Every now and again I come across a popular “love” song that makes me want to stab a pencil in my ear. I’ll grant you not all of these are what I consider love songs, but they are songs supposedly about things I associate with love. And how to easily ruin them. And because I never suffer in silence, here they are, some of my least favorite, for your listening displeasure.
- “I’m Comin’ Over” by Chris Young — Ignoring that this is the worst possible song to listen to if you’re trying to move on from someone toxic, I really, really just hate the line “I’m all alone but you’re on my phone.” As if your mother isn’t also on your phone. Or a bro-buddy. And then he tops it with, “why put out a fire when it’s still burning”. But it does raise a whole host of additional questions. Like, why put on a sweater when it’s still cold? Why eat when you’re going to get hungry again? Why stop listening to bro-country when your ears are already bleeding?
- “Honey I’m Good.” by Andy Grammer — “So nah, nah, honey I’m good/I could have another but I probably should not/I’ve got somebody at home,/and if I stay I might not leave alone.” Ah, the old romantic story of a man who goes to a bar, brags about his willpower in not having the one last drink that will result in him sleeping with someone, and then boasts to his woman later about how faithful he was while she was presumably, what? Bathing the children at home, or folding his laundry? That’s definitely the kind of man a woman wants.
- “Color My World” by Chicago — This is the most boring, depressing love song with the happiest of lyrics. I have no idea how someone can make “Color my world with your love” into something that sounds more like “You left me and so my life is over.” Reportedly, this was the slow song for my Dad’s prom back in the day. I can only suppose that when it finished hundreds of couples broke up and the gym was filled with crying.
- “Stay with Me” by Sam Smith — I’m probably being too literal, but the whole premise of this song annoys me. “I’m not good at a one night stand/but I still need love ’cause I’m just a man”. Is basically translated to “Men need sex.” Gee, how could anyone refuse such a grunted offer? “This ain’t love, it’s clear to see/but darling, stay with me”. I personally can’t think of a more compelling reason to leave.
- “Every Night” by Imagine Dragons — It starts off really well. “I’m coming home to you every night, every night, every night, every night“. Well that’s a win for a relationship. Until you realize what exactly is coming home to you. “The colorless sunrise that’s never good enough”, “the wind that’s in your hair that ruffles you up”. They may as well have just said they’re your little brother who constantly pokes you and asks “does this bug you?” because it’s that same level of romance.
- “Marry You” by Bruno Mars — It still boggles my mind that actual real people have used this song to propose to their significant other. It’s like they picked it for the title alone and didn’t listen to any of the words before creating a choreographed routine with ten of their reluctant family members. The song literally starts with “We’re looking for something dumb to do” and then follows it with “I think I wanna marry you”. Which is the kind of confident decision-making you’d expect for a lifetime commitment. Bruno can’t decide if it’s because his girl’s eyes are sparkly or he’s drunk, but “who cares if we’re trashed”. To be honest with you, the song actually gets worse, but I’m too depressed to keep going.
- “When Did You Fall” by Chris Rice — Ahh, romance for narcissists. That’s a group that was in desperate need of a love song. Apparently “You’re So Vain” just wasn’t cutting it any more. After all, Warren Beatty called dibs. “When did you fall in love with me?” is just a great start because you get the romantic high ground here. And to really drive that home, “Have you been waiting long?” Because I really didn’t notice you at all. For…like a long time! Ha ha! But hey, now that I know, totally. Let’s do it.
- “Like the Woman I Love“ by Jason Mraz — Mraz makes a classic blunder here. Never use the thing you’re describing to describe the thing you’re describing. “I’m going to love you like the woman I love” like I love you like the woman I love like…oh dear God, it’s the never ending love song that gets you nowhere. I hope you enjoy having that line stuck in your head on repeat as much as I do.
“Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran — Was I the only one grossed out by “Place your head on my beating heart”? When I first heard that lyric all I could imagine was some macabre serial-killer scene. Romance, bloody romance.
“Tearin Up My Heart” by ‘NSync — This is an honorable mention because I can’t justify putting an old boy band up to critical lyric standards. But with the basic plot line of “when I’m with you it sucks and when I’m not with you it sucks” I think it’s fair to say that our poor little boy band is just plain confused with all the new emotions of their post-teen years.