Mar 182011

A sadist in my office pointed me in the direction of Rebecca Black‘s Internet smash hit “Friday” today, proclaiming it the worst song he’s heard this year. I can’t say I disagree with him—but, having heard it once, I now can’t get the steaming pile out of my head.

So let’s all engage in a mass orgy of musical sado-masochism, shall we? I want to know what song you feel possesses the most insidious balance of catchiness/shittyness. Feel free to post web links to torment us. When this thread peters out, Mr. Mod will judge the “winner” by reporting on which of our songs got lodged in his head the longest. Pity the poor man—talk about taking one for the team!

I look forward—sort of—to your responses.



  85 Responses to “Shitty Songs You Can’t Get Out of Your Head”

  1. I will gladly UNhappily judge this contest, but a word of caution: your catchy crap entries must be real songs. This thing is obviously a joke. The giveaway is that the video does not tout the guest rapper’s name. If it were real the rapper would have to get “featuring” credit alongside the girl’s name.

  2. hrrundivbakshi

    To be honest, I think this one is pretty hard to beat. It’s truly shitty, but every time I watch in in slack-jawed amazement, it gets stuck in my head for days.

    • Taking the video into account, which may be part of this exercise, that’s going to be hard to be. I feel so bad for those kids that I want to intervene and get them back on the path their parents’ probably imagined for them.

    • I don’t think this song has a strong enough hook to get stuck in my head. But on the outside chance that it does, HVB, I will hold you personally accountable and I will insist that you punch yourself in the face in order to save me the cost of an Amtrak ticket.

  3. misterioso

    Sorry, I gotta reach back a bit:

  4. This one has bothered me for years. I couldn’t tell you when I last heard it, but nevertheless, there it is, repeatedly. Just skip to the chorus – it’s what sticks:

  5. Here’s a recent one for me — replaced Owl City’s Fireflies in the crap-ola jukebox of my mind.

  6. pudman13

    “Friday” is pretty bad, but it’s nowhere near as bad as the even more catchy “I Whip My Hair Back And Forth.”

  7. cherguevarra

    Oh come on, people. Pilot? Sarah Barelles? What makes the Rebecca Black thing so stunning is how completely inept it is. It’s on a whole different level than these other songs. Magic is a trifle of a song, but it’s got a melody, the phrasing works and they’re not wondering which seat to take or explaining that Sunday comes after Saturday.

    here is an old favorite: “Shine,” by “Final Placement.”

    • misterioso

      Right, I agree: completely inept. So much so that it went in one ear and out the other. To get lodged in your brain it seems to me there’s got to be a basic level of craftsmanship. “Magic” certainly has that, yet it is basically annoying. It has all the elements of love/hate that I think is necessary for this sort of song: You know it’s not good, but yet you know it must have some qualities you (subconsciously?) like, ’cause there it is.

  8. “Magic,” by Pilot, remains in the lead. These completely crappy songs may be memorably bad, but they’re not memorable AND, on some level, if you can be honest, bad. I like “Magic” as much as the next rock nerd, but it’s a song that deserves a swirly. How cloying! What’s the difference between “Magic” and some showboating Dennis DeYoung song with Styx? I think it’s the fact that the former is by a faceless one-hit wonder, and we just enjoy the song for what it is.

    Come on, give me some truly well-done, undeniably catchy songs that are also, on some level, if you can be honest about it, “shitty.” I thought that’s what I’ve been called in to judge.

  9. tonyola

    I was going to go for the obvious, like:

    Nilsson – Coconut
    Three Dog Night – Joy To the World
    Taco – Puttin’ On the Ritz
    Starland Vocal Band – Afternoon Delight

    But then I thought “No, this is no time to be kind. Pull out the heavy ammo.” Therefore, I present to you Journey at their rocking gooiest. You’re gonna need a lobotomy to get the “naa naa naaa”s out of your head.

  10. It’s kind of amazing how totally this Rebecca Black song has permeated the culture. You know it’s big when even us Townspeople can’t ignore it. And yet, I have yet to listen to this song. I’m just not that curious. And yes, I am an indie snob of sorts, but not really. I mean, Beyonce has songs I like a lot.

    Anyway, the lyrics are bad, or so I’ve heard. But all this “Saturday comes after Friday” or whatever? Sounds like a New Order song to me. Who I like!

  11. shawnkilroy

    they played this nonstop at my gym last year.
    i fuckin HATE it!
    but…i kinda love it.

  12. pudman13

    By the way, I think Alanis Morrissette’s “You Oughta Know” is one of the worst songs in the history of music…but it’s unbelievably catchy. The entire “Jagged Little Pill” album is an amazing lesson in how to arrange songs for maximum stick-in-the-headness at the expense of any quality whatsoever. It uses every trick in the book, including an amazing knack for knowing just how to employ repetition, to make something stick.

  13. ladymisskirroyale

    You guys must have grown up with much more musical culture than I did in am radio AZ in the 70’s. Whereas Mr. Royale grew up with a lot of the soul and pop hits that were broadcast out of NYC, I had only white, very white popular music to listen to.

    Much of the 70’s pop nuggets are HORRIBLE and offer catchy hooks that will insidiously burrough their way into your brain for hours. The first that came to mind for me is Paper Lace’s “The Night Chicago Died.” Paper Lace’s “Billy, Don’t be a Hero” is a close second. Take your pick.

  14. machinery

    This might as well be Rebecca girl, if she had a beard.

  15. 2000 Man

    Chew on this:

    Nothing like a little shitty Alan Parsons Project to get stuck in your head and suck the desire to live out of your brain.

  16. As for the “Friday” song our wacky morning Djs played it this week. Just more instant internet-craze-of-the-week shit. Didn’t we cover this is Ladymisskir’s thread last week?

    For a song that holds up as a well crafted song but wedges in your ear like glue try the Association’s (Everyone Knows its) Windy.

  17. ladymisskirroyale

    Sigh. I feel I have let you all down. I have been holding out on the TRULY shittiest, most stick-in-your-brain-and-in-your-craw tune!

    Please, I dare you. Now with “new” bach-pad animation:

  18. How bizarre (now that’s a shitty song in and of itself, but…), I just now heard this song for the first time thanks to the Tosh.0 blog featuring this live version of it performed on Good Morning America “live and unplugged.” So that’s my entry into this…the same song by the same chick in an even shittier version:

  19. cherguevarra

    I like girls that (sic) wear Abercrombie and Fitch.
    (And you drove me to post this, so it’s all your own damn faults)

  20. This is the song that destroyed music:

  21. If Rebecca had a little more talent, she could be a Kardashian.

    She also has a lot of Fran Dresher in her. Both looks, and the pleasing tone of her voice.

  22. plasticsun

    I have listened to the first 15 seconds of most of the candidates and they are certainly shitty. Nothing however can compare to the horror of listening to my 4 year old son singing this song over and over again- I have failed as a father.

    There’s also a horrifying gummy bear song that several of my high school students have tormented me with.

    • hrrundivbakshi

      I have a serious question about this song, and others like it: do artists like this have “fans”? And if so, what exactly are their fans supporting? They’re not really singing. They usually don’t write the music they’re “performing.” They’re, what, a face in a video? How long will it be before even casual music consumers turn their back on these charlatans?

  23. bostonhistorian

    I’ve always made the argument that every band has at least one song with a good to great idea if not one good to great entire song. I’ll stop making that argument.

  24. cherguevarra

    Here’s another one that always really, really annoyed me:

    Deep Blue Something with their song, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” Mostly it’s the pointless conversational nature of the chorus lyrics that makes it for me. The verse is just unmemorable filler,though.

    I’m actually starting to feel bad for Rebecca Black. So she’s a spoiled 14 year old girl whose mother was willing to drop two-grand for a vanity service that specializes in letting kids sing a song and star in a video. She never expected it to go mega in the way that it did and apparently she is getting some pretty hateful messages. It doesn’t make her song any better, of course. But really, her song is less in the tradition of “Yummy yummy yummy” and more like “A blind man’s penis” or some other “Song-Poem” thing, if you consider how it came to exist in the first place.

  25. […] Flash Player is required to view the video.Happy Monday. We have a winner in last week’s Shitty Songs You Can’t Get Out of Your Head contest: “Everybody’s Working for the Weekend.” Better yet we have this […]

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