Most people put more premium to  a song’s melody more than lyrics.  Others feel that lyrics are as important as the song itself. Music purists would like to think that the melody is more important because a song can be played by instruments minus the words. Tell that to rap fans and hopeless romantics and you will get likely get a resounding rebuke. To them a song delivers a message, a story. To some people a song is both music and lyrics,  synonymous to the body and soul that complete the existence of life.

Good lyrics enhances the song to the likes of poetry. But do we judge a song with the quality of its lyrics?  Perhaps not. Yes, we censor and ban offensive and derogatory language but other than that, our criteria for a judging a song for say a Grammy nomination weighs heavily on the melody, the artistic and production qualities of the song.

Well, here’s the list of the 20 worst lyrics ever and I have no idea of the sampling size and the criteria of songs that were included in the sampling.  But they are quite popular hit songs by popular artists that you and I may have heard many times. To illustrate a few :

No. 20 “If I was a sculptor But then again, no” Your Song by Elton John

No. 17 “There’s an insect in your ear. If you scratch it won’t disappear ” Staring at Sun by U2

No. 13 ” there were plants and birds and rocks and things” A Horse With No Name by America

No. 6 ” Your butt is mine ” Bad by Michael Jackson

No 4 ” Young black and famous with money hanging out the anus ” Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down by Puff Daddy and Mase

I’ll leave it up to you to check out the top 3 😆

Do you care about a song’s lyrics at all?


To me a diva isn’t someone who simply stomps and grinds and sings to the top of her powerful voice. I admire and respect Celine Dion and Whitney Houston’s impressive vocal range but plain power and pitch doesn’t cut the magic for me. Alright, Charice Pampengco is good, if not technically superior in the craft but there’s something in a style that is reminiscent of Houston’s that just won’t enthuse me to watch the entire 20 songs of her music DVD in one sitting, if she had one.

I prefer the milder, middle ranged voices of KD Lang, Carly Simon and even Alanis Morrisette which I find quite appealing. I find their voices soothing, classy, feminine and less juke-boxy. With juke-boxy I’m referring to the kind of music you’d be hearing from a beer garden near a cockfight stadium back in Pinas. I’m sure some of you will not necessarily agree with me 🙂

Here’s what I mean with Carly Simon singing in an open air concert and dressed so casually. The breeze flowing through her hair and the lively tempo of the song generates a vibe that speaks of passion, freedom and beauty that is simple yet elegant.


Here’s a transcript of my conversations from another blog.

The issue :

” Overheard from Catholic apologists: Reportedly, oral sex may be used to stimulate each other, but not to consummate sex.”

bw said…

Dogmas are one thing and reality is another.

Do you honestly believe that a guy, ANY GUY for that matter who’s having oral sex with Jessica Alba would say… no no Jessica… not that..Father Damaso says I must procreate.. huhhh???

When the curtains fall and the lights go out my friend, remembering Father Damaso is like putting socks on a rooster 😯 I encourage these priests to have sex at least one time, with a woman – just one mortal sin (heck there is always confession 🙂 anyways) maybe, just maybe they will start making sense with their dogmas.


58 Responses

  1. Some songs have really bad lyrics. As long as i’m not singing a song to be sung by a guy, im ok. As for divas, I like Beyonce 🙂

  2. Hi BW. It looks like your flag waving post has died down but being a music fan I like this post.

    some Pinoys don’t really care about lyrics of English because they may not understand it. For tagalog songs, definitely important. A lot of rock lyrics are like poetry, sometimes crazy as if the writer was on drugs when he wrote the song. Rock songs are different than ballads. For me, rock or ballad good lyrics make the song better. Who can beat Queen’s We Will Rock You at a ball game?

  3. I followed the link of the worst lyrics … hilarious!

    Several years ago, David Letterman tore to pieces Lionel Richie’s “Say You, Say Me” — line by line, and not just a single line as in this 20 Worst Lyrics. It was one of the most hysterical segments Letterman and his writers had done. Gotta hand it to Ritchie, though. He was a sport about it. The lyrics were indeed horrendous.

    Hmmm … I think I’ll post what I think is one of the “best one-liner” from a song.

    Good post! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    BTW, Carly Simon used to suffer from intense stage fright. It wasn’t only until recently that she overcame it. “Your So Vain” is one of the most memorable songs of hers, which was a soundtrack of my early years in NYC.


  4. ” Your butt is mine ” hehehe..you know who MJ was singing it to!

    Oral sex for stimulation only?
    Hey-hey-hey! There’s no such thing as cessation amidst the oral copulation function! Padre must be kidding me!

  5. i’m a melody person. i hardly pay attention to lyrics. 😀
    i like the corrs. no belters for me.

  6. “With juke-boxy I’m referring to the kind of music you’d be hearing from a beer garden near a cockfight stadium back in Pinas ”

    what song will this be ? 🙂

    Hey, you asking Father to commit mortal sin. Would that be part of his training ? hahaha ..

  7. I always go for both melody and lyrics although it’s the melody that often catches my attention first.

    As for that line from Elton John’ song, I think Bernie Taupin forced it there to make that line rhyme with the next line that says “or a man that makes potions in a travelin’ show”. Just a hunch.

  8. Irrealis – yep, same here. It would be silly for me to sing Im A Woman by Helen Reddy hehe .. hmmm.. I like Beyonce too. I think she’s fabulous 🙂

  9. Spencer – rock songs can be really crazy lol.. We Will Rock You is the national anthem of ball game competitions I think 🙂

  10. Eric – I’m still wondering how they chose the worst lyrics lol.. I’ve got to see that Letterman episode. I bet it is hilarious 🙂

    Hey, I’ll wait for that best one liner post hehe ..

    Didn’t know that Carly Simon had stage fright. BTW Youre So Vain has got more than a million hits on YouTube ! It’s a nice song and definitely her trademark hit.

  11. Noypetes – hahaha.. no wonder why people are also after his butt… suing him left and right 🙂

    You bet. There is no such thing as wait a minute or pause or break in oral sex. It’s acceleration the whole way LOL 🙂

  12. Mari – most people want to like the melody first then the lyrics. I hate belters too. I’d like to see songs sang effortlessly. When you see a singer gasping for breath and the face looking like it’s going to blow up it kinda turns me off 😦

  13. Natez1 – one song that comes to mind is Saving all my Love for You ” by Whitney Houston LOL 🙂

    Well, Father’s experience with the aspirants isn’t enough. He has to do it with a woman bwahahaha 🙂

  14. Panaderos – yeah, we obviously get attracted to the melody first although there is no denying that powerful lyrics also liberates the soul 🙂

    Looks like Bernie Taupin had run out of options to get the rhyme going . It’s awkward but it ryhmes hehe 🙂

  15. By the way …

    When “You’re So Vain,” was released and immediately made it on rotation across America’s radio stations, Mick Jagger was supposedly quick to claim it was written with him in mind.

    Now, in defense of John and Taupin:

    “If I was a sculptor, but then again, no”

    It may not make that much sense, or conjure any powerful images as it is, as a one-liner; however, when followed by:

    “Or a man, who makes potions in traveling show,
    I don’t have much but it’s the best I can do,
    How wonderful life is when you’re in the world.”

    It works, no?

    And to show how awesome a melody maker Elton John is:

    Notice the sing-song quality of the words in those sentences as spoken. They don’t stray too far off from John’s melody when sang. Now, that’s what makes a great fusion of words and music.

    Paulo Coelho was a songwriter first before delving into novels such as “The Alchemist.” Notice his writing style: there is an overall sing-song quality to it; hence, endearing.

    As for Sir McCartney, he was an excellent melody maker, but sucks big time as a wordsmith. Lennon took care of that for him, though he sucked big time in writing melodies.

    Also, grammatical errors are often allowed to slide when it comes to writing lyrics.

    Basically, most of the popular tunes from the ’50s to the present, used one of the same seven most popular chord progressions. An R&B artist, his name escapes me now, used the same chord progression in all his songs. You can produce myriads of melodies from the very same chord progression.

    Darn, I can go on and on about this. BTW, with nothing else better to do one summer, I studied lyric writing with Sheila Davis at The New School in Greenwich Village … it was fun.


  16. Eric – ” if I was a sculptor but then again no” isn’t that bad actually coz the next lines sort of redeemed it and that’s probably why it end up at no. 20 🙂 The John-Taupin combo is amazing and they’ve been partners for some 40 years or something. I think Taupin is an amazing songwriter.

    One of the best buys I had this year was a 2-disc original DVD in DTS – “Elton John at 60″ his 60th bday anniv concert at Madison Square Garden. I got it for an unbelievable 20 bucks at Walmart and it contained about 40 songs ! Very well attended by the cognoscenti crowd – Bill Clinton, Ozzie Osbourne, Bon Jovi, Robin Wiliams and many more celebs were there.

    America is probably the worst in allowing grammatical errors for the sake of rhyme… their song Horse With No Name had a line that went:

    ” in the desert you can remember your name
    cause there ain’t no one for to give you no pain “.

    Their song Tin Man had these fuzzy lyrics :

    “but Oz never did give nothing to the Tin Man
    That he didn’t, didn’t already have
    and Cause never was the reason for the evening
    or the tropic of Sir Galahad”

    I urge you to google ” tropic of Sir Galahad” and you’d be surprised LOL 🙂

    Woo, you were really serious with songwriting eh ? And you did go to school for it ! Looks like you have a penchant for art in general 🙂

    P.S. LOL on Mick Jagger’s claim.. 🙂 Dunno if Carly Simon desired him but the guy, despite of his apeman looks is a legit mac. haha 🙂

  17. May I add the relaxing and soothing voice of Norah Jones to your collection? I too am not much of a fan of the likes of Whitney.

    Napapadalas ata posting mo, I can’t believe I missed previous posts. I need to go back and read them. But I like that there’s more to read now.

    Lyrics is good, a catchy tune hooks you up first.

  18. Ewok -hey, where have you been? Were you on a mini-hiatus? 🙂

    Yep, I’ve quite a few posts coz I needed to unload the photos hehe 🙂

    Right on. I’ll take Norah Jones anytime 🙂

    You know who I hate to hear sing ? Michael Bolton ! Yikes.. It feels like someone’s squeezing his nuts when he sings LOL 🙂

  19. I am so particular about lyrics of songs I listen most specially. When I was younger, I remember that time when rumors where circulating that many or several very popular rock songs contained satanic lyrics and messages, especially if you play them backwards. I was so egged on by that that eversincethat time, I made it a habit to check out and decode the lyrics and the the meanings behind every song that got my fancy and interest.

    And yes, lot of em just don’t make sense at all. 🙂

  20. Re the lyrics, I say as long as it works why tamper with it? 😀 Hmm, I wonder why the lyrics from “A Whiter Shade of Pale” wasn’t included in the list…

    And please… no belters for me. That Charice Pempengco ought to learn to tone it down or she’ll end up as a novelty. In short malalaos kaagad bago pa siya sumikat…

    Re that apologist: What’s wrong with oral sex for stimulation? Would they prefer us to use didldoes instead? And what’s that got to do with the reproductive health bill anyway? Know what? If the church will have its way, they’d probably issue a decree on which sexual positions would be acceptable and which are not… ay sus!

    More and more I’m getting the impression that these meddling priests have nothing but sex on their mind all day, hehehe. 😀

  21. Major Tom – I’m also particular with lyrics because frankly there are times in our lives when we briefly morph into hopeless romantics and switch back to our old selves hehe 🙂

    A complete song is one with wonderful melody and lyrics that tells a message. I have also quoted many one liners from songs in this blog which I consider legit quotes. I dig good lyrics a lot 🙂

  22. Sngl – well, people are just making fun of it. The 70’s song seem to contain wacky lyrics and Whiter Shade of Pale by Procol Harum is of the same generation. The LSD culture of the 70’s reflects the seemingly psychedelic, colorful but senseless nature of the lyrics of songs of rock bands in the generation 🙂

    Charice is great and she’ll do very well if she takes care of herself. Her style isn’t my cup of tea – that’s all. I’m not a fan of very loud, operatic sounding ballads.

    Unrealistic, contrived and hypocritical is my description of such dogmas. The priests live in a different planet but make laws that impact on the morals of people in another planet – that’s how it is. I say be one of us, do what we do and then make laws – period 😯

  23. Michael Bolton is my hubs least fave too. Surprisingly, I actually kinda like him a bit. Go figure.

  24. My worst in everything was the late John Denver’s “Thank God I’m a Country Boy”. He must have been drunk when he did this, just to please those “rednecks and hillbillies”.

    I’m in the genre of easy listening so anything Enya, Maire Brennan, Sarah Brightman, Loreena McKennitt, and Mary Duff are great to my ears, hehe…. Cheers and goodhealth!

  25. No matter how good a song sounds like, I get turned off when the lyrics are 1.overly sexual, 2.childishly shallow, 3. blasphemous 4.just plain stupid.

    This is on the top of my shitlist right now:

    “Where’d you get your body from? I got it from my mama. I got it from my mama.”


  26. Ewok – looks like your hubs and me have something in common 🙂

    As for Bolton, maybe his James Caan-ish looks is appealing to women. I just feel like the veins in his neck are going to blow up when he sings !

  27. TruBlue – Thank God I’m a Country Boy – isn’t that a tacky name for a song ? 🙂

    The artists you mentioned are definitely best in class performers in their genre 🙂

  28. Kat – LOL…funny .. a grade 2 kid can make up those lyrics 🙂 I agree. Lyrics made a heck of a difference !

    In the pre rap days, MC Hammer made it big by mostly talking and dancing and not exactly singing. He had to rely a lot on lyrics 🙂

    Hey, I appreciate your dropping by 🙂

  29. i focus a lot on lyrics and shun those i don;t like even if it has that infectious beat…

    nice collections but I can also think of others on top of my head 😛

  30. I can’t stand Michael Bolton either. I might be veering off topic here but I lean towards singers who write their own songs. Musically, they offer the “complete package” for me.

    I agree with Eric (aka Senor Enrique) that Paul McCartney sucked as a lyricist. I beg to disagree with him though as far as Lennon’s music is concerned. John Lennon was always after a “new” sound and was willing to experiment with his music. McCartney’s style was more commercial and mainstream. But I say that because I’m a huge John Lennon fan. Hehehe

  31. Tutubi – right on… lyrics definitely adds spice to the song.

    Yeah, you can create your top 20 worst lyrics too hehe 🙂

  32. Panaderos – the three great Beatle artists are the opposites of one another and it was amazing how their talents gelled and produced the music as group. Their styles showed when they pursued their careers as individual artists ; McCartney – pop/commercial ; Harrison -spiritual and Lennon’s music before he died in 1980 was a mix of the LSD generation and some spiritual overtones largely due to the influence of Yoko Ono. The lyrics weren’t bad but he did create good music although some were sucky, esp with Yoko Ono singing on some of them ! 🙂

    What’s the best all time Beatle hit ? Well, Frank Sinatra thought SOMETHING was the best Beatle song. Frank is Frank and when he says something about music, it’s golden.Surprisingly, SOMETHING was composed and written by George Harrison 🙂

    It is said that Jose Mari Chan is collaborating with Janice Siegel, a multi Grammy awardee and member of the Manhattan Transfer to distribute Chan’s songs in America ,this time performed by American arists. Siegel also confirms this in her website. Siegel had won many Grammy’s both with MT and as a solo jazz artist.


    I curious to see how the project would do. Nothing wrong with JM but his lyrics are geared towards the Pinoy ear and might sound a little old-fashioned, corny/mushy to the American ear. Here’s what I mean :

    Tell me your name
    I must know
    Won’t you tell me your name
    I’m not insane
    Just frightened that you might go
    Don’t go please stay beside me

    And in the same song :

    Can you imagine this
    The confusion of
    first love’s kiss

    I like JM’s songs. Heck I love to play Tell Me Your Name with the guitar. I asked the local folks here what they think of the song and they did say that the lyrics are of the fifties, of their grandparents’ generation lol ..For his North America project, JM needs to tune the lyrics to the people’s wavelength 😆

  33. bw i’m back!!!!:-) i missed visiting your blog! hahaha anyway, i wrote songs for the band of a friend, and because i’m different i prefer the songs with good lyrics than songs with shit lyrics and good music… hahaha

  34. Piapot – welcome back 🙂 wow, I’m impressed. Didn’t know you’re a songwriter ! 🙂

  35. “Coast to coast

    L.A. to Chicago”

    –Sade’s ‘Smooth Operator’

    “Sade was born in Nigeria and grew up in London, but her biggest hit reveals that she’s clearly not a smooth navigator.”

    I laughed out loud after reading that one, hahaha.

    Well, the song “The Greatest Love of All” was a hit, but I really don’t like its lyrics. The line “Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all” just goes against my personal convictions.


    I put much premium on both the melody and lyrics.


    What’s with the Jessica Alba thing? 🙂

  36. Jayred – no wonder why that Sade line was no. 1 in the list 🙂

    Yep, that line was a “pump-up yourself” line meant to underscore the proverbial saying ” I am the master of my faith, the captain of my soul”.

    What’s with the Jessica Alba line? 😆 I was trying to more or less embellish my point so I used her name to be more compelling lol 🙂

  37. I’m not insane
    Just frightened that you might go
    Don’t go please stay beside me

    yay, so corny and funny LOL. I don’t like wimps 🙂

  38. Irrealis – you mean geeks – frightened to ask ? lol 🙂

  39. it’s interesting to know that left handed people usually care for the melody of the song rather than the lyrics, and vice versa for the right handed people.

  40. Prinsesa – really ? That’s a very interesting revelation 🙂

  41. I don’t know about that list of “worst lyrics”. I once saw a list from some magazine that said that Sting was the worst songwriter. I couldn’t DISAGREE more. Critics are so quick to judge when they probably have never written anything creative in their life. Sorry for the little rant. hehe

  42. Wil – you’ve got a point there but such criticisms didn’t stop Sting from becoming a multi-millionaire 🙂 The same can be said with people who criticize Sarah Palin for being inexperienced when they have no clue of how it is to be a governor of a state. The thousands of I hate Microsoft websites didn’t stop Gates from becoming the riches man in the world either.

    Funny that when you ask people to spend their money to buy your songs ( recording artists), tell them what to do ( religion/politics), spend their tax money ( politicians) that somehow gives them the right to chastise you with your every move ! That’s perhaps the price you have to pay for fame, power and fortune.

    Criticism can either bring you down or urge you to improve. That’s just the character of our so called freedom of expression. I bet if we weren’t in a democracy these pundits will be all in jail by now 🙂

  43. naremember ko tuloy yung…
    “nothing’s gonna change my love for you. you know naman my love, how much i love you.”

    hehehe. basta for me, regine velasquez is not a diva

  44. Tin – funny how people attempt to purify their feelings when they are in love 🙂

    I actually watched Regine in a concert here and boy, if it wasn’t for Ogie Alcasid I would have fallen asleep 😆 She’s a good singer but she just lacks passion I think.

  45. i am a HUGE elton john fan because of his lyricist, bernie taupin, so I have to say I disagree with that one song hehe. just dropping by! 🙂

  46. Marc – agree with you. #20 is really borderline. Taupin is a great songwriter – no doubt about that 🙂

    Thanks for dropping by 🙂

  47. 1. i love the video, very casual song but very beautiful and the “you belong to me” keeps reverberating in my ears.

    2. the only song i know from the list is no. 20, i think it’s “your song”.

    3. mariah has always been my fave before. now i enjoy carrie underwood (i just don’t know if she is in a diva category).

    4. lastly, sorry for not visiting sooner, i am still in my vacation in boracay and it is partly raining here so i got a chance to do some blogging. be back browsing in a jiffy. have a nice day.

  48. Lawstude – thanks bro 🙂 Mariah is definitely in the diva league.

    Hey, enjoy your vacation at Boracay and take some cool pics as usual ! I’d love to be there. cheers.

  49. Ah, basta for me

    “There were plants
    And birds
    And rocks
    And things”

    sounds poetic.


  50. I learned in school that sex(or maybe orgasm) is one of Humans’ basic needs. Kaya nga kung may nagmamasturbate na pasyente sa mental ward… dalhin mo sya sa room nya para magawa nya yun. At kaya nga importanteng isiscuss and sex sa mga couples na yung isa eh paralyzed na.

  51. Abaniko -The complete line in the song
    ( Horse with No Name) would be :

    There were plants and birds and rocks and things
    There was sand and hills and rings
    The first thing I met was a fly with a buzz
    And the sky with no clouds

    Yep, it does sound weirdly poetic 🙂

    For a two chord song, looked the singer-songwriter writer, Dewey Bunnell of the group America simply needed words to compliment the music that was humming in his brain. The outcome was awesome though in that it became their greatest hit 🙂

  52. Richmond – ganon ba. Ang hirap talaga mag manage ng mental patients.

    Para sa aking sinabi ng bibliya na ang sex between married couple as sky is the limit. Ang dogma na nagsasabi oral sex is for stimulation only to me is pure kabalastugan. duh 😦

    mahirap magbigay ng dogma pertaining to sex kung in the first place ang nabibigay ng utos ay manhid sa sex. 😡

  53. Hi BW,

    I’m not inclined to agree nor disagree, as everybody has a point in their agreement and contentions about the worst lyrics. It just proves that everybody likes music.

    Being eclectic, I like all kinds of music. For me it’s like a symphony orchestra. I am not partial to the wind section nor the strings nor the percussion sections, it is when they play as one, as ONE as the mood I’m in that really hits me. It is on this level when sound transmorgify itself to become the colors and images of my life.

    Very nice post.

    About sex dogma:
    I don’t know, bata pa kasi ako, hehehe!

    Artist: Jesse Cook
    Song: Breathing Below Surface
    Album: Vertigo

    Blog on.

  54. Soulshiek – true. There are instrumental artists who produce pure music minus the lyrics and we equally enjoy them. As in my earlier reply to a comment, our criticisms don’t seem to affect the careers of these artists and we continue to buy their records and mak ethem rich ! It’s nice to talk about it though as we dissect and critique their work. In a way it points back to our own gullibility 🙂

  55. hahaha… funny indeed. but i like the staring at the sun song by U2.

  56. Dong – I think the lyrics didn’t do too much harm to the U2 song 🙂

  57. I guess I am word person so I like my songs with beautiful lyrics too. But the thing is when I listen to a song, I savor the words and even relate to them. So when I need to do creative work, I don’t put any sounds on … I can’t multi task that way. 😦

    But I don’t dig rap. 🙂

  58. Annamanila – I agree with you. Better not put words in music if they don’t mean anything ! I like music with good lyrics. It’s just another version of poetry to me 🙂

    About rap, it’s a yes and no for me. There’s rap music that’s mild and pleasant to hear coz it tells a story but there are those that are quite annoying musically and obnoxious with the lyrics!

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