The Most Painful Rhyme In Rock and Roll History – A Special Competition

Did you know that the Ohio Express released their ground-breaking, “Yummy, Yummy, Yummy (I’ve Got Love in My Tummy)”  exactly forty-eight years, one month and five days ago to the day?  To commemorate this historic occasion, we ask our readers:

What is the most painful, clunky, forced rhyme in rock and roll history?  This is a difficult problem to mystery.

bad rock rhyme

While some bad songs of yesteryear, such as, “Seasons in the Sun” by Terry Jacks, have faded from our collective loathing, others have found their rightful place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Garbage.   Who can predict which of today’s bad songs will still be hated a generation from now?  As Van Halen sang so insightfully:

Only time will tell
If we will stand the test of time

 Yet this is the question that we hope, with the help of you our readers, to answer.

Certainly, when it comes to universally despised lyrics, no artist has endured in our hearts so well as Neil Diamond.   Who cannot feel something churn uneasily inside during, “I am I Said”, when Neil cries out:

“I am,” I said!
To no one there!
And no one heard at all
Not even a chair

Not even a chair?  Wow!  I mean…chairs are known for their keen sense of hearing, after all.   My question, Neil, is how many choices did you go through before you settled on a chair”?   Why not, “And no one heard at all / Not even a bear?”  At least bears have ears.   At least they are theoretically capable of hearing.  Or, if you wanted an inanimate object, bad rock chairwhat about a pear?   A hair?  “Not even my underwear?”

Remarkably, that same Golden Era of Forced Rhyme, the late 60s and early 70s, also produced the immortal, “Happy Together,” by The Turtles.

Me and you, and you and me
No matter how they tossed the dice, it had to be
The only one for me is you, and you for me
So happy to-gether
So happy to-gether
How is the wea-ther?

Really, Turtles?  “How is the weather?”  Is that the best you terrapins have to offer?  Did you just get bored in the middle of your love song and decide to change the subject?

This song is actually catchy and fun to sing along to, until you hit THE LINE.  Then you have to mumble, or pretend you don’t remember it, because it is way too dumb to actually sing.

Before we leave the rhymin’ 70s, we mustn’t forget Bob Seger’s powerful anthem, “Turn The Page”

Here I am, on a road again
There I am, up on the stage
Here I go, playing the star again
There I go, turn the page

I love how dramatically he sings that last part.  Really.  I mean it.  Although I do have one, very small question:   Is “turn the page” an instruction to the guy holding the sheet music?  Because if it isn’t, what the hell is he talking about?   (This song is officially the most annoyingly overplayed song on my radio station, with the Sleepy’s Mattress jingle coming in a distant second).

The 90s will always be remembered fondly as a time of nostalgia for the 80s.  But it will also be remembered for its important musical trends, such as Power Pop, Crappy Ballads, Rap, Lame-ass, Grunge and Mange.  And of course, for the stirring poetry of, “She’s Electric” by Oasis:

She’s got a sister
And God only knows how I’ve missed her
On the palm of her hand is a blister
And I need more time

So….just so I understand…when you say you need more time…is that to think of a better line than “On the palm of her hand is a blister”?  How about, “She really likes to play Twister”?   “Her faucet is a Price Pfister”?  Because…I don’t know if the blister is hurting that girl who, so we are told, has a sister, but it is burning the rest of us pretty badly…mister.  Oh, and here’s a little question for you Oasis people:  HOW IS THE WEA-THERRRRR?   There.  See how you like that?  Now you know what it feels like.   One more rhyme of out you – just one – and we’re turning up the volume!bad rock blister

The nineties also brought us the much-despised, “Life” by Des’ree:

I’m afraid of the dark,
Especially when I’m in a park…
I don’t want to see a ghost
That’s a sight that I fear the most
I’d rather have a piece of toast

 Okay, maybe this song is no, “I am I Said”  But keep your chair’s eyes on Des’ree.  This is an up-and-coming contender in the prestigious Most Painful Rhyme category.

And what of today’s artists, you ask?  Well, look no farther than Ariana Grande’s soaring, “Break Free”:

I only want to die alive
Never by the hands of a broken heart
I don’t wanna hear you lie tonight
Now that I’ve become who I really are

Here is what is really impressive:  She started with a line that makes no sense.  Then she needed something to rhyme with it and forced in something ungrammatical.   And it still doesn’t rhyme.  Who, you ask, is going to defend this nonsense?  I are. That’s who!

Will Grande’s “Break Free” win future generations’ rage?  It’s hard to gauge.  Can you guess my mother’s age?   (Fun fact:  Ariana Grande is the first major recording artist to be named for a Starbucks coffee size.)

The point is, if you think we’ll never again experience the magic of another line like the Bee Gee’s, “Well you can tell by the way I use my walk / I’m a woman’s man; no time to talk”…well, think again!   Even as you read this, some poet is up late having a piece of toast, dreaming big, basting a roast, and readying to shoot a crap barrage straight into your ears, to pollute the airwaves for generations to come.

Finally, I can think of no better way to end this tribute than to echo the eloquent lines from, “Good Morning Starshine,” which I are always so moved by:

Sabba sibby sabba
Nooby abba dabba
Le le lo lo
Dooby ooby walla
Dooby abba dabba
Early morning singing song


So what is your vote on most painful rhyme?   Any other songs that belong in the list?  By all means please share.

Readers looking to learn more about Bad Rock and Roll Music should use their walk to go buy a copy of, “The Book of Bad Songs” by Dave Barry (to whom I am indebted, both for the laughs and the inspiration).

Find out why, “The Rotting Post” is fast becoming the go-to site for literate satire, with over 20,000 page views per week, by on one of the pieces below:

The Worst Sex Scene Ever Published – A Special Rotting Post Competition

“Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Donald J Trump

 Or just take a look at the rest of the blog.



  1. I doubt this would win me anything, but, for nonsense, hippity-hop has pop beat, chair-hands down. That Ariana Venti lyric reminds me of this jewel by Fly Union with which my son loves to torture me:

    And I keep my head up like a point guard
    They say I got a shot, shoot for the stars
    Please don’t fight my battles I need these scars,
    cause they make me who I are.

    I guess I kind of understand the stream-of-consciousness thing, but this isn’t even typing. Maybe he’s trying to be a pirrrrrate. Earlier in the song, the pirate either presages or plagiarizes Ariana by saying

    Yeah, sometimes I wish I had some wings so I can fly away,
    And all you haters talking s**t, ya’ll can die today.
    Uh, but I then think, what if I die today?
    Well if I got to go, make it right away
    Yeah, cause I want to live dying,
    But if I got to go if I would rather die through trying.

    Think of how much better Dr. Suess would have been had his children played that on the car radio over and over and over again!

    • yikes. okay, this is pretty awful. i pretty much bypassed the entire hip-hop category (is this hip-hop?), mainly because i simply have no connection to it, and stuck with rock. and yeah, a lot like the ariana selection, especially the ‘i are’!

    • Steve Miller, “take the money and run,” has the worst lyrics in the universe

      “hassle” rhymed with “el Paso” (hasso? El Passle?)
      El Paso rhymed with “castle”

      “Texas” rhymed with “facts is” and then with “justice” and then the sherrif won’t let them escape justice because “he makes his livin’ off of other people’s taxes,” which aside from having nothing whatsoever to do with his zeal for justice, does not rhyme with justice or texas or “facts is”

      oh and it also rhymes “tube” and “cut loose”

      Steve Miler is the particle board furniture of the blues

      • why does ‘take the money and run’ continue to get radio play? annoying on every level. the rhymes. the ‘whoop whoop’. and there are so many great songs that are forgotten. thanks for the comment.

        • Speaking of Steve Miller, who can forget these immortal lyrics from the Joker,
          “Some people call me the space cowboy yeah
          Some call me the gangster of love
          Some people call me Maurice
          Cause’ I speak of the pompitous of love

          You’re the cutest thing that I ever did see
          I really love your peaches
          Want to shake your tree
          Lovey dovey, lovey dovey, lovey dovey all the time
          Ooh wee baby, I sure show you a good time”
          This song makes me cringe every time I hear it. And what the hell does pompitous mean!

          • thanks for joining in. i actually researched that ‘pompatus’ nonsense once, because it annoyed me so much. there is no such word. perhaps he thought it was a word. i don’t know.

    • I’ve always considered the Beastie Boys “I took a machete
      And turned her guts into spaghetti” a contender on several disgusting levels.

    • “Dear John” is country tune penned by Ferlin Husky that has my favorite rhyme of all time. Find this on YouTube

      Dear John, Oh, how I hate to write
      Dear John, I must let you know tonight
      That my love for you has died away like grass upon the lawn
      And tonight I wed another, Dear John.

      • I have to agree on that one. The “I told her with my voice”: what else would you tell her with? somehow, he usually manages to pull it off, even when it is forced, but occasionally it just fails.

    • I noticed early on that Bacharach and David wrote their songs in the reverse of the traditional order, which had been setting a poem to music. Confirmation came in the song “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head”. I could see Hal David scratching his head late into the night, when the only line he had so far come up with was…

      “Nothing seems to fit”

      • funny, i was just in a conversation about movies of that era. i remember when that movie came out it seemed like it was all anyone talked about for a while. in those days, hit movies would also stay in the theatre for months, it seemed like. another world.

  2. Chuck Berry’s Rock and Roll Music

    I took my loved one over cross the tracks
    So she can hear my man awailin’ sax,
    I must admit the have a rockin’ band,
    Man they were blowing like a hurricane

    And he pronounces hurricane to rhyme with band – It just sounds so stoopid.

  3. Excellent post, sir. I believe, however, that the third line of Good Morning, Starshine has three “lo’s.” Having spent three- fours hours a day in 8th grade listening to “Hair” on the hi-fi, those lyrics are unfortunately burned into my brain.

    Sent from my iPhone


  4. I’m going to kick it old school here and go way back to the Roger Miller line that still destroys my faith in Art: God didn’t make the little green apples, and it don’t rain in Indianapolis. Granted, the ending of the complete line containing this falling anvil DOES rhyme with the next line, but this…this was intentional. And there’s no excuse. By the way, How is the Weather I have always heard as self-conscious and purposefully silly, and I actually like it a lot.

  5. Carly Simon’s Your So Vain: You walked in to the party like you were walking onto a yacht/Your hat strategically dipped below one eye, your scarf it was apricot”. Besides it being a bad forced rhyme, she doesn’t pronounce the words well. I always thought she was saying, ‘your scarpet was apricot’ and I wondered ‘what the hell is a scarpet’?

  6. We wanna put his ass in stir, we wanna pin this triple mur- der on him, he ain’t no gentleman jim. – Bob Dylan. The Hurricane.

  7. You don’t understand what “turn the page” means!?! Seriously!?! Do a little research into Happy Together and find out the story behind the song.

      • okay. i’m going to bother responding to this. first, as it is a humor piece, you should not take every word in it literally. Clearly, i know what the words, ‘turn the page’ mean, both literally and figuratively. the point is, they are an utter non sequitor in this song. the song, other than those three words, has zero to do with moving on, or turning the page. the phrase is not even in the right case in the context of the other lyrics. it comes bizarrely out of the blue, and the reason it is there is because it happens to rhyme. this is the essence of forcing a rhyme.

        • I’m gonna pile on in defense of “turn the page”. It’s an insipid song, but nothing wrong with this line. He’s narrating his oh-so-trying life on the road. Turn the page to find the next road-weary rock star cliche.

          If you want a truly awful Seger rhyme, check out Like A Rock, where he inexplicably lists the things rocks don’t do, such as “standing arrow-straight” and “charging from the gate”.

  8. You left out “it never rains in Southern California, girl don’t they warn ya.” That particular line has always made me want to commit mass homicide. It frickin’ rains there ALL THE TIME! And it’s good to know that someone else noticed the vapidity in Neil Diamond’s music. Do you suppose Clint Eastwood’s rant at the 2012 RNC was inspired by “I Am Said I?” Another good one. I’m still giggling over my morning coffee, but damn you, now “Happy Together” is running through my head. Kill me now.

  9. I appreciated many years of Ametican (USA) rock and roll but the people of the USA missed out on much of Canada’s rock scene because the zionists that control your Mason’s and government concluded they wanted to make ALL the money for themselves … If it were not for Liberachi liking Burtom Cummings you all would have missed out on the Guess Who as well… No Apri Wine and Trooper etc list goes much longer … We had people from USA looking for Tragically Hip and Knickleback because Why… Well your country is almost hell in a handbasket now if you do not stand up to take it back from Killory and dyck with 2 ears soon a once great nation of some very beautiful people will be gone… And no I am not talking Tom Cruise types

  10. Confusing the recording artists with a song’s writer undermines the premise here. The Turtles didn’t write “Happy Together.” They just happened to have the big hit with it. And as Anonymous pointed out, there’s a history to that song, as there usually is, and that line about the weather is there for a reason. I love that song. As for “turn the page,” it’s always made sense to me. It’s a metaphor. Songs are full of metaphors. I’ll give you the Neil Diamond one, though. I never understood the chair reference.

  11. Rick Springfield – Jesse’s girl. You know I feel so dirty when they start talking cute
    I wanna tell her that I love her but the point is probably moot

  12. Well, I’m not sure if there is a “meaningless simplistic treacle” subcategory, but if there be one, my nomination goes to the Beatles. Now, there are any number of their songs that would merit consideration, but let’s go with “Yesterday”:

    Yesterday all my troubles seemed so far away.
    Now it looks as though they’re here to stay.
    Oh, I believe in yesterday.

    Suddenly I’m not half the man I used to be.
    There’s a shadow hanging over me.
    Oh, yesterday came suddenly.

    Why she had to go, I don’t know, she wouldn’t say.
    I said something wrong, now I long for yesterday.

    Yesterday love was such an easy game to play.
    Now I need a place to hide away.
    Oh, I believe in yesterday.

    Why she had to go, I don’t know, she wouldn’t say.
    I said something wrong, now I long for yesterday.

    Yesterday love was such an easy game to play.
    Now I need a place to hide away.
    Oh, I believe in yesterday.

    And I refuse to let go of this competition without making sure that the most obnoxious lyricist of all gets his just desserts. Donovan, oh Donovan! That man provokes my gag reflex above all others. I don’t think he ever wrote a song that doesn’t merit this prize, but let’s go with “Jennifer Juniper”:

    Jennifer Juniper, lives upon the hill
    Jennifer Juniper, sitting very still
    Is she sleeping? I don’t think so
    Is she breathing? Yes, very low
    Whatcha doing, Jennifer, my love?
    Jennifer Juniper, rides a dappled mare
    Jennifer Juniper, lilacs in her hair
    Is she dreaming? Yes, I think so
    Is she pretty? Yes, ever so
    Whatcha doing, Jennifer, my love?

    AAAACCCCKKKKK!!!! Just reading it sends me running for the SAD light. Imagine what it’s like if it sneaks in on a Pandora playlist unannounced.

    I await the judge’s verdict. Or not, as I understand that any reasonably stomached critic would likely try to avoid even thinking about these entries, lest there day be darkened beyond repair.

    • maybe this song is about being chosen to fight in Vietnam war and knowing from the students revolution that it was not a war America was suppose to be a part of… they start and finish these wars in the name of… making money on sales of arms to both sides… not caring about wasted tax dollars or fallen soldiers or their crying mothers

  13. I’ll confess, my teenage son helped me with this one. Rick Ross’ song Holy Ghost has the following lyrics

    My teacher told me that I was a piece of shit
    Seen her the other day, driving a piece of shit

    The rest of the lyrics are even worse but they are too offensive to print here.

  14. This isn’t exactly what your looking for, but I always liked the verse from Dan Fogelberg’s, Hard To Say

    You face the future
    With a weary past
    Those dreams you banked upon
    Are fading fast
    You know you love her
    But it may not last
    Your beer

    I liked picturing him at the bar lamenting his relationship. But, it turns out the lyrics are NOT
    “but it may not last
    your beer”

    but rather
    “but it may not last
    you fear”

    How boring. I like my misheard lyrics better!

      • One word for misheard lyrics is ‘mondegreen’, whose origins lie in the Scottish highlands. There is a Scottish song called ‘The Bonnie Earl of Murray’, which some hear as:

        Ye Highlands and Ye Lowlands
        Oh where hae you been?
        They hae slay the Earl of Murray,
        And Lady Mondegreen

        Luckily for the fair lady, the lyric is actually:

        And laid him on the green

  15. Dear Rotting post – I do think you overlooked that pop classic by Boney M (not to be confused with BoNY Mellon aka BoNYM):

    Sunny, yesterday my life was filled with rain.
    Sunny, you smiled at me and really eased the pain.
    The dark days are gone, and the bright days are here,
    My Sunny one shines so sincere.
    Sunny one so true, I love you.


  16. Lou Reed (whom I adore) was guilty of some pretty excruciating rhymes. To wit, he begins the song “Vicious” (which I love nonetheless):

    You hit me with a flower
    You do it every hour
    Oh, baby, you’re so vicious

    He then goes on to declare:

    You want me to hit you with a stick
    But all I’ve got is a guitar pick
    Oh, baby, you’re so vicious

    This followed by:

    When I watch you come
    Baby, I just want to run far away
    You’re not the kind of person around I
    Want to stay

    And finally my favorite:

    Why don’t you swallow razor blades
    You must think that I’m some kind of gay blade
    But baby, you’re so vicious

    Yes, indeed,he rhymed “blades” with “blade.”

  17. Also, I’ve always read that Neil Diamond song as the mournful, existential lament of an artist performing to an empty room, hence the entirely logical presence of chairs (?).

  18. Nothing quite beats rhyming a word with the same word (albeit with two different meanings, so I’ll cut them a tiny bit of slack). Black Sabbath, from “War Pigs”… “Generals gathered in their masses. Just like witches at black masses.” Extra points for those being the FIRST TWO LINES of the song. They weren’t desperately looking to complete something in the third verse; they had a blank canvas and that’s what they stayed with.

    • I’m going to come out and say it…..I love “Sister Golden Hair” each time it shows up on the tape loop at my local organic market I can’t help but boob and weave and sing along. “Won’t you meet me in the middle, won’t you meet me in the air?” Now those are some existensial lyrics…oui?

      • that’s a great song. i always heard it as ‘won’t you meet me in the end’ maybe because it at least kinda makes sense. yeah, ‘meet me in the air’ is pretty weird. but then, what the heck is ‘sister golden hair surprise’? one of those lyrics you just have to go with because the tune is so good.

  19. KISS, from “Heaven’s on Fire”:

    I got a fever ragin’ in my heart
    You make me shiver and shake
    Baby don’t stop
    Take it to the top
    Eat it like a piece of cake.

    I’m a KISS fan, and this makes me cringe. Even from a band who gave us “Plaster Caster, she wants my love to last her, she calls me by the name of master.”

  20. A more recent one I can think of is by Phillip Phillips and it isn’t the rhyme that sets me on edge to start. It’s the line, we ‘ll live until we die. (Ya THINK?) But the main rhyme in the song is fire. And it only rhymes with fire, it seems from the chorus:

    So come out, come out, come out
    Won’t you turn my soul into a raging fire?
    Come out, come out, come out
    ‘Til we lose control into a raging fire
    Into a raging fire
    Come out, come out, come out
    Won’t you turn my soul into a raging fire?

    But there is the weirdness of the Alley Oop song, which doesn’t actually bother me, and so easy to remember the words.

    (Oop-oop, oop, oop-oop)
    (Alley-Oop, oop, oop, oop-oop)

    There’s a man in the funny papers we all know
    (Alley-Oop, oop, oop, oop-oop)
    He lives way back a long time ago
    (Alley-Oop, oop, oop, oop-oop)
    He don’t eat nothin’ but a bear cat stew
    (Alley-Oop, oop, oop, oop-oop)
    Well, this cat’s name is Alley-Oop
    (Alley-Oop, oop, oop, oop-oop)

    He got a chauffeur that’s a genuine dinosaur
    (Alley-Oop, oop, oop, oop-oop)
    And he can knuckle your head before you count to four
    (Alley-Oop, oop, oop, oop-oop)

    and of course, always there’s Who Put the Bop in the Bop-shebop-shebop, Who put the Ram in the Rama-Lama-Ding-Ding-Dong, OR even that song itself, Rama Lama Ding Dong:

    Oh oh oh oh
    I got a girl named Rama Lama, Rama Lama Ding Dong
    She’s everything to me
    Rama Lama, Rama Lama Ding Dong
    I’ll never set her free
    For she’s mine, all mine
    Oh oh oh oh
    I got a girl named Rama Lama, Rama Lama Ding Dong,
    She’s fine to me,
    Rama Lama, Rama Lama Ding Dong
    You don’t believe that she’s mine, all mine
    I love her,
    Love her, love her so.
    That I’ll never, never let her go.
    You may be certain she’s mine, all mine,
    She’s mine all of the time.

  21. Regarding “Happy Together” by the Turtles, “And how is the weather?” is the most poignant line in the lyrics and what ultimately distinguishes it from a commonplace love song. Too bad you missed the whole point!
    The song is about unrequited love and the emotional conflict when being face to face with that person. The narrator/singer imagines “…me and you, I do…” – these are the thoughts running through his mind – and he is so deeply in love with this person that “I can’t see me lovin’ nobody but you for all my life.”
    The line, “And how is the weather?”, is all he can muster to say to the object of his unrequited affection, a ‘back to reality’ shallow ‘throw away’ conversation filler that barely conceals his crushed feelings of love (listen to his voice quiver). It’s at this point point that the listener realizes the singer is managing these deeply rooted feelings while trying to have a conversation with the love of his life.
    Also, in “She’s Electric” by Oasis, the general understanding of the “on the palm of her hand is a blister” lyric is that it indicates the singer was receiving hand jobs from the sister, which explains why he misses her so. The entire song is filled with these innuendos, including a potential romance with the mother, and the claim that he did not impregnate the cousin.
    In both cases not only do these lyrics rhyme, they carry meaning.
    The Rotting Post Guy…snarky, yes. Smart? Eh…

  22. It’s hard to beat this one from the Everly Brothers’ “Love Hurts”
    I really learned a lot, really learned a lot.
    Love is like a stove, burns you when it’s hot.

  23. This little ditty stands out for me:

    MacArthur’s Park is melting in the dark

    (Acid trip? Unclear)

    All the sweet, green icing flowing down

    (Still voting for acid trip)

    Someone left the cake out in the rain

    (Um, okay. How long was it sitting there, unattended? Would sitting out in the hot sun have been better?)

    I don’t think that I can take it

    (It’s just a CAKE!)

    ‘Cause it took so long to bake it

    (50 to 55 minutes at 350 usually does the trick)

    And I’ll never have that recipe again

    (Wait! Why not? Was the recipe left out in the rain too? Was it that hard to remember? Flour, butter, baking powder, sugar, eggs, a little vanilla, milk. Anything out of the ordinary should have stuck in your head – and once again, it’s just a CAKE!).

    (Does “again” really rhyme with “rain”?)

    Oh, no!

    (Exactly – oh, no!)

  24. And it begins with this:

    Spring was never waiting for us, girl
    It ran one step ahead
    As we followed in the dance
    Between the parted pages and were pressed
    In love’s hot, fevered iron
    Like a striped pair of pants

    “Love’s hot, fevered iron” isn’t all that bad (well, it’s pretty bad, but tolerable); But “pants” was clearly chosen for the rhyme, and why are they striped? Anyway, Block That Metaphor

  25. One afterthought: For horrible lyrics generally (and not the forced rhyme issue), i’m surprised nobody mentions, T. Rex’s, “Get It On.” Which features the lyrical, “you’re built like a car. You’ve got a hubcap diamond star halo. You’re built like a car, oh yeah!” is that supposed to sound sexy?

  26. One of the quintessential rock songs, “Gloria”, covered by (among many others) Patti Smith, the Doors, Iggy Pop, and Jimi Hendrix.

    “Wanna tell about my baby
    Lord, you know she comes around
    About five feet four
    From her head to the ground”

  27. Lest we forget (or perhaps we would like to) the chorus to “9 to 5” by Sheena Easton:

    My baby takes the morning train
    He works from nine to five and then
    He takes another home again
    To find me waitin’ for him

    Would the love object of this song really want to take a train home after working all day to that rhyme scheme? Also the listener (or in this case reader) is aware of the means of travel for the protagonist. Though our commuter could elect to walk home, take a cab, a bus, or perhaps choose to stay in town and avoid the questionable poetry of his (or her) beloved.

    • careful, there’s some SERIOUS Turtles fans reading this blog, who will explain that ‘you’re my pride and joy, et cetera’ is one of the greatest lines of poetry since John Donne, or at least Keats. thx for the comment though, and the refresher on this oldie.

  28. The song lyric that makes me want to drink bleach is from Rocket Man:

    Mars ain’t the kind of place to raise your kid,
    In fact it’s cold as hell (?)
    And there’s no one there to raise them,
    if you did. (If there were, would you abandon them there?)

  29. I hate to pick on Bob Dylan, who can be a genius rhymer (and often uses an ABAB scheme instead of the much easier and more common ABCB), but what was he thinking when he included “Wiggle Wiggle” on Under the Red Sky, with its immortal line (only the worst of many possible examples):

    Wiggle wiggle wiggle like a bowl of soup
    Wiggle wiggle wiggle like a rolling hoop

    Please! This is the man who wrote “Tangled Up in Blue”? Stop it, Bob, it hurts!

    P.S. Y’all are wrong about “Hurricane,” though. Its rhymes are great, including rhyming “mur/der” with “stir.”

    • i;m enjoying playing all the stuff everyone posts. this song is horrible – not just the lyrics but musically. strange how someone so talented could produce this. still not a ‘hurricane’ fan. but thx for the comment 🙂

  30. To the person who wrote- On the road again is stupid, it’s not.
    He is ending a gig, and comparing it to a page of a book being turned.

  31. the funniest rock songs . . . . and meant to be funny . . . . are from the movie Spinal Tap
    Rob Reiner and others wrote the lyrics, and as a joke they presented the words to my friend J.B. who was given the job of creating the music for these songs. Only thing is, they didn’t tell him it was a spoof; they told him it was a serious ‘rockumentary’. (J.B.s nickname just happens to be ‘Bunz’)

    The bigger the cushion, the sweeter the pushin’
    That’s what I said
    The looser the waistband, the deeper the quicksand
    Or, so I’ve read.
    My baby fits me like a flesh tuxedo
    I love to sink her with my pink torpedo.

    Big bottoms
    Big bottoms
    Talk about bum cakes
    My girl’s got ’em.
    Big bottoms
    Drive me out of my mind.
    How can I leave her behind?

    I saw her on Monday, twas my lucky bun day
    You know what I mean.
    I love her each weekday, each velvety cheek day
    You know what I mean.
    My love gun’s loaded and she’s in my sights
    Big game’s waiting there inside her tights.

    Big bottoms
    Big bottoms
    Talk about mud flaps
    My girl’s got ’em.
    Big bottoms
    Drive me out of my mind.
    How can I leave her behind?

  32. I would like to nominate Mr Mister’s “Broken Wings”, which includes the line: “When we hear the voices sing, the book of love will open up and let us in”.

  33. Paul McCartney, With A Little Luck – “the willow turns its back on inclement weather”. It’s not the rhyme, but still- “inclement”?

    For general horribleness, Paul Anka’s “your having my baby” has to be right up there. And the one with the lyric “I want to hold you till I die, till we both break down and cry, I want to hold you till the gear in me subsides”. Even me, melodramatic wannabe romantic poet teen-ager and all around wimp couldn’t help yelling “grow a pair!!” over that one.

    And Wildfire. F#$%k Wildfire.

  34. The end of Rush’s Tom Sawyer is a rhythmic train wreck…

    The world is, the world is
    Love and life are deep
    Maybe as his eyes are wide

    Exit the warrior
    Today’s Tom Sawyer
    He gets high on you
    And the energy you trade
    He gets right on to the friction of the day

  35. Reading this article and laughing out loud, especially at “How is the weather?” It reminds me of one of my Dad’s favorite Buck Owens jams where Don Rich (I think) sings, “Roses are red, violets are purple / sugar is sweet and so is maple surple.”

  36. You skipped the 80s. Sting gave us some amazing clunkers…

    from Spirits in the Material World:
    Our so-called leaders speak
    With words they try to jail ya
    They subjugate the meek
    But it’s the rhetoric of failure

    But he wasn’t done with the metaphor of language-as-constraint, as shown in the awful pre-chorus of De Do Do Do De Da Da Da:
    When their eloquence escapes you
    Their logic ties you up and rapes you

    Finally, because he needed an edgy but vague literary allusion and a lot of syllables:
    It’s no use; he sees her.
    He starts to shake and cough
    just like the old man in
    That book by Nabokov.

    • yeah, Sting is a worthy target because he definitely had a pretentious side to him. His comments on his album liner used to annoy me. the nabokov reference doesn’t bother me. it fits the song. but the ‘our so-called leaders’….ick!!!!! reads like some college freshman trying to say something deep.

  37. Eminem song from 10 to 12 years ago, sorry don’t know the title.

    Chicks they come and chicks they go
    Monday Tuesday Wednesday Yo

  38. Two rhymes that are not really rhymes come to mind – Foreigner’s ‘Hot Blooded’
    “You don’t have to read my mind
    To know what I have in mind”
    Also Christopher Cross’ ‘Arthur’ –
    “Living his life one day at a time
    And he’s showing himself a pretty good time”
    sheer brilliance!

  39. Not a rhyming issue, but I’ve always been a fan of Paul McCartney’s “Live and Let Die”

    “But in this ever-changing world in which we live in”

      • I adore Dave Barry’s book. Especially when he talks about Horse with no name. “You are in the desert. You are there for three days. Name your fucking horse.” My personal favourite lines to loathe amongst many, is “Let me whisper sweet words of dismortality and discuss the pompatus of love” Steve Miller is an idiot 🙂 Don’t get me started on “the Honey song.”

    • I always thought so too, but I think I remember reading that it’s actually “in this ever-changing world in which we’re living”

    • That one used to drive me bonkers, and I blasted Macca for it whenever I heard it. Then I found out the actually lyric is “this ever-changing world in which we’re living,” which is perfectly grammatical, as one would expect of an art college boy of 1960s Britain. It seems Dave Barry and I both owe Sir Paul an apology.

  40. Although I concur with “Turn the Page” being the most annoying song, I have to say that this verse from Steve Miller’s “Take the Money and Run” is a glaring omission from the article.

    Billy Mack is a detective down in Texas
    You know he knows just exactly what the facts is
    He ain’t gonna let those two escape justice
    He makes his livin’ off of the people’s taxes

    • Yes, “Take the Money and Run” is exceedingly annoying in every way, even that obnoxious, ‘woot woot’. Definitely deserves a dishonorable mention. Thanks for adding it!

    • Just posted below about the El Paso/hassle rhyme in the same song before I saw your post. I think my assessment of the song was influenced by seeing him live recently. Great show. He is a better guitar player than I realized. He played and sounded (and
      looked) great, especially for being well over 70.

  41. Of course an easy way out is to just make up your own language, as did Dave Dee Dozzy Beaky Mich and Tich, with “Zabadak.” which of course rhymes nicely with ‘kakarakak’ and ‘skagalak.’

  42. Emerson, Lake and Palmer’s “You Turn Me On” has the line, “Every day a little madder, a little sadder, someone get me a ladder.”

  43. For sheer vacuous banality, Lenny Kravitz’s “Fly Away” is hard to beat. Although the rhymes are legitimate, they grate my ears.

    “I wish that I could fly
    Into the sky
    So very high
    Just like a dragonfly”

    Like Dr. Zeuss on TOO MUCH ketamine.

    Although strictly speaking not a rhyme gripe the extra syllable in Rihanna’s “Um-ber-ella” deserves a mention here.

  44. Bad Company: “I was born / six gun in my hand / Behind a gun / I’ll make my final stand.” That must have been a very rough delivery. When the doctor slapped you, did you shoot him?

  45. Billy Joel, Allentown: “So our graduations hang on the wall / But they never seemed to help us at all” Uh…Billy, the thing you hang on the wall is called a diploma? You get it a ceremony called a graduation? Why am I even trying to explain this to you? Just STFU.

  46. Pat Benatar has some bad lyrics. This one just hurts:

    “It’s all so confusing this brutal abusing/They blacken your eyes, and then ‘pologize”

    I call this song “Hell is for Listeners”

    Pat owes all of us a ‘pology.

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