As another Valentine’s Day approaches, what a perfect time to look at those songs that make us feel the love. Actually, it’s an even better time to look at the songs about love that make us cringe and reach for the nearest bucket. Here are the worst songs about love that make you want to vomit.
Any list about what love songs stink is very subjective so let me lay down a couple of ground rules I’m following. First, Lionel Richie is the man so I’m not having any of that. Richie has always had me at “Hello.” Michael Bolton is not the man, but back in the day his hair was made for love songs, massive sensual love songs. Also, “Every Breath You Take” by The Police is a good song, don’t tell me anything different. Same goes for “I Just Called To Say I Love You” by Stevie Wonder. It was Eddie Murphy who said it best: Don’t mess with Stevie. That’s pretty much it as far as rules goes: no Ritchie or Bolton, leave them alone.
Songs that just missed the list are “You Remind Me of Something” by R. Kelly with the lyrics “You remind me of a jeep, I wanna ride it.” Not good R. Kelly, not even maybe good. Usher also receives a dishonorable mention for “You Make Me Wanna” when what he is saying is you make me wanna leave someone else. That’s not real love, man, that’s harsh! Finally, the last song just missing the list is “Lady In Red” by Chris de Burgh because, well, we’ve all heard the song, enough already about the lady in red!
Okay, here we are. Clear your path to the bathroom because here comes the top 15 love songs that make you want to vomit.
15 One Direction, "Little Things"
So let’s get one thing out of the way: Ed Sheeran gets dishonorable mention here because he co-wrote this song with Fiona Bevan. It’s an acoustic song so barf right out of the gate. Mr. Harry Styles actually sings the following in this song: “You never want to know how much you weigh / you still have to squeeze into your jeans, but you’re perfect to me.” I’m not sure how they came away with the title of this song, but apparently “little things” isn’t in reference to the girl's thighs.
Boy bands have always been the best at singing garbage love songs. First off, they are too young to really know jack and secondly, nothing they do is sincere, every move of One Direction has always been scripted down to their look and dance moves. “Little Things” makes the vomit list, but you could really choose from about 40 of their songs.
14 Dave Matthews Band, "Crash Into Me"
Followers of the Dave Matthews Band probably love this song and are wet after each listen, but for the casual listener, this song is not just cringe worthy, it’s downright perverted. This being his most popular song should really say something about “Dave fans.” The lyrics “hike up your skirt a little more and show your world to me” is not the Dave Matthews we’ve been sold on. No, this is the guy in the subway rubbing up on people. Hey Dave, can you be a little more specific, I do not understand what you want here…
Matthews has that deep, yet gentle voice that, along with lyrics such as these, is reason for concern. Of course I’ve never heard anything bad about him, but that doesn’t mean I still can’t be suspicious. Oh, and as far as this song goes, yeah I definitely throw up a little in my mouth each time I hear it.
13 Bad English, "When I See You Smile"
It’s amazing what songs become hits and this one is definitely a major hit that is still heard daily on radio stations everywhere. That doesn’t mean it’s a good love song nor does it mean it doesn’t make me want to be sick each listen. Bad English is actually two guys from the band Journey, Jonathan Cain and Neil Schon, who, along with John Waite, formed the band Bad English.
My biggest problem with this song is that anyone of us could have written it, it’s that simple and I don’t mean early Beatles simple, that’s genius simple. No, this is crap simple, yet somehow people just eat it up and as far as love ballads go, is still huge. I bet every Saturday there is a couple getting married and this song is playing. I’m also betting that every Saturday, during the playing of this song there are stomachs turning…
12 Celine Dion, "My Heart Will Go On"
Yeah, this is the Titanic song; oh my God can we please stop this song! It’s one of those songs that as soon as you hear the flute you look for an exit wherever you are. If you are able to, head to the restroom. You don’t even have to do cocaine, just not hearing the song is a high itself. Should you not be so lucky to have a bathroom exit, don’t worry, five minutes later you will find yourself looking into a toilet.
No surprise here that I’m not a Celine fan, and I get she’s an acquired taste like cigars or New Orleans, but this song has been so overplayed you don’t even have to hear it, sometimes it just exists. That’s the worst kind of bad love song. Here you are, just trying to relax and you hear the flute start up knowing it will be at least an hour before Dion’s voice leaves your head. She has that effect, like New Orleans...
11 John Mayer, "Your Body is a Wonderland"
This one is all in the title, right? John Mayer gets a lot of flak and some is deserved while others probably not so much. However, any crap he gets for this song is well deserved. This song is so bad I have to look away from the radio when it comes on. In fact I feel embarrassed for anyone that has to listen to it. There are lyrics that reference a “bubblegum tongue,” I mean, seriously John? There’s even a jazz sound to this song that gives it that special smoky, creepy feel to it.
Let’s get back to the name of the song. This is not the name someone like Mayer should use for a song. “Your Body is a Wonderland” is something I expect from Poison, W.A.S.P. or Ratt, not John Mayer. If anyone ever used the phrase “bubblegum tongue” to describe anything I would immediately give them a hug and nicely ask them to never say that again because clearly, they need a friend.
10 Bryan Adams, "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You"
This song spent 16 weeks as the number one song in the U.K., so as bad as I want to vomit when I hear this song I can’t imagine what the British must think. They must have Bryan Adams free zones just to escape this song. The song was the theme song for the movie Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves which, like the song, isn’t as good as popularity suggests.
To make matters worse, the song had a video with Kevin Costner wearing tights. This was 1991 when Costner was the go-to guy for romance in movies. How did that ever happen, Costner? Anyway, those were crazy times and both Adams and Costner were clearly in the right place at the right time. I’m also somewhat jaded on the song name. In the fifth grade I wrote a note to a girl and said that everything I do is for you. She not only didn’t reply, she seemed to look away from me when she saw me coming; the same way I look away when I hear this song. Circle of life people.
9 Jewel, "You Were Meant for Me"
When we were introduced to Jewel, she was different because she was indie before there was such a thing as indie. Jewel didn’t just sing songs, no, she told stories. Turns out if you actually listened to the stories, they were boring as hell, especially her love stories. Her songs were essentially about nothing, she was the Seinfeld of the folk scene in the nineties.
The song “You Were Meant for Me” was a great example of her work (and also, by the way, a really big hit). In the song, she uses eggs to make a smiley face (I’m guessing she’s not a bacon girl), in the rain she puts on a coat, not before, but after she’s already wet. Yes, Jewel is a rebel. She wears pajamas. Hey look, Jewel is just like us, a girl who plays with her food, wears clothes at night, and is looking for love. Sorry, I just got sick writing this.
8 Whitesnake, “Is This Love”
No eighties band got more out of their ballads than Whitesnake did. They embraced the keyboards, smoke machines, and sultry looks to make you feel their pain. This particular song is so meaningless it doesn’t make me sick, it makes me want to laugh - laugh so hard I eventually get sick. The lyrics are somewhat amazing: “Is this love that I’m feeling, Is this the love I’ve been searching for, Is this the love or am I dreaming, this must be love because It’s really got a hold on me.” Priceless stuff from David Coverdale.
For every Whitesnake ballad, there was a video with eighties sex kitten Tawny Kitaen. No girl could slut it up better in a video than Tawny. No, she didn’t try and have sex with a car in this one, but she’s obviously deep in lust over something. Apparently something that really has a hold on her.
7 James Blunt, "You're Beautiful"
Man, remember the year this song came out? It was brutal. You couldn’t avoid this song if you cut off your ears. Where to even start with this one? There’s the lyrics, which are essentially “you’re beautiful” over and over, then there’s the whiney sound of Blunt’s voice. Sorry, but his voice is a little too soprano wouldn’t you say? Finally, the melody itself, it’s like he started with some slow song that was going to be for an indie movie and then it got cancelled so he just called an audible.
There is also a video which didn’t do the song’s annoying factor any favors. In the video, Blunt is in the snow and gets naked. He then finds himself on a cliff and jumps because you know, “You’re Beautiful.” What? This makes zero sense and the fact that the video is full of cheesy shots makes me so angry I want to vomit.
6 'N Sync, "(God Must Have Spent) A Little More Time On You"
What happened guys, someone already made a song called “God must be missing an angel because I’m looking at one right now?” Don’t name a song after a horrible pick-up line, c’mon guys, that’s rule number one in the book of how to make a song people don’t want to vomit to. They don’t even say why they believe this. I know, don’t overthink a boy band song, but still, there should be at least some content to back up a song name such as this.
The lyrics: “Your love is like a river, peaceful and deep, your soul is like a secret, that I never could keep, when I look into your eyes, I know that it’s true, God must have spent a little more time on you.” Wow, I mean what is there to really say about this? I can rhyme as well, but that doesn't mean I should write lyrics.
5 Jimmy Buffett, "Why Don't We Get Drunk and Screw"
Pretty straight forward, so I guess that’s something. You really need to get into the details here to see what’s not quite right about this one. “I just bought a waterbed, it’s filled up for me and you, they said you’re a snub queen, honey I don’t think it’s true, why don’t we get drunk and screw.” Dude bought a waterbed just to bag this girl? That’s some line there Jimmy… Hey baby, I’ve got a waterbed now what do you say we get drunk and screw! Guaranteed to work 1 out of every 100 times!
Mr. Margaritaville is also a little passive aggressive with his girl in this song. At one point he refers to her as a “snub queen” and then calls her “honey.” I can’t imagine what he calls his girls in the morning when he’s kicking them out of the waterbed. Or should I say rolls them out… there really is no easy way to get out of one of those things.
4 Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow, “Picture”
Remember when these two were allegedly dating and they made this song? Good times, good times… This is pretty much a country ballad written for trailer park romances. For everyone else, it was interesting the first time and then increasingly gut-wrenching each time after. Have to hand it to Kid Rock though, he definitely had his share of famous females. I am thankful that he didn’t have a duet with Pamela Anderson, or at least a signing one.
The lyrics are straight out of a tractor pull: “Living my life in a slow hell, different girl every night at the hotel, I ain’t seen the sun shine in three damn days, been fuelin’ up on cocaine and whisky.” Is it just me or I don’t get the problem? He misses his girl that he has a picture of, but it doesn’t sound like he really cares if he’s scoring with girls each night. Plus, he’s got cocaine. Sounds like he’s living the life; just throw away the picture man!
3 Poison, “Every Rose Has Its Thorn”
If you’re going to get life advice, specifically on life, who better than Bret Michaels and Poison to give it to you? The mega-hit ballad, “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” is about a girl cheating on Michaels. Apparently this is based on a real-life incident where Michaels fell in love with a stripper. Oh eighties, why won’t you come back! The lyrics could not be more cliche: “Every rose has its thorn, just like every night has its dawn, just like every cowboy sings his sad, sad song.” Okay I can’t type anymore of these lyrics. I’m too sad, actually downright depressed.
The video shows Michaels in bed with a stripper, but then just cuts to live footage of the band. Anyone who has followed Michaels’ career after Poison knows he has bounced back quite well and has dated millions of strippers. Hey, every cowboy has to get back on the horse, right? Wait! I have an idea for a love ballad…
2 Billy Ocean, "Get Outta of My Dreams, Get Into My Car"
I love this song because it’s so awful. This is another one that makes me laugh until I vomit. The song is so upbeat with such an eighties pop sound, it’s awesome, and a tune Patrick Bateman from American Psycho would have totally been into. With the upbeat tone it’s easy to forget what the song is about. Lyrics include: “Get into my car, get outta my dream, get into the back seat baby, get into my car, beep beep yeah, get outta my mind, get into my life.”
So… where to start on this one, hmm… Well, apparently Ocean can’t get this girl out of his mind which doesn’t mean let’s meet for coffee or have dinner; instead, let’s get into my back seat and get busy baby! Back then I get it, people had sex in cars. I think people realize it’s pretty horrible to have sex in a car. Regardless, it’s creepy, especially today whenever anyone says “get into my car.” Definitely don’t yell this at a girl near an elementary school. Definitely a no-no…
1 Meat Loaf, “I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)”
This is almost the ultimate love song except for how frustrating it is because he states “I would do anything for love, but I won’t do that.” Numerous fists have punched walls due to not knowing what “that” is. It’s a fun conversation to have around a dinner table (especially in today’s passionate political environment), but you will probably never figure it out. Unless of course you are reading this because I suspect I know what “that” is.
I always saw Meat Loaf as somewhat of a forward thinking guy, someone who could see what was coming in the future and given he was a musical artist, I’m certain he knew what the musical landscape would look like twenty years later. That’s why I believe “that” means listening to John Mayer’s “Your Body Is A Wonderland” together. Yeah, pretty certain on this. I knew that song should have been number one…