- Tim McGraw's "Refried Dreams" contains the line "Shooting tequila, wanting to kill him." Yes, it's supposed to rhyme.
- Eddy Grant's "Electric Avenue" rhymes "soldier" with "abhor ya" and "TV" with "kids." Yuck.
- Kenny Chesney's "Dancin' for the Groceries" is a pretty good song about a desperate single mom who resorts to stripping in order to support her kids (hence the title). It does, however, contain a cringe-worthy rhyme in the chorus: "In sequins and in laces, she's dancing for the braces." Ugh.
- ZZ Top, on "Tush":
I ain't askin' for much.
I said, Lord, take me downtown,
I'm just lookin' for some tush.
- The last word gets pronounced as "touch" instead of the word it's supposed to be in order to force a rhyme.
- Neil Diamond's "I Am I Said":
"I am", I said
To no one there
And no one heard at all
Not even the chair.
- Dave Barry, in a column which would led to a massive amount of hate mail from Neil Diamond fans and provide the seed for the famous Bad Songs Survey via readers who agreed with him, complained about the lameness of this line:
Is Neil telling us he's surprised that the chair didn't hear him? Maybe he expected the chair to say, "Whoa, I heard THAT." My guess is that Neil was really desperate to come up with something to rhyme with "there", and he had already rejected "So I ate a pear", "Like Smokey the Bear", and "There were nits in my hair."
- According to Martin Pearson, Neil Diamond's "Play Me" contains the worst rhyme in the history of modern music:
The line comes later in the song; it goes "Songs she sang to me, songs she BRANG to me.'" Ugh! It's "brought", you horrible little American!
- LFO's "Summer Girls" is quite possibly the worst example of this in history, considering most of the song is just plot relevant lyric + random thing which rhymes:
Fell deep in love, but now we ain't speakin' Michael J. Fox
was Alex P. Keaton.
There was a good man named Paul Revere
I feel much better, baby, when you're near
- Practically every line in the song qualifies, but this one deserves special mention for being completely nonsensical and still having to mispronounce a word:
When I'm around you my heart is buzzing like a hornet
Billy Shakespeare wrote a whole lot of sornets
- In "I've Just Seen a Face" (originally by The Beatles), Paul McCartney attempts to rhyme "aware" and "her." (He also rhymes face/place, girl/world, falling/calling, day/way and sight/quite. All the lame rhymes in one bundle.) There are multiple covers by him, and he's attempted more than one method of trying to make the rhyme work... <sigh>
- Interestingly enough, in a Liverpudlian accent, "aware" and "her" do rhyme. But of course, Paul tries to sing it with a more neutral accent...
- Another one in "It Won't Be Long": "It won't be long / 'Till I belong to you."
- Those kind of pale in comparison to George Harrison's incredibly forced rhyme in Old Brown Shoe: "I may appear to be im-per-fect / My love is something you can't re-ject"
- Topped himself later on with: "For your sweet top lip I'm in the queue / Baby, I'm in love with you"
- Similarly, his "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" has "I don't know how you were diverted / You were perverted too / I don't know how you were inverted / No one alerted you."
- "What You're Doing"
Look what you're doin'
I'm feeling blue 'n' lonely
I was a sailor first, I sailed the sea
Then I got a job, in a factory
Played Butlin's Camp with my friend Rory
It was good for him, it was great for me
- And then narrowly averted in Sir Paul's solo career, where most people hear, "But if this ever-changing world in which we live in/ makes you give in and cry..." whereas it's actually "world in which we're livin'", which is not quite as painful.v
- In George Harrison's "It's What You Value", he rhymes "compared" with "blurred".
- The majority of Fall Out Boy's "I Don't Care", in which they not only try to rhyme "tolerance" and "pants", but also this gem:
I'm the oracle in my chest,
Let the guitar scream like a fascist.
- Also, from "The Carpal Tunnel of Love":
And we shake shake shake the hips
- Barry McGuire's "Eve of Destruction" tries to rhyme "China" and "Alabama". Seriously. Particularly egregious because just two states over there's South Carolina, which was not exactly a hotbed of tolerance at the time either. The song also contains the extended rhyme coagulating/contemplating/regulation/legislation/integration/disintegrating/frustrating. Since he's dropping the Gs in his pronunciation, it sort of works... which doesn't change the fact that he's used "coagulating" in a song.
- Aside from a touch of Intercourse with You, the entire point of Robby Roadsteamer's "Banana" seems to be finding things that almost-but-not-quite rhyme with the title (such as "slammer", "Panera", "Pantera", and, somehow, "Dragon's Lair").
- Weezer's "Everybody Get Dangerous" suffers a lot from this, but the most cringe-worthy is in the very first two lines, where "younger" is rhymed with "fun, yeah".
- "Troublemaker" is even worse:
Marrying a beeyotch
Having seven keeyods
- "Muddy Water" by Trace Adkins has the chorus:
Baptize me in that muddy water
Wash me clean in amazing grace
I ain't been livin' like I oughtta
Baptize me in that muddy water
- And what's worse is that, in the right accent, those two would be a perfect rhyme! Water and "otter" basically.
- Rascal Flatts' "Me and My Gang" rhymed "thing" with "gang", implying that they went out of their way to say "thang", something no real country singer would do no matter how thick their accent was.
- A song by the Miami Boys Choir:
"Please let me be in the choir/
And I hope that my voice will not tire"
- Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad by Meat Loaf has more forced rhymes than actual rhymes. A complete cataloguing would excessively lengthen this article; suffice to say, the very first quatrain rhymes "nowhere" with "inside of here" and "the way I feel" with "make me leave here".
- "Pass the Mic" by the Beastie Boys, as well as Rhyming with Itself for "commercial", includes a rhyme of "on and on to the early morn", which along with "on and on to the break of dawn" is one of those rhymes that stopped being used once rap music escaped from New York.
- Justified. A later lyric to that song is "Let's rock this joint in the old-school way."
- Supertramp's "Breakfast in America", which is a great song, still contains some awful rhyming: girlfriend/girlfriend, breakfast/Texas and dear/millionaire.
- Truth be told, it was written by Roger Hodgson when he was fifteen; probably his first ever composition. Supertramp kept the lyrics intact as the naivety of the lyrics suited the song better than any more complex or cynical lyric.
- Elton John's "Nikita" rhymes "world" and "cold". Yuck.
- "Daniel" has "traveling tonight on a plane" with "heading for Spain", and "never been" and "ever seen".
- Uncle Sam's "I Don't Ever Wanna See You Again" has the following. The word "addressee" always made me cringe. I forgot until I looked it up for this trope that it didn't even rhyme.
Early one morning while you were asleep
I received a letter, but there was no addressee
- Ever hear "Talk Like a Pirate Day" by Tom Smith? It boasts the pain-inducing rhymes of "yourself, I bet" with "alphabet", and "mains'ls" with "brain cells". Ouch.
- Autopilot Off's "Divine Intervention" has this gem:
To ride along
When these days are gone
It's what we've become
- Alan Jackson has some painfully bad rhymes in a lot of his songs. One big example is "Where I Come From", which has such gems as "turnpike"/"midnight", "Ventura"/"finger", "dinner"/"soprano", "Kentucky"/"thunder" and "Tulsa"/"salsa".
- He also tries to rhyme "ice" and "about" in "Good Time".
- And several from "Country Boy", including "Ashpalt"/"Red dirt", "close"/"road", and well, every freaking rhyme in the song except "butt"/"rut".
- Speaking of Alan Jackson, he co-wrote Randy Travis' "Better Class of Losers", which rhymes "sweet" and "suite", a very rare example of using homophones as rhymes.
- Kanye West - "Flashing Lights" It might even work if he didn't try so hard.
She don't believe in shooting stars
But she believes in shoes and cars
Wood floors in the new apartment
Couture from the store's departments.
- Or this bit from "American Boy"
What's your persona
About this Americana
Rhymer, am I shallow
'Cause all my clothes designer?
- Hell, a large chunk of Kanye's songs come under this trope. Which makes it all the more puzzling why so many consider him a genius...
- Another homophone rhyme: "Me and You" by Kenny Chesney rhymes "too" and "to" in the chorus.
- Reba McEntire's "Every Other Weekend" is by no means a bad song, but every single stanza and the chorus end with "again"/"weekend".
- Ne-Yo in "So You Can Cry": "I won't attend your pity party/I'd rather go have calamari."
- New Kids on the Block - "Sexify My Love"
Really gotta concentrate
And now we're gonna consummate
So, let's conversate
- I would just like to point out that somebody actually wrote this line. And decided to call the song "Sexify My Love". More like, "Wreck-ify My Language"...
- One of Mitch Benn's satirical songs on The Now Show mocks the then-Poet Laureate Andrew Motion for claiming that nothing rhymes with "Wilkinson". As with the Lehrer examples, outrageous forced rhymes are used for comic effect:
Andrew Motion's changed his mind
He's far too busy milkin' son-
orous words and syllables to find
A rhyme for Jonny Wilkinson.
- Another one from the first series of Mitch Benn's Crimes Against Music:
Everybody knows ain't nothing rhymes with orange,
Doesn't matter how much imagination or inj-
-inuity you use even words thar are foreign, j-
-ust let it go, ain't nothing rhymes with orange.
- "Motorway Food" rhymes "ag'ny" with "lasagny".
- Ty Herndon's "In Your Face" has several: "Libra"/"Reba"/"over-eager", "rejection"/"left me", and "artist"/"party"/"sparkle".
- Can't believe it's taken this long for Bob Dylan to get a mention. Okay, "knowed"/"road" (from "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright") is different from most examples on the page in that the rhyme is fine, it's the grammar that's wonky. But his song "Hurricane" looks as though it could have been written by McGonagall:
"It's my work", he'd say.
"I do it for pay.
And when it's over I'd just as soon go on my way
Up to some paradise
Where the trout streams flow and the air is nice
And ride a horse along the trail."
But then they took him to the jail-
Where they try to turn a man into a mouse.
- From the same song as above:
We want to put his ass in stir
We want to pin this triple mur-der on him
He ain't no Gentleman Jim!
- Dylan mangled many a meter, though (with clever prosody) he made it work, surprisingly often. Except the times he didn't. For those not familiar with the story from "Motorpsycho Nitemare" please understand, key facts have been omitted. True, but—I don't want to quote the entire thing—so, trust me that It Makes Sense in Context, sorta:
I said, "I like Fidel Castro,
I think you heard me right"
And ducked as he swung
At me with all his might
Rita mumbled something
'Bout her mother on the hill
As his fist hit the icebox
He said he's going to kill
me/If I don't get out the door
In two seconds flat
Rotten doctor Commie rat."
- The chorus in "I Wanna Be Your Lover" is either an example or Refuge in Audacity: "I don't wanna be hers/I wanna be YERRRRRS!"
- "It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)" is a good example too:
A question in your nerves is lit
Yet you know there is no answer fit
To satisfy, insure you not to quit
To keep it in your mind and not fergit
That it is not he or she or them or it
That you belong to
- The Steve Miller Band's "Abracadabra" has quite a few awful rhymes, but the worst part has to be the chorus:
I wanna reach out and grab ya
- In Tracy Chapman's "Fast Car", almost all the rhymes are slant rhymes, and Tracy works hard to make them sound like they rhyme. Well, until we get to this one, which pushes it a bit too far:
I know things will get better
You'll find work and I'll get promoted
We'll move out of the shelter
Buy a big house and live in the suburbs
- Dead Kennedys' "California Uber Alles":
It's the suede-denim secret police!
They have come for your uncool niece!
- Megadeth's Return To Hangar has this gem:
Welcome to an empty fortress
A mighty wreck that once was proud
Ate alive by oxidation
Abandoned by a crew of cowards
- Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" rhymes the title with "fool ya". (And also "do ya", "to ya", "overthrew ya", "knew ya", and "outdrew ya", but the painfulness of these is well within the ambit of personal taste — unless the song is being sung by somebody who insists on pronouncing "do you", "to you", etc. 'properly'.)
- 3OH!3's song "Don't Trust Me". It's bad enough when they try to rhyme "teeth", "need", "east", and "cheeks". "Whoa-oh" is a pathetic rhyme for "ho". But "vegetarian" does NOT rhyme with "fucking scared of him".
- The rap verses of Blondie's "Rapture" are probably supposed to seem a little silly, but:
Take a tour through the sewer
Don't strain your brain
Paint a train
You'll be singing in the rain
Said don't stop to the punk rock
- And yes, "sewer" is pronounced like "sore" to rhyme.
- The chorus of Thin Lizzy's "Romeo And The Lonely Girl":
Oh, poor Romeo
Sittin' out on his own-ee-o
- Third Day, an otherwise very talented contemporary Christian band, rhymed "Leavin'" with "seasons" in the song "I Will Be True".
- Joni Mitchell's late '60s hit "Both Sides Now" totally falls apart in the last verse by trying to rhyme "strange / changed / gained":
But now old friends are acting strange
They shake their heads, they say I've changed
But something's lost and something's gained ...
- R. Kelly puts a character named "Chuck" in his song Trapped In The Closet to rhyme with "fuck" a few lines later.
- Obscure Canadian rock band Saga's "Live at Five", despite the title smelling of one, remains acceptable mostly (as is usually the case of their work), but this one's just... disturbing.
'cause this isn't live
it's live at five
- Though, the band also tossed us a song called "Keep It Reel" on the same album as "Live at Five", so take this how you will.
- The chorus to "She's a Genius" by Jet:
That girl's a genius
Whoa oh oh oh oh oh
I think she's serious
Whoa oh oh oh oh oh
- Both Adam Sandler ("The Hanukkah Song") and "Weird Al" Yankovic ("Pretty Fly for a Rabbi") have rhymed "yarmulke" with "Hanukkah". Oy vey.
- The problem is that MANY people pronounce "yarmulke" as "yam-a-kah", hence the rhyme.
- Along with quite a few other songs, "Love Song" by Sara Bareilles seems to run out of rhymes ending in "ay" halfway through the chorus, resulting in the most painful rhyme ever (and biggest ever cop-out) at the end: "today"!
I'm not gonna write you a love song
'Cause you tell me it's
Make or breaking this
If you're on your way
I'm not gonna write you to stay
If all you have is leavin'
I'ma need a better reason
To write you a love song today
- "Fantasy" by the Blizzards is just awful: mouth/out, seduction/catch on, fantasy/tingly, culminating in:
You know my girlfriend, she doesn't know a thing
Pure ignorance is such a beautiful thing
- "Pinch Me" by Barenaked Ladies: "There's a restaurant down the street/where hungry people like to eat."
- In this case, the painful rhyming is on purpose. "I could hide out under there/I just made you say underwear"
- Nine of the Top Ten "winners" in the BBC's search for the worst song lyrics of all time are cited for their painful rhymes (the remaining entry is just inane verbiage). Number one is from Des'ree's "Life":
I don't want to see a ghost,
It's the sight that I fear most,
I'd rather have a piece of toast,
Watch the evening news.
- The chorus to America's "Sandman", where "man" is rhymed with "sandman", which in turn is rhymed with "abandoned".
- And the ever unfortunate chorus of "Horse with No Name" which is perfect rhyme at the expense of fracturing grammar badly
In the desert, you can remember your name
'Cause there ain't no one for to give ya no shame.
- Britney Spears "Baby One More Time" contains three lines that sound like they rhyme, but none of them do exactly. (Though this is is arguably a subversion of the trope, because they sound fine in the song, and most people probably wouldn't even notice unless they were analysing the lyrics):-
When I'm not with you I lose my mind
Give me a sign
Hit me baby one more time
- This isn't the last time she's done it either. In "Scary," A bonus track on "Femme Fatale," she rhymes "scary" with "hypnotherapy."
- The Lonely Island's "Jizz in My Pants":
Last week, I sawr a film
As I recall it was a horror film
- "Jesse's Girl", by Rick Springfield, is an especially egregious offender:
You know I feel so dirty when they start talking cute
I wanna tell her that I love her but the point is probably moot
- "Black Friday Rule" by Flogging Molly has some rhymes which, though they seem odd when written down, make sense in the singer's cod Irish accent (eye/destroy, you/truth). There's no excuse for this lyric, though:
Well I lost me a wife, so I found me a plane
Flew all the way to California
- It's pronounced as "Californ-ee-eye-ay", in case you're wondering.
- Avril Lavigne's "I'm With You":
It's a damn cold night
Trynna figure out this life
- "Sk8er Boi" has "heard" and "world", which are assonant (like the above) and would be forgivable... if she didn't sing the line like she was drunk in an effort to force them to rhyme.
- Lampshade hung by Alice Cooper, in "School's Out":
Well we've got no class
And we've got no principals
And we've got no innocence
We can't even think of a word that rhymes!
- Otep manages to do this both ways in "Confrontation":
Riot gear, the slaves are here, piling corpses high
It's the rich man's war but its the poor that fight
- The first few lines of Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Dani California". It's chock full of almost excruciating rhymes!
- Eminem lampshades one in the third verse of "Kill You":
Know why I SAY THESE THINGS?
Cause LADIES' SCREAMS
Keep creepin in SHADY'S DREAMS
And the WAY THINGS SEEM
I shouldn't have to PAY THESE SHRINKS
These EIGHTY G'S
A week to say the SAME THINGS TWEECE!
- The chorus of "The Riverboat Song" by Ocean Colour Scene features this predictable rhyme:
Anyway, for all the sings you said,
Tell me why does the river run red?
Anyway, for all the things you've seen,
Tell me when will the river run green?
- This song also repeatedly rhymes "double" with "trouble".
- In the bridge of "Breaker" by Accept, the second line seems to be there only for the purpose of rhyming with the previous one and doesn't make sense in context:
- Then, there's the chorus:
He's a breaker
He will take ya
- Sugarcult uses a lot of pervasive rhymes (with "Memory" being one of the worst offenders, abusing heart/start/apart to death). Still, none of those are as cringe-inducing as "Pretty Girl," which not only changes its rhyme scheme halfway through the song, but the second verse does, well, this:
She's beautiful as usual with bruises on her ego, and
Her killer instinct tells her to be aware of evil men.
- "Riot" tries a bit too hard to rhyme "riot" with "fight."
- U2's already been mentioned above, but they deserve another mention for this verse from "All Because of You"— and yes, Bono does indeed pronounce "tortoise" to rhyme:
I like the sound of my own voice
I didn't give anyone else a choice
An intellectual tortoise
Racing with your bullet train
- Fairly standard pronunciation of "tortoise" in British English. Still painful though.
- Especially since it puts the stress on TOISE instead of TOR-, where it belongs. Rhyming and scantion both weep here...
- Disturbed gets a mention for Inside the Fire. The lyricist is called out on this.
Wengren: Is there a significance to "Devon, one of eleven"?
Draiman: Uh-huh, big family.
"When I was first doing the scat version, the whole song all the way trough, almost every word of it was 'Eleven, Eleven, Eleven' 'cause not too many things rhyme with the word".
- Yes, this lyric was painful because the subject had to be named "Devon" for some reason. Also note that the actual person the song was based on went unnamed.
- Supposedly, 1 of 11 people with suicidal thoughts will actually go through with it and succeed note . Also, according to The Other Wiki, suicide is the 11th highest cause of death in the US and the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention has 11 goals aimed at preventing suicides. The last two probably don't have anything to do with the song, but it's pretty weird how often 11 shows up.
- Queen's "Radio Ga Ga":
So stick around, 'cause we might miss you
When we get tired of all this viss-yool
- Also from Queen, the song "Brighton Rock" has Freddie Mercury mispronouncing "compromised" and "apologize" so that can both can rhyme with "holidays".
- "Mykonos", by Fleet Foxes, is a great song. But none of the lines seem to be exact rhymes, and rhymes like "us/up" and "find/night" abound.
- Lampshaded in Wu Tang Clan's "Shame On A N*** a":
Than my compedah
You mean competitor?
- Ian Dury provided a painful rhyme well known in Britain in the first lines of "Billiricay Dickie" (which was probably completely intentional):
Had a love affair with Nina
In the back of my Cortina.
A seasoned-up hyena
Could not have been more obscener
- Guns N' Roses had a fairly bad one in Yesterdays:
Prayers in my pocket
And no hand in destiny
I'll keep on movin' along
With no time to plant my feet
- Points to Arctic Monkeys in "Cornerstone" for rhyming "smoke alarm" with "broken arm".
- Arctic Monkeys are masters of the bizarre rhyme, especially in their earlier work when they leaned more heavily on Alex Turner's Sheffield accent and did things like rhyme "problem" with "Rotherham", or, on "When The Sun Goes Down":
Oh, 'e must be oop to summat
What are the chances, sure it's more than likely
I got a feeling in my stomach
- Don't forget "Fire and the Thud"
And does burden come to meetchya (meet you)
If I've questions of the feetcha (feature)
- Michael Jackson's "Earth Song" uses "time"/"mine" twice, along with "seas"/"breathe", but the lines everyone jumps on are in the climactic call and response:
What about animals
We've turned kingdoms to dust
What about elephants
Have we lost their trust?
- ZZ Top's "I'm bad, I'm Nationwide". It'd be fine if the singer just pronounced "nationwide" with a twang, like "nationwadd", even, but he pronounces it straight.
- The Decemberists' "A Cautionary Song":
"'Cos the gentlemen are calling and the snow is softly falling on her petticoats
And she's standing in the harbour and she's waiting for the sailors in the jollyboats
See how they approach"
- And at the end: "So be kind to your mother/ Though she may seem an awful bother". This is, however, slightly better than the bit in "Sons and Daughters" where they try to rhyme "dirigible" with "untraceable".
- This one is particularly subjective. The offending words both end in a "bul" sound.
- They have a knack for this sort of thing... take the following example. Owch.
Meet me on my vast veranda
My sweet, untouched Miranda.
- Although Colin Meloy us usually an adept songwriter, in live performances he acknowledges that he hasn't always written the best songs; he pays tribute to the "worst song [he's] ever written":
You think you've got it bad
Try having Dracula for your dad..
- It's probably intentional, as one of Chuck Berry's trademarks is playfully stretched rhymes, but this bit of "Rock And Roll Music" still sort of stands out:
I must admit they have a rockin' band
Man, they were blowin' like a hurricane
- The interesting thing is you'd sort of expect he'd drop into a southern accent for "baynd", but instead "hurricane" is pronounced "hurry can".
- Dethklok does this intentionally on "Birthday Dethday":
Now you're old and full of hatred
Take a pill to MASTURBATRED
Children point at you and scream
Because they will become that thing
- Several in The Chicago Bears Shufflin' Crew's "Super Bowl Shuffle", but Jim McMahon probably has the worst:
I just throw my body all over the field
I can't dance but I can throw the pill
- The Dresden Dolls' "First Orgasm" attempts to rhyme "fire drill" and "enjoyable".
- Wonderful one from The Flaming Lips' "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Part 1", particularly to a British listener note :
She's gotta be strong to fight 'em
So she's taking lots of vitamins
- ABBA have quite a number of them, often because Bjorn and Benny were unaware of the fact that certain Swedish grammar doesn't translate directly into English.
- "The Winner Takes It All" is chock full of bad couplets, some which don't rhyme e.g. "I've played all my cards, and that's what you've done too" and some which do: "A big thing or a small, the winner takes it all". Bjorn defended the lyrics by saying he was drunk when he wrote them, and was too emotional about the subject matter to go back and change them.
- Annihilator's song 'Army of One'. A song that namechecks various heavy metal bands to cite as influences includes the painfully forced rhyme:
Priest, Metallica, Megadeth
Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath
- Collide by Howie Day comes off as this when read, but the singer makes it work. Gives a nice bit of Fridge Brilliance:
Even the best fall down sometimes
Even the wrong words seem to rhyme.
- "Down" by Jay Sean has this:
I'll take you away, hey
Turn this place into our private getaway
- A vintage example crops up in Porgy and Bess's "It Ain't Necessarily So":
Oh Jonah he lived in de whale
For he made his home in dat fish's abdomen
I takes my gospel whenever it possible...
- Actually, this song is rife wid'em. "Liable/Bible", "Goliath/dieth", "Chillun/villain", etc.
- Stephin Merritt (of the Magnetic Fields and other projects) is very fond of these rhymes. "I Don't Believe You" has "I had a dream and you were in it/ The blue of your eyes was infinite", but even better, from "You Must Be Out Of Your Mind":
I want you crawling back to me
Down on your knees, yeah
Like an appendectomy
- Another, from The Future Bible Heroes' "Hopeless":
Because it's hopeless
All of our dreams are dying of overdoses
All of our plans are lying in ten-car road wrecks
- In The Magnetic Fields' "Zebra", "The Louvre" is rhymed with "maneuver" and "hoover", but instead of butchering the French pronunciation, the other two words are mispronounced ("manoov" and "hoov"). Which even sort of makes sense in-character, since the song is from the point of view of a pretentious and spoiled upper-class housewife. The printed lyrics take this further by using the spelling "maneuvre" and "hoovre".
- The epitome of bad rhymes can be found in a song by children's singer Joe Scruggs called "In the Freezer" that was about a snowman being kept in a freezer
So we asked our mom
And though it did not please her
She said we could keep
Our snowman in the freezer
- Geto Boys' "Mind Playing Tricks On Me"
I live by the sword
I take my boys with me where I go because I'm paranoid
- The "w" in "sword" is pronounced.
- Darren Hanlon, in "(There's Not Enough Songs About) Squash"
Without sounding too peculiar
If it's the cardiovascular
You're after, then you can't beat squash
- Usher's "OMG". It's bad enough that he is desperate enough to rhyme 'pow pow pow' with 'wow oh wow', but then he rhymes those with 'style' and 'out'. 'Out'? Okay, slant rhyme. But 'style' is simply unforgivable.
- Black Sabbath's "War Pigs" kicks off with the immortal line
Generals gather in their masses
Just like witches at black masses
- "Fennario", a folk song about an army captain who falls "in love with a lady like a dove" sticks "-o" at the end of lines to make them scan right:
''If ever I return, pretty Peggy-o,
If ever I return, pretty Peggy-o,
If ever I return, all your cities I will burn,
Destroying all the ladies in the are-o''
- Lampshaded by Bob Dylan in his recording of the song.
I've been around this whole country, but I never yet found "Fennario".
- "Harry Rag" by The Kinks describes a young man's fondness for cigarettes thusly:
But when he gets in a bit of a jam,
There's nothing he won't do to get a harry rag!
- "Whatta Man" by Salt-n-Pepa (and En Vogue):
And yes, it's me that he's always choosin'
With him I'm never losin', and he knows that my name is not Susan
- How awful were the protagonist's previous partners if they couldn't even get her name right?
- That's most likely a reference to the minor Whitney Houston hit "My Name Is Not Susan."
- Anything by Rapper Juelz Santana, hell he could probably be the Trope Codifier
- Kraftwerk, already not generally known for their lyrical prowess, came up with this gem in their song "Sex Object"
I don't want to be your sex object
I've had enough and that's a fact
- Live's "Simple Creed" has a couple: "Now nobody's takin' your candy /you just keep on livin' this tragedy" and "Now nobody's takin' your bicycle/ maybe somebody should take your microphone".
- The Ramones rhyme 'massacre' with 'me' in "Chain Saw."
- Amy Winehouse rhymes 'players', 'say' and 'millionaire' in "Fuck Me Pumps", with millionaire pronounced 'millio-naya' to fit:
You don't like players
That's what you say-a
But you really wouldn't mind a millionaire
- Cobra Starship fails to realise that rhyming "Seven" with "Seven" is REALLY ANNOYING.
- Marillion's "Emerald Lies" actually ends with:
And the coffee stains gather 'til the pale kimono
Sets the wedding rings dancing on the cold linoleum
- This is simultaneously excruciating and wonderful, as the listener realizes that this may be the only song in history not only to end with the word "linoleum", but also to "rhyme" it with "kimono." And to top it off, it does it with a melodramatic, Wagnerian cadence.
- Angelspit's song Juicy has a rather painful example in the first two lines. "Spin a dice and it's Vegas rigged/A glass full of conobine, you're off your head." The way he sings it, it does work... kinda.
- Gucci Mane himslef qualifies. Especially in the song Traphouse, where he proclaims his love of shooting "Dices".
"I got to many vices, I love to smoke weed, love to shoot dices."
- From Peter Cetera and Amy Grant's "Next Time I Fall In Love":
Next time I fall in love
I'll know better what to do
Next time I fall in love
Whoo ooh ooh ooh, ooh ooh
- Granted it does rhyme, it just also makes it sound as though it got recorded before the lyrics were even finished. What really sells is that most of it is vocal filler until they get to the inevitable "The next time I fall in love, it will be with you."
- In "That Song", Canadian rock band Big Wreck feature a really awful usage when they change the pronounciation of "dumb" to rhyme with "room". Seriously, could no other word have been used there?
And it might sound doom
So just leave the room
- Three Days Grace's "Break". Technically, the line in question does rhyme, but still...
If you can't stand the way this place is
Take yourself to higher places
- Roger Miller pulls one in "Dang Me" which is totally forgiven for humor value:
They say roses are red, violets are purple
Sugar's sweet, so's maple syruple
- Wckr Spgt's version of Andy Kim's "Rock Me Gently", where for some reason all of the original verses get replaced with deliberately bad rhymes that revolve around emphasizing the "-ed" part of past tense verbs:
Seen ya dressed, seen ya naked
I've seen potatoes
- "One Tribe" by The Black Eyed Peas tried to rhyme "amnesia" with "evil". Seriously...
- AC/DC may be a fantastic band, but this rhyme from "First Blood" felt a little forced...
Some like it hot
Some like it quite not so hot
- Johnny Mercer's version of "Glow Worm" includes this howler:
You got a cute vest-pocket Mazda
Which you can make both slow or "fazda."
- Lyricist Sammy Cahn gave us several classics, including "Let It Snow", "High Hopes", "Call Me Irresponsible"... and this:
How lucky can one guy be?
I kissed her and she kissed me.
Like the fella once said,
Ain't that a kick in the head?
The room was completely black.
I hugged her and she hugged back.
Like the sailor said, quote,
"Ain't that a hole in the boat?"
- Todd in the Shadows said that the first verse of Flo Rida's "Club Can't Handle Me" features "the worst succession of non-rhymes I've heard since the second verse of Steve Miller's 'Take the Money and Run'":
Hey, I own the light and I don't need no help
Gotta be the feeling that Scarface
Stuntin' go wild can't handle this plan
Life of the club arrogant like yeah!
- Tarja Turunen, in her post-Nightwish song "Underneath", pronounces "worry" to rhyme with "sorry".
- Wouldn't that work if you were Canadian?
- Since most of the country doesn't have a strong accent, no it wouldn't.
- War's "Why Can't We Be Friends" pulls this off a couple times: in the next-to-last verse, they rhyme "bright" with "about", while in the final verse, they rhyme "CIA" with "mafia". Yes, pronounced "maf-eye-ay".
- Some of Adam Sandler's songs boil down to a succession of painful rhymes intentionally invoked for humor. A good example is "The Thanksgiving Song": In most of its couplets the first line is about Thanksgiving, but the second is usually a silly non sequitir that happens to rhyme.
Turkey for me, turkey for you
Let's eat the turkey in my big brown shoe
Love to eat turkey all night long
Fifty million Elvis fans can't be wrong
(later) Thanksgiving is a special night
Jimmie Walker used to say "Dy-no-mite!"
- In The Year 2525: Ten/Head.
- Rod Stewart's "Maggie Mae" has the lines:
I laughed at all of your jokes,
My love you didn't need to coax.
- Perfectly fine rhyme, but look at the tortured syntax in that second line.
- May work better if parsed as
My love, you didn't need to coax.
- 1980s ska band Madness used Refuge in Audacity and cockney accents to more or less get away with
I like driving in my car
Even with a flat ty-ah
- The Cranberries gave us
People are strangers
People in danger
People are strangers
People deranged are
- From Depeche Mode's "Everything Counts":
Seals the contract
From the contract
There's no turning back
The turning point
Of a career
In Korea, being insincere
- "It's Raining Again" by Supertramp opens with an "End/Friend/Mend" sequence, but that's just setting the scene for "C'mon, you little fighter/No need to get uptighter". According to The Now Show Book of World Records entry for Worst Rhyming Couplet In Pop, "after writing this, they probably high-fived and went to the pub. What they should have done is enrolled in a remedial songwriting course at their local techical college."
- The winner of the book's Worst Rhyming Couplet record is Snap! for the jaw-dropping combination of painful rhyme and tasteless hyperbole that is:
I'm as serious as cancer,
When I say rhythm is a dancer.
- Interpol in their song "Obstacle 1" has a very jarring two lines that for some can completely ruin the song because of how shoehorned it sounds:
It's in the way that she posed,
It's in the things that she puts in my head
Her stories are boring and stuff
She's always calling my bluff
- While Chameleon Circuit's Doctor Who songs are usually very well done, they do tend to cheat on the rhymes, trying to rhyme "Luke" with "use" and "TARDIS" with "Daleks" (which is less painful with a British accent but still not technically a rhyme) in "Journey's End". Possibly the most egregious example is in "Gallifreyan History 101" where they try to rhyme "Doc" with "box", shortening the Doctor's name in a way that would be unacceptable outside of song for an amost-rhyme.
- The Kelly Family's "Fell In Love with an Alien" tries to rhyme "Romeo" with "homey boy".
- Lee Ann Womack's "Buckaroo" contains this couplet, which requires truly heroic amounts of country twang to pull off. She gives it a fair try.
I need a man who can tame a wild musTANG
Who knows the difference 'tween love and lusTING.
- Kid Rock's "All Summer Long" contains many of these, the most painful of which being:
"Sipping whiskey out the bottle,
not thinking 'bout tomorrow"
- Fort Minor's "Remember The Name" is bad about this: Almost every pair of words that seem to be intended to rhyme don't normally, though words get mumbled to accommodate on occasion. Alone/know him is an offender.
- Mike Shinoda has a reputation for really odd rhymes, "Reading My Eyes" by Xero being a song where pretty much every line is shoehorned in order to fit the fast meter of his rapping, where he makes bizarre boasts about being the 'microphone molester' and 'bitchslapping your soul'. In "High Voltage", he makes the incomprehensible boast about having rapped since before the world began, and "twist my cords like double helixes". The ultimate shoehorned line in this song is "I've put a kink in the backbones of clones with microphones, Never satisfied my rhymes Jones"
- "Check It Out" from will.i.am of Black Eyed Peas fame and Nicki Minaj is full of particularly forced rap rhymes (e.g. interest, nemesis, emphasis, and "simple bitch"), but this one really stood out for how hard will.i.am had to struggle to make it sound like it rhymed:
I'm a shot caller, get up off my collar,
You are Chihuahua, I'm a Rottweiler.
- In "Firework", Katy Perry tries to rhyme "aah" and "sky":
''Make 'em go aah, aah, aah
As you shoot across the skaa-aah-aye...
- And in her "TGIF", none of the rhyming triplets in the chorus actually rhyme. Choice examples include attempting to rhyme "bars" with "boulevard" and "dark" with "menage-a-trois."
- She also tries to rhyme "car" with "floor", doesn't even remotely go together.
- Most of Katy Perry's songs in general have painful rhymes.
- Stereophonics' "I Could Lose Ya" is full of lines that don't really rhyme, although to be fair many of them are facilitated by Kelly Jones' natural accent. The first verse rhymes "theater" with "pier" and "shoulder" with "jumper", and later there's:
Drip drip the rain upon my window
Wanna lay down still and just be near you
Get the keys and take the Karmann Ghia
Along the coast to buy a couple of beers
- "Break Down Here" by Julie Roberts has this is the chorus.
I'd sure hate to break down here.
Nothin' up ahead or in the rear-view mirror.
- The Black Keys' side project Blakroc has the single "Ain't Nothing Like You", which attempts to ryhme "of" with "been": "I been accused uh/The same thing that you buh"
- "Fuck You" by Cee Lo Green rhymes "sorry" with "Ferrari" and "Atari":
Yeah I'm sorry
I can't afford a Ferrari
But that don't mean I can't get you there.
I guess he's an Xbox
And I'm more Atari
But the way you play your game ain't fair.
- World Party's songs tend to combine Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness with Shown Their Work, which makes this line from "Curse Of The Mummy's Tomb" stand out even more:
We started out together/Our expeditions linked
But every student has a theory/The best he's ever thinked
- The chorus of Belle and Sebastian's "Funny Little Frog" attempts to rhyme "court" and "throat" with "poet". The strange thing is that "throat" is stretched to two syllables but "court" isn't:
You are my girl, and you don't even know it
I am living out the life of a poet
I am the jester in the ancient court
You're the funny little frog in my thro-at
- Microdisney's "A Friend with a Big Mouth" contains a serious case of assonance with its attempt to rhyme 'sing' and 'hill': "When you turn to kiss her, birds begin to sing, louder and louder, they're rolling down the hill". This might have been invoked intentionally given that the listener often expects the last line to be "They drown out everything".
- Bruno Mars' "The Lazy Song":
Just strut in my birthday suit, and let everything hang loose
- Rebecca Black doesn't bother keeping up any sort of rhyme in "Friday" — except that she manages to rhyme "bowl" and "cereal". Almost. The bridge also rhymes "Friday" and "excited".
- The Irish folksong "I Am a Rambling Irishman" contains this verse:
When we arrived on the other side
We were both stout and healthy
We dropped our anchor in the bay
Going down to Philadelphia"
- Trout Fishing In America's "Pico de Gallo" sticks "o" or "-io" sounds at the end of nearly every line to force the rhyme; e.g., "Don't get it in your eye-o / Unless you wanna cry-o / So come on, don't be shy-o / It's pico de gallo".
- The examples from George and Ira Gershwin's "'S Wonderful" include:
's what I want
- The all-time classic 'Bette Davis Eyes' by Kim Carnes has one of the worst rhymes in history, right there in the chorus:
And she knows just what it takes to make a pro blush
- Temposhark's Don't Mess With Me. The first two lines of this part of the bridge are a good rhyme, but where is the logic in the second two?
In my crown, I am king
I love their endless worshipping
I am raw, a dinosaur
But I will never be extinct
- Dialect songs tend to be big offenders, from "Where Do You Work-a, John?" ("Joe go away, John he's-a stay") to Dean Martin's "Mambo Italiano" ("E lo che se dice you get happy in the pizza when you/Mambo Italiano") to "Josephine, Please No Lean On the Bell:"
When you come-a from work and you want-a the sup ,
I m-a cook-a the nice macaron .
Then you make-a sit down, then you make the get up
For your feller he call on the phone.
- One Direction's "What Makes You Beautiful":
Baby, you light up my world like nobody else
The way that you flip your hair gets me overwhelmed
But when you smile at the ground it ain't hard to tell
- Young Money's "Bedrock" has plenty of these.
She don't even wonder
Cause she know she bad.
And I got her,
- Even the chorus has this.
My room is the G-Spot
Call me Mr. Flintstone, I can make your bed rock!
- The verses of "Working My Way Back to You" (Four Seasons), which use predictable, banal rhymes, but still distort the rhythm severely to make them fit:
When you were so in love with me / I played around like I was free / Thought I could have my cake and eat it too / And how I cried over losing you
I used to love to make you cry / It made me feel like a man inside / If I had been a man in reality / Then you'd be here baby loving me
- The Kursaal Flyers in their One-Hit Wonder "Little Does She Know":
She was sharing her spin-dry with a guy in a tie-dye
When she saw my reflection in the chrome
I knew that she'd seen me, 'cos she dropped her bikini
The one that I got her in Rome
When she finished her laundry she was all in a quandry
And made for the street like a hare
Her escape was so urgent, she forgot her detergent
And dropped all her clean underwear
- Manowar are quite partial to them:
With swords drawn, held high, our whips and armour shine.
Hail to thee, our infantry, still brave beyond the grave
all sworn eternal vows, the time to fight is now...
Gone are the days when freedom shone, now blood and steel will flow,
in the light of the battle's wake, the sands of time will shake.
- And The Wurzels:
I drove my tractor through your haystack last night,
I threw me pitchfork at your dog to keep quiet ...
If I cleaned my act up would you change your mind?
I'll give up drinking scrumpy and have lager and lime.
- Lil Wayne's rap in Kevin Rudolf's "Let It Rock": "And I sing about angels like Angela / and Pamela / and Amanda and Samantha." (To be clear, he pronounces "Angela" to rhyme with "angel", then pronounces a bunch of other girl's names to rhyme with that by putting the acCENT upon the first sylLABle.)
- A gross and borderline unforgivable few examples in Ciara's Goodies. In it she rhymes "goodies" with "it" and "bothered". Read on if you dare...
I bet you want the goodies
Bet you thought about it
I got you all hot and bothered
Maybe cause I talk about it
I'm not changing stories
Just respect the play I'm calling
- The Far East Movement's "Like a G6" is full of these. Particularly notable is the chorus, sampled from Dev's "Booty Bounce".
Poppin' bottles in the ice, like a blizzard.
When we drink, we do it right, gettin' slizzered.
Sippin' sizzerp in my ride, like 3-6.
Now I'm feelin' so fly, Like a G6.
- One of the members forced the word "style" to rhyme with "Cristal" (i.e. "Ladies love my style"). Todd in the Shadows pointed out that it sounded too much like he was trying to use the word "stall" (as in a toilet.)
- Their song "Rocketeer" isn't much better, as it rhymes "planet" with "grab it". The chorus, by OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder, rhymes "here" with the titular "Rocketeer". But worst of all...
Yeah, where we at, only few would know.
I hope this works out, cardio,
'til then let's fly, Geronimo.
- The Def Leppard album Hysteria is loaded with painful rhymes. To give just one example, the chorus of the title track pairs the word "hysteria" with one imaginary word and two real words that are slightly mangled in the vocal delivery to try to make them sound like plausible rhymes:
I get hysterical, hysteria
Oh can you feel it, do you believe it?
It's such a magical mysteria
When you get that feelin', better start believin'
'Cos it's a miracle
oh say you will, ooh babe
Hysteria when you're near
- Ahh the lyrical sin that is Aerosmith's "Pink":
Pink as the sheets that we lay on
Pink is my favorite Cray-on.
- A truly startling number of hymns have an awful time coming up with rhymes for "love". It is constantly paired with "prove" or "move" or other similar words. This possibly stems from the brief period, around the 1500's in which "Prove" and "Move" were pronounced essentially as they are today, but "Love" was pronounced with the same vowel that is in the word "Foot" today (kinda like it still is in Liverpool.) It's not exact, but it's a lot closer than the modern pronunciations.
- Charles Wesley has managed to use "prove"/"love" in nearly every hymn he wrote. Many of his other hymns have painful rhymes: "heav'n"/"giv'n", "lamb"/"claim", etc. Dude wrote the lyrics to over 2,000 hymns. They can't all be winners.
- "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" has a verse that rhymes "high" and "mightily"/"misery". Perhaps in older times, it rhymed, but these days and in North America, not so much.
- On the subject of Advent carols, "The First Noel" is chock-full of words, rhymes and rhythms stretched to breaking point: "I-in fi-ields whe-ere they, la-ay keeping their sheep, on a cold winter's ni-ight that wa-as so deep." Stretching 19 syllables out to fit 25 beats is painful enough, let alone the lackluster choice of rhyme.
- "The Holly and The Ivy". "deer" with "choir"?
- Similarly, a number of hymns rhyme "blood" with "good". It probably worked in the 17th century.
- There are a lot of really beautiful Scottish folk songs that have entered the international repertoire of singers who aren't even necessarily folk singers. Trouble is, a lot of them have lines that only rhyme if they're sung with a Scottish accent (e.g. "eye" to rhyme with "he", "so" to rhyme with "day" and so on), and most non-Scottish singers can't sustain that accent for an entire song. This can lead to awkward results, such as a singer suddenly slipping into broad Scots for the duration of one line or even one word, and then slipping back into their normal accent for the rest of the song...
- "Elenore" by The Turtles is deliberately written in this style; it's all part of the joke. Notable in that it's the only Hot 100 Song ever to rhyme "et cetera" in the lyrics (with "better", if anyone cares).
- "For The Singer Of R.E.M." by fIREHOSE: The rhymes themselves are serviceable, it's just that it makes use of monorhyme and tends to use the same few words as rhymes over and over... However, as though to make up for that, there's also a fair amount of internal rhyme:
Here’s a version of tradition you can put in your drawer
In the desk where next to your chair’s the handle to your door
Dismantle the door handle, put the parts into your drawer
Say some words then make a sign, now open up the drawer
The drawer can’t tell you more
Than to deal with the door
- My Darkest Days has come to the party with their song "Porn Star Dancing", which attempts to rhyme beg, legs, and stage.
- Due to their fondness for Word Salad Lyrics, Train, especially since their comeback in 2010, has many of these.
- "Hey, Soul Sister". This stanza may not be the most painful as the words do, for the most part, rhyme, but they're still painful.
The way you can cut a rug,
Watchin' you's the only drug I need
I'm so gangsta, I'm so thug,
You're the only one I'm dreamin' of!
I'm so obsessed,
My heart is 'bout to beat right out my untrimmed chest!
Hey, soul sister,
Ain't that Mr. Mister on the radio,
The way you move ain't fair, you know!
Oh, I swear to you,
I'll be there for you!
This is not a drive-by-y-y-y-y!
Just a shy guy,
Lookin' for a two-ply
Hefty bag to hold my
- "50 Ways to Say Good-Bye"
She went down in an airplane,
Fried gettin' suntanned,
Fell in a cement mixer full of quicksand!
She was caught in a mudslide,
Eaten by a lion,
Got ran over by a crappy, purple Scion!
My feet have been flat on the floor,
Flat like an idol singer.
Remember Winger? I digress...
- Miley Cyrus's "Party in the U.S.A."
I hopped off the plane at L.A.X with a dream and my cardigan
Welcome to the land of fame, excess, (whoa) am I gonna fit in?
This is all so crazy!
Everybody seems so famous!
My tummy's turnin' and I'm feelin' kind of homesick!
Too much pressure and I'm nervous!
'Cause all I see are stilettos,
I guess I never got the memo!
- "Who Put the Mush (in the Mush-A-Ring-A-Doo-Dah)" is a parody of "Who Put the Bomp" by Scottish folk group The McCalmans, about how the singer's girl left him for being a folkie. It includes the line "She liked rockin'/But I liked Dick Gaughan".
- Michael Franti & Spearhead's "I'm Alive." Not only does it have a shout out to "Hey, Soul Sister" mentioned above, but it also has the singer compare his the woman he's singing to's relationship to this:
Ice-T and Coco,
Jay-Z and Beyoncé,
Will you be my fiancé?
- Peter Gabriel famously bends grammar rules in Games without Frontiers:
If looks could kill
They probably will
- Roy Zimmerman tends to resort to these occasionally. From "George Rekers is Completely Heterosexual":
He went and got a rent-a-boy to help him with his luggage
Not to mention helping with his tuggage and his pluggage
He paid the boy to come to Europe just for the weekend
To handle all his junk
and then, uh, massage him in the Greek end.
- Lampshaded in Ane Brun's "Where Friend Rhymes With End"
My friend, you left me in the end
... I can't believe I'm writing a song where "friend" rhymes with "end"
- Played for Laughs in "Stonehenge" by Ylvis:
How did they raise the stones so high
Completely without THE
We have to-dye?
- Robert Palmer gave us this groaner from "Hey Julia":
You're a strain on my eyes-es
And you're full of surprises
- The Fray has "How to Save a Life", which, in addition to its ridiculous banality, uses self-rhymes twice in the first verse: talk/talk and right/right (in the latter case, they're not even different meanings of the word "right", the direction is meant both times). The next verse does it again, with best/best and you/you (though at least in the second verse it's "you know best" and "do know best" before reverting to type with "he hears you/he hears you").
- And that's not even taking into account the chorus, which rhymes "friend" with "bitterness" and "night" with "life" (which, by the standards set by the rest of the song, is positively brilliant).