September 10, 2004

“The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” First Annual

“The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” First Annual Stupidest Lyric in Rock Music History Contest: And the Winner Is…

Well, dear reader, today’s the day. Your weeks of gut-wrenching anticipation are finally over. We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are using today’s post to declare a winner of our First Annual Stupidest Lyric in Rock Music History Contest.

Before we begin the festivities, however, the Official Judges of the competition urged us to stress a few points. First, it became crystal clear to our Official Judges early on that our humble contest was not going to determine the actual worst lyric in rock music history. For, as we discovered from our numerous entries, there are as many horrid lines to rock songs as there are grains of sand in the Sahara. (Actually, that was kind of poetic.)

Accordingly, our humble contest was only going to determine the worst example of abominable verses we received. We know, we know: That isn’t exactly as exciting as finding the absolute worst lyric in rock music history. After receiving a barrage of entries, however, we’re not entirely sure that human beings can make such a determination. As a result, if you sent an entry to our contest and it wasn’t picked by our Official Judges, rest assured that your lyric was merely terrible, not inscrutably stupid.

And this leads us to another important portion of our Official Preamble. A “Stupidest Rock Lyric Contest” is much like a “Worst Nazi Contest”: Sure, you have to give the award to Hitler, but you feel mighty bad about letting Himmler slink away without any opprobrium. In a similar vein (or vain), we had to give the award to the most repellent lyric, but we feel wretched about letting some truly putrid verses go without heaps of scorn.

Also, we discovered that there are many varieties of awfulness. Sure, we could have learned this from attending different Andrew Lloyd-Webber musicals. But we figured it out by hosting this humble contest instead.

For instance, some song lyrics are atrocious essentially because they are cheesy. Take, for example, a few lines submitted to us by that masterfully cranky neocon, Gordon. In addition to maintaining a “weblog” chock-a-block with insightful animadversions, Gordon has a keen eye for sub-par balladry. He sent us a few lines from “Feel Like Making Love,” by the appropriately named Bad Company:

If I had the sun and the moon
I would give you both night and day
Of satisfyin’

Feel like makin’
Feel like makin’ love
Feel like makin’ love to you

To be sure, in addition to being pure Velveeta, these lyrics are faintly ridiculous: The whole sun and the moon bit doesn’t even make sense. Still, our unflappable Official Judges figured that such atrocious lines could win a “First Annual Cheesiest Lyric Contest,” but aren’t truly abysmal enough to take the “Stupidest Lyric” cake.

Other entries struck our Official Judges as awful, but may make some semblance of sense to those of other cultures. Take, for example, Dallas Sipes’ entry: A verse from the Australian band Men at Work’s “Land Down Under”:

Traveling in a fried-out combie
On a hippie trail, head full of zombie

To our Yankee ears, that’s truly awful. What the heck does “head full of zombie” mean? But correspondents from our Sydney (Australia) office informed us that, in their home towns, these lines are paragons of clarity and refinement. Frankly, we didn’t buy it either. We suppose that anything is a paragon of refinement to a culture that esteems vegemite sandwiches.

With all of that (lengthy) contest throat-clearing out of the way, we can move on to the main event, the declaration of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” First Annual Stupidest Lyric in Rock Music History Contest winner. (Or is that loser?)

We received so many atrocious entries that we were compelled to offer a number of clunkers. Accordingly, we present you with the worst four:

Third Runner-Up: Scott Pinkerton sent in a few lines from “Ventura Highway,” performed by the rock group America:

’Cause the free wind is blowin’ through your hair
And the days surround your daylight there
Alligator lizards in the air, in the air

We know what you are thinking, dear reader: You lost us at “alligator.” Perhaps this is what people mean when they say the whole world hates America. If they write a few more songs with lyrics this feculent, we’d move to Canada. But then, of course, we’d have to deal with Bryan Adams.

Second Runner-Up: Brian Marrin sent a couplet from the Police’s “Don’t Stand So Close to Me”:

Temptation, frustration, so bad it makes him cough.
Just like the old man in that book by Nabokov.

Oh, come on. That’s pathetic. For those of you playing the home game, neither temptation nor frustration can make you cough. Clearly, Sting wrote this solely in order to demonstrate to his dimwitted audience that he knows who Nabokov is (and knows how to pronounce his name incorrectly).

First Runner-Up: Lorenzo Anderraga sent us this putrid gem from “Close to the Edge,” by Yes:

And rearrange your liver to the solid mental grace

Ah, yeah: That’s the stuff from which awful lyrics are made. Not only is this entirely nonsensical, it reeks of hippies. How many wine coolers do you have to imbibe to “rearrange your liver to the solid mental grace”? Or even the liquid mental grace?

And now, dear reader, for the big winner.

The Official Winner of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” First Annual Stupidest Lyric in Rock Music History Contest:

Stephen Baldwin, surely the greatest litterateur on the World Wide Web, sent us what must be one of the most catastrophically repellent verses in the history of rock music. It comes from the tune “Ugly,” which was performed by the Stranglers:

I guess I shouldn’t have strangled her to death
But I had to go to work and she had laced my coffee with acid

Wow. Wow. Wow. That’s not just awful; it’s galactically wretched. That’s the kind of lyric that should ruin careers, if not lives. Even Charles Manson would find that to be in bad taste.

So, dear reader, kudos to Mr. Baldwin for his victory. If that isn’t the stupidest lyric in rock music history, we don’t want to know what is.

Posted at September 10, 2004 12:01 AM | TrackBack