings a line of that song and doesn't even get the melody right.

1:06 AM  
Blogger price said...

Oh come on, that Janet song is great... Q-Tip's raps are hilarious. I pretty much love it when R&B singers and rappers sample white peoples' music and make it worse. It just seems like justice to me.

2:34 AM  
Blogger Goesh said...

I didn't read the list but surely that song with the verse that goes "I'm Henry the 8th I am, Henry the 8th I am I am...." has to be near the top.

9:07 AM  
Blogger Michael Farris said...

"What's the Adolf Hitler of songs?"

You're having my baby,

Seasons in the sun,

Born in the USA*,

My humps,

and the Mussolini, Hitler and Tojo of songs put together:

*and signalled Springsteen's slide into pop ligthweight affability, and the Jackson Big Yellow Taxi was uninspired musically but I loved the video

4:53 PM  
Blogger Jamie Peters said...

I’m a big fan of R&B music and when I discovered Palm Beach Broadcasting’s R&B station, I was the happiest person on earth. My stereo is always tuned on X102.3 www.thex1023.com . You can stream live or download all your favorite R&B music.

5:26 PM  

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