Friday, May 6, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday: One-Line Wonders Edition

Thank you to Jen for hosting!

Since I apparently can't write a Quick Takes post without referencing Rebecca Black's "Friday," I'd like to devote this week's musings to addressing the assertion that it is the worst song ever.  True, with parts like "gotta make my mind up, which seat can I take?" and "yesterday was Thursday, today it is Friday," it's hardly a lyrical masterpiece.  But frankly, I've heard a lot of pop songs on the radio that contain lyrics of similar, if not lesser, quality, and I'd like to take a look at them.  I don't necessarily dislike these songs, nor do I think any of them is the "worst song ever," nor do I think they are ultimately on (or below) par with "Friday," since I'm not examining their musicality.  I just think they have some pretty silly lyrics.  (Note: the title of this post is erroneous, as not all of these lyrics are just strictly "one line," but I liked the ring of it, so it stands uncorrected!)

1. "So that's right, dude, meet me at the bleachers, no principals, no student teachers."
This line, from Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl," has always cracked me up.  I guess that it makes sense within the cheerleader-esque context of the song, but...yeah.  Peak chart position: #1 for four weeks (#2 song overall in 2005).

2. "Lend me some sugar, I am your neighbor!"
This gem's from Outkast's "Hey Ya," a song that drove me crazy when I heard it ad nauseum my first year of college, but now amuses me as (1) it makes me reminisce about my college days and (2) singer Andre 3000 had a guest role on a few episodes of The Shield, our favorite TV drama.  Peak chart position: #1 for nine weeks in late 2003-early 2004.

3. "Don't know what a slide rule is for."
Okay, I admit, I didn't hear this on contemporary pop radio, but I'll bet it gets some play on oldies stations.  This lyric is from Sam Cooke's "Wonderful World."  It has been re-recorded a number of times by various artists (I think I first heard the Herman's Hermits version).  I can't help but love it, especially as the years pass and I forget more and more of what I learned in school.  And although I know what a slide rule is for, I certainly don't know how to use one and never did.  So I guess that scores me a point for youthfulness (quickly revoked when it comes to light that it takes me 10 minutes to send a text message).  Peak chart position: #12 in 1960; #4 in 1965 (Herman's Hermits version).

4. "Uno, dos, tres, catorce!"
This line is from the beginning of U2's "Vertigo."  I don't get it: one, two, three, fourteen?  Anyhoo.  Peak chart position: #31 in 2004, #1 in the UK.  Won a bunch of Grammys.

5. "If I surround myself with positive things, I'll gain prosperity."
I always felt like this lyric, featured in Destiny's Child's "Survivor," was really odd, and not just because the sentiment makes my eyes roll.  In the middle of a independent-woman pump-up jam, we have...a positive affirmation statement?  It just comes off weird to me.  And what exactly are "positive things"?  How do they guarantee prosperity?  All right, I'd better stop, lest I get too negative and disobey my favorite lyric from this one: "You know I'm not gonna diss you on the Internet, 'cuz my mama taught me better than that."  Peak chart position: #2 in 2001.

6. "You know how long I've been on ya?...Since OJ had Isotoners."
Oh, Kanye.  Ima let you finish, but this song has some of the silliest lyrics of all time...OF ALL TIME!  Actually, referencing evidence found in a double-homicide doesn't really qualify as silly so much as it does disgustingly untasteful.  I don't think that the OJ Simpson murder case will ever be funny.  Maybe it's just me, but I doubt it.  Oh, and this line is from "Stronger," by the way, which had a peak chart position of #1 in 2007.

7. "I can blow a bubble with my bum bum bum."
I'm cheating here, since Tom Green's "Lonely Swedish (The Bum Bum Song)" is supposed to be completely ridiculous.  But I wanted to end on a high note. :) I don't think it made the charts, but it did hit #1 on MTV's "Total Request Live" in 1999.

Happy Friday!!


  1. Wow - you don't want to know how many 'youth' points you just scored with me. I don't think I have heard most of those songs. I recognize three of them. And even the three I recognize I couldn't so much as hum the lines you've chosen.

    I would like to see a future post on the top [10, 7, whatever ;)] Sesame street songs (celebrity guest star or solely Muppet).

  2. You are awesome. Also, I agree that the OJ Simpson murder case will never be funny. But Kanye is pretty tasteless over all...please note all of the other words to that song!

    PS. I gave you a shout-out on my blog today. :)

    Happy Mother's Day!

  3. Don't forget Jack Johnson - "Her eyes are as big as her bubbly toes." Bubbly toes?!? That's disgusting!

  4. OJ had the Isatoner commercial gig back in the 80's. Maybe Kanye was referring to that rather than the double murder? Maybe not?

  5. Lindsy, I LOVE the Sesame Street song idea!! Haha, "youth" points...maybe more like "listens to the radio too much" points.

    Sarah, I agree, Kanye is horribly tasteless. Ugh. Thank you so much for the shout-out! :D

    Maren, I have never heard that song! What in the world are bubbly toes? That reminds me of John Mayer's "bubblegum tongue."

    Betty, I didn't know OJ had an Isotoner gig! Knowing how Kanye is, though...I suspect he was referring to the double murder.

  6. Looking for the song on YouTube, I discovered that it was covered on "Glee" not so long ago! Bubbly toes seem to be having something of a revival!?

    Anyway, here is a link to the song.

    Funny how I used to hate this song when it was popular, but watching the video of it has suddenly made me nostalgic. Weird.

  7. How about Jesse's Girl? "I wanna tell her that I love her but the point is probably moot."

    Happy Mother's Day, by the way!