The 10 Worst Songs Of All Time

bad_music_most_unwanted_song_answer_1_xlargeI have enjoyed putting together previous musical Strumings, The Top 20 Records of All Time and the Top 10 Albums of all time.  I was proud that readership of these Strumings was very strong and the level of feedback that I received was “gratifying”. I qualify gratifying because much of the feedback was in the form of incredulous responses and (sometimes appropriate) abuse. For example the inclusion of I’m Too Sexy by Right Said Fred as a Top 20 song wasn’t met with universal approval, nor was the exclusion of any Beatles, Stones, Floyd, etc. from the top album list. Oh well. La-dee-dah. It’s my list.

But in the keeping with the strategy of compiling lists, here’s a list I hope Strumings readers may actually rally around this one—The 10 Worst Songs of All Time. A few ground rules are in order.  These are really important, so pay attention.

1. A “worst” song needs to have been a big hit, a top 10 hit with universal awareness. No obscure songs on this list.

2.  A worst song needs to be really bad. In fact it has to be so bad, it’s almost good. Huh? It needs to have a hook so “sticky” and memorable that you are often unable to get it out of your head.  But its memorability makes it like gum to your shoe. You really want to get if off, but it’s hard to do. In fact I suspect that once you read this list you will be humming some of these bad songs. I apologize in advance.

3. A worst song needs to pass the test of time. No recent tunes, no matter how bad and how overplayed and painful (sorry Alicia Keys, “This Girl Is On Fire” will have to wait)

So here they are,  in reverse order, the 10 Worst Songs of All Time:

10. Who Let The Dogs Out?–Baha Men

This was a “worst song” from the first play but it sneaks in as #10 as the most recent Worst Song from the year 2000. Though not on the list and only a seasonal song, perhaps the Barking Dogs-Christmas song belongs here too.

9. They’re Coming To Take Me Away– Napoleon XIV

Showing great sensitivity to mental illness, this one-hit wonder 1967 classic was really, really bad. And the flip side of the single had the song played in reverse (but there was no mention of Paul’s death). How do I know about the flip side? Alas, I bought the record in my youth. I still have the 45.

8. Me and You and A Dog Name Boo—Lobo

Aren’t we clever how we can rhyme the ooohs?

7. Chick A Boom—Daddy Dew Drop

Don’t ya just love it. Not any more

6. Seasons In The Sun—Terry Jacks

A mega hit for one-hit wonder Terry Jacks and some of the stickiest lyrics of all time, ‘We Had Joy. We Had Fun. We Had Seasons in the Sun”

5. Feelings—Morris Albert

Gag me with a spoon

4. Ballad of the Green Berets—Sergeant Barry Sandler

Yes I know it’s not PC to criticize a military song, but come on–this was manipulative and musically awful.

3. Dominique—The Singing Nun

This song was in fact #1 in previous lists but I was afraid some of the readers may not know this #1 hit from 1963 which vied at the time with “Louie, Louie” for the top spot. I honestly don’t know the lyrics to either song, but I love Louie, Louie. Dominique, not so much.

2. (You’re) Having My Baby—Paul Anka

Those classic lyrics …..“What a lovely way of sayin’ how much you love me.” And how about “You’re A Woman In Love and I Love what’s going through ya”. Sexist crap.

I am woman1. I Am Woman—Helen Reddy

Yes I can be sexist too. “I Am Woman Hear me Roar. I Am Strong,. I Am Invincible” How about, “I am Obnoxious”.

So there you have it. The conclusive, definitive, indisputable worst 10 songs of all time as chosen by me. Perhaps you may have some alternate suggestions. As always, I am happy for “feedback”.

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  1. Caroline Oakes says:

    hilarious, Lonny. Brought back many bad-song memories! You are right, “who let the dogs out” was the worst of worst songs from the first play. I don’t even remember any music in that one — Just. Those. Words. !

  2. Brandy, you’re a fine girl . . .

  3. Your list is admirable, but you did miss the ALL TIME WORST song of all time (and it meets your criteria): Muskrat Love by The Captain & Tanille.

  4. Mike McLean says:

    Sorry – Can’t agree with Lobo, especially as you’ve completely ignored a UK #1 called Shaddap You Face by Joe Dolce. Can’t believe ANYONE bought this, far less made it #1!!

  5. Nigel says:

    This list is too American, and so misses out such British classics as “Nellie the Elephant”, “Shaddapaya face”, “Grandma I love you”, “Birdie Song”, “Two Little Boys”, and pretty much anything by Black Lace or Chaz and Dave.
    The worst thing about Shaddapaya Face was that it kept Vienna by Utravox off the number one spot.

    • Lonny Strum says:

      I think you raise a good point Nigel. My list is too American. And Shaddapaya Face is clearly top 10 worst song worthy. Can’t say I know the Neliie the Elephant song however, but don’t think I want to. Thanks for .the feedback

  6. Where is Sugar Sugar? Where is Yummy Yummy Yummy? And where, oh where is The Night Chicago Died???

    Inquiring minds want to know!

    • Lonny Strum says:

      Archies, 1910 Fruitgum Company, Paper Lace. All good choices Jim. “Bubbling Under” the Worst 10

  7. Kel Smith says:

    That “what if God was one of us” song by Joan Osbourne makes me want to run with scissors. Written by the Hooters, who were horrible.

  8. Chris Gattis says:

    What an excellent list Lonny. I’m an American, so I like the bias just fine

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