It’s time for my Friday Fun post, in which I offer nothing more than perhaps an opportunity for some amusement.
All right, it’s Friday and time to prepare for the weekend with a little fun. This week, I offer you the ‘Awful Lyrics’ game. The goal is to submit lines from songs that you believe constitute some truly awful lyrics. There are many criteria you may use for this, and I look forward to reading your offerings.
I would like to begin by paying homage to and making fun of Toto’s megahit, “Africa.” While I am in many ways a child of the 80s when it comes to music, and I love “Africa” and will turn it up if it comes on the radio in my car, I agree, nevertheless, with one of my best friends who always cites the song as an example of terrible lyrics.
I will quote an excerpt from the second verse to illustrate just a few of the problems.
The wild dogs cry out in the night
As they grow restless longing for some solitary company,
I know that I must do what’s right
Sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti.
Now, there’s a lot to object to here, like the high nonsense quotient in the song – ie, the listener’s deepening suspicion in general that these words don’t really mean anything. There are also specific questions like what exactly ‘solitary company’ would be, since the two things seem mutually exclusive.
However, the primary objection here, I think, is the last line in the excerpt, and I’m not talking about the ridiculous pomposity of the image. I’m talking about the impossibly awful meter of the line. If you remember the things you learned about meter when you studied poetry in school, you will understand what I’m talking about. Most melodies follow a specific, regular, consistent meter, and lyrics that ‘fit’ that meter are generally desirable. Of course, you can add a syllable here or there and get away with it, but this line is a metric train wreck of colossal proportions. If you don’t believe it, read the lyric out loud. Even better, count the syllables of each line & compare.
What about you? Have a favorite line or verse or image to offer as an awful lyric? Submit it in the comments.