Periodically, you'll hear that song on the radio, or being sang by one of your kids, that makes you cock your head, prick up your ears, and say: "Christ, man, what is that?!" (in my case, with an Irish accent, and a "feckin'' in there somewhere...) because it's a quandary beyond any other, how in God's name that song could get recorded, let alone be popular.
But it's a quasi-generational thing really, transcending space and time, down through the ages, into the quill-pen encrusted, foppish dandy-coated times, where I'm sure even Bill Shakespeare wandered down a filthy street, Shepherd's Pie in hand saying "Christ, man, what is that?!" (except in a hugely British brogue) to some down-on-his-luck minstrel trying his best to earn a buck through his talent or lack of it. (usually ignored through some "first two episodes of the season" "American Idol"-strength denial.)
So, with that in mind, here's a list of my Top 10 "How the Hell did that Happen?" songs.
10. The Offspring- "Get a Job". This song is an earsore if there ever was one. Annoying lyrics, Dexter's annoying whining voice, and a complete departure from their signature sound. Not that that's a bad thing, but where did this curveball come from? Lyrically, I don't know who Dex & the Boys are trying to insult here, his friend with the girlfriend, or the girlfriend, or both. Either way, it's horrendous. Unacceptable.
9. Musical Youth- "Pass the Dutchie". This one speaks for itself. You have a horrible hybrid of two mainstay reggae tunes, a blathering 12 year old vocalist whose lyrics are nearly unintelligible, and the original meaning now lifted. In a striking example of poetic justice, this abomination, which changed the drug reference of the original from pot to food, resulted in just giving the Weed Nation another nickname for their muse. Terrific. It's bad enough they have nothing else to talk about, they now have more ways to do it.
8. The Bee Gees- "You Should Be Dancing". Disco, just by the size of it's enormity, deserves to be chronicled as a page in music's history books, quality of the genre notwithstanding. However catchy some disco songs, even the ones done by the Gibb Machine, may be, some are unforgiveable. "You Should be Dancing" is one of those songs. I could write another entire blog post about "Misheard Lyrics", but this one takes the cake. Barry's falsetto on this one so obscures the lyrics to "Whatcha doin' on your back?", that as a 6 year old, I thought he was saying "Stick it in your butt". Case closed.
7. PSY- "Gangnam Style". Gangnam is an area south of the Han River in Seoul, Korea. Just over 500,000 citizens strong. Apparently they have a community built on nerds boogieing down as well. Not to say it hasn't rung a bell with people, it's the first video to be viewed over a billion times on YouTube. "Gangnam Style" has become a calling card for it's era. Move over Vanilla Ice, A-Ha, and David Naughton....here comes a little dude with glasses, crackin' Gangnam Style!!!
6. Fine Young Cannibals "She Drives Me Crazy". Now, earlier I have already mentioned my hatred of falsetto, and vocalist Roland Gift's usage of it is so unnecessary since tis song is already annoying. Plus, after seeing the video, I was stunned by Mr. Gift's striking similarity to actor Duane Jones. Hence, all I could visualize in my head was Ben in "Night of the Living Dead" getting gunned down by zombie hunters not realizing he was alive at the end of the movie. So the song annoys, then it depresses. A true double whammy.