The Cultural Cringe: Apricot Time: Bad Lyrics From Across The Board

I’m not sure why I signed myself up to review Taio Cruz’ third album. Only a fortnight earlier, I had concocted a formidable stretch of satire, a lengthy piece devised to denounce its hit-single Hangover. I suppose, deep down, I wanted to believe Cruz had better in store for me. I needed to believe it. I held tight to the idea that Cruz’ album tracks might withhold some hope, that perhaps contemporary pop wasn’t quite as excruciating as I had imagined – at least beyond the songs naked to the public ear.

I know now that I was wrong. So, so wrong. I had my fingers – and indeed my ears – burnt. But before I get carried away, I should clarify that it’s not my intention to eviscerate Taio Cruz at length all over again. I’ve been there, done that and – citing the interests of you, the reader – I really ought to move on. I will, however, post my favourite line born from Cruz’ imagination as part of this, my latest post: welcome to my all-too-brief list of the best worst lyrics known to music.

Taio Cruz – Tattoo

1) “Hell yeah, I’m serious. I’m just trying to fly you to Nigeria.”

Poor Taio – that’s all he wants to accomplish. I feel his pain. Why Nigeria? Well, his father comes from Nigeria, apparently. Is he inviting one of his bitches back to meet the parents? Gosh, Taio, take it slow.

Swoop – Apple Eyes

1) “If you’ve got a castle, you know I’ve got the moat.”

Swoop’s most popular single delivers a spate of cringe-worthy gems, the obscure line above effectively sign-posting an array of side-splitting sentiments. When I hear it, I tend to imagine a transaction taking place. “I’ll be round with the moat this afternoon, if you’re about and have the castle on you. If not, where would you like me to set it down?”

Its meaning is kind of obvious, though. A moat is typically installed in the defense of a castle. If pop music has taught us anything, though, it’s that there’s probably a multitude of better, moat-free ways of conveying love and support through song.

2) “If you need a new kind of rhythm, I’ve got a lemon bass that plays in apricot time.”

As the song title suggests, Apple Eyes concerns itself with fruit. Cue, of course, fruit-related references aplenty with clumsy metaphors in equal measure. What is a lemon bass, anyway? A bass guitar made from lemon? In the shape of a lemon? Are the hot licks, in fact, sour in any way? Clearly, Swoop has shied away from the big issues and I, for one, don’t appreciate it. We need answers.

As for ‘apricot time’, what’s to be made of that, exactly? It’s clear the song’s not referring to 4/4 or any known time signature. Maybe it refers to the time in which it takes an apricot to ripen. That would be an incredibly slow song – played with a lemon bass, no less.

S Club 7 – S Club Party

1) “To sum it up, Daddy-O: we’re going to kick your butts to Butt-kicking-ville.”

Okay, fine: this line isn’t actually part of the song. It’s part of the video clip that accompanies the song. Anyway, here’s what grinds my goat: if you were to ever find yourself on the receiving end of a sound butt-kicking, you’d be in Butt-kicking-ville already, presumably. Such is their trade. Contrary to S Club’s suggestions, no travel would be necessary. If you were going to be anywhere, that’s where you’d be.

Meanwhile, ‘Daddy-O’ is just about the least threatening quip I can imagine. It surely ranks up there with buster, bucko and scallywag in the most ineffective jibes conceivable.

2) “Throw your hands in the air, like you just don’t care. There’s a party over here, there’s a party over there.”

So now there’s at least two more parties in addition to the initial party promoted over the course of the song. But if we’ve learned anything at all, it’s that there ain’t no party like an S Club party. It’s nice to have options, but all these invitations just muddy the waters. What do you want from us, S Club? Make up your damn minds.

Jedward – Wow Oh Wow

1) “See, I got a feeling, she got a feeling.”

Jedward are proud supporters of the Irish Dental Association. Don’t believe me? Here, they give the IDA a much-needed plug, citing their recent dental work. Why not listen to the song yourself to see what I’m getting at?

Shakira – Whenever, Wherever

1) “Lucky that my breasts are small and humble, so you don’t confuse them with mountains.”

I think we can all breathe a sigh of relief with Shakira on this one.

Nicki Minaj – Stupid Hoe

1) “Yes, my name is Roman, last name is Zolanski, but no relation to Roman Polanski.”

Before I begin dissecting this one, I should point out that my mum burst into the room mid-song, inquiring angrily, “What are these noises I can hear?” I had to explain I was listening to music. Yes, that’s right: I had to explain I was listening to music. That should tell you all you need to know about this song.

Anyway, according to Wiki, Minaj created an alter-ego – a “twin sister” – named Roman Zolanski. Apparently he is born out of rage and, when angry, Nicki transforms into Roman. Fine, whatever floats your boat. My concern is how often this Roman fellow might crop up in-song and how exactly Minaj hopes to rhyme Zolanski with anything else but Polanski. That’s going to be interesting. Thus, a tip for aspiring oddballs of the contemporary pop world: choose an alter-ego with rhyming potential.

2) “Hmm… *thinks* ”

Seriously? Yes, this is an actual line in the song. Has contemporary pop degenerated to such an extent that we have to endure this rubbish? *thinks*

Eminem – Ass Like That

1) “The way you shake it, I can’t believe it – I ain’t never seen an ass like that. The way you move it, you make my pee-pee go: d-doing, doing, doing.”

Eminem should get that checked out. They’re not meant to make any noise, as far as I’m aware. This pretty much destroyed any interest I had left in Eminem’s music. You could argue he was always a little gimmicky, but this was off-the-charts juvenile.

Madonna feat. Justin Timberlake – 4 Minutes

1) “We’ve only got four minutes to save the world.”

The song goes for 4:03. That just ruins the whole thing for me.

Hilary Duff – So Yesterday

1) “If the light is off then it isn’t on.”

Ah, the bridge. It tends to cop the worst lot in lyrics. This song offers no exception to the rule. How did Duff escape Rebecca-Black-style parody, when these lyrics are basically in the same ballpark?

Delta Goodrem – Brave Face

1) “You take my overanalyse away.”

It’s hard to disagree with our Delta here. Perhaps if she had have been paying more attention, she would never have crafted such an awkward atrocity. Not only does it sound downright awful, it crops up more than once too. Would the use of ‘over-analysis’ compromise the structural integrity of the song? Would it really be as bad as ‘You take my overanalyse away’? Sheesh. This has bastardised Babel Fish translation written all over it, if you ask me.

B*Witched – C’est La Vie

1) “I got a house with windows and doors – I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.”

I don’t know how desperate things are in Ireland, but a house with windows and doors is pretty commonplace round these parts. To be in their possession is far from impressive and nobody would ever dream of using such a fact as any kind of bargaining chip… certainly not to get into anyone’s pants, either. What? That’s what the song’s about, surely. Go back and listen to it. You know you want to.


Hope you enjoyed this little folly. I do intend to add to the list in later posts. If you would like to suggest some other examples for me to cover, tweet me at @Dancersizer. ‘Til next I blog!

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