With many apologies to my sister Amy, I have got to say that the Miley Cyrus song Party in the USA has to be the absolute worst song I have heard in a long time. I have listened to it a number of times, mostly because I have a 10-year-old daughter, but I have also listened to it on my own when it has come across my radio dial. I have tried to like it, I really have, but the distorted vocals just keep reminding me of the Johnny Bravo episode of The Brady Bunch where Greg was hired because he fit the suit. Other than the fact that is seems to put a smile on Molly’s face when she sings along, I can’t really find any other redeeming value to this song. It is just plain irritating. Having three kids, I have been subjected to a lot of bad music over the years, and for the most part I just grit my teeth and let them listen. Stephanie was a big Britney fan, and at one time I could recite almost all the words to Oops, I Did it Again in my sleep, and I have had to watch the video to Lucky more times than I really care to remember. Some of the music I didn’t mind so much, like when Alex got the Jonas Brother’s CD and had me play it every time he was in the car. I also don’t mind Taylor Swift, but that song of hers about Romeo and Juliet get stuck in the brain for hours as soon as I hear it. The other song that often gets stuck in my head is the LeAnn Rimes song from Coyote Ugly, but I think in that case it is not so much the song, but the movie I find irritating. It is one of Stephanie’s favorite still, and I have a feeling Maureen would be a tad bit embarrassed to admit she likes it too.
So, I wanted to try and give Miley the benefit of the doubt, and I started a list in my head of the most irritating songs I could think of. Please do not try this at home. I am a trained, self-proclaimed specialist in this field. You will only hurt yourself if you try. Instead, let me do the work for you. If you choose to keep reading, I have included for you my list of the Top 10 most irritating songs to me. There are no magic criteria here, it is just my opinion. I have restricted my choices based on the effect the song has had on my life personally, and also on the songs place in American Pop Culture. Although there is any number of songs by Yoko Ono that would literally tear my spine out, the chances of me having to listen to them, accidentally or otherwise, are very slim. For that reason they are not included. Mostly the list will include songs that you know so be warned. There is a good chance that you will be humming one of these tunes later today or tomorrow. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
So here we go, starting with number 10, let the countdown begin:
#10 Friends in Low Place – Garth Brooks
This one makes the number 10 spot not so much for the original song, but for the sheer number of times I have been subjected to drunken karaoke versions of the song. For some reason, this is also a popular song at wedding receptions. The playing of the song is usually instigated by the Best Man or one of the other grooms men, as they circle around the groom to bellow out the chorus at him. Most of the other lyrics seem to be muddled or forgotten, as this usually takes place towards the end of the night when the chance of sobriety is completely lost. Also completely lost is the fact that the song is inappropriate for a wedding. Listen to the lyrics guys. They are dumping on the bride. If you find yourself at a wedding and this song is suggested, just say no. That is unless your intent is to break up the marriage before it even starts. The bride will be pissed.
#9 – The Sweet Escape – Gwen Stefani w/Akon
Gwen can go ahead and send her thank you note directly to Akon for landing her on this list. Although she did have a runner-up song of her own that could have easily made this list on its own merit with Hollaback Girl, it was Akon’s unrelenting “Woo Hoo” throughout this song that won it the number nine position. Another favorite of my daughter Molly, it takes a quick hand and an even quicker ear to get it off the radio before she notices it. But since the song starts right out with that damn “Woo Hoo,” it is an almost impossible task. Alex will often try and help me out by talking very loudly directly at Molly when he hears the song begin to give me a chance to change the station, but as Molly gets older she has become wise to this ploy. Woo Hoo.
#8 – Who Let the Dogs Out – Baha Men
For many people, this song would probably rate higher on the list, but two factors keep it relatively low on my list. First, this song truly was just a fad song. The highest it climbed on the Billboard Pop chart was only #40, and second it faded almost as fast as it arrived. The only reason I have included it at all is because of its rampant use at sporting events. The Baltimore Raven most notable used the song on their way to winning the Super Bowl in 2000, and while with the Seattle Mariners, Alex Rodriguez used the song as his walk up music. Most people don’t even remember that there was an actual song beyond the catch phrase, and I doubt that anyone has heard or played the entire song in a very long time. The song has basically become a joke, but is still often used in television and film for a quick laugh, most recently in the hit film The Hangover. I believe you would have a very hard time finding anyone who would actually admit to liking the song, but the fact that the basic tag line has survived and is so recognizable, I feel it has earned it’s spot here on my list.
#7 – Barbie Girl – Aqua
I would never have thought it possible to get two equally annoying yet different voices on one record until I heard this song. And I heard it a lot. It only reached #7 on the American charts, but it was a number one hit all over the world. It was also a hit with my oldest daughter and can unfortunately still be heard on the radio today. The first time I heard the song myself, I actually thought it was some kind of radio joke. But Mattel didn’t think it was a joke and the company filed a lawsuit claiming copyright infringement. But the courts ruled that the song was protected under the First Amendment and that Barbie’s existence in the public domain left her open to parody. So it was a joke, right? Without the lawsuit, this song probably would not have gotten the airplay it did, and possibly would not have made it on the list. It can be argued that Barbie Girl is a classic piece of Bubble Gum Pop, but for me the song is as irritating as a mosquito bite, so it will remain on my list.
#6 – Poker Face – Lady Gaga
I am pretty sure I just heard a collective gasp from all the Lady Gaga fans out there, but trust me on this one; ten years from now this song is Barbie Girl. It is the only current song that appears on my list, and that might be the main reason it is here. I still hear the song way too much. And it was annoying from the very first time I heard it. I will admit that I do enjoy Lady Gaga’s other hit song Just Dance, but it lacks that same mind numbing repetitiveness that Poker Face subjects us with. Only time will tell for sure if this song will live up to its irritating legacy, but for now it is not going to disappear from my list.
#5 – The Chicken Dance – Werner Thomas
I credit Werner Thomas with creating this up-tempo polka tune because that seems to be the only thing that most people seem to agree upon about this song. The tune itself is more than 50 years old, but the story and actual title of the piece varies from source to source. It is the only instrumental tune on the list (don’t give me that crap about lyrics, I have yet to hear a recorded version with lyrics) and as far as I can tell the tune has never appeared on any music charts here in the United States. But the fact that everyone reading this can hum the tune and knows when to flap their arms, shake their butts, and make little chirping beak faces with their hands, proves that the song meets the criteria I set of American Pop Culture, so it lands right here at number five. My inclusion of The Chicken Dance is bound to bring distain form some readers, probably even more so than my inclusion of Lady Gaga. But damn it, it’s my list. It stays!
#4 – Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm – Crash Test Dummies
Dumb title, dumb song, dumb band. The Billy Bob Thornton, Sling Blade, Karl Childers asinine mumbling chorus makes this song bad enough, but have you ever really tried to listen to the lyrics? The song just makes no sense. There’s a boy whose hair turns from black to white because of a car accident and a girl with birthmarks all over her body. What the hell is this song about? I can’t quite explain it. Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm. It very easily could have been number one.
#3 – Tubthumper – Chumbawumba
This song makes the number three spot because just like a cold sore on a prom queen, it just keeps popping up. I have to admit, when I first came up with the idea of this list I couldn’t even remember the name of the song, but I knew it had to be included. What I can never forget is the mish-mosh of nonsense lyrics. “I get knocked down, but I get up again, no you’re never gonna keep me down.” Please, for God’s sake. Stay Down! Even the name of the band is irritating. I know very little about this band, and to be honest I don’t want to know anything about them. I get the general idea that the song is about the working man and that no matter what “the man” does to him he’s just going to keep coming. It is basically flipping a giant middle finger at the establishment, but Johnny Paycheck did it much better with Take This Job and Shove It and it didn’t make me want to stab my eardrums with knitting needles.
#2 – Macarena – Los Del Rio
The only thing that kept this song from being number one was the fact that I have actually not had to listen to it in quite some time. But taking into account its place in American Pop Culture, this song takes the cake. This song spent 14 weeks at number one on the Billboard charts, tied for second as the most weeks ever. The song still retains the number five position on Billboard’s All Time Top 100. And who can forget the robotic Al Gore attempt at the dance during the 1996 Democratic National Convention. Unlike the equally irritating Who Let the Dogs Out, this song was not a fad, and it still enjoys airplay at wedding receptions and bar-mitzvahs all across the country. Grandmothers and young children everywhere are still willing to jump out onto the dance floor to give this one a try. I will be waiting it out at the bar. Better make it a double.
#1 – Mambo # 5 – Lou Bega
Another hot hit with the wedding reception crowd, this one I still hear all the time. Besides the fact that I just heard this song again about a week ago, the main reason this makes the number one spot is that I find the artist just as irritating as the song. Lou Bega is not Hispanic. He is not even Spanish. He’s German. Ok, so his mother was from Sicily and his father was Ugandan, which did give him a somewhat exotic look, but he is about as Latino as me. His real name is David Lubega, see how he cleverly just dropped the whole David thing, and he was born raised and still lives in Germany. The song was “sampled” in its entirety for a 1949 song of the same name, and all Mr. Lubega did was provide his own lyrics. And aren’t we all happy he did. The main portion of the song is the “little bit” lyrics that also provide most of the irritation. I do remember that the show Friends used the song extensively in their advertising because the first woman named on the list was Monica. Myself, I prefer my German artist angry yet stoic. Give me those 99 Luftballoons any day.
So, there you have it. My 10 most irritating songs. Take a little time to digest them and let me know what you think. I actually had a lot of fun putting this list together, and I suppose I should give credit to another of my favorite blog sites, Listverse. I have added them to my Blog Roll if you care to visit them, but it can be very addicting. I might even visit this format again sometime myself. But remember, this was all just for fun. Please don’t threaten my life if I made fun of one of your favorite songs. If one of your favorite songs was on this list, you have a lot more to worry about than just me.