We’ve all had that moment when we’re casually listening to a love song we adored as a teenager, only to actually hear the lyrics and think, “Wait, they said…what?” Some of the best, or at least the most famous love songs, have weird lyrics. Side stepping some of the more, shall I say, perverse lyrics (Sorry Snoop Dogg, no kudos for you today), I’ve dug through some of the least romantic love songs that should never be on a wedding playlist, or a 13 year old’s mix tape, ever again.
Number Ten: “I Knew I Loved You” by Savage Garden. The notion of eternally loving someone is quite romantic, but when Savage Garden say, “I knew I loved you before I met you/I think I dreamed you into life/I knew I loved you before I met you/I have been waiting all my life,” it sounds a little creepy. How do you know you loved her? Have you been watching her? And does that mean you’ve been cheating on her with all the other chicks you’ve written songs about? I’m just saying, it’s easy to take this out of context, and when you do it gets pretty strange.
Number Nine: “Over Again” by One Direction. It may not be on your list of loved up tunes, but I guarantee it’s on every teen’s. With lyrics like, “Said I’d never leave her cause her hands fit like my T-shirt, Tongue-tied over three words, cursed/ Now she’s feeling so low since she went solo/ Hole in the middle of my heart like a polo.” I have to question who said it was okay to rhyme solo and polo, and why on earth do her “hands fit like my T-shirt?” I mean, last I checked T-shirts weren’t really that romantic, and if you really want to impress a girl you should wear a button up and get your mom to sew up the hole in your polo. But I digress.
Number Eight: “Wannabe” by the Spice Girls. In a song that’s all about telling a dude how to win your heart, it seems bizarre to me that you’d say, “If you wanna be my lover/ You gotta get with my friends.” Personally, the moment a guy ‘got with my friends’ is the moment I’d drop him out of the sheer stupidity of his actions, but there’s no accounting for taste.
Number Seven: “Your Body is a Wonderland” by John Mayer. Yes, I know you love this song. I know Mayer’s vocals are mesmerizing, but take a moment to actually listen to what he’s saying, “One pair of candy lips and your bubblegum tongue.” I’m not sure how I feel about my tongue being synonymous with bubblegum. A+ for rhyming, but surely you could have found something more expensive and far less cliché than candy?
Number Six: “All My Life” by K-Ci and JoJo. Aww that’s sweet, they’re singing a duet about how they’ve been waiting all their lives for a love like this. You know a love where, “You are close to me like you’re my mother/ Close to me you’re like my father/ Close to me you’re like my sister/ Close to me you’re like my brother.” I’m sorry, what was that? You sing that to me and I will block your number before moving to another country to escape whatever your disturbing concept of love is.
Number Five: “Love Story” by Taylor Swift. I love a good fairytale, but something has to be said for having a thorough knowledge of classic literature in the telling of these stories. Somehow, Taylor combines the stories of Romeo and Juliet with the Scarlet Letter (not the Emma Stone version) and winds up with the metaphor, “Cause you were Romeo–I was a scarlet letter”. I’m pretty sure Shakespeare didn’t write it that way, but on the upside, we now have a generation of teen girls excited to study Elizabethan literature in high school.
Number Four: “Why Can’t This Be Love?” by Van Halen. Aside from the fact Van Halen are in some serious denial about their chances with this girl, they really needs to work on their phrasing. “Only time will tell if we stand the test of time” isn’t going to win someone over, because it sounds like you don’t quite understand the basic premise of time…or poetry.
Number Three: “50 Ways to Say Goodbye” by Train. If you want to talk about writing lyrics from your train (sorry) of thought, then take a peek at these lyrics, “Someday I’ll find a love like yours / She’ll think I’m Superman, not SuperMinivan / How could you leave on Yom Kippur?” I’m truly sorry that the holiday of Yom Kippur has been tainted, but I’m struggling to understand what a ‘superminivan’ is. All I’m envisioning is a van with a red cape billowing in the breeze, and that doesn’t seem to be romantic at all.
Number Two: “Invisible” by Clay Aiken. Clay seems like a really nice guy, one who your parents would warm to immediately once he reached out to shake their hands. That was until he sang these lyrics anyway,”If I was invisible/ I would just watch you in your room.” Am I the only one who thinks that’s just a little creepy? While this song would be perfect for the Twilight soundtrack, it certainly doesn’t send the message of a secure, respectable young man—it’s creepy.
Number One: “Every Breath You Take” by The Police. This song has been sung in every karaoke bar, but before you play it to the love of your life, consider the implications of the lyrics. “Every breath you take/ Every move you make/ Every bond you break/Every step you take/ I’ll be watching you”. Play this, and instead of accepting your proposal, your beloved may take out a restraining order against you. You have been warned.