The worst lyrics ever have to be “We Are The World.” As far as I remember, every line in the song is a lie. Maybe there are a couple of mere bland statements, it’s been a while and it can never be too long, but anyway it’s close. I won’t inflict it on you. All I remember at this late date is “We are the world” – no you’re not, you’re a collection of pop stars. “We are the children” – I don’t hear any kiddies in there, maybe you could have flown some in from Africa. To meet your wonderful selves, the ones who “make a brighter day.” Somehow it didn’t work out that way.
I don’t care about lyrics because wopbopalubopawopbamboom is good lyrics. But when you hear bad lyrics blaring that’s another story. Lucky for me I can’t understand a lot of them. Usually I don’t want to know what the singer is saying. I’m fine with I love you so never let you go. Please come back. Come on come on let’s do the go somewhere and fuck.
It’s not that I don’t like good lyrics, it’s that if they try to be good they must actually be good. I love the words to Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again, and I would play it for you, except that the only Dylan version I can find is again too painful to dump on you, you a busy guy/gal and all. But ya know, I’ll post it to illustrate how a great lyric can be destroyed by the vocals. The wedding band behind him doesn’t help either:
Sorry. That is atrocious, from the big star Bob, who won’t allow his songs on youtube because I guess he doesn’t have enough money. Always fighting for justice that Bob.
There are some great picture-painting lyrics. Some go back a long way, like to 1936. Bryan Ferry at his best:
There, that makes up for Dylan. Sublime kitsch. Ferry covered “A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall” on the same album, a delicious juxtaposition with “It’s My Party” and of course “Sympathy for the Devil.”
Ferry is a great lyricist. This is a song in danger if falling down the memory hole it seems to me, one of Roxy’s best: