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10 Worst Songs That Are Also Damnably Catchy

By Angela Jackson July 24, 2022 Lifestyle

There are a lot of horrible, terrible songs out there with content that is seriously wtf, which is no surprise to anyone. But guess what? Not all of them are rap lyrics.

Do you have songs on your playlist from back in the day that, as you’re singing along, you suddenly notice they are HORRENDOUS?

Because I sure do.

I apologize in advance for opening your eyes and/or ruining your listening pleasure if these are on your playlist as well:

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Classic Christmas ditty written in 1944, I loved my Zoey Deschanel/Leon Redbone version until my 30ish girlfriends from work informed me it’s completely rapey. And just that one word took me one second to go:

Ooooooo…

“Say what’s in this drink?”
“I really can’t stay...baby, don’t HOLD OUT...baby, it’s cold outside.”
I ought to say no, no, no sir
Mind if I move in closer?
At least I'm gonna say that I tried
What's the sense of hurting my pride?

Holy crap, that’s bad!

If You Want to Be Happy for the Rest of Your Life

From the soundtrack of Mermaids, a great Cher/Winona Ryder flick from 1990, comes this compulsively singable, incredibly misogynistic ditty. The advice is in the chorus – yay!

If you want to be happy for the rest of your life
Never make a pretty woman your wife
So for my personal point of view
Get an ugly girl to marry you

#1 on the Hot 100 in 1963. I guess a lot of men really appreciated the heads up. Insert head exploding emoji here.

Ugh.

Carrie Ann

Carrie Ann Moss from The Matrix was named after this song, which came out in 1967. It’s actually about Marianne Faithfull, who briefly dated the Hollies’ Allan Clarke but whose most famous romance was with Mick Jagger.

You were always something special to me
Quite independent, never caring
You lost your charm as you were aging
Where is your magic disappearing?

If she’s not playing with HIM, she’s not that special anymore apparently. “As you were AGING”? They met at school. What is she now… 20??

Wow.

Right Before Your Eyes

While not as egregious as the other songs on the list, the romantic vibe Ian Thomas is going for as a guy afraid to talk to the woman of his dreams feels stalkery now. It lost me at:

Today I'm done with games
Gonna ask you for your name
Say I've been watching you
I even know what you do

Love Really Hurts Without You

Full disclosure: this is on my exercise list as it’s a perfect tempo to run on a rebounder. Damn its beat!

Again, catchy 70s song but the words all say, “how dare you dress and live your life as you choose while endlessly tempting me!”:

You run around town like a fool and you think that it's groovy
You're givin' it to some other guy who gives you the eye
You don't give nothin' to me.

And your point is?

Young Girl

A hit for Gary Puckett and the Union Gap in 1968, I totally used to love singing along to this! And no, I did not say I have excellent taste in music. Ever.

With all the charms of a woman
You've kept the secret of your youth
You led me to believe you're old enough
To give me love
nd now it hurts to know the truth…

Gary, are you really blaming an underaged girl for leading you on? Really?

Centerfold

This was a recent singing-in-the-shower song for me. Super boppy! Released by the one hit wonder J. Geils Band in 1981, it really brings back fun memories! But am I really supposed to feel sorry for this guy?

Does she walk? Does she talk?
Does she come complete?
My homeroom, homeroom angel
Always pulled me from my seat
My blood runs cold
My memory has just been sold
My angel is the centerfold
Angel is the centerfold

First of all, she DOES walk and talk… because human, not a weird fantasy avatar. And your memory of her imagined purity isn’t “sold” just because she’s in a girly magazine that YOU bought because again, she’s human.

When You’re in Love with a Beautiful Woman

Oh, Dr. Hook. You crafted some crazy, fun and popular songs when I was a kid.

When you're in love with a beautiful woman, you watch her eyes
When you're in love with a beautiful woman, you look for lies
Everybody tempts her, everybody tells her
She's the most beautiful woman they know

But honestly? Describing a beautiful woman as by default an egotistical, easily tempted, always on the verge of cheating a partner…? Shouldn’t he be describing himself as an insecure, controlling nutbar instead?

Delilah

This Tom Jones monster hit released in 1968 is a power ballad about a man driven wild by his jealousy.

She stood there laughing
I felt the knife in my hand and she laughed no more
My, my, my, Delilah
Why, why, why, Delilah
So before they come to break down the door
Forgive me Delilah, I just couldn't take anymore

Apparently, Tom just HAPPENED to be strolling by one night. With a knife. Does she sound like a nice person? No. Does she deserve to die for laughing at him? NO.

Run for Your Life

Finally, at the top of the violent, misogynistic playlist is this 1965 Beatles charmer from Rubber Soul.

Let this be a sermon
I mean everything I've said
Baby, I'm determined
And I'd rather see you dead
You better run for your life if you can, little girl
Hide your head in the sand, little girl
Catch you with another man
That's the end, little girl

Someone in a forum called it “sinister set to a jaunty tune” and I couldn’t phrase it any better.

The fact that these songs from the 40s through the 70s are all casually gender biased AT BEST and truly heinous at worst is… yeah… Sigh.

Are any of these on your playlist? Or do you have your own songs of shame from an era or two when apparently, no one knew any better?

Let's Have a Conversation!

The Author

Angela M. Jackson is the author of Trillions on the Table, an F50+ consultant and a passionate advocate of females 50 years and older, as a market and a tribe. Join her list for even more blog joy.

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SARAH HENDRICKS

I listen to 50’s and 60’s on Syrius radio when I’m in my car. I get quite a charge out of some of the lyrics…

Lou Christie, Lightening Strikes….”Listen to me, baby, you gotta understand. You’re old enough to know the makings of a man…Listen to me, baby, it’s hard to settle down. Am I asking too much for you to stick around? Every boy wants a girl he can trust to the very end. Baby, that’s you. Won’t you wait …but’til then… When I see lips beggin’ to be kissed. I can’t stop. I can’t stop. Lightning is striking again.”

THEN THE REALLY SQUIRMY PART: “There’s a chapel in the pines waiting for us around the bend. Picture in your mind..love forever. BUT TILL THEN…IF SHE GIVES ME A SIGN THAT SHE WANTS TO MAKE TIME…I CAN’T STOP.”

Yeah, his animal instincts take over…BUT he’ll be happy to settle down one day with a girl HE CAN TRUST! Methinks we’re talking major PIG here!

ALSO…WISHIN’ AND HOPIN’ by Dusty Springfield: “You gotta show him that you care just for him. Do the things he likes to do. Wear your hair just for him, ’cause You won’t get him Thinkin’ and a-prayin’, wishin’ and a-hopin'”.

And those seemed like such romantic songs when I was a teenager!

Gaili Schoen

I teach piano to adults online. Sometimes my students request to play misogynistic songs such as Just Like A Woman and Lay Lady Lay by Bob Dylan, Under My Thumb by The Rolling Stones, and some of the titles you mentioned. I try to gently point out that these songs carry misogynistic lyrics, and can usually coax them into finding another song they love that isn’t so objectionable. Most of the time, people just didn’t think it through and are happy to find other music with more positive messages! Gaili UpperHandsPiano.com

Leslie McCarthy

These were fun songs! At that time, everyone knew not to take the lyrics literally.

LindaK

This was SO hilarious! I’m 75, and about 10-15 years ago I started really listening to lyrics of some of my favorite songs from the 60s-70s. Good grief! Many were just so mysoginistic!! It was the beat that hooked us, but our parents knew the words were bad. So bad. Too funny!

Rosanne Ullman

Love this! And don’t forget the Police’s classic stalker song “Every Breath You Take.”

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