And The Contenders Are . . .

TO WIT

January 17, 1993|By DAVE BARRY

Before I present the results of the Bad Song Survey, here's an important:

Brain Takeover Alert:

Be advised that this column names certain songs that you hate and have tried to suppress, but as soon as you read their names your brain will start singing "Yoouunngg girl, get out of my mind; my love for you is way out of line . . . " over and over and you can't stop it aieeeeeee.

First, I have never written a column that got a bigger response than the one announcing the Bad Song Survey. More than than 10,000 readers voted. Also, wherever I went people expressed their views to me, often gripping my shirt to emphasize their points. ("You know that song about pina coladas? I hate it!")

Second, you Neil Diamond fans out there can stop writing irate unsigned letters telling me that I am not worthy to be a dandruff flake on Neil's head, OK? Because you have convinced me: Neil Diamond is God. I no longer see anything but genius in the song where he complains that his chair can't hear him. Unfortunately, a lot of survey voters are not so crazy about Neil's work.

Likewise there are boiling pools of animosity out there for Barry "I Write the Songs" Manilow, Olivia "Have You Never Been Mellow" Newton-John, Gilbert "Alone Again, Naturally" O'Sullivan, the Village "YMCA" People, Tony "Knock Three Times" Orlando, and of course Yoko "Every Song I Ever Performed" Ono.

The voters are angry. A typical postcard states: "The number one worst piece of pus-oozing, vomit-inducing, camel-spitting, cow-phlegm rock song ever in the history of the solar system is 'Dreams of the Everyday Housewife.' " (Amazingly, this song was not performed by Gary Puckett and the Union Gap.)

Here are some other typical statements:

* "I'd rather chew a jumbo roll of tinfoil than hear 'Hey Paula' by Paul and Paula."

* "Whenever I hear the Four Seasons' 'Walk Like a Man,' I want to scream, 'Frankie, sing like a man!' "

* "I wholeheartedly believe that 'Ballerina Girl' is responsible for 90 percent of the violent crimes in North America today."

* "I nominate every song ever sung by the Doobie Brothers. Future ones also."

* "Have you noticed how the hole in the ozone layer has grown progressively larger since rap got popular?"

Sometimes the voters were so angry that they weren't even sure of the name of the song they hated. There were votes against "These Boots Are Made For Stomping"; the Beach Boys' classic "Carolina Girls"; "I'm Nothing But a Hound Dog"; and "Ain't No Woman Like the One-Eyed Gott."

Many readers are still very hostile toward the song "Wildfire," in which singer Michael Murphy wails for what seems like 97 minutes about a lost pony. (As one voter put it: "Break a leg, Wildfire.")

There was also a solid vote for Gordon Lightfoot's "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald," a real fun party song. Several voters singled out the line: "As the big freighters go, it was bigger than most."

Speaking of bad lyrics, there were votes for:

* Cream's immortal "I'm So Glad," which eloquently expresses the feeling of being glad, as follows: "I'm so glad! I'm so glad! I'm glad, I'm glad, I'm glad!" (Repeat one billion times.)

* "La Bamba," because the lyrics, translated, are: "I am not a sailor. I am a captain, I am a captain, I am a captain." And he is probably glad.

* "Take the Money and Run," in which Steve Miller attempts to rhyme "Texas" with "what the facts is," not to mention "hassle" with "El Paso."

Certainly these are all very bad songs, but the scary thing is: not one song I've named so far is a winner. I'll name the winners next week, after your stomach has settled down. Meanwhile here are some more songs you should not think about: "Baby I'm-a Want You," "Candy Man," "Disco Duck," "I Am Woman," "Last Kiss," "Patches," "The Night Chicago Died," "My Ding-a-Ling" and "My Sharona." Just forget these songs. Really.

P.S. Also "Horse With No Name."

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