Monday, November 13, 2006

Masked Mom's Media Monday: Dave Barry's Book of Bad Songs

Read this over the weekend and it truly made me laugh so hard I cried. I laughed so hard stuff flew out my nose that I had no idea was up there. The only complaint I have is that it was published in 1997 and it has somehow escaped my attention all this time.

It is a collection of the worst songs ever recorded--between 1960 and 1990--as compiled by Dave and the readers of his syndicated column (the column he's no longer writing--oh, Dave, we miss you so much--the blog is cold comfort but I guess we'll take what we can get). My favorite part was the chapter "Songs People Get Wrong" in which Dave lists songs whose lyrics have often been misheard and misunderstood. Songs like the Beach Boys' "Help Me Rhonda," which Dave is pretty sure contains the lines "Well since she put me down/There's been owls pukin' in my bed" and Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean," which some astute reader claims goes "The chair is not my son."

Of course, this reminded me of songs I and those closest to me have gotten wrong. Here's my top three favorites:

1. When Little Sister and I were seven and eight (or six and seven or eight and nine), we were pretty sure that line in "You're So Vain" with Carly Simon about "You're where should be all the time/And when you're not you're with/Some underworld spy or the wife of a close friend" actually said "Some underworld spy or the wife of a clothespin." I was never really sure why a clothespin would have a wife, but I thought it was just in keeping with the sophisticated vibe of the song.

2. When Rob Thomas released his first single from his solo album "Lonely No More," Son-One said, "Mom does he really say 'Open up to me so I can do your girlfriends'?" No, but that would be quite ballsy of him, wouldn't it? He actually says "Open up to me LIKE you do your girlfriends." I'm pretty sure. That's what the lyrics in the liner notes claim anyway.

3. It's kind of embarrassing to admit (probably as much for them as for me) but when Coyote Ugly came out, the kids and I watched it more than once. (Yes, I know my pubescent sons had ulterior motives, but hey, there's worse motives, right?) I also played the soundtrack a lot. There's this one song on there called "The Power" by a group called Snap, who I'd never heard of before and haven't heard of since. Over and over again, in the background, the words "It's gettin, it's gettin', it's gettin' kinda hectic" are repeated. At least that's what I think they're saying. The kids, however, voted for "Skinny, skinny, skinny diarrhea."

Runners-up: Don Henley's "New York Midget (Minute)" and Bruce Springsteen's "Blinded By The Light" with its immortal lines, "Wrapped up like a douche/ another boner in the night."

Anyway, get the book. Read it. It'll make you snort, I promise.

Masked-Mom's One-Word Review: Snort-worthy.


  1. Youngest Sister11/16/06, 9:18 AM

    Ain't no woman like the one-eyed Gott

  2. HA! He actually mentions that in there. I also heard that on the oldies station last night and could barely steer for laughing so hard. (Strangely it didn't differ all that much from my regular steering. I should look into that.)