Thursday, July 1, 2010

A Rhyme, A Rhyme, My Kingdom for a Rhyme

I love music and over the past 30 years have expanded my interests to many different styles, but when I was in middle school I listened to only hard rock: Aerosmith, Kiss, Kansas, Foghat, REO Speedwagon, April Wine, AC DC, Ted Nugent, etc. The other day while listening to the radio, I was thinking that no matter how much I still revel in this music you can’t argue they wrote some horrid lyrics.

The song I heard on 98.5 The Peak was Kiss’s highly suggestive “Lick It Up”. Here are the lyrics:

Don't wanna wait 'til you know me better
Let's just be glad for the time together
Life's such a treat and it's time you taste it
There ain't a reason on earth to waste it
It ain't a crime to be good to yourself
Chorus: Lick it up, lick it up, oooh, (it's only right now)
Lick it up, lick it up, ooh yeah
Lick it up, lick it up, oooh, (come on, come on)
Lick it up, lick it up
Don't need to wait for an invitation
You gotta live like you're on vacation
There's something sweet you can't buy with money
lick it up, lick it up It's all you need, so believe me honey
It ain't a crime to be good to yourself
Come on - it's only right now (it's only right now)
Ooh yeah (ooh yeah) ooh yeah (ooh yeah), yeah yeah

chorus repeats

This is God-awful. Basically they came up with a sexual innuendo for a title and then rhymed a few words to create a song. There are 36 words in the chorus and 66% of them are “Lick it Up” and another 3 of them are “ooh”. The bridge is even better: 20 words, 4 of which are “ooh” and 6 are “yeah”. Well done boys. I’m sure the 8 minutes you spent writing this was very profitable.

Ted Nugent is a master of just abysmal lyrics. I could pick any of 2 dozen songs to mock but the one I chose is in honor of my sister. I listened to a lot of Steady Teddy growing up and if I had my stereo turned up loud, my sister was forced to listen as well against her will. There was one song she could never get her head around: “My Love is Like a Tire Iron”:

Oh, baby
it’s a catastrophe what you do to me
But that’s all right honey
I find it rather funny
sympathy is what you want from me
But I got news
You’re gonna lose
My love is like a tire iron
My love is like a tire iron
My love is like a tire iron
and I like it stiff as steel

Look at me
What do you see
A man on the run
A loaded gun
check me out
what I’m all about
I got some news
you don’t want to lose


This is gibberish. There is no point to anything being sung here: no context, no story, nothing but rhyming words. And then he sings the chorus which has nothing to do with the rest of the song nor does it ever explain how the hell love can be like a tire iron. This is one of Ted’s most pointless songs.

Tygers of Pan Tang are a late 70s, early 80s band from England named for something out of fantasy novel. They never made it big but my friend Rob and I always liked them a lot. They played great, simple guitar riffs and sang some of the dumbest lyrics you’ll ever hear, such as these from “Money”.

Walk a mile in my shoes
You won't know what hit you
Wasn't born with a silver spoon
Take no ride on a fat man's tomb
Babe I need the money too
Hey, come over here you
Now I've got money for you
Do you believe that's true?
Now I've got money in the bank
Ah well, that's a prank
And I've got money for two
Do you believe that's true?

Where can I even start? It’s hard to analyze something this bad. This is the epitome of merely rhyming words without trying to have any meaning. If I said Kiss spent 8 minutes on their song, the Tygers couldn’t have used more than 2 to write this mess of unrelated nouns and verbs.

Now that I’m done trashing these songs I will reiterate that I also like all of them. But it’s obviously not for the lyrics. I’m a sucker for a cool guitar riff and at least one finger-dancing solo. While I’m playing my air guitar with the song I’m trying to sing along but usually end up laughing and that’s my challenge to you. Try listening to the lyrics of a Kiss or Ted Nugent song and not guffawing, chortling or at least tittering. That’s a double dog dare.

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