Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Worst Songs of All-Time

I've been doing this blog for so long I actually am starting to have annual traditions. One is the "Worst Song of All-Time" list. The fun is reading your cringeworthy suggestions. So let me know which tunes need to be added. There are, uh... "No Boundaries".

Here are a few to get you going.
Honey....Bobby Goldsboro

Good Morning Starshine....Oliver

The Night Chicago Died....Paper Lace

Billy Don't be a Hero....Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods

One Tin Soldier....Coven

My Boy Lollipop.....Little Millie Small

Surfin Bird....Trashmen

Mule Skinner Blues....Fendermen

He Hit me and it Felt like a Kiss....Crystals

Transfusion....Nervous Norvis

Ballad of the Green Beret....Sgt. Barry Sandler

Laurie...Dickie Lee

Deck of Cards....Wink Martindale

Hooray for Hazel....Bobby Roe

Yummy Yummy Yummy....1919 Fruit Gum Co.

My Dad...Paul Peterson


Unicorn Song...Irish Rovers

Watching Scotty Grow...Bobby Goldsboro

I've Never Been to Me...Charlene

Paper Tiger...Sue Thompson

Wildfire...Michael Murphy

Indiana Wants Me...R.Dean Taylor

Letter From Elena...Tom Clay

Little Black Egg....Nightcrawlers

Disco Duck...Rick Dees

Baby I'm a want you....Bread

Past, Present, Future…the Shangri Las

Wreck of the Edmond Fitzgerald....Gordon Lightfoot

Girls girls girls are made to Love...Eddie Hodges

Seasons in the Sun...Terry Jacks

Love Jones....Brighter Shade of Darkness

Heartbeat is a Love beat -- Delfranco Family

The Streaker...Ray Stevens

She Can't Find Her Keys...Paul Peterson

Ringo...Lorne Green

I Sold My Heart to the Junkman....Bluebells

Gallant Men....Senator Everett Dirkson

Which Way you Goin Billy....Poppy Family

Torn Between Two Lovers....Mary McGregor

Happiest Girl in the USA ...Donna Fargo

Ben...Michael Jackson

Open Letter to my Teenage Son...Victor Lundberg

The Men in my Little Girl's Life....Mike Douglas

Tin Man...America

Johnny Loves Me...Shelley Fabares

I Put a Spell on You...Screamin' Jay Hawkins

Claire...Gilbert O'Sullivan

Walk like an Egyptian…the Bangles

Today is Cindy's Birthday....Johnny Crawford

Close to Cathy....Mike Clifford

MacArthur Park...Richard Harris

Locomotion...Grand Funk Railroad

The Americans...Byron McGregor

Haunted House...Gene Simmons

Ruby Don't Take Your Love to Town....Kenny Rogers

Bottle of Wine....Fireballs

Wait For Me...the Playmates

How am I supposed to live without you…Michael Bolton

Sad Movies make me cry…Sue Thompson

Martian Hop....Randells

Skinny Legs and All....Joe Tex

Hello Hello....Claudine Longet

Tutti Fruitti....Pat Boone

Mrs. Robinson....Frank Sinatra

We are the World…USA for Africa

Do the Clam....Elvis Presley

Hello…Lionel Richie

I Remember You…Frank Eifield

Sometimes when we touch…Dan Hill

Uh oh (part II)….the Nutty Squirrels

Wam Bam (Shang-a-Ling)….the Silvers

Laugh at Me...Sonny & Cher

Little Green Apples....O.C. Smith

I Wish I were a Princess...Little Peggy March

You Really turn me on...Ian Whitcomb

I'm Henry the Eighth....Herman's Hermits

Muscrat Love...Capt. & Tanille

Sit on my face, Stevie Nicks...the Rotters

Jingle Bells...the Barking Dogs

Downtown...Mrs. Miller

Ain't No Way to Treat a Lady...Helen Reddy

Candy Man...Sammy Davis Jr.

Puppy Love...Donny Osmond

Touch me in the Morning...Diana Ross

Another Somebody done somebody wrong song...B.J. Thomas

Float On…the Floaters

Dominique…the Singing Nun

Lovin' You...Minnie Riperton

How does that grab ya, darling….Nancy Sinatra

Chick a Boom...Daddy Dew Drops

Mmmmm Bop...Hanson

You Light up my Life…Debby Boone

Neanderthal…Hot Legs

Call Collect...Art Linkletter

Karma Chameleon…Culture Club

Please Mr. Please...Olivia Newton John

Mickey...Toni Basil

Old Rivers...Walter Brennan

You Better Sit Down Kids...Cher

Indian Lake...Cowsills

Ding dong the witch is dead....Fifth Estate

Master Jack...Four Jacks and a Jill

Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep...Mac & Katie Kissoon

Wild Thing...Senator Bobby

Tall Paul...Annette

Feelings…Morris Albert

Dreams of the Everyday Housewife…Glen Campbell

Roses are Red…Bobby Vinton

Stayin’ In…Bobby Vee

Chevy Van…Sammy Johns

England Swings…Roger Miller

Patches…Dickie Lee

Popsickle…Jan & Dean

I am Woman…Helen Reddy

Playground in my mind…Clint Holmes

Wind Beneath my Wings…Bette Midler

Trying to stop the feeling…Barry Manilow

The Doggone Girl is Mine…Michael Jackson & Paul McCartney

Ain’t Gonna Bump with no Big Fat Woman…Joe Tex

Speedy Gonzales….Pat Boone

I'm Not a Juvinile Delinquent...Frankie Lyman & the Teenagers

Dead Skunk...Louden Wainwright III


JKChicago said...

"Lightning Striking Again" by Lou Christie. The basic message of which seems to be, "Yes, I fully intend on marrying you at some point in time, but there are just so many pretty girls out there! I can't resist! So, sit tight and wait for me to finish schtupping random chicks!"

Also, "Woman, Woman" "Young Girl," and "Lady Willpower" by Gary Puckett and the Union Gap. All of which are impossible to tell apart on the radio because they're all the same crappy song.

Unknown said...

How about "Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft" by the Carpenters (a cover of a song by Klaatu). It was released as the A-side of a single in 1977. The B-side was a little better: "I Can't Smile Without You." Sadly, I onced owned this single, but at least I was only a sophomore in High School.

Craig said...

"(Your) Having My Baby" by Paul Anka. Ugh.

I am happy to say none of your "worst songs" are in my iTunes library. Some of the artists are there, though.

Rick said...

"Brand New Key" by Melanie, a song that makes me feel like acting out like the George Segal character in "The Terminal Man"...

Dave said...

Ken ... you have a Bobby Vee song listed as one of The Worst Songs of All-Time and it's not, "More Than I Can Say"?

I'd never heard of "Stayin' In" before so I had to search for it, and you're right, of course, it's excrement. However, bad as it is, it still has nothing on, "More Than I Can Say," which is a true 4X4 song -- a four year-old could write it in four minutes. (And probably have plenty of time left over to feel ashamed of the result.)

It's impossible to imagine singing
"(I Love You) More Than I Can Say" to someone you love, unless your kick is to be vomited upon.

Plus, "More Than I Can Say" also spawned a truly teeth-grinding Leo Sayer version (my first exposure to the "song"). And Sayer's version has to be even worse than the Vee's -- because only an evil cabal would unearth that saccharine vacancy.

It continually rhymes "say" with "say" for god's sake! And that may be the least of its offenses.

The (always reliable) web informs me that "Stayin' In" was actually the flip side to Vee's "More Than I Can Say." Incredible! If true, that automatically makes it the worst record of ALL TIME!

In fact I'm glad that 45's are basically extinct BECAUSE THAT 45 EXISTED!

(It was a betrayal that could not go unavenged.)

Harold J said...

Most of the songs you have listed are pretty good. Some errors in the list Hooray for Hazel is by Tommy Roe, Ray Stevens song was called the Streak, Haunted House is by Jumpin' Gene Simmons not to be confused with the Kiss star, the McCartney Jackson song is entitled The Girl is Mine, et al.

Arguing about good or bad songs is futile. Sales is the ultimate yardstick. There have been many records that have truly sucked that have sold millions (D'yer Ma'ker, Revolution #9, any pop song made since 1985, any song sung by an American Idol finalist), but apparently there is an audience for almost any song.

Bryce said...

"Spiders and Snakes" by Jim Stafford.

J S Swanson said...

Let's not forget L'Trimm:

We like the cars/
The cars that go boom/
We're Bunny & Tigra/
And we like the boom/

Bob Claster said...

Okay, Ken, as long as you included ONE TIN SOLDIER, which is, absolutely, the worst song of all time, I can, rather than suggest it, defend a few of the tracks you've despoiled.

First of all, the strings in STAYIN' IN are awesome. That Liberty early '60s string sound was incredible.

MY BOY LOLLIPOP is a key piece of the reggae puzzle, as it was the first international hit from Jamaica, and was steeped in ska. She actually recorded this tune in German, too, which is quite wonderful.

You can't just single out LAURIE without mentioning all the other great teenage death songs of that era. You either love them or you don't. I happen to find them hilarious. But this one is no worse (or better) than LAST KISS, TELL LAURA I LOVE HER, PATCHES, and many more.

What could you possibly object to about the great I PUT A SPELL ON YOU? A terrifying, powerful track. Hawkins was amazing.

Pat Boone's TUTTI FRUTTI is, again, one of a much larger group, all of which are pretty horrible, namely the white covers of black hits. But that can be extended to such things as the cross-generational errors like Bing Crosby's HEY JUDE, Jack Jones' DIXIE CHICKEN, Mel Torme's SUNSHINE SUPERMAN, and it's a very long and hilarious list that should more accurately be called "Bad Versions of Good Songs."

And I happen to adore the Nutty Squirrels. Their album is worth hunting for. This was the brainchild of one Sascha Berland, who was an advertising guy. He tried to use the Chipmunks gimmick with some actual decent jazz stuff. I really like their take on Dizzy Gillespie's SALT PEANUTS. Instead, slam the Chipmunk's rendition of MR. TAMBOURINE MAN. Now, THAT's awful.

Muskrat Love... sigh. This tune was written by the wonderful Willis Alan Ramsey, and his original version, entitled MUSKRAT CANDLELIGHT was actually sort of charming. Not his fault that so many terrible (and lucrative) cover versions spoiled the taste of it for so many people. But it's not a bad song.

Whatcha got against Roger Miller?

Now, just to get into the spirit of things, I'll nominate CHIQUITA BANANA by The Peels. Now that's a bad record.

gottacook said...

Many good choices here, although a few were (I think) intended as novelty records and shouldn't be judged in quite the same way (such as "Bottle of Wine" and "Chick-a-Boom").

My considered contribution (like many of these, from the early 1970s): "One Bad Apple" as sung by the Osmonds. Ugh.

("Revolution #9" can't be said to have "sold millions" as an independent record - that's just unfair. Besides, the worst song on the White Album was "Wild Honey Pie.")

Jim said...

You got the Night Chicago Died and Billy, Don't be a Hero, but no "Run, Joey, Run", or "Little Willie Willie Won't Go Home"? "My Chevy Van"? "Rah, Rah Rasputin"?
(It's a long and comprehensive list, forgive me if I scrolled past any of the above by mistake. I"m on my laptop)

Lee said...

Reba McEntire - Fancy
Perhaps we shouldn't open this topic to country music songs and the deluge of contenders which would follow.

The Milner Coupe said...

Baby I'm A Want You?

Have you no soul, no romance?

There are several great songs on your worst list. But it's your blog so I won't argue.

Leaving some truly wretched Rap songs out (too easy) I have to nominate Beach Baby as the worst song of all time.

Dan said...

Wow! You don't like My Dad! The song is still "in print" on 45's and a CD.
How can you not like anything attached to The Donna Reed Show?

Ben Scripps said...

Friends, Romans, countrymen--lest we forget, not only did "Macarthur Park" have the worst lyrics ever set to paper, but we were subjected to it **twice**, once by Richard Harris, and once by Donna Summer as a disco cover. That alone makes waterboarding look like something to do at an amusement park.

And let's not forget "The Pina Colada Song". Or "The Last Game of the Season (The Blind Man in the Bleachers)". That one really makes me shudder.

jbryant said...

Lots of great pop music has lame lyrics. Usually not a dealbreaker for me, as long as the overall sonic experience works.

For instance: yes, "He Hit Me (And It Felt Like a Kiss)" has unconscionable, transgressive, dated lyrics. But it's got a good tune written by Carole King and has that great girl group sound. So I leave it off my worst list.

Roger Miller was great. "England Swings" may not be my favorite of his songs, but I don't get what's so bad about it. Some folks can't handle whistling I guess.

Much on the list is inarguable, but I'd say there's a least one excellent piece of songwriting on there: "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town." Great, dark stuff. I also appreciate Jimmy Webb's music for "MacArthur Park." Yeah, it's overwrought (gloriously so, IMO), but I bet if it didn't have that cake in the rain line, there'd be more love for it.

jbryant said...

I'd add Austin Roberts' "Rocky" to the list. And why are we letting the new millennium off the hook? At the very least, "My Humps" should be there.

And "Float On" is just too hilarious to hate.

Oh, and the Manilow song is actually titled "Trying to GET the Feeling Again."

emily said...

Oldies stations could not survive without that list.

Jim said...

How about a British contribution, with Black Lace's Gang Bang, as featured in Rita, Sue and Bob Too. Has paedophilia on film ever been so funny.

Fatburger said...

I agree with some of the comments above: a lot of these songs are pretty good, and some of them are great. SURFIN' BIRD is one of the greatest rock and roll songs ever recorded, with one of the greatest lyrics of all time.

Anonymous said...

Wow. You just listed my entire iPod playlist. What a wonderful, diverse world we live in.

Keith said...

"I Lost My Heart to a Starship Trooper" by Sarah Brightman (and the Hot Gossip dancers). Gotta watch the video at least once.

Vermonter17032 said...

While there are many bad songs on your list, I'd listen to almost any of them before I'd listen to a rap/hip hop song. Any rap/hip hop song.

WV: swineask - how to get a date in [fill in the rural/backward state of your choice]

Janice said...

It pains me to even type it... "Don't Worry, Be Happy" by Bobby McFarrin.

Dave Mackey said...

"My Girl Bill" by Jim Stafford. The punchline is only funny once.

WV: "squaliti" - food served at an unsanitary Italian bistro.

Anonymous said...

Bob Claster, thanks for defending Willis Alan Ramsey. And, yeah, who doesn't like Roger Miller? I also agree with JBryant about Ruby Don't Take Your Love to Town.


Anonymous said...

My nomination: "Annie's Song" by John Denver. Sunshine on my shoulder and so forth.


Lawrence Fechtenberger said...

I think that the team of Richard Harris and Jimmy Webb actually surpassed the accomplishment of "MacArthur Park" with the follow-up, "The Yard Went On Forever." Sample lyrics: "Here them singing/All the women of Pompeii/Standing with the Kansas City housewives/In doorways/In volcanoes and tornadoes/On DOOMSDAY!!!" You can imagine what Harris did with such lyrics.

The ultimate version of "One Tin Soldier"--that is "ultimate" not in the sense of "the best," but in the sense of "after this, no one could possibly take the song seriously again"--was performed on the Sonny & Cher TV show. What was notable was not Cher's performance of the song, but the cartoon that accompanied it, a completely literal dramatization of the lyrics. We got to see the valley people rise up and slaughter the mountain people, and then gather around the stone that hid the treasure--and darned if the treasure didn't turn out to really be just the words "Peace on Earth." You can be sure the valley people all hung their heads in shame on seeing that.

Rays profile said...

Aaaaaaand...nobody mentions "In the Year 2525" by Zager and Evans?

"Unborn Child" by Seals and Cfofts?

And (boy this should clinch it) "I've Never Been to Me" by Charlene. That's right, her only hit, with which she hoped to buy a last name. Sample lyric: "I've been undressed by kings and I've seen some things that a woman ain't supposed to see"

Does that include George Wendt naked?

WV: wakshica: a knockoff Japanese camera.

Mads said...

My elementary school music teacher loved "One Tin Soldier." So every week for many years, we sang that awful song.

Needless to say, we hated that teacher.

darkcrash said...

"One Tin Soldier" by Coven...what a bizzare little coincidence. Skimming thru my fave blogs this morning, I read "Worst Songs", then went on to The Horrors Of It All, a blog that posts stories from pre-code horror comics:
As I'm scrolling my way down I see a link to Coven and find myself here:
And now I'm listening to a 12 minute "Satanic Mass" from their 1969 debut album! Thanks Ken!!

(Interesting history on the band: Mercury pulled their '69 album after Esquire featured a pic of Manson holding the Coven album...they'd been Anton LaVey's satanic church house band...after this controversy they recorded "Soldier".)

Carl said...

That's a long list. Are there any songs you do like? :)

Janice said...

What about "Shannon"? The dog is playing fetch in the ocean... only to drown. Dear God!

Debby G said...

A current song I think belongs on the list is The Climb. The lyrics are decent, about the long climb to success, but it's sung by Miley Cyrus. Her long climb to success? Daddy was in the music industry, she got her own TV show as a young teen, and her first concert movie and tour were huge successes. Everyone should have such a hard climb as Miley.

I think the dumb American Idol song this year, full of just about every cliche every written, should be on the list too.

And last year's "Hey There, Delilah" makes me cringe for this line alone: "Even more in love with me you'd fall." Like fingernails on a chalkboard is that line.

scottMc said...

I too have about 8-10 of the listed songs on either on a 45 or an album. My addition to the list is a three way tie between:
'The Candy Man'-Sammy Davis Jr.
'I Write the Songs'-Barry Manilow
'Wake Me Up Before I Go-G0'-Wham

Anonymous said...

The problem with lists like these are that they contain only songs that were admittedly at one time popular, or we would not have heard of them in the first place. It's like the list of worse movies... I suspect the worst movie is one most people have never seen. I have a large record collection made up mainly of promo records from my radio career. I would have to say the worst is "Bobby Died Today" by Ellen somebody (I'll have to dig it out) on Raincoat records. It's a bright happy song about death which has the added unintentional bad taste bonus of coming out summer of 1968, right after the assassination of Robert Kennedy.

Mike Bell said...

I'm glad you mentioned "We Are The World." (Which was brilliantly parodied recently on 30 Rock)

I've always had a problem with it's inspiration "Do They Know It's Christmas?"

With such lyrics as "There won't be snow this Christmas time in Africa" and "Do they know it's Christmas time at all?"

Well, um, I mean, God love ya Sir Bob Geldof, but no.

Grant said...

I was also going to mention "Lighting Stikes Again", but the Klaus Nomi version, of course:

Lawrence Fechtenberger said...

I would argue that "Walk Like an Egyptian" was at least partially redeemed by the Puppini Sisters's version. But then, everything is made better by the Puppini Sisters.

The Minstrel Boy said...

damn ken, i was shocked at how many of those songs i've been forced to play over and over while absolutely agreeing with you.

once, while trying to get through "the wreck of the edmund fitzgerald" which had been requested by a lovely young woman i went totally up on the lyrics. i improvised:

now i like this song
'cause it's so fucking long
and none of you know all the words...
i was right 3/4's of the crowd didn't notice a thing.

The Minstrel Boy said...


after a jingle session with barry manilow, we were looking around at each other, knowing we had just put some serious money in the bank, i went over to barry, and said:

dude, that is some brilliant jingle work. i can almost forgive you for "mandy."

januaryfire said...

Haven't seen anyone mention "Afternoon Delight" by the Starland Vocal Band, a No. 1 hit in 1976

Fitz said...

... CHIQUITA BANANA by The Peels

My co-award winner, along with They're Coming to Take Me Away, Ha Ha! by Napoleon IV.

I worked in top forty radio during the sixties, and believe me, after about 200 plays each I needed to keep away from sharp objects.

ROGirl said...

What, no "Sugar Sugar" by the Archies? Once you come up with "Tie A Yellow Ribbon" you can't leave "Knock 3 Times" from Tony and Dawn off the list. Then there's "Fame," "Physical" by Olivia Newton John, and "I Write the Songs" by Barry M.

Exurban Mom said...

No contest: "We Built This City (On Rock and Roll)" by Jefferson Starship/Airplane/whatever.

Horrid, horrid song.

45 is the new 30 said...

I'm pretty sure (and amazed) that no one has yet mentioned "Seasons in the Sun" by Terry Jacks ... another entry in that 'there's nothing more life-affirming than a song about death' oeuvre:

"Good-bye my friend, it's hard to die

While all the birds are singing in the sky ..."

Ken, you (and all of us who have commented) are likely responsible for some VERY nasty 'ear worms' today!

thevidiot said...

RAINDROPS KEEP FALLING ON MY HEAD. I know, it was supposed to be LBJ's favorite song (they play it ad nauseum at the Texas ranch) but it is like fingernails on a chalkboard. Good movie, crappy song!

AFTERNOON DELIGHT is a close second. I used to have to play that every night at the country radio station on the border of Ohio/W VA because the "Request Line" demanded it. Ugh!

Jim said...

I have a weird affinity for bad songs that were used in TV shows I like, thus I can't quite hate "Baby I'm a'want you" as much as I did before it became the love theme of Agnes Skinner and Comic Book Guy. The same goes for Journey songs used in the Sopranos, Wheel in the Sky and, of course, Don't Stop Believin'. So Afternoon Delight, to me, is forever linked to one of the cringeingly funniest moments on Arrested Development.

(Same goes for Lollipop, Lollipop, thanks to the Cheers karaoke episode.)

Cap'n Bob said...

I like at least a dozen of your worst songs, Ken, as well as "Afternoon Delight." I'm with Vermonter that I'd rather hear any of these before one rap/hip-hop "song." My addition to the list would have to be "Norman."

Charles Jurries said...

Wreck of the Edmond Fitzgerald by Gordon Lightfoot was played on a loop at the Shipwreck Museum in the U.P. (Michigan's Upper Penninsular) when I went there a few years ago. Because, of course, that's where the Fitzgerald sunk. So the song played. FOREVER. And it will always be burned into my memory because of it.

Zanuck said...

Gino Vanelli-"Living Inside Myself." I can forgive "I Just Want to Stop." because Eugene Levy did a great parody on SCTV of Gino, and that was the song they used.

How about "Good Morning Starshine?" Glibby glop gloopy, nibby nabbby nooby. La La La La La. That's the dripping of your brain on LSD.

And then there's Bolton.

Mary Stella said...

"MacArthur Park." Yeah, it's overwrought (gloriously so, IMO), but I bet if it didn't have that cake in the rain line, there'd be more love for it.Every time I proclaim that MacArthur Park is my least favorite song of all time (narrowly squeezing past I've Never Been to Me) at least one of my friends or co-workers tells me they LOVE it.

I don't get this at all.

Martin_B said...

I have hated "Hey Paula" by Paul and Paula ever since I first heard it, lo these many years ago.

spreng said...

"Too Fat Polka (She's Too Fat For Me)" by Arthur Godfrey!

jbryant said...

DebbyG: Glad to see someone else hates the inexplicably popular "Hey There Delilah," which earned its songwriter a Grammy nomination. I guarantee you he wrote that song in college, plugging in the name of whichever girl he was trying to impress at the time.

ROGirl: "Sugar Sugar" is a great record, IMO! Make that TWO great records - Wilson Pickett did a killer cover.

I never knew there was such animosity for Lou Christie's "Lightning Strikes." It's such a great, catchy recording, well produced and sung. I frankly never paid that much attention to the lyrics (a good idea when approaching certain otherwise superb pop songs).

emily said...

Oh wait...sing along with me.

"Its A Small World After All, Its A Small World After All, Its A Small World After All, Its A Small, Small World."

Why should I be the only one with that clunker stuck in my head?

Unknown said...

"Things Get a Little Easier" by Think. It just doesn't get worse than that.

-bee said...

I stopped keeping up with current pop years ago, so I can't comment on too much of that, but aren't any of you people aware of all the pre-60's crap?

But enough of my editorializing:

Havin' My Baby

My Heart Will Go On

Sonny Boy

I'm Proud to Be An American

Beautiful melody but PRO-SLAVERY fer cryin' out loud: "The Old Folks at Home"

Makin' Whoopie (and maybe 1/2 or more of everything sung by Eddie Cantor)

Come On a' My House

Monster Mash

Manana (oh Peggy, Peggy, I love ya' but...)

Mama Don't Bark

Baby Baby Don't Get Hooked on Me

Like a Virgin

Go Away Little Girl (or "The Pedophile's Lament")

Just about any duet done Barbara Steisand participated in in the 70's-80s)

-bee said...

Oy - how could I have forgotten:

The Farmer and the Cowman

Geoff said...

Two observations about your list, Ken:

1. As a writer, you seem to be judging these songs on the content/cheesiness of their lyrics. Fine... but I can like a good tune and ignore the lyrics.

2. You've pretty much singled out every spoken word record that was a hit. Do those really count as "songs"?

Anyway, if there is a song that I would nominate, it would be "Ring My Bell" by Anita Ward.

Angie said...

Nights in White Satin by Moody Blues - sets my teeth on edge

We Built This City by Starship (or whatever version they were at that time)

Shaddup You Face by Joe Dolce - one of many Australian bad songs I could include, but you probably haven't heard.

And my all time most hated song...

Lady in Red, Chris de Burgh. *shudder*

Matt said...

Just a quick note, "I Write The Songs" was actually written by the keyboard player for the Beach Boys, whose name escapes me at the moment--Manilow himself didn't want to record it.

Speaking of The Beach Boys, several of the songs on the PET SOUNDS album--wonderful music, but the lyrics are some of the most cringe-worthy examples of New Age methane . . .

BLOWIN' IN THE WIND--part of the reason for disliking this song is strictly personal; I was in a kids' choir that had rehearsed THE HIPPOPOTAMUS SONG for weeks, when our summer-camp counselor over-rode our music teacher at Boys Club and decided that we would be Relevant. Secondly, any song where a sour little weasel like Bob Dylan presumes to lecture me about everybody else's failings just rubs me the wrong way. He wanted to make the world a better place? It would have been nice if he'd let Joan Baez and Edie Sedgewick know he had a wife and kids tucked away up in Woodstock . . .

Anything by Stephen Lynch--how brave to make fun of the brain-damaged, hermaphrodites, dying relatives . . .

Percy Faith's recording of "Theme to A SUMMER PLACE." The music is actually incidental in Max Steiner's score, which is actually pretty good otherwise. And the orchestrations are so treacly as to make this song dangerous for diabetics to even listen to . . . Also incidental is the fact that it brings back memories of the kind of over-wrought 50's movie pap that drove me away from the afternoon movie when I was a kid. And I loved the Afternoon Movie.

Arthur Fiedler said...

My Sharona
Keep on Loving You and all other REO

Roger Owen Green said...

Your original list has all my cringyworthies; hone-Bobby Golsboro; I've Never beebn]=n To Me-Charlene; Speedy Gonzalez-Pat Boone, and The Men in My Little Girl's Life - which reached #6 in '66 (666 - sign of the devil), exc fan added We Bilked This City on rock 'n' Roll.

But I'll admit that I also like a good half dozen of the songs on the list: I Put a Spell on You, Locomotion, Bottle of wine, Karma Chameleon...

Kathleen The Radio Brat said...

Like Bob Claster, I would place all songs in the Dead Date genre such as Ebony Eyes by the Everly Brothers on "The List". I would add "From A Distance" by Bette Midler and "Show Me The Way" by Styx. Ooooh, and "Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini", "Kookie, Lend Me Your Comb", and "I Told The Witchdoctor", which featured the unforgettable chorus, "ooh, eee, ooh ah ah, tin, tang, walla walla bingbang". Or something. Yeah, I'm old.

wv: "axemovei" - how a pretentious film goer would refer to a slasher film.

Unknown said...

Without You by Harry Nilsson and Convoy by C.W. McCall.

The whole topic is causing heart palpitations. Thank YOU very much.

rossfan said...

I'd like someone to explain to me how Ross' "Touch Me In the Morning" falls into the category of "The Worst Songs Of All-Time"? It's a beautiful song.

For more on Diana, check out Dick's Diana Ross Website at

Thank you

Anonymous said...

As Voltaire says, that which is too stupid to be said, will be sung.

gottacook said...

Matt: Bob Dylan wasn't married until November 1965, years after "Blowin' in the Wind" and his other protest-era songs (which he himself repudiated in the song "My Back Pages," later covered by the Byrds). I wouldn't claim that ol' Bob has led a blameless life, but get your facts straight.

The Beach Boys member you're thinking of who wrote "I Write the Songs" was Bruce Johnston. (Someone also mentioned "Tryin' to Get the Feeling," which was written by David Pomerantz - who for some reason was the opening act for Laura Nyro on her 1976 Smile tour, or at least the Boston show of that tour.)

Mike Barer said...

I'll bet every reader sees a song that they like in that list.

The Milner Coupe said...

I really try to be open minded when I read the comments Ken, but anyone who calls out Pet Sounds, early Bon Dylan, AND the Theme From A Summer Place...well it's a good thing we're not at the pub cause them be fightin' words!

Sandy Koufax said...

Ken..."Letter from Elena" is actually Casey Kasem, not Tom Clay.

TWO songs I pray to never hear again are "Back When My Hair Was Short" by Gunhill Road and "Let Her In" by John Travolta.

Sandy K.

Music Online said...

Good post sounds like interesting I enjoy your blog.

Pat Reeder said...

As the co-author of "Hollywood Hi-Fi," there's nothing I love better than a good discussion of bad music. I actually like some of the songs on your list, but my top 4 most hated would have to be "Billy, Don't Be A Hero," "Playground in My Mind" (anyone who's read HH-F knows how much we love children's choruses), "I've Never Been To Me," and topping them all for me, "Seasons In The Sun." Intellectually, I know that "I've Never Been To Me" is worse, but there's just something about "Seasons" that sets the bar so low, you have to dig a trench for it.

BTW, someone said Charlene had only one hit. They've mercifully forgotten about her duet with Stevie Wonder, "Used To Be." If you want to see lyrics that make Kara's "A.I." dreck look like Keats, check these out:

Also, sometimes it's not the song itself but your experience with it that makes it such torture. I was working at my first radio gig when "You Light Up My Life" came out. At first, I kind of liked it. But as it remained superglued to the charts for month after month, and we had to keep playing it every hour, the whole staff grew to hate it with a seething passion normally only reserved for nazis and pedophiles. Just hearing those opening piano notes plinking was enough to make my stomach turn over. The day it finally fell out of the top 40, we had an office party to celebrate. I then went on the air, and the very first caller I got said, "Hi, could you please play, 'You Light Up My Life'?" People probably could have heard the scream I let out from 30 miles away without benefit of a mic and a transmitter.

ROGirl said...

Here's one that popped into my head in all its awfulness: Chuck Berry's "My Ding a Ling." Ick, ick, ick.

Ed D. said...

Bobby Sherman... Easy Come, Easy Go

And let's just throw the rest of his catalog out too.

He's a cop now, by the way.

Has anyone yet mentioned, "Yummy Yummy Yummy, I've Got Love In My Tummy?"

Lawrence Fechtenberger said...

Re: "Seasons in the Sun."

This was the American adaptation of a song by Jacques Brel. I am willing to bet that Brel--who looked like Bogart, and had a voice that showed every one of the cigarettes that eventually killed him--made the song work better than did the fresh-faced, cheerful-sounding Terry Jacks.

Brian Phillips said...

A few additional comments:

The song by the Peels is called, "Juanita Banana", not "Chiquita Banana". Not only is there a lesser-known sequel to this song, there is a far worse cover version by Henri Salvador. See for yourself:

However, a much better song, credited to the same band is "Time Marches On"
Hear for yourself:

The name "Charlie Fox" shows up on both and I suspect that this may be the fellow that co-wrote the "Wonder Woman" with Norman Gimbel; which is another good song.

For JKChicago, Puckett actually had a falling out with the producer/songwriter Jerry Fuller over his material. A better song by the same band is "Run Away" by the Outcasts.

For bad records, I, like other posts, like the ones where folks are really trying their darndest and come up with a bad one.

"Leave My House" by the Modds as a tune is not bad, but the performance and the production and the tempo problems slay it.

You have been warned:

Once again, were it performed better (which the Cramps did) and recorded in something other than a garage and had someone tuned the guitar, Randy Alvey & The Green Fuz - Green Fuzz would have had a fighting chance.

"He Hit Me (And it Felt Like a Kiss)" was inspired by the abusive relationship that Little Eva was in at time of the writing of the song (Eva was the babysitter for Gerry Goffin and Carole King's child). However, it's a great melody with creeeepy lyrics.

For more creeeepy (several e's) lyrics, this isn't a bad song, but the yowl at the beginning of it sounds as if Barney Fife has been kidnapped by the Hell's Angel's.

The title and the picture sleeve make this one:

"I'm a Leather Boy" by Leather Boy

I will agree that Leo Sayer really gets on my nerves, particularly his penchant for falsetto. One live rendition of "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing" ended with a really shrill, "I FEEL!", which may have actually altered my molecular structure.

I thought that I remembered him performing in clown makeup and by golly, yes he did! You gotta hand it to him in this clip:

Kudos to Ben about the David Geddes show. Oy vey!

rms said...

I kind of like some of those songs...

benson said...

In the classic category....any of the teen age death songs of the early to mid 60's (Strange Things Happen, Dead Man's Curve, Tell Laura I love her, etc)

Charlene's I've never been to me is probably the worst song I've ever played, though Rihanna's Unfaithful is right up there.

In the cheesiest category, could we add the song by Bertie Higgins, Key Largo.

And considering how long it spent at #1, thus proving the mass audience has absolutely no taste..."You light up my life".

thomas tucker said...

All Time High (James Bond theme song)
If I Were A Carpenter
Put Your Hands in the Hands
Whatever that David Bowie song was
that included lyrics about
Major Tom
Gimme Dat Ding

Larry said...

You got it right: Muskrat Love is the worst. I don't even care if I misspelled it. Second worse: New York Times. Never heard of it? You're lucky. It's Cat Stevens disco!

Michael Zand said...

Kid Rock's "All Summer Long."

Fucking douchbag rhymes "things" with "things" for Chrissakes.

Tom Quigley said...

Surprised that absolutely no one has mentioned my all times worst song up to this point: "The Night The Lights Went Out in Georgia" by Vicki Lawrence.... Is there hopefully a special place in hell reserved for everyone responsible for that garbage?...

Unknown said...

DARN!!! Someone beat me to "Run Joey Run" CURSES!

Rockgolf said...

A couple of people have mentioned "More Than I Can Say" by either Bobby Vee or Leo Sayer. I can take or leave the song, but only recently realized it's the same melody as The Police's "Every Breath You Take". The only difference is that Sting merges each pair of quarter notes to half-notes, and pairs of half-notes to whole notes.

P Kelly said...

My two nominees:

1) "Psycho" by Elvis Costello - I know it's a cover but can't find who sang it first. From a first-person perspective, Elvis describes killing his ex & her new boyfriend, choking little Johnny's pup, and killing a little girl in a playground. Ick.

2) The beyond fetid "Where Do You Go My Lovely" by Peter Sarstadt. A #1 UK hit that grazed the charts over here. Guy complains about a girl for being insufferably bourgeoisie, 'cause the two of theme grew up poor. Guy thinks he Dylan writing lines like "with your carefully designed topless bathing suit you get an even suntan on your back and on your legs". Ca-aaaaack.

mrswing said...

The title song to The Return of Sabata (starring Lee Van Cleef, inferior sequel to the Spaghetti Western minor classic). It's amazingly bad yet horribly catchy at the same time.

Sinatra doing Mrs. Robinson - is that because of the mismatch of singer and song, or because you don't like the song itself?????
I think the entire Ol' Blue Eyes Is Back-LP is far worse...

Mike Schryver said...

How 'bout "Feelings"? I submit as evidence an episode of "The Gong Show" where it was sung by every act. By the end, the audience was ready to storm the stage. (And it was hilarious!)

Lawrence Fechtenberger said...

Well, if you're going to bring Lee Van Cleef Westerns into it, we must mention CAPTAIN APACHE. That has two songs performed by Van Cleef himself! He merely talks his way through the title song, and that works tolerably well, but over the closing credits he actually sings--and you learn then why he had never been allowed to do this before, and was never allowed to do it again.

If I have aroused your curiosity, you can find both numbers on YouTube.

Tom Berg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andy M said...

Dave Barry did a column on this many years ago, and it was so funny and painful, he turned it into a book. A copy of the column is here at

Good stuff, except for the songs.

Unknown said...

Where is "Funky Worm?"

Eurokitty said...

I LOVED the Unicorn Song in junior high school. I bought the whole Irish Rovers album, and I still have it!

The worst songs ever all come from the Eurovision song contest which no one listens to in North America. And the worst Eurovision song ever was 2006: the Finnish group Lordi singing Hard Rock Hallelujah.

Justine said...

A couple of preliminary words. First, most of the songs on Ken's list I like. Second, I'm a child of the 60s and early 70s so my additions will be from that period. If I go past that, I'll probably list the entire Billboard chart. Boy has the music sucked since MTV was created. And third, I don't think you can really talk about bad songs unless they were bad popular songs. There is a reason why songs never got higher than 40, 60, or were "bubbling under the Hot 100" -- they were bad.

OK with that said, I would put on any song that discussed a dance (Hully Gully, Peppermint Twist, Mashed Potato, Twist, etc.) If you ever want to track periods where music really, really sucked, trace the times where songs about dance dominated the charts (has anyone ever heard of disco?)

Specific songs do not let the most popular names in recording off scott free. The worst Beatles megahit had to be "Hello Goodbye". "You say goodbye when I say hello hello hello." Truly captivating lyrics. "Let's Spend the Night Together" by the Stones. They tried to shock. They only bored. The Supremes' "The Happening" had nothing happening. And Elvis' "Big Hunk of Love" was a big hunk of crap.

Other notable stinkeroos include the two foreign language hits of 1963, Dominique and Sukiyaki (I know I probably misspelled both of those), “In my Room” by the Beach Boys, “To Sir with Love” by Lulu, “Those were the Days” by Mary Hopkin, “Mexico” by James Taylor, “The First time ever I saw Your Face” by Roberta Flack, “The Candy Man” by Sammy Davis Jr, and anything sung by Barbara Steisand (how does this woman have a career?)

Anonymous said...

I was going to stay out of this because it's very subjective and a lot of the songs you list were good in the era in which they were released (I think overwrought would be a fair criticism of a lot of them). However there is such a glaring omission from the list that I simply must add Macarena because of the incalculable damage it did turning what little cultural taste we did have into a mush from which it has never recovered. Worst song ever.

Sandy K. said...

According to her list of "worst" songs, Justine has a screw lose.

The Milner Coupe said...

I agree with Sandy K.

Brian Phillips said...

In defense of Justine, whose taste I will neither defend or vilify, Steve Race, Compere', composer and musician once said, "When you turn thirty-five, something terrible happens to music." Music as a whole doesn't qualitatively get worse, but it's role in your life changes more times than not. You aren't looking for the song that codifies your first love, nor do you get so angry at your folks you storm off to your room and crank up some _____ (fill in band here). Not in your thirties (Ihopeahhopeahhope, to quote Al Pearce).

As for "Seasons in the Sun" by Terry Jacks, aiiee, indeed, but flip the record over to hear, "Put the Bone In", which is just weird.

"Little Arrows" by Leapy Lee
is kind of grating, but the weirdest song on Lee's album (the liner notes describe him as a self-effacing loser) has to be a cover of "Harper Valley P.T.A." Cursory examination of the lyrics should dictate that a man with an English accent should not sing a song that is better served by a woman reminiscing about her no-nonsense Mother defending her.

To Justine,

For a bad dance song, I'd have to go with the Pastel Six's "Cinnamon Cinder". "Do the Clam" by Elvis Presley is nothing special, but at least the backing to the bad lyrics is decent. Two Elvis songs that rank below that are:

2. Yoga is as Yoga Does
Awful lyrics and substandard tune. The choreography saves it, though (I'm kidding).

1. Dominic
Presley disliked this song so much, he requested that it never be released as a recording.

When "The World Record Company", an independent record store in La Jolla, CA opened in the late seventies, they were giving a free 45 to each customer at the grand opening. I got "Rocky's Girl" by David Geddes. To this day I don't consider that a gift.

To Craig: Easily the best/worst "version" of Paul Anka's "(You're) Having My Baby" was on "WKRP in Cincinnati". Before the format change of the station, Johnny Fever played this sung by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir!

benson said...

the post about "every breath you take" reminded me: The song remains the same...

wv: corier: Who was? Haim or Feldman?

Matt said...

To gottacook--I do apologize about saying unwarranted nasty things about Bob Dylan--especially now that I know he came to dislike BITW. I do blame him for dating Edie, wife or no, because she was just so . . . icky. Icky Edie. Not quite as compelling as Icky Vicky, but it will do.

SharoneRosen said...

sorry, didn't read all the 100 other posts, so, I'm probably repeating

The Men in My Little Girl's Life-
Mike Douglas

In the Year 2525- Zager & Evans

Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves- Cher

Rob said...

"Jesus, Take the Wheel" by Carrie Underwood

jbryant said...

benson: awesome link!

Brian: great observation by Steve Race. I also find that as we get older, we're more likely to dismiss ALL current music based on a statistically insignificant sample. We hear a few snippets of current hits while driving or channel-surfing or passing by the kids' room, and it doesn't immediately grab us, so suddenly we're dismissing everything -- except perhaps new work by old favorites.

Another factor, of course, is that as we age we rarely have or make the time to keep up with pop culture except in a superficial way. When you've got more days behind you than ahead of you, priorities change.

Cap'n Bob said...

I forgot to mention "I Feel Good," by James Brown. That opening scream makes me want to scream back.
Justine's wrong. "In My Room" is a great song, as are most of her picks for worst ever. I'll give her "Candy Man," though.

Streisand is a certifiable moron, but her voice is incredible.

Lou Christie's songs were good, and he's the only one I've seen on the PBS oldies shows who looks like he can chew his own food.

I wonder if "Having My Baby" would have made so many lists if the message had been different. Vocally, it's not bad at all.

Dance songs were the foundation of rock, and were around as far back as there was music. But in this country we had The Charleston, The Black Bottom, and The Shimmy from the early 20th century. Do they even have dance songs anymore? If so, there must be one called the Standing Coitus.

benson said...

jbryant: Thanks.

Suffering from Sometimer's.. thinking of songs slowly...

The dumbest lyrics I've maybe ever heard and always makes me laugh come from Mutt Lange. I know Shania's got dibs on wringing his neck, but here's more cause...Heart's All I wanna do is make love to you..What in the hell were the Wilson sisters thinking...

So we found this hotel, it was a place I knew well
We made magic that night. Oh, he did everything right
He brought the woman out of me, so many times, easily
And in the morning when he woke all I left him was a note
I told him I am the flower you are the seed
We walked in the garden we planted a tree
Don't try to find me, please don't you dare
Just live in my memory, you'll always be there

Illzniotic said...

What, no mention yet of the so-antonishingly-bad-they-come-out-the-other-end-of-badness-and-back-unwittingly-into-the-realm-of-genius late 60's band The Shaggs?

Oh, P Kelly -- "Psycho" was written and originally recorded by the great Leon Payne. And I love EC's version of it. It's *supposed* to creep you out when the singer, after wearily complaining about a crying baby and other minor irritants, almost as an afterthought also wearily confesses to a double murder. To what turns out to be his mother's corpse. It's the singer's complete detachment from his actions that makes this song work for me -- I can understand, though, that it could be too disturbing for some tastes.

And "Surfin' Bird" is so gloriouly stoopid, it actually becomes a work of art. I will happily take this one record over, say, the entire collected works of U2.

Nachshon said...

"The Christmas Shoes" by Newsong

Anonymous said...

Cherokee Nation by Paul Revere and the Raiders

Facebones said...

Michael beat me to it. It's just not Christmas for me until I hear the hilariously overwrought tale of the dirty little urchin trying to get his Mom shoes to wear to heaven before she dies. (What, is Tim Gunn patrolling the pearly gates?) Also spawned a horrible book anda horrible movie.

Anonymous said...

"More Than Words" by say you love me, but you need to show it...

"The Maker Said Take Her" -, okay.

"Boom Boom Pow" - Black Eyed Peas
I'm so 2008, you're so two thousand and late"...and that's the best line...

Jason said...

I can't believe nobody's mentioned Johnny Preston's "Running Bear" yet.

Unknown said...

"Hey There" from Pajama Game. Yes, I'm dating myself.

Susan said...

"The Cat Carol"
Performed by Meryn Cadell
Guitars by Ken Myhr
Additional Vocals: Erica Buss, Bruce Evans, Neil Exall, ChloƩ Franklin-Humphries, Jessamyn Kobryn-Hurd, and Tyler Stewart.
Written by Bruce Evans.
Arranged by Meryn Cadell and Bruce Evans

When this came on the radio a few years ago, I had to stop what I was doing - I couldn't believe my ears. I was waiting for a punchline - a joke - something - but no, it played straight, the DJ was moved... OH My Goodness.

Go ahead. Find the website and read the words (I can't dignify them by called them lyrics).

And then, listen to it. Plain song? No, the word song is in that description.... Chant? Suggests something with rhythm. Dirge? Better. Off key, clangy, annoying, dull...

Oh, just listen to it. I guarantee you've never heard anything like it.

Dhppy said...

How about that "Baby, I Love Your Way/Freebird" medley sung by God knows who, that came out in the late 80's? The concept alone was revolting, much less the execution... and it was an execution.

FlipYrWhig said...

Not ONE mention of "Proud to Be an American" by Lee Greenwood?

wv: bleduc, what happened to French aristocrats on the guillotine.

Anonymous said...

My God this is funny. So many of these tunes are almost universally on the list ... badness is just somehow ... instantly recognizable! And I had to go and check YouTube for "Shaddap You Face"!

Anonymous said...

Any and all American Idol singles
Anything by KidzBop
Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go -WHAM
The Hampster Dance Song
99 Red Balloons
Inner Child - Justin Guarini

Rob said...

My nominations --

"Half-breed" or "Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves" by Cher -- Who would have thought Cher would do something this tasteless

"When I Need You" -- Leo Sayer

"When a Man Needs a Woman" -- Michael Bolton -- The way he sings it sounds more like "When a Man needs a laxative."

"Proud to Be an American" -- Mostly because everyone who loves the song embraces the things that make me embarassed to be an American.

Any American Idol song written for the final show -- They're like a 99 cent inspirational card set to the sound of a glockenspiel falling down a freight elevator shaft onto a wounded goat.

Spirit in the Sky -- Norman Greenbaum -- The Left Behind series set to music.

Butterfly Kisses -- If this creepy song finds its way into my daughter's wedding, I'm disowning her on the spot. A song for a kid sung with a bit too much passion that compares a daughter to her "mama". It creeps me out.

Layla (Unplugged) -- One of the greatest rock songs of all time turned into something you'd hear in the lounge of a Red Roof Inn on a Monday night.

The Kids -- Lou Reed -- Okay, not a hit, but if you've ever heard it, the sound of the kids crying and screaming in the background will have you leaping for the off button and a way to unhear what you heard.

Hound Dog -- Elvis (from In Concert) This is from the album released right after Elvis died. I'm not sure he wasn't dead when he recorded this. This came from the same show.

Strider said...

Did anyone mention "You take my breath away" by Rex Smith? I remember my sister used to love this song and my dad and I teased her mercilessly.

Strider said...

How about "The Asshole Song"?

Anonymous said...

It's not called the Streaker. It's The Streak

Anonymous said...

Wait a minute! How come nobody's mentioned Tiptoe through the Tulips?

Anonymous said...

You actually have some good songs listed here. What should be on here are things like "You Plus Me Equals Us: Calculus", "Hairy Ass", "The Thong Song" or "Mambo No. 5". Those were some pretty bad songs.

Nancy Warren said...

Don't forget "I'm a Girl Watcher", a tribute to stalkers. And the ever saccharine "Sugar Shack", whose title is self descriptive.

Anonymous said...

Toss-up of Beatles songs Why Don't We Do It In the Road and Revolution #9

Anonymous said...

Ok, I like some of those songs... I only want to voice my opinion on two comments. The guy who said anything Stephen Lynch... Ok I love stephen lynch. First, he's not a "singer" he's a comedian. Special, Hermaphrodite, and Grandfather (the ones you referenced) are meant to be comical, and offensive, to get laughs. I would even count them as "songs", but that's just me.
Same thing goes for the asshole song. You really think Dennis Leary was trying to make a hit song? If it were the case that comedy songs be included, then I'm surprised no one mentioned anything about Weird Al (Whom I also love). So I think comedy songs should be left out.

Unknown said...

This is wonderful--I am LMAO!!!
I agree with the post about "Shanna" the dog who drown! How dreadful! Don't forget the creepy "Butterfly of Love", and the hideous "Signs, signs, everywhere signs". But the worst of all time is the horrendous "Send in the Clowns" ("don't bother they're herrrrrrre")!

Eric said...

My pick for the worst song of all time has to be "Hey There, Lonely Girl" by Eddie Holman. Most irritating falsetto of all time. He sounds like Scratchy the Cat from "The Simpsons" dying a slow, horrible death.

Close second: "A Horse with No Name" by America, primarily for this brilliant observation: "The heat was hot". Thank you, Captain Obvious.

H.J.Horn said...

These songs are mediocre at best none are truely bad.I can name 5 off the top of my head that are much worse than any of these.#1 Mr.Roboto #2 Purple People Eaters #3 They're Coming to Take Me Away #4 My Ding-a-Ling #5 I Know What Boys Want. #s 2,3&4 make me laugh they're so bad.#s 1&5 make me want to puke.

Anonymous said...

Who are you to tell anyone what the worst songs are. By the way it's Yummy Yummy Yummy by the Ohio Express. There is no group called the 1919 Fruit Gum Company. It's the 1910 Fruit Gum Company. Yes, they were horrible, but I bet they made a lot of money singing double entendre songs. At least more then a hack like you. makes

Anonymous said...

Mr Custer by Charlie drake totally horrendous

Anonymous said...

Dang, some of my favorite songs are there... !!

How about horrible songs that we all loved?? would definitely include Sha Na Na's greatest hits, and of course "They're coming to take you away!!"

OTE admin said...

I'd take "Master Jack," and "I'm Not a Juvenile Deliquent" off the list. Somebody upthread mentioned Gary Puckett. How anybody could leave those awful songs off any bad song list is a mystery. They are horrid.

scottmc said...

I came across this older post while searching another topic. Recently I was compiling a list of the four or five worst songs ever. The two that I couldn't find scanning your list were 'Delta Dawn' by Helen Reddy and 'Sweet Gypsy Rose' by Tony Orlando. (I apologize if either -or both- are there and I just missed them.)

JazzyJake said...

I'm surprised "Teen Angel" didn't appear. "What was it she was looking for on that fateful night? They say they found my high school ring - clutched in her fingers ti-i-ight." Absolute dreck.

D.J. Ralphie said...

May this thread be preserved forever. This, my friends, is important anthropological material.

No mention yet of "Stay Awhile" by The Bells, which appears to be a treacly and tender account of a sexual assault of some kind, with a little Stockholm Syndrome thrown in for good measure. Resplendent in its Aznavourian creepiness, one need only to hear a few bars before desperately needing a shower. Ewwww.

Jinx said...

'One Tin Soldier' by Coven the "worst of all time"??? Are you kidding me!? That song is awesome.

Other than that I agree with everything else.

Kevin said...

More moronic hipsterism *yawns*.

"Laurie" is an excellent song, by the way, as are many others here. It's all a matter of taste, of course (what a concept). At any rate, perhaps someone might start a blog subject entitled "the most brainless, yet supercilious blog posts of all-time [sic]"? If so, then I'll be happy to nominate this one.

JustAGuest said...

The Dutch version of 'Barbie Girl'. I think it may be purposely horrible. If so, they succeeded.

Anonymous said...

If Oliver's Good Morning Starshine is on the list, why isn't the really execrable "Jean"?

Francis DiMenno said...

Here are my nominees, more-or-less in order of toxic loathsomeness.

















































I'm Henry VIII I Am
They're Coming to Take Me Away (Ha Ha).
Gimmie Dat Ding
My Belle Amie
Get Down Tonight
You're the One that I Want.

Anonymous said...

Ariel - Dean Friedman. This song was a contentious winner of a worst songs marathon.

Unknown said...

Anything by the Little River Band. And Eye of the Tiger. Just to name a few of hundreds. The ones mentioned were largely perfect, although I cannot fathom how I Put A Spell on You was put on there.

John Libynski said...

Ken... At least get the correct name and artists before you post the songs (in your opinion) that are the worst. Otherwise your list is moot. John Libynski

StevoinH-Town said...

"She's Like the Wind" Patrick Swayze.

"Chantilly Lace", "Monster Mash"


"I THINK I'M GONNA STAY WITH YOU AWHILE" (How he makes me quiver...)

Unknown said...

"She's Like the Wind" Patrick Swayze.

"Chantilly Lace", "Monster Mash"


"I THINK I'M GONNA STAY WITH YOU AWHILE" (How he makes me quiver...) The Bells.

Unknown said...

"She's Like the Wind" Patrick Swayze.

"Chantilly Lace", "Monster Mash"


"I THINK I'M GONNA STAY WITH YOU AWHILE" (How he makes me quiver...) The Bells

slimedog said...

As an old punk rocker who has no liking of hardly any progressive rock I absolutely love this song. I find it a very moving tune about regret. Btw there is MacCarthers Park where the writer of the song lived by it. And there were birthday parties when some of the cake was left and the rain would wash it away.