Some songwriters and songs reach a higher plane by virtue of great lyrics. Bob Dylan is the master-poet of the song lyric; Springsteen and Elton John/Bernie Taupin are close behind. And then there are the songs where unimaginative and uninspired lyrics are pasted in as a placeholder…and just stay there.
For example, any mention of beverages is a sure sign of a lazy lyric:
I like coffee and I like teaThat’s a line from “Run Around” by Blues Traveler. Then there’s this doggerel from Ten Years After’s “I’d Love to Change the World”:
But to be able to enter a final plea
Life is funnyFor sheer density of dumb lyrics, you can’t beat the Temptations’ “The Way you Do the Things you Do”:
Skies are sunny
Bees make honey
Who needs money
The way you stole my heartBut then this morning (on satellite radio!) I heard quite possibly the laziest lyrics every put to music. It was a minor hit for Frankie Ford called “Roberta”:
You know, you could have been a cool crook.
And baby you're so smart
You know, you could have been a school book
I ain’t mad at youI think these lyrics were written on the back of a napkin by a four-year-old. Think about the thousands of other words Frankie could have rhymed with “me.” Instead he takes the path of least effort and drops in a math lesson. Wayne Brady makes up better lyrics during improv on “Whose Line is it Anyway?”
Don’t you be mad at me
1+1 is 2
2+1 is 3