Yes, we are aware artists use poetic license when they are writing lyrics, but that doesn't prevent us from getting irritated when we hear grammatical errors over the radio waves. Below are ten songs with lyrics that set off our inner grammar-police sirens:
Cage The Elephant, "Ain't No Rest For The Wicked"
There ain't no rest for the wicked
Money don't grow on trees
I got bills to pay, I got mouths to feed
And there ain't nothin' in this world for free
This song is an English teacher's worst nightmare. Every line of the chorus, plus the title of the song, is one huge grammatical debauchery.
The Police, "Every little thing she does is magic"
Every little thing she does is magic
Everything she do just turns me on
Even though my life before was tragic
Now I know my love for her goes on
We understand Sting was aiming for a reggae-feel, but that misuse of 'do' makes us cringe every time we hear this song.
Alice In Chains, "Them Bones"
I believe them bones are me
Some say we're born into the grave
I feel so alone
Gonna end up a big ol' pile of them bones
Unless you're Layne Staley, using the term "them bones" makes you sound like a ham-bone.
My my baby blue
Yeah I been thinkin' about you
My my baby blue
Yeah you're so jaded
And I'm the one that jaded you
This may be nit-picky, but The lyric should be "I'm the one WHO jaded you". Unless Steven Tyler considers himself a thing.
Dave Matthew's Band, "When The World Ends"
And the world's done
Ours just begun
Ours just begun
The lyric should be "ours has just begun", but we like how you slur that line, so we'll let you slide this time, Matthews. One request though: please stop using the word 'belly' in all of your songs now. That word makes us cringe more than your grizzly-sounding, poor grammar.
Timbaland, "The Way I Are"
Baby if you strip, you could get a tip
'Cause I like you just the way you are
I'm about to strip and I want it quick
Can you handle me the way I are?
No, we can't handle the way you are. Nor can we stomach the usage of "ain't" in the previous verses. Good rule of thumb: if you can't play the word in Scrabble, leave it out of your lyrics. (Let's take a moment here to envision Timbaland playing Scrabble).
Justin Timberlake, "What Goes Around Comes Around"
I heard you found out that he's doing to you
What you did to me, ain't that the way it goes?
When you cheated girl, my heart bleeded girl
Oh JT, just because you're eye candy doesn't mean you can make up words like "bleeded".
Mumford and Sons, "Lover of the Light"
I had done wrong
You build your tower
But call me home
And I will build a throne
And wash my eyes out never again
Past tense. Present tense. Future tense. Then a sentence fragment. Maybe we're just sick of hearing this song. Period.
Rage Against the Machine, "Bulls on Parade"
Either drop tha hits like de la O or get tha f-ck off tha commode
Wit tha sure shot, sure ta make tha bodies drop
Drop an don't copy yo, don't call this a co-op
Terror rains drenchin', quenchin' tha thirst of tha power dons
That five sided fist-a-gon
Tha rotten sore on tha face of mother earth gets bigger
Tha triggers cold empty ya purse
Wait, did he just say "fist-a-gon"? we were too busy trying to figure out the rest of the words. If we were to include every rap song with poor grammar or made-up words, this post would be 100 pages longer.
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Nicki Minaj, "Super Bass"
I mean, sigh, sickenin' eyes
I can tell that you're in touch with your feminine side
Yes I did, yes I did, somebody please tell him who the eff I is
I am Nicki Minaj, I mack them dudes up, back coupes up, and chuck the deuce up
You can't make a list about grammatical errors without mentioning the Queen of Ill-Linguistics, Nicki Minaj. Don't she know using poor grammar makes you a stupid hoe, you a stupid hoe?!