Pop Culture Interlude: Least Grammatical Lyrics?

I was thinking of trying to post something really erudite about science today, but a series of minor catastrophes has completely derailed that plan. Now, I'm just hoping to get through my afternoon lab without punching anybody.

So, in place of the science stuff, here's a pop music topic. While on the way to pick up SteelyKid from day care the other day, I heard "Live and Let Die" on the radio, which famously includes the phrase:

"this ever-changing world in which we live in"

A few hours later, the cable tv music channel brought up "Small Town" by John Mellencamp (I don't recall whether there was a "Cougar" in his name at that point or not), which includes the line:

"I cannot forget from where it is that I come from"

So, the question is: What is the most stupidly ungrammatical song lyric ever? One of these, or some other song?

More like this

A couple of weeks ago, when I bought the new Hold Steady album, I also picked up Sam's Town by the Killers. I bought it in spite of some pretty harsh reviews, but in the end, I think that The Onion's AV Club got it right: The Killers have created a batch of easily digestible pop songs that would be…
Last week, most of the attention of the media, Old and New, revolved around the question if it is McCain supporters or Obama supporters who are more likely to think that Britney Spears is teh hawt (dunno what the answer is, but I recall seeing some statistics about the overwhelming lead by the Red…
This is a much more idiosyncratic sampling than usual, for the simple reason that I bought very little music this year-- probably the least since I started buying my own records. This was a combination of pre-SteelyKid austerity measures (do you know what day care costs these days?), post-SteelyKid…
As I've mentioned previously, the study site I worked in was beyond the Peace Corps Line. It was beyond the Blender Line. And it was beyond the Beer Line. Out here in this arguably very remote area, we were never short of remoteness. Every year the study site become more and more remote, as…

"It's true; we make a better day, just you and me" - We Are The World.

A big enough blunder to make Doonesbury, in "Check Your Egos at the Door".

By Joe Shelby (not verified) on 29 Jan 2009 #permalink

"Bobbie Sue took the money and run" -- Steve Miller Band, "Take the money and run"

"But the sun's been quite kind while I wrote this song
It's for people like you that keep it turned on"
-Your Song by Elton John (Bernie Taupin I suppose)

America (via Neil Young) ``Horse With No Name'':

In the desert, you can remember your name
'Cause there ain't no one for to give you no pain.

That last line is ridiculous.

You might be able to blame Neil for the singer, but not for the song.

By Sven DiMilo (not verified) on 29 Jan 2009 #permalink

"He's a complicated man But no one understands him but his woman" -Shaft

Not an original thought of mine, Penn Jillette used to rant about this (and "Live and Let Die") on his radio show.

I prefer to eviscerate songs with bad science. Chris De Burgh's "A Spaceman Came Traveling" is a listenable little piece of fantasy, but only after the second line of the song has been endured:

A spaceman came traveling in his ship from afar
'Twas light years of time since his mission did start


By Wilson Fowlie (not verified) on 29 Jan 2009 #permalink

"I will buy you a new car, perfect, shiny and new." --Everclear, in "I Will Buy You a New Life"

By Dan Miller (not verified) on 29 Jan 2009 #permalink

Steve Miller's Joker: "I speak of the pompatous of love"

Kansas: "How long 'til the point of know return?"

Just about any Yes song.

Wow, cognitive dissonance ftw. I always heard that line from Live and Let Die as "this ever-changing world in which we're livin'."

Speaking as someone who has a stick up his butt about the subjunctive mood, this one always drives me up the wall: "I wish I was a little bit taller, I wish I was a baller..." etc.

"Baby I'm a want you/Baby I'm a need you"--David Gates/Bread, "Baby I'm A Want You". As Dave Barry put it in his bad song book: "Baby I'm a too lazy to write lines that scan, so I'm a add an extra 'a' every time I'm a need an extra syllable."

Asad's entry (#2) gets a dishonorable mention, as that song also includes the line "You know he knows exactly what the facts is." Which Steve tried to rhyme with Texas, justice, and taxes.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 29 Jan 2009 #permalink

Prince, in When Doves Cry, "Dig if you will a picture, Of you and I engaged in a kiss."

"I believe the grass is no more greener on the other side" â Savage Garden, Affirmation.
On the other hand, the rest of the lyrics in that song are just terrible.
As far as the worst semantics of a song, I nominate Ironic by Alanis Morrisette.

How can you top the pomatous of love?

Michael Stipe literally making NOISES that sound like lyrics.

"I don't need no doctor...."

Yappa wrote:

"Lay lady lay
Lay across my big brass bed"
drives me nuts! Dylan has encouraged millions to misuse "lie".

Hey, maybe "lady" is his hen.

Think about it.

I've read perhaps 20 books about the Beatles, and written a number of things. However, a Paul McCartney expert insists to me that the lyric in question, which I always heard the same was as you, and to which I nearly confronted him near a home of his in Pasadena, is:

"this ever-changing world in which we're livin'"

Well, maybe...

Yappa #15:
Maybe it's an imperative. Dylan's voyeuristic side coming through...
Jonathan #17:
In that case...
"this ever-changing world in which we live in" â Guns N' Roses, Live And Let Die

Hound Dog
You ain't nothin' but a hound dog
They said you was high class

(written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, popularized by Elvis)

But then, poetic license covers a lot. Lyrics aren't prose.

Surely you can't go past rap.
Can you handle me the way I are? -- Timbaland

By Pseudonym (not verified) on 01 Feb 2009 #permalink