Top 7 Songs That Need More Lyrics

Have you ever thought of a little couplet of lyrics, and thought, “Man!  If only I could come up with 3 more minutes of lyrics, and had any musical ability, I could totally write a song about this!  Damn!”  Well, some musicians out there keep writing, and voila, they have a good song on their hands.  And some artists, well, they finish the lyrics, or what they think good lyrics are, but have no artistic or musical ability.  But they still go ahead and make the song anyway.

“Sorry, were you talking about me?  I was busy reading a text without looking at my phone”

However, still others take whatever tiny bit of lyrics they have, and then get tired of that whole “composing” thing, so they decide, fuck it, why not just make a song with what we’ve got now?  Who cares if its not long enough, we’ll just repeat it until someone will play it on the radio.

Below are 7 of these songs that adhere to the old mantra, “second verse, same as the first.”

7.  Green Day- Know Your Enemy

green-day

I’m pretty sure all American sports got together with ESPN to purchase the exclusive rights to this song as soon as it was made.  Well, probably before it was even made.  And that the discussion with the band and their record label went something like this.

waist23

So what’s this I hear about you guys having a new song?

green-day

Um, well, we don’t have a full song yet, right now all we’ve got is the line “Do You Know Your Enemy, and we were thinking….

waist23

SOLD!  Fucking sold!  You had me at “Do you know your enemy”!

green-day

Umm… no, I mean, we had an idea of like, maybe putting some stuff about corporate oppression and junk in there, you know, kinda give it a liberal slant, and…

waist23

Sorry, are you still here?  I was on the phone with the CW to use your song for a promo of Melrose Place.

Don’t believe me?  Check out their lyrics.  I’ll save you some of the trouble.  The word “enemy” appears in the song…wait a second, I’ve gotta count.  Still counting, hold on.  Shit, what do you count with when you run out of fingers, toes, and penises?  So at least 22…  hold on, I’ll get a calculator.  Yup.  25 times.  I’ve seen  episodes of Punk’d with less repetition (in this scenario, just pretend I’ve actually watched Punk’d)

Yeah, I think I saw this one.  This is the one where he wears a hat when he does the same exact thing to celebrities over and over again?  Yup, totally saw that one.

6.  The Clovers-  Love Potion #9

Awww yeah bitches, I’m going old school on this one.  Okay, yeah, so the video I linked is not of the R&B group, The Clovers.  That’s The Searchers, the watered down white group that you wouldn’t want near your daughters in 1963.  Seriously, they’re playing that rambunctious rock music on the 4 setting of their speakers, with their long hooligan haircuts, probably sharing their Coca-Colas with the youth of America.  And look at that drummer.  What’s he smiling about?  He’s going to try to touch your daughter’s breasts on the fifth date after his car runs out of gas on make out hill.  Fuck that guy.

potion

The face of a sexual predator

Either way, we’re dealing with a song so short, it’s hard to imagine that it would be so hard to at least add, like, one more fucking verse.  The original Clovers (ie, blacker and cooler) version was a 1:50 long.  The cover by the Searchers added a WHOLE 15 seconds to it.  Because, well, white people are slower, let’s be honest.

The song structure goes like this.  “I’m going to tell you a story for a few verses.  Then, we’ll have the chorus.  You’d think we might put maybe, one more verse after that, but fuck that shit.  We’ll just repeat the chorus.  What, you want more?  Too bad.”  Also, I don’t mean to totally ruin this song for you, but it’s totally about date rape.

Nomeansno

“I didn’t know if it was day or night/ I started kissing everything in sight”

One thing you’ve got to love is that The Clovers (a, gasp, black R&B group) made this song in 1959, and then in 1963 (yes, just four fucking years later), the “Are they wearing makeup or mayonnaise on their face” white group, The Searchers, cover the song and it becomes the number 3 song in America.  Though, at least this song isn’t TOO repetitive.  It’s just really really short.  Hell, it was the early 60s, you could have a group of four interchangeable white guys write a song with one hook and two lines of lyrics, and they’d be all over the state fair concert circuit, playing one song sets in front of swooning teenagers in so-tight-it-just-feels-right sweaters.

I got tired of trying to find a more appropriate picture, so I just googled “Jayne Mansfield in a sweater”.  And even then, I got two pictures of a car crash before getting this one.

Speaking of the 60’s…

5.  Herman’s Hermits- I’m Henry the 8th, I am

508239_356x237

Quiz time!  Which of the following became popular for emo kids as seen in this picture- polka dots, or thick rimmed glasses.  Hint, the guy at the top seems kinda aroused by the correct answer.

According to Wikipedia, Herman’s Hermits were a popular 1960’s British pop band who had their musical output controlled by their manager, Mickie Most (I’m still deciding if that would be an amazing porn star name or not).  Most (correction:  yes, its a fucking great porn star name) had the band emphasize a clean-cut, non-threatening look.  Though, I’ve spent years, apparently incorrectly, assuming they were related to the Hermit Crab.

CrabPeople

“Mrs. Brown, you’ve got a lovely daughter.  Ooo-eee-ooo”

Now, once again, we have a 60’s song that’s short on lyrics, and once again it’s a cover.  This 1965 number 1 hit (basically, it was sorta like a Lady Gaga song), was based on a 1910 drinking song.  About a chick who gets married to 8 guys named Henry.  Basically, it was a protest song about the Vietnam War.

“And every one was a Henry!  Never had a Willie or a Sam”  (yes, there are 8 soldiers in this picture too.  I am a king of image research)

When you get to the point where they have to repeat the entire song by saying “Second verse, same as the first!” (yeah, remember earlier in the article?  Well, they totally say that) at the 30 second point, you find yourself wondering….how can this song even stretch to 1:45?

Listen, guys, I know you’re just covering an old music hall song that’s only got 8 lines, but I’m thinking you could have found a way to…mix it up a little, somehow?  Hell, even the fan videos for this song just repeat the same thing three times throughout the whole damn song.

4.  Chumbawamba- Tubthumping

chumbawamba

The Chumbawamba Theorem:  IF- I get knocked down, AND- I get up again, THEREFORE- You’re never gonna keep me down

A song’s lack of lyrics do become increasingly evident when you realize that the lyrics of the song are complete bullshit that doesn’t mean anything.

Here’s the basic plot of the song.

Hi there.  I’m ChumbawambaContrary to popular belief, once I am knocked down, I am able to get up once again surprisingly easily.  It helps that half of us are sitting down at the moment.


DSC00747 I’m pissing the night away, meaning I’m getting drunk.  I drink various spirits, including whiskey and vodka.  Gray goose is expensive, and I shouldn’t be chugging it, but someone is pointing at the top of my head, which means I’m allowed to do it.  I also sing I guess about various times.

danny_devito

Oh.  Danny Boy.

That’s the fucking song.  Then they just repeat it, and sing it at the same time, and that’s the song.  Actually, I don’t think this song needs more lyrics, I guess it just needs…well, lyrics. I’m pretty sure they were trying to make this song about soccer, though.  Since youtube apparently was hunting down videos of soccer highlights and blocking the audio because of copyright violations.

chumba

chumba2

…I get knocked down, indeed

3.  Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie, Bob Dylan, Billy Joel, Quincy Jones, dozens of others-  We Are The World


How many people in this picture are dead?  …Well, at least one, right?

Michael Jackson is probably one of the most influential living musicians of our….what?  Sorry, our intern is whispering something in my ear about……..what?  Really?  Dead.  No, you’re kidding right?  I mean, that’s not that funny of a joke…it’s not a joke.  Heart attack?  Really?   wow…Shamona…

Okay, Michael Jackson jokes aside (though, seriously, what an asshole.  He totally stole all the limelight from Farrah Fawcett, that summa bitch), this song doesn’t suffer from having too few lyrics.  But it needs…well, like Tubthumping, it needs….lyrics.  In this case, the whole song just needs an overhaul.  The message?  Check, that’s still there.  We ARE the world after all, and we should start giving, and junk.  But, if we’re…the world?  Shouldn’t we at least, oh, I don’t know, try to rhyme in our songs?

“Marchin’ in a robe, they call me Ghandi/ If I wanted to be British I’d go by shorty/ I may be famous but I ain’t no Chef Boaredee/ My skinny ass shows I’m goin hungry to go free…. /I stay away from meat so I don’t eat no lard/ come on guys, rhyming is NOT that hard!”

But seriously.  It doesn’t take a dead man who used to be black but now is white who died via mysterious unexpected cardiac arrest (too soon?) to know that lines like….

Send them your heart
So they’ll know that someone cares
And their lives will be stronger and free
As God has shown us by turning stone to bread
So we all must lend a helping hand

have exactly ZERO words that even come close to rhyming.  I’ve read grocery lists that rhyme better.

“Orange juice, skim milk, and string cheese/ Hot pockets, ice, lettuce, frozen peas!”

Come on guys, if you want to save the world, at least put a little effort into it, okay?  This song just needs a goddamn rewrite.

2.  The Beatles- I Want You (She’s So Heavy)


Okay, so I had two separate people tell me this had to make my list, and once I decided to give the song another listen, I’m actually a little surprised it’s not number one.  I started listening to the song, made a sandwich, came back 4 minutes into the song, and I was still hearing the same fucking thing.

So, again, using my hxcore math skillz, I counted how many separate words are in this 8 minute song?  Twelve.  Twelve fucking words, repeated in a different combinations.  Oh, by the way, is “YEH!” a word?  Because that’s the only reason their word count is so high.

Now, I’m not one to say the Beatles are lazy.  I mean, they’re probably the most influential musicians of the 20th century.  You know, except for Yanni.

“…John, check.  George, check.  Ringo, you’re next…”

I mean, come on.  The Beatles were a band that managed to be influential both with their poppy, short love songs as well as their complex, experimental, 8 minute long songs.  This is why people remember the Beatles so fondly.  But this song combines the worst of both worlds.  People who don’t like pop music don’t like the repetitive nature of the lyrics, or the paralyzing fear of date rape (yes, second date rape joke in this article.  Classy).  And people who don’t like more experimental music don’t like the fact that they are listening to a weird 8 minute long track.  You combine the repetition and the length, and it’s maddening.  Think of it like this- find the cutest baby in the world.  If he/she/it says “I want you she’s so heavy,” you’d probably be like, “Oh my GOD this baby is ADORABLE.”  But, if it starts saying that for 8 minutes nonstop?  Well, you’re probably going to end up jail.

Who you callin heavy!?  You wanna start some shit, baby!? Don’t look at me like that, you fuckin’ baby!  I’ll kick your ass!  Exclamation point!

1.  Depeche Mode- Wrong

“We need more glitter if we’re gonna get that role in the Twilight sequel!”

Yup, this is a new song, so you probably haven’t heard it yet.  And since the band is apparently so embarrassed about this song they’ve disabled embedding, click the link of “wrong” just above to see this song in it’s ridiculous glory.  I say this because I hadn’t heard this damn song until about ten minutes ago.  And even then, I only got halfway through before saying, “Jesus Christ, how many times can a band say ‘wrong’ in a 3 minute song!?”

By the way, the answer to that question is 69 (tee hee).  I did teh mathzes on that, and that means that in this song, you hear the word “wrong” on average every 3 seconds.  So 2009 Depeche mode says “wrong” more frequently than horses think about hay.  And you know how much horses love hay, don’t you?

happy-horse1

SOOOOO MUCH!

Listen, Depeche Mode, I know it’s been a while since you’ve been culturally relevant, but here’s the thing.  Since the 80’s, they’ve come up with this nifty thing called a thesaurus. I know, right?  So let’s try to fix the lyrics for you a bit, shall we?

I was born with the incorrect sign/ in an inadequate house/ with the remiss ascendancy/ I took the improper road/ that led to the erroneous tenancies

I mean I could go on.  This is the kind of lazy songwriting that can get us in trouble.  Could you imagine what would have happened if Linkin Park decided to write a theme song for the new Transformers movie with this mindset while looking at a picture of Megan Fox?

Boobs boobs boobs boobs boobs!

…Actually I might listen to that song.

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About Jeff GoodSmith

I write on occasion. Sometimes it ends up here.
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One Response to Top 7 Songs That Need More Lyrics

  1. Ken says:

    I always had a special affection for Love Potion No.9 based on their reference to my birth year—“I told her that I was a flop with chicks–I’ve been this way since 1956”

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