You’d think rock stars with their infinite pools of cash could employ someone fact check their lyrics before they hit the studio. Apparently not. Here’s 25 lyrics that get their facts so twisted it’s a wonder these guys dress themselves each morning. Let’s begin with U2’s ‘Vertigo’ in which Bono sings “Uno, dos, tres, catorce!” – in English, “one, two, three, FOURTEEN!” Oops.
Pink Floyd – ‘Another Brick In The Wall’
“We don’t need no education!” Pink Floyd once famously proclaimed. Unfortunately, that’s a double negative, kiiiiiinda undoing their entire point. Back to remedial English 101 with ye!
Pitbull – ‘I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)’
“Now watch him make a movie like Albert Hitchcock.” – Albert Hitchcock? Albert? Is that a relative of Alfred Hitchcock? Looking forward to a shout out to “Simon Spielberg” on the next single.
Beyonce – ‘1+1’
“I don’t know much about algebra but I know 1 + 1 equals 2.” – That’s actually just basic addition Bey, not algebra. In fairness to her, there’s not many words that rhyme with “Pythagoras’ theorem”.
Lil Wayne – ‘Yes’
“Weezy F. Baby and the ‘F’ is for phenomenal.” – Yeah, about that – phenomenal doesn’t begin with a F, Weezy. Unlike, say, ‘fail’. Or ‘fact checking’ Or ‘for fuck’s sake, come on Wayne, this is basic stuff, dude.”
U2 – ‘Pride’
“Early morning, April 4/Shot rings out in the Memphis sky.” – Bono, if you’re going to write a song paying heartfelt tribute to Martin Luther King, at least get his time of death right. “As a lyric, it’s daft,” he later admitted to Rolling Stone. “I say early morning, but it was early evening!”
Band Aid – ‘Do they Know It’s Christmas’
“There won’t be snow in Africa this Christmas time” – Actually, there’s pretty consistent December snow in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, so there. Right, no more picking on Bono.
George Gershwin – ‘They All Laughed’
“They all laughed at Christopher Columbus when he said the world was round” – no they didn’t, because Columbus never actually said that. The explorer was never documented as saying he believed the world was round. WHO’S LAUGHING NOW, GERSHWIN?
Alanis Morrissette – ‘Ironic’
“It’s like rain on your wedding day,” “A traffic jam when you’re already late” etc. – Ever noticed how none of the examples of irony in ‘Ironic’ are actually examples of irony? Which is, in itself, pretty bloody ironic.
Kanye West – ‘Flashing Lights’
“Hey Mona Lisa, come home/ you know you can’t Rome without Caesar” – Ye knows those two were never a couple, right? He knows those two historical figures have absolutely nothing to do with one another, right?
Paula Abdul – ‘Promise Of A New Day’
“Eagle’s calling and it’s calling your name/ Tides are turning, bringing winds of change” – incorrect, Paula! It’s the wind that causes the waves when it blows upon the surface of the water, not the other way around.
Fleetwood Mac – ‘Dreams’
“Thunder only happens when it’s raining” – again, just not true. You don’t need to be a meteorologist to know that.
Kanye West – ‘Black Skinhead’
“I keep it 300 like the Romans” – it’s Spartans, you’re after there, Yeezy. Please go straight to Film 101. Look, there’s a seat next to Pitbull free!
Run DMC – ‘King of Rock’
“There’s three of us but we’re not The Beatles” – The thing about the Fab Four is there were four of them, guys.
Taylor Swift – ‘Love Story’
“‘Cause you were Romeo / I was a scarlet letter / And my daddy said stay away from Juliet” – From Shakespeare to Hawthorne back to Shakespeare in one lyric? Hey, stick some Chaucer in there too Taylor while you’re at it – why not? Cram them all in why don’t you!
Rihanna – ‘What’s My Name’
“The square root of 69 is 8 something, right?” – 8 something? That inattention to detail wouldn’t impress an Edexcel exam invigilator. Back of the class, Ri. It’s 8.30662386292, by the way.
Alex Chilton – ‘Bangkok’
“Here’s a little thing that’s gonna please ya/Just a little town down in Indonesia/Bangkok” – We love the Big Star songwriter, but writing an ode to the sprawling Thai capital that describes it as a “little town in Indonesia” wasn’t his finest hour.
The Who – ‘Substitute’
“The north side of my town faced east and the east was facing south” – What kind of crazy compass is Roger Daltry using here? Too bad for anyone who got lumped with the Who man as an orienteering partner during PE games at school.
Jay Z – ‘It’s Hot’
“.38 revolve like the sun round the Earth” – Yeah, that’s not how the solar system works, Hova.
The Killers – ‘Human’
“Are we human or are we dancer?” – I don’t care if the line is nicked from Hunter S. Thompson, this is a grammatical and logistical clusterfuck from Flowers. Passable if it’s tucked away in a verse somewhere but as the main lyric in one of your biggest singles? Yeeesh.
Primal Scream – Star Sister
“Sister Rosa, Malcolm X and Dr. King… Their bodies may be gone but their spirits still live on” – a nice sentiment, except Rosa Parks was still alive at the time of release in 1997.
Chubb Rock – Mr. Large
“Like Mario Puzo, I’m The Don. W-W-I’M-THE-SHIT-DOT-COM” – websites tend to use three ws, Chubb. Also, apostrophes don’t work in web addresses. Oh dear.
Fergie – London Bridge
“How come every time you come around/ My London London Bridge want to go down” – First of all, London Bridge isn’t a a draw bridge, meaning it can’t “come down”. Maybe Fergie’s thinking of Tower Bridge. Either way, this is perhaps the single worst song ever recorded. Ever.
LMFAO – ‘Love Lockdown’ remix
“You done broke my heart into a million pieces/I should have seen it coming, wish I had telekinesis” – Telekinesis is where you can move things with your mind. You’re thinking of psychic powers, boys.
Insane Clown Posse – ‘Miracles’
“Fucking magnets! How do they work?” – Well, it’s quite simple science really – forces work in- actually, you know what lads? Never mind. Just never mind.