Hate Valentine’s Day? Then you’ll like the following harrowingly unromantic lyrics. Let’s kick off with Art Brut: “It doesn’t mean that I don’t love you, one more try with me above you / It’s got nothing to do with anything I’ve had to drink / It’s more to do with the way I think” (‘Rusted Guns of Milan’). Cheers for that ode to erectile dysfunction, Eddie Argos.
Bob Dylan: “Idiot wind blowing every time you move your teeth / You’re an idiot babe / It’s a wonder that you still know how to breathe” (‘Idiot Wind’)
Bob Dylan, proving what a charmer he can be when he puts his mind to it.
Bruno Mars: “It’s a beautiful night / We’re looking for something dumb to do / Hey baby / I think I wanna marry you” (‘Marry You’)
Yeah, because the legally binding institution of marriage is something to be taken lightly, eh Bruno? How about we do something really stupid and not bother signing a prenup?
Coldplay: “I wrote a song for you / And all the things you do / And it was called ‘Yellow’” (‘Yellow’)
Hey Chris Martin, so you wrote a song for me utilising a colour most readily associated with piss, cowardice, bananas and Wolverhampton Wanderers? Romance clearly isn’t dead. It’s yellow.
David Guetta: “I’m trying to find the words to describe this girl / Without being disrespectful / Damn you’re a sexy bitch”(‘Sexy Bitch’)
No, because that’s not disrespectful at all. Given that English isn’t David’s first language we’ll forgive him, the connard. Sorry, that wasn’t disrespectful was it?
Diddy: “Baby put your mouth on top (come on) little lollipop / Suck it till your hymen pops” (‘Swagger Like Puff’)
Oh he didn’t, Diddy?
Geri Halliwell: “I wanna have your baby / Gotta have you like crazy / And iron your shirts” (‘Half of Me’)
Mel C held the award for worst post-Spice Girls lyric and looked unlikely to ever relinquish that dubious accolade, until Geri hit the comeback trail with this stinker. ‘I couldn’t live without my phone, but you don’t even have a home,’ at least attempted to rhyme.
Interpol: “I wish I could eat the salt off of your lost faded lips” (‘Obstacle 1’)
Paul Banks delivers some right clangers on ‘Turn on the Bright Lights’. How about, “I’m gonna pull you in close / I’m gonna wrap you up tight / I’m gonna play with the braids that you came here with tonight” from ‘Obstacle 2’? It’s a toss up isn’t it?
Kanye West: “If we die in each other’s arms / We still get laid in the afterlife” (‘Lost in the World’)
Kanye takes the core idea of ‘There Is A Light That Never Goes Out’ and crushes the romance out of it by revealing a desire for a quick, posthumous legover in the hereafter. On this drizzly Valentines Day, here are 24 more odious odes to love to laugh at and lament upon.
The Faces: “In the morning don’t say you love me / ‘Cause you know I’ll only kick you out the door” (‘Stay With Me’)
You can call Rod Stewart many things. ‘Gentleman’ isn’t one of them. ‘Rod the Mod’ and ‘Rod the tight sod’ are both fine apparently.
Magnetic Fields: “I want you crawling back to me down on your knees, yeah / Like an appendectomy sans anesthesia” (‘You Must Be Out Of Your Mind’)
Stephin Merritt is not a man known for his charity, and he’s not a man who’d usually deliver a rhyme as weak and tenuous as this one. We’ll let him off though as he appears to be having a bad day.
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds: “She was a catch / we were a match / I was the match that would fire up her snatch” (“Mermaids”)
Antipodean nosferatu Nick Cave has written some of the darkest, most stunning love lyrics of the last three decades or so. These probably aren’t some of those.
Oasis: “What a life it would be if you could come to mine for tea / I’ll pick you up at half past three / We’ll have lasagne” (‘Digsy’s Dinner’)
Noel Gallagher would be the first to admit some of his lyrics in the early days came across a bit Sixth Form poet-like. This example however would have been laughed out of Kindergarten.
Paul McCartney: “I know I was a crazy fool / For treating you the way I did / But something got a hold of me / And I acted like a dustbin lid” (‘The Other Me’)
Quality control was never Macca’s strongest suit. One Paul wrote some of the best loved songs of the 20th Century. The other Paul tosses off pish like this. See that dustbin, Sir Macca? You should use it more often.
Prince: ‘If I was your girlfriend / Would u let me dress u / I mean, help u pick out your clothes / Before we go out / Not that you’re helpless’ (‘If I Was Your Girlfriend’)
There’s something undeniably Flight of the Conchords about that ‘not that you’re helpless’ line.
Pulp: “You can tell me some lies about the good times that you’ve had / But I’ve kissed your mother more than twice and now I’m working on your Dad” (‘Pencil Skirt)’
Jarvis at his lascivious best and keeping it in the family on Pulp’s mid 90’s masterpiece, ‘A Different Class’.
Red Hot Chili Peppers: “All around the world / We could make time / Rompin’ and a-stompin’ / ’cause I’m in my prime” (‘All Around The World’)
Like Miss Jean Brodie, Anthony Kiedis is apparently peaking, which means the likelihood of his lyrics getting any better are slim to none. At least these are clean (check out ‘Sir Psycho Sexy’ and wince).
Rihanna: “Suck my cockiness / lick my persuasion” (‘Cockiness (Love it)’)
Oh Rihanna, look what you did there. But what does that actually mean at the end of the day? How can you lick someone’s persuasion? In the same way Miley Cyrus licks a hammer?
R Kelly: “It’s like murder she wrote / Once I get you outta them clothes” (‘Ignition’)
R Kelly gets sexy, which is fine, but why bring Angela Lansbury into the melee? Must mentally disconnect some of the ‘Bump n Grind’ star’s reported proclivities and Jessica Fletcher.
Robin Thicke: “You’re a good girl / Can’t let it get past me / You’re far from plastic / Talk about getting blasted” (‘Blurred Lines’)
It’ll be a surprise to nobody that Robin Thicke’s carnal anthem to ambiguity made it, the only mystery was which lyrics would get pulled; there were an abundance of rotters to choose from.
Sky Ferreira: “Sex rules / I pity the fools / Who realise too late / Love, sex, and god are great” (‘Sex Rules’)
Are we talking about prescriptive regulations where making whoopie is concerned, or is Sky saying that sex, like, rules duuuude? Either way, why bring God into it? We hardly need reminding of his omnipotence right now. Worse still, why bring Mr T into it?
Taylor Swift: “So I sneak out to the garden to see you / We keep quiet ’cause we’re dead if they knew” (‘Love Story’)
Swift does Shakespeare in this hackneyed musical four minute tragedy, and one presumes the star crossed lovers’ parents are grammar fascists who’ll punish Taylor for sloppy tense usage once she gets back home. Or, if it’s to be taken literally, kill her.
The Smiths: “There were times when I could have strangled her. But you know, I would hate anything to happen to her. Would you please let me see her?” (‘Girlfriend in a Coma’)
Morrissey, as ever, is all heart. “Oh, would you like to marry me, and if you like you can buy the ring?” is another beauty (from ‘William, It Was Really Nothing’).
Will.i.am: “So be a good girl and thank yo mama / She made ya steamin’ like a sauna” (‘I Got It From My Mama’)
The action man of love pursues an inadvisable chat up strategy by revealing his milf fantasies about his love target’s mother. Clearly discombobulated, he attempts to rhyme ‘mama’ with ‘sauna’. Oh dear, what a hapless beurk.