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"I get the odd night when I'm halfway through 'Don't Look Back In Anger' when I say to myself. 'I still don't know what these words mean!' I'm thinking what the... what the... 'stand up beside the fireplace'. Why?"
Noel Gallagher of Oasis

Some songs are very lyrically direct. Other songs, however, are the musical equivalent of Word Salad Title. They might have some kind of symbolic meaning. Maybe the songwriter went for the feeling associated with the words rather than the direct meaning. Or maybe they just strung together a bunch of lines that sounded cool. Either way, the results are incomprehensible. Can also extend to the title (often so weird it isn't in the lyrics). Common results when listening is hearing the lyrics wrong or not even bothering to make up words.

A special case is Japanese music. A lot of apparently incomprehensible Japanese lyrics are actually puns or other wordplays based on alternate translations of the kanji used, similar-sounding words, or (most often) both. Much of what may seem gibberish even in the original Japanese, is actually clever and/or silly puns or Double Entendre for those who know their kanji well enough. Of course, a lot of the "alternate reading" wordplays are just as incomprehensible as the main readings. See the Azumanga Daioh example below.

Lyrical Shoehorn (which in literature is known as Dada Poetry) where words are used exclusively for their sound, cadence, and alliteration; with no concern for meaning.

See also Song of Song Titles, Surreal Theme Tune, Scatting, Word Salad Title, Word Salad Philosophy, The Walrus Was Paul, and True Art Is Incomprehensible. May overlap with Phrase Salad Lyrics. Compare Something Something Leonard Bernstein. Not to be confused with Listeners Are Geniuses, where lyrics are loaded with literary, mythological, or pop-cultural references that are confusing only to non-geniuses.


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  • The song "Pegleg Potion" by Alestorm features this in the break before the chorus, ostensibly a side effect of drinking the titular potion.
    From Oregon to South Dakota
    Underwater toilet quota
    Driving in an old Toyota
    Systematic frog!
  • Many of Black Sabbath's songs until the end of the Ozzy Osbourne era. For instance, "Symptom Of The Universe" is pretty much a combination of strange fantasy imagery and Meaningless Meaningful Words:
    Take me through the centuries to supersonic years
    Electrifying enemy is drowning in his tears
    All I have to give you is a love that never dies
    The symptom of the universe is written in your eyes
  • All of System of a Down's releases have at least one of these.
    • The self-titled debut album has "DDevil"...
      Plagiarised existence exists among the writers of the word!
      Shake your spear at Shakespeare! Shake your spear at Shakespeare!
      Loud! And! Noisy! Strange refrigerators gaining independence! Gaining independence!
    • ...And Sugar.
      I'm not there all the time, y'know? Some people, some people, some people call it insane! (Yeah, they call it insane!)
      I play Russian Roulette every day; a man's sport! With a bullet called "life"! (Yeah, mama, called life!)
      Y'know that every time I try to go, where I really wanna be is already where I am! 'Cause I'm already there!!
    • While more likely construed as a series of sexual euphemisms, elements of "Bounce" could certainly qualify as the example from Toxicity.
      Jump! Pogo-pogo-pogo-pogo! Bounce! Pogo-pogo-pogo-pogo!
    • Steal This Album! has "Chic 'N Stu"
      Ballgame's in the refrigerator!
      Door's closed! Lights're out! Butter's gettin' hard!
    • And the Mesmerize/Hypnotize double CD gets represented by "Vicinity Of Obscenity".
      Banana, banana, banana, terracotta! Banana, terracotta! Terracotta pie!
  • Deftones have a few of these, such as "Engine No. 9":
    This ain't no motherfuckin' stick up just pick up the stick up
    And watch it roll real close rolling out of my hand 'til
    It cracks to that fucking dome living off the curb
    That peels you from the curb a lick rest off
    Do you dig many in '93 been making them fools 'bout
    Round bumping around me you'll want to run from
    Underground at the best walk the live from the verb
    On the beats I won't see you fuckin' head
  • DragonForce. Their lead singer, ZP Theart, has admitted that the band's lyrics only have to sound cool and have the right number of syllables.
    • Possibly lampshaded in The Last Journey Home:
      Sever the soul from the forgotten sickness, escape this lie
      Challenge the dream before the long departed, a mindless rhyme
  • Before they commercialized their sound in the late 1970s and wrote about partying, leather, Intercourse with You, and Ambiguously Gay imagery, Judas Priest of all bands wrote lyrics like this. Of course, this was the '70s, so songs like "Dissident Aggressor" are probably really about drugs.
    Through cracked, blackened memories
    Of united dispersal
    I face the impregnable wall
    Stab, brawl! Punch, crawl!
    Hooks to my brain are well in
    Stab, brawl! Punch, crawl!
    I know what I am, I'm Berlin
    • Even more so than their earlier work; 'Judas Rising' has genuinely set a standard of bombastic meaninglessness, and it is awesome.
      White bolts of lightning
      Came out of nowhere
      Blinded the darkness
      Created the storm
      War in the heavens
      Vengeance ignited
      Torment and tempest
      Attacks like a swarm
      Forged out of flame, from chaos to destiny
      Bringer of pain, forever undying
      Judas is rising
    • "All Guns Blazing" has the entire song like this. Really, there's nothing you can tell about the subject matter except that there are some guns, and they're all blazing.
      Cross-cutting thunder-charge!
      Blade of destruction!
      Flame-throwing hurricane!
      Destroys the cage!
      Bone-crushing alien!
      God of salvation!, etc.
  • Mötley Crüe parodies this in the introduction-movie in the Carnival Of Sins-tour.
    Vince: "It's a killer planetoid!"
    Band starts playing

  • Rob Zombie, oh gods, Rob Zombie; especially in the early days with his band White Zombie:
    Well sweet little sista's high in hell cheat'n on a halo
    grind in a odyssey holocaust heart kick on tomorrow
    breakdown agony, said "ecstasy" in overdrive she come a
    riding on the world - thunder kiss'n ... 1965 - yeah - wow!
  • Rammstein's "Laichzeit" qualifies. Some fans think it's about sex because, well, many of their songs are and some parts of it can be explained this way, but most of it can't. It's more-or-less random words strung together or maybe real lyrics with every second word replaced by something else.
    • Similarly, from another Neue Deutsche Harte band, Eisbrecher, we have "This is Deutsch", which is a hilarious (if you speak German) parody of Gratuitous German. If you don't speak German, the song just sounds cool.
  • The Dillinger Escape Plan can be pretty damn confusing even if you somehow find out what they're screaming about. Often their lyrics just sound like a variety of sentence fragments. They've gotten slightly better since Calculating Infinity, but attempting to extract meaning from the strange mantras of DEP may cause severe head trauma. Carpool dragons, anyone?
    • This trope has become something of a tradition in mathcore as a result of DEP's influence. This recent example comes from The Callous Daoboys' "A Brief Article Regarding Time Loops":
    Impulse items of conquest dives
    Dripping with the matricide of comparable bungee chord static
    (Provider available)
    Sever my inflatable crucifix, my favorite necktie

  • Heavy metal music is parodied by Brazilian satirical band Mamonas Assassinas in their song "Débil Metal" (a blatant throwback to Sepultura at that), sung in incoherently put-together English phrases:
    Walking in the dark, now there's just some cookies
    Which is not for you, I know it's not yet
    I just can't explain, it melts in my mouth
    Dying to me now is popcorn
    • However, the chorus more than clarifies the song's message:
      Can't you understand?
      Can't you understand, boy?
      So shake your head
      So shake your head, sucker
  • Dream Theater did this a lot in their early work, most notably "Under a Glass Moon".
    Nervous flashlights scan my dreams
    Liquid shadows silence their screams
    I smile at the moon chasing water from the sky
    I argue with the clouds stealing beauty from my eyes
    • Part 3 of "Octavarium" has shades of this as well, since it is just Mike Portnoy mashing up the titles of his favourite songs/bands etc., while keeping to the song's theme of "everything ends where it begins".
      Sailing on the seven seize the day tripper diem's ready
      Jack the ripper owens wilson phillips and my supper's ready
      Lucy in the sky with diamond dave's not here I come to save the
      Day for nightmare cinema show me the way to get back home again
  • Not really sure what category Pure Reason Revolution falls under (they started out Floydesque and then added electro beats), but their lyrics certainly qualify. They seem to tell something... but not... quite... I equate it to a splash of red on a painting to represent an apple.
  • Melvins' lyrics frequently seem to consist of equal parts words that sound cool together, sentence fragments, and nonsense syllables. This is further compounded by their trademark sometimes unintelligible growled vocals, and the fact that they've only ever included printed lyrics to a few songs in their liner notes. "Hooch", the only song on the Houdini album to have its lyrics printed, appeared on an episode of Beavis and Butt-Head'', and amusingly Beavis' mondegreens made slightly more sense than the official lyrics. Compare "Exi-tease my ray day member half lost a beat away" to Beavis' "Exit is my raging member, band on a TV".
    • Given the absurdist leanings of the band to outright lie in interviews and have their main website designed to give absolutely no information, they're probably Lyrical Shoehorn material.
  • Annihilator's "Word Salad" from their 1989 album Alice In Hell.
  • Sonata Arctica have the song "My Dream's But A Drop Of Fuel For A Nightmare," which is about, well, dreams and dream imagery. It contains this beautiful part:
    Now I'm a target, I'm hot and frozen,
    stormy rain I'm stuck in an elevator
    wet from the muddy water,
    breathing hot air, winds convey me...
    the number talks and I cry in my own Hell...
    Wide awake, I'm asleep, see a friend as a ghost
    I'm skating with a seal,
    the tarantula, the fly, the broken ring
    the dusty little flea
    an ugly giant, a disappointed child
    here comes a rabid snake
    the broken violin, a wild ballet
    Shakespeare and company
    refuse to kill the kitten scratching me...
  • Dio, "Holy Diver".
    Shiny diamonds
    Like the eyes of a cat in the black and the blue
    Something is coming for you...
    Holy diver
    You're the star of the masquerade
    No need to look so afraid...
    Ride the tiger
    You can see his stripes but you know he's mean
    Oh don't you see what I meannote 
    • Dio is famous for this trope as a whole.
  • A feature of many Marilyn Manson songs, as exemplified in the following excerpt from "Doll-Dagga-Buzz-Buzz-Ziggety-Zag" (the title is one long line about pot):
    All the goose step girlies with the cursive faces and
    We know it's all Braile beneath their skirts
    I'm bulletproof bizzop and swing heil and
    I don't really care what gentlemen prefer
    • Later in the same song, you get:
    Trumpet-mouth junky-saints go
    Silver tongue marching down the stairway to substance
    Cocaingels and asses give me opiate masses
    Fill up your church porn preachers and we'll fill up our glasses
  • Metallica lyrics sometimes seem like a sequence of short, cool-sounding phrases, such as "The End of the Line". James Hetfield even admitted that the cryptic "anonymous but powerful" approach helps fans find some meaning of their own.
  • Bruce Dickinson's Tears of the Dragon. The song is about being scared of the future;
    I throw myself into the seanote 
    Release the wave let it wash over menote 
    To face the fear I once believednote 
    The tears of the dragon for you and for menote 
  • Since Bruce was mentioned, when Iron Maiden isn't straightforward they get as wordy and trippy as possible. Their Filk Song "Brave New World" has many sentences which hardly have anything to do with Huxley (opening line: "Dying swans, twisted wings, beauty not needed here").
  • Dethklok's "Blood Ocean."
    Time. Lies. Trapped. Inside
    Dark. Minds. Concubines.
    Crickets. Cry. Shriek. The night.
    Trapped. Ticks. Rule. The mind.
  • Faith No More, "Epic". It consists largely of contradictory references to an unspecified "it". Actually, most of Mike Patton's lyrics for his various projects would qualify.
    • "Epic" makes sense when you consider that it's about auto-fellatio.
    • "Land Of Sunshine" does this almost literally, since the lyrics are almost entirely taken from fortune cookies and a Dianetics questionnaire. The results almost make sense if read as a sarcastic parody of cults and self-help movements though.
    • Just about any of the lyrics written by Patton's predecessor Chuck Mosley qualify for this.
  • Fair to Midland has "Abigail":
    If there's a nurse that takes your ears in rations
    sets a plate to feed the stifled steel
    if there's a nurse that feeds you germ-soaked dinners
    on a tray of bones and orange peels
  • Pretty much anything by Nightwish. Example:
    For nature hates virginity
    I wish to be touched
    Not by the hands of where's and why's
    But by the Oceans' minds.
    • Occasionally subverted, such as with Fantasmic, which if you listen closely just lists all of Tuomas's favorite Disney characters.
  • German Symphonic Metal band Xandria usually downplays this. Although many of their songs have somewhat abstract lyrics, and they've occasionally had a rhyme that doesn't make much sense, the connection with the overall theme is concrete enough that the lyrics make sense in context.
  • Everything Every Time I Die has ever written, though their use of wordplay is nothing short of impressive.
  • Pretty much everything Fates Warning wrote in their early days.
    Flame is burning, center of a fountain yearning
    Water springs eternal, spiritual water, physical fire
    Above center is sky, cold, cold neverness
    Just vastness filled with stars upon stars
    In the four corners of life are the golden mirrors
    Reflecting what you are and what you are to be
    In the first is a young boy, white dove in his hand
    In the second is a warrior in armor
    In the third is an old man, gold watch in his hand
    Fourth and last, no reflection at all
    No reflection at all!
  • Dave Wyndorf, the lead singer of Monster Magnet, admits that when he gets stuck on the lyrics to a song, he just writes something about volcanoes, because volcanoes are "always cool".
    From "Silver Future"...
    You know the truth and you're so put together
    Baby, I could stick you on the lip of forever
    Even a volcano has a price to pay
    • Not that he isn't perfectly capable of producing word salad lyrics without talking about volcanoes.
    From "Negasonic Teenage Warhead" (also a Word Salad Title later used for an X-Men member):
    I can tell just by the climate and I can tell just by the style
    That I was born and raised on Venus and I may be here a while
    Cos every supersonic jerkoff who plugs into the game
    Is just like every subatomic genius who just invented pain
    I will deny you, I will deny you, baby
  • British band Orange Goblin did this fairly often in their first few albums, although as they've moved away from stoner metal to punk, it's gotten less and less frequent in their songs.
    From Star Shaped Cloud
    Magnetic horses chase the waves
    Through labyrinths of hidden caves
    To free the generations lost inside the crimson maze
    Insects wander through the night
    To end the starry-eyed captain's plight
    To take the frozen nation into his eternal days
  • A lot of material from Dance Gavin Dance.
    From Swan Soup
    Another sucker punch,
    You were late for dinner, I was late for lunch.
    You wanna know the truth?
    I eat a lotta soup
    What’s it like to punch a drum,
    So belong and hold it tightly son.
    You wanna know the truth?
    I eat a lotta soup.
  • Diablo Swing Orchestra, an eclectic avant-garde metal band, has lyrics that seem to exist purely to accentuate the (operatic) singer's voice. For instance, the first verse of Bedlam Sticks:
    In a place where long lost souls are led astray
    A penny is a cheap price to pay
    We play those poke'em in the nostril games all day
    Oh, the fun! Oh, the joy! They all would say
    Ode to tranquil meant to soothe
    Head riots, all them bells in my mind in high pursuit
    In love with a spine, I try to stroke it most of the time
    I wish they could, I wish they would
    Leave us alone
  • Black Metal band Bethlehem definitely qualifies, especially with lyrics like this from the song Luftstehs'Ibläh (Lingering Fart):
    yeah, what is it then?
    Stinky-Cunt puked once in awhile
    In a bucket of cats
    And Satanic Sewing-Machines
    The Evil Sausage sinking
    When Childish Greasy Pizza
    picks at their hair
    Fussy struggle horn and having a flat chest
    To cause irrelevant blows of mayhem
    When foul-toothed Dirk stinks out of his mouth
    Biting flesh in the Land of Vertical
    Hellchrist Evil and Painfulness Kiss
    master of the six silver strings of hell
    as well was a little bit unimportant
    Sturmbas, the great countess of Eva
    wanted to stay in the bar in the little asshole
  • Ministry usually made lyrics from sampled speeches or relatively sane lyrics, but apparently had some Word Salad pent up in their system. The result of getting it all out was the staggeringly incomprehensible "Jesus Built My Hotrod". Mind you, the following is just the song's spoken-word intro.
    Soon I discovered that this rock thing was true. Jerry Lee Lewis was the devil. Jesus was an architect, previous to his career as a prophet. All of a sudden I found myself in love with the world, so there was only one thing that I could do: Was ding a ding dang my dang a long ling long...
    • Another project involving members of Ministry, called Lard, has a lot of word salad lyrics. The most blatant is "The Power of Lard".
      "Every time I take a crap, it's a cosmic experience.
      Religion and chemicals are the keys to the future.
      Next time that we have sex, just pretend that I'm Ed Meese.
      The weasels have it down, man. It's a whole new age.
  • Versailles mostly has songs with meaningful Japanese lyrics with only a smattering of Gratuitous English. Not that you'd know this by their Signature Song, "The Revenant Choir", which is seven minutes of badly-pronounced, nonsensical English. Vocalist Kamijo was aware that the lyrics, but chose to use them anyway because he didn't feel that Japanese lyrics would suit the flow of the song.
    The time has came for us
    Long time sleep passed
    The world turns in hand of descendant of the rose
    Our clan's blood will not stop forever
    Stay, choir of sorrow and pains
    Our clan's blood is a lifetime lover
    Without you, would be gone far away...
  • A lot of Katatonia's lyrics post-Genre Shift:
    The dream is so far
    Come and take the consequence
    Few things are as certain
    Winter state
    Oppressive wait
  • The Strapping Young Lad song "Drizzlehell". In fact, a lot of Heavy As A Really Heavy Thing songs can be seen as this.
    I'm a dog, I know I'm a dog,
    I'm a dog, I know I'm a dog...
    Oh, Elvis yer just standin' there and completely naked
    And i's jest thinkin' to m'self
    "Goddamn-it boy! You've come a quite a little while for such a little country doggie..."
    And now he's touching himself in private
    How many people do you know who can make it through
    Life without ever buying a goddamn vowel
  • Avantasia's lyrics can get like this at times, such as in the title track of Ghostlights:
    The world as we know it is beginning to shake
    I don't trust my eyes; are we all superstitious?
    If we think what our hearts know is true
    Fireworks surround me
    Wherever I go they tell me: always home
    Psycho-somatic, they'll name it the nature of god
  • The band Orgy often uses weird lyrics and metaphors. One that stands out is the song "Eyes-radio-lies" which ends with the repeating line "With all that's fake there's sense to make from toys that break". A possible translation is "With so much bullshitting going on, it's no wonder things so often don't work out."
  • Sabaton: The demo version of "The Art of War" included on the reissued version of the album is pretty much a three-minute string of nonsense phrases that fit the beat. The first stanza is approximately:
    I stand alone and gaze upon the battlefield
    You are my target, yes, you are the play
    I call in fire, exterminate your armies, that's the truth
    Dream on, you are the hunter, you're the pain

  • Bob Dylan was a Trope Codifier, if not the Trope Maker. His lyrics, which were influenced by surrealist poetry, prompted John Lennon and Mick Jagger, among others, to step up their songwriting, and generally introduced the idea that rock/pop lyrics could go beyond "Love Me Do."
    Inside the museums, Infinity goes up on trial
    Voices echo this is what salvation must be like after a while
    But Mona Lisa musta had the highway blues
    You can tell by the way she smiles
    See the primitive wallflower freeze
    When the jelly-faced women all sneeze
    Hear the one with the mustache say, “Jeeze
    I can’t find my knees”
    Oh, jewels and binoculars hang from the head of the mule
    But these visions of Johanna, they make it all seem so cruel
    • Dylan lampshaded this trope in his song "I Shall Be Free No. 10" from Another Side of Bob Dylan in the final lines:
      You're probably wondering by now
      Just what this song is all about?
      What's probably got you baffled more
      What this thing here is for (he plays the song's recurring guitar riff)
      It's nothing
      It's something I learned over in England
    • Dylan's style was parodied in Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story; during his 'Dylan' phase (where he is blatantly ripping off Bob Dylan in every facet of his life), Dewey performs a song called 'Royal Jelly', the lyrics of which two of his band members find completely incomprehensible ("Mailboxes drip like lampposts in the twisted birth canal of the Coliseum..."). The third immediately snarls that they're idiots, and that "this song is very deep." Another one, 'Farmer Glickstein', embraces this trope to such a degree that even the singer ends up admitting in the song that he's got no idea what he's singing about.
  • Just about any song by Bush, especially "Little Things":
    I bleach the sky every night.
    Loaded on wrong and further from right.
    Spinning around, two howling moons.
    'Cause they're always there, whatever I do.
  • The Shins and, by extension, Broken Bells, the collaboration between The Shins' singer and writer and DJ Danger Mouse.
  • Green Day usually has cohesive lyrics, but a few rare songs seem like a bunch of random sentences, such as "Walking Contradiction", and the "Brain Stew"/"Jaded" duo (the latter has the excuse of being written during an insomnia crisis).
  • "Long Train Running" by The Doobie Brothers.
    • Most of the individual sentences or sentence fragments are perfectly sensible, having something to do with either trains, or love (more specifically, the lack thereof). Figuring out exactly why the singer thinks they fit together is what will break your brain.
  • A substantial fraction of lyrics by Jason Molina (Songs:Ohia / Magnolia Electric Co.) is WSL. Here's the beginning of one of his better known songs:
    They come in sorry for the second vanquisher
    To have so much to pretend
    Themselves not so against
    Though overtaken
    This we'll survive, surviving those...
  • Parodied in the Shellac song Spoke. The Indecipherable Word Salad is shouted with ridiculous passion and the only proper word that can be recognized is the title.
  • Anything by Cocteau Twins...basically. Vocalist Elizabeth Fraser went on to guest spots on albums by the Future Sound of London, Craig Armstrong, Massive Attack, and a few soundtracks, with much the same lyrical style.
    • Fraser herself has been fairly elusive regarding whether or not any of her lyrics and invented words have meaning. She has stated that she possesses a special dictionary of sorts that contains the words she sings, but despite acknowledging the use of an invented language, has described the basic effect of her words as thus: "They don't mean anything, though, that's the thing. You know all the transcendent sounds. It's all sound all the way through."
    • Or you could call them Word Puree Lyrics, aka Singing Simlish.
    • Subverted on Heaven Or Las Vegas where she confessed a lot of the songs were about her newly-born daughter.
  • Most of Beck's songs qualify as this, but he actually has stories behind almost all of them. A prime example is "Loser":
    Forces of evil in a bozo nightmare
    Banned all the music with a phony gas chamber
    'Coz one's got a weasel and the other's got a flag
    One's on the pole, shove the other in a bag
    With the rerun shows and the cocaine nosejob
    The daytime crap of the folk singer slop
    He hung himself with a guitar string
    Slap the turkey neck, and it's hanging from a pigeon wing
    • From Futurama:
      Beck: You know, when I'm upset, I write a song about it. Like when I wrote Devil's Haircut, I was feeling really... what's that song about?
      Bender: Hey, yeah! I could write a song! With real words, not phony ones like "odelay."
      Beck: "Odelay" is a word! Just look it up in the Becktionary!
    • Here's another gem from "Hotwax"
      I can't believe my way back when
      My Cadillac pants going much to fast
      Karaoke weekend at the suicide shack
      Community service and I'm still the Mack
      Shocked my finger, spicin' my hand
      I been spreading disease all across the land
      Beautiful air-conditioned,
      Sitting in the kitchen
      Wishing I was living like a hit man
  • They Might Be Giants songs in general:
    • One of the more interesting examples has to be "On Earth My Nina", whose lyrics are mondegreens from playing their song "Thunderbird" backwards.
    • Linnell has stated that the music for "Don't Let's Start" was written before the lyrics, and the lyrics were chosen mostly because the words fit the number of syllables for the melody. When asked about the meaning of the song, Linnell simply stated it was about "not let's starting."
    • "Cowtown":
      The yellow Roosevelt Avenue leaf overturned
      The ardor of arboreality is an adventure we have spurned
    • Famous Polka only has one verse, composed of apparent nonsense spouted by someone looking for a tenuous connection with a celebrity.
      A famous person wears the same size water skis as me
      She's got three cars, as many years I've lived in this city.
      Her hair is blonde and mine is brown; they both start with a "b"
      But when the phone inside her ribcage rings, it's not for me
      But when the phone inside her ribcage rings, it's not for me
    • "Crystal Fortress" is about a Homestar Runner fan who thinks Strong Bad has a Hidden Heart of Gold, and that the best way to get him to come out from his metaphorical "crystal fortress" is a folk rock song about unicorns, rainbows, and The Power of Love. Strong Bad is unimpressed, and openly mocks the singer in the background.
      Unchain your trembling hopes and dreams, O Strong Bad
      Strong Bad: Auuugh! I thought you were done!
      The love you deny is the key that will melt the lock
      Strong Bad: I'll melt your face.
    • Stuff is Way is composed entirely of a string of super-vague Buffy Speak.
      Did you just what?
      Is what you yes?
      Did you whatever, whatever you, I guess?
      The stalking horse
      Was hides the guy
      And which the pony is a phony was a lie
    • "Thinking Machine" is a Call-and-Response Song in which John Linnell plays a researcher communicating with a gibberish-spouting chat-bot played by John Flansburgh.
      Tape has brightening arm connect
      (Wait, that didn't make sense)
      Self-paint itching lever does
      (That made even less sense)
    • "Last Wave" was written as a musical Gag Dub of the music video for "Walk This Way" by Aerosmith and Run–D.M.C.: The chorus seems like some pretty straightforward musings about death ("we die alone, we die afraid, we live in terror..."). The verses sometimes less so:
      If you won't make out with a bi-plane (No!)
      Perchance a dance with a carcass in space? (No!)
      But now you gotta buy me some antlers
      Antlers are what I need you to buy (Why?)
      Then send me down to the postman (You do it!)
      Tell the postman to throw me to...
  • The Stone Roses did something similar to "On Earth My Nina" with "Don't Stop": They basically played along to a backwards recording of their song "Waterfall", then wrote new lyrics based on mondegreens of the backwards vocals. Resulting in things like "Pain, blue singer / he's pain, just a guitar"
  • "One Week", by Barenaked Ladies, although they do stuff like that for fun in a lot of their songs.
    • The "One Week" example is lampshaded in "Testing 1,2,3" off the following album (The music video is more obvious about it, highlighting the next point), which is a Take That! at the people that don't understand their lyrics.
  • The Flaming Lips do this often, with lines such as "Once in a while/the zebras run/to the spaceman and his gun/in the spider's web" or more infamously "I was born/The day they shot a hole in the Jesus egg", which became the title of a compilation of their earlier work.
  • Take away the more straightforward songs such as "Everybody Hurts" and "Don't Go Back To Rockville" and just about everything R.E.M.'s done qualifies. As their name implies, a lot of their songs are based on dreams or intended to feel dreamlike, so its sort of inevitable that this happens. Guitarist Peter Buck said once that Michael Stipe did this intentionally at times: "Murmur is such a lyrically dense record that I don't think anyone will ever get all of it. And some of its not there to get. Certain bits are just words that sounded good strung together."
    • Word of God states that "It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" was based on a dream one of them had in which they were at a birthday party, and a jellybean covered cheesecake was served. All of the guests were people with the initials L.B. And then the world ended. Hence, Something Something Leonard Bernstein, and
      Birthday party, cheesecake, jellybean, boom!
    • The R.E.M. song "Losing My Religion" also has bizarre lyrics; Word of God declares it to be a song about obsession and unrequited love, although good luck figuring that out by listening to it. The name is also a Southernism for "losing my temper", which helps explain a lot but isn't immediately obvious.
    • And then some have a meaning only known to them:
      Charades, pop skill, Water hyacinth, Named by a poet, Imitation of life
      Like a coin in a frozen pond, Like a goldfish in a bowl, I don't want to hear you cry
      That sugarcane that tasted good, That's cinnamon, that's Hollywood, Come on, come on, No one can see you try
  • Brazilian band Engenheiros do Hawaii uses a lot of these, though none of them flying as fast as one would expect from some cases seen in this trope. Here's a translation of this, just for reference:
    Between a face and a portrait, the real and the abstract, between madness and lucidity, between a uniform and nudity
    Between the end of the world and the end of the month, between the truth and the English rock, between the others and you
    I feel like a foreigner, passenger of some train, that doesn't go around here, that is nothing but illusion
  • The Presidents of the United States of America do this often, usually for comedic purposes. On example, "Twig," starts like this: "Some weepy creepy willow pillow boggy shit....," and descends from there.
  • Queen:
    • The middle part of "Bohemian Rhapsody" dives headlong into this territory:
    I see a little silhouetto of a man
    Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the fandango?
    Thunderbolts and lightning, very, very frightening, me
    Galileo,Galileo,Galileo,Galileo,Galileo, Figaro
    • "A Kind of Magic:"
    The waiting seas, eternity
    The day will dawn on Saturday [...]
    The bell that rings inside your mind
    Is challenging the doors of time.
    • Fittingly, the entirety of "I'm Going Slightly Mad"
    • "'39" seems like this trope at first, as taken at face value the lyrics make no sense. But once you know that the song is about time dilation experienced by an astronaut, the meaning behind the song becomes clearer.
  • While there might be a meaning behind it, Alanis Morissette's "Thank U" has verses that qualify in this trope:
    How 'bout gettin' off of these antibiotics?
    How 'bout stoppin' eatin' when I'm full up?
    How 'bout them transparent danglin' carrots?
    How 'bout that ever-elusive kudo?
    • Parodied in the cover version by Steven Wilson which changes the most non-sensical line "How about them dangling carrots?" to "How about changing a line cause it don't make sense"
  • Radiohead have been known to write some of their lyrics by pulling random phrases out of a hat, particularly on Kid A.
    • This is, perhaps, excusable, as Thom Yorke was notoriously obsessed with Dadaism during this period and wrote the lyrics to some of the songs on Kid A following Tristan Tzara's instructions for writing a Dada poem.
      • Lyrical Shoehorn plays enough of a role in their songwriting period that this features on all of their albums, to some degree. "I'm teetering on the brink / Of honey sweet / So full of sleep", anyone?
  • Shaun Ryder, the lead singer of Happy Mondays, is known for writing incomprehensible drug-induced stream-of-consciousness lyrics.
    • "You're twistin' my melon, man!" must have been written while he was on the KFC.
    • Black Grape were sort of Ryder's Spiritual Successor to Happy Mondays, so naturally they sort of followed suit. For instance, "Kelly's Heroes" seems like a cynical look at how celebrities are worshiped as heroes, but who knows where "Jesus was a black man, Jesus was Batman, no that was Bruce Wayne!" fits in to that.
  • The Manic Street Preachers are another example. Not only have they mashed together various words into lyrics ("Cos reality for TV is Disney not King, Rodney" in Dead Yankee Drawl for an early example), but they have also included references to people and concepts not immediately accessible to the listener, leading to an unofficial website that tries to decipher most of the references. This may also be an example of Listeners Are Geniuses. While many of Nicky Wire's lyrics are just plain incomprehensible, Richey Edward's songs do have meanings... They're just composed of insanely obscure and complicated references.
  • Many Soul Coughing songs seem to just consist of cool-sounding nonsense. Which may possibly be explained due to the lyricist's fondness for...recreational pharmaceuticals.
    I'll scratch you raw, l'etat c'est moi
    I drink the drink and I'm wall to wall
    I absorb trust like a love rhombus
    I feel I must elucidate
    I ate the chump with guile
    Quadrilateral I was, now I warp like a smile
    • The verses of "Casiotone Nation" consist of variants of "the five percent nation of (arbitrary noun)" or "The People's Republic of (arbitrary noun)", which the band would change every time it was played live.
    • The refrain from "Down to This", which was assembled due to Doughty being a little hyper and repeating various other phrases while working the door at a local club. "You got the tickets/and I got the list" (which made sense in the context of that activity) eventually became the phrase "You get the ankles/I'll get the wrists.
    • The song "The Bug" from the Batman & Robin soundtrack was written in one day with lyrics randomly scrawled on a legal pad and then thrown away. Doughty doesn't remember what the words are, doesn't care, and says whatever you imagine them to be is probably more interesting anyway.
  • Morphine's "Super Sex": it might be a collection of Gratuitous English seen and overheard while on international tour, or just a very impressionistic take on a late night out on the town, but:
    Automatic Taxi Stop Electric Cigarette Love Baby
    Hotel Rock'n'roll Discotheque Electric Super Sex
  • James, due to their tendency to spawn everything out of jams and improvs and then let Tim just go nuts over the top. The Wah Wah album is the best illustration of this, and "Frequency Dip" is the Crowning Moment Of Bonkers, with its complete garbage about sediment layers, false hair-dos and "some kind of sink unit". "Of Monsters And Heroes And Men", from their latest album, is also deranged.
  • Many of Coheed and Cambria's lyrics sound like this. For example, from "Mother Superior": "Mother superior come catch the rabbit he runs (my how've you been), YOU'RE FRIGHTENED OF LEAVING THIS TRULY GONE FISHING AMALGAM (go fetch your gun.)" A lot of Coheed's lyrics start making more sense if you read the comics that the music is based off of.
  • Early Modest Mouse.
  • Weezer's "Dope Nose", which Rivers Cuomo has admitted has "no meaning whatsoever". It's not as extreme as some other examples, but it does feature a few baffling lines like "cheese smells so good on a burnt piece of lamb".
  • Pretty much anything by Robyn Hitchcock. One of the earlier examples is Leppo and the Jooves, in which the first stanza goes as follows:
    Over the Andalusian extensions of the life and loves of Noddy
    Through the windows of disgust
    The teeth of Leppo and his managers awry
    No time to cry
    • Peaked out in "Unsettled", e.g.:
      Got a heart exact tomato flourish
      on a spike of greedy prongs
      If a baseball dug moussaka Alan wraps the biscuit in a
      Novel thongs accepted every turning bends away
      Biting off a crust, the troubled hey do you ...
      ...but it should be noted that Quirky Hitch frequently reshuffles or reinvents lyrics on the fly when playing live.
  • The Pixies were masters at this. Most of their lyrics make no sense whatsoever. Some fans would say that's a part of the band's genius. Perhaps the best example of this is "Mr. Grieves":
    Hope everything is alright
    What's that floating in the water?
    Oh, Neptune's only daughter
    I believe in Mr. Grieves
    Pray for a man in the middle
    One that talks like Doolittle
    • Much like the Oasis example below, Black Francis claimed in interviews that during the Bossanova sessions he'd "write lyrics on napkins 5 minutes before recording". Thus earning the album an honorary mention.
  • The ending theme to Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, "Lithium Flower" by Scott Matthew and Tim Jensen:
    she's so cold and human
    it's something humans do
    she stays so golden solo
    she's so number nine
    she's incredible math
    just incredible math
    • The song makes complete sense, however, when listened to in its entirety: it's sung from the perspective of a man enamoured by an amazing surfer girl (In context: Motoko's ability to net dive. Cyber-surfing,) and trying to come up with crazy, made-up similes to describe how awesome she is ("So matador, so calm, so oil-on-a-fire"), before going on about her ability to surf ("wow, where did she learn how to surf/You know I've never seen the girl wipe out"). These types of lyrics are typical in many of Yoko Kanno's soundtracks, and none of it is because she's Japanese. She speaks, reads, and writes fluent English, among other languages.
  • Björk's "Pagan Poetry"
    On the surface simplicity
    but the darkest pit in me
    is pagan poetry
    pagan poetry
  • The song "The Messenger" by Your Favorite Enemies, written for Dissidia Final Fantasy is a bit more normal by the standards of some of the other songs here, but the lyrics still descend frequently into "what the heck does that mean" territory. For example:
    Shouting worship choked in a wave of silver
    The offering's grief for Deceiver's pride,
    Salvation man is a cup of fire
    But hope is the star on a morning tide
    • or:
      The Pilgrims are gathering and the marching band, the marching band's howling
      Compassion is the flag a righteous man, a righteous man will hold
    • It's not just "The Messenger." Their other, non-Dissidia songs are pretty confusing too.
  • Phish does this often. Some songs, like "Cavern" or "Stash," feature vivid imagery worked into a narrative that makes no rational sense, whatsoever. As a taste, here's the first verse of "Chalk Dust Torture":
    Come stumble my mirth, beaten worker.
    I'm Jezmund the family berzerker.
    I'm bought for the price of a flagon of rice.
    The wind buffs the cabin
    You speak of your life
    Or more willingly Locust the Lurker.
    • Subverted in their song "Down with Disease," which mentions jungles, head-dwelling demons, and a thousand barefoot children, but which is actually about hallucinating while ill.
  • Train's "Drops of Jupiter". It definitely seems to have some sort of meaning, but it's so wrapped up in abstract similes and such that it's incomprehensible.
    Now that she's back in the atmosphere
    With drops of Jupiter in her hair, hey, hey
    She acts like summer and walks like rain
    Reminds me that there's room to change, hey, hey
    Since the return from her stay on the moon
    She listens like spring and she talks like June, hey, hey.
    • The song is metaphorical for someone leaving and returning different and perhaps alien to the narrator, though if you aren't looking for the meaning, you probably won't hear it.
    • "Hey, Soul Sister" - not particularly made better by the fact that Pat Monahan was writing about what he thought Burning Man would look like.
  • Syd Barrett's lyrics started changing from psychedelic fairy tales to word salad towards the end of his tenure with Pink Floyd, and this continued through his solo work. The ultimate example being "The Word Song", with lyrics that consist entirely of a non-rhyming list of unconnected words ("Stained, glaucous, glycerine, gold, goat, clover...")
    • Leading up to the chorus of "Rats" Syd goes progressively (regressively?) deep into word salad, peaking with (what else?) a list of words, or pretty much so: "Bam, spastic, tactile engine, heaving, crackle, slinky, dormy, roofy, wham, I'll have them, fried bloke, broken jardy, cardy, smoocho, moocho, paki, pufftle, sploshette moxy, very smelly, cable, gable..." Not entirely unconnected though (some are linked by sounding similar, for example).
  • Brazilian band Skank sometimes has this. Helped by usage of Gratuitous English, Gratuitous Spanish, and inane singing ("Beat it laun, daun daun, Beat it, loom, dap'n daun, Beat it laun, daun daun").
  • Falling Up does this with a whole album, Fangs!. Some of the tracks: "Exit Calypsan", "Goddess of the Dayspring Am I", and "The Color Eoptian"
  • Some of Five Iron Frenzy's songs fit this trope, especially "Heat Stroke" and the original live version of "Fistful of Sand" (they hadn't written lyrics for it yet, so the singer made up gibberish on the spot).
    The phone of Zanzibar, mighty needs I ever come,
    mandolin feeding devils, see the fool I am!
    Feels like nothing, kills like something, don't you take my life away,
    don't it take my life away, shown by killing me!
    Feels like nothing, Heaven goo!
    Kills like nothing, Heaven deed!
    Feels like nothing, kills like something, gonna take my life away!
    Feel somebody peel some Coke but (five syllables of gibberish)!
  • Many of the songs on Panic at the Disco's album Pretty.Odd. are examples of this trope, most notably perhaps "Mad as Rabbits" which opens with the following verse:
    Come save me from walking off a windowsill
    Or I'll sleep in the rain
    Don't you remember when I was a bird
    And you were a map?
    And now he drags down miles in America
    Briefcase in hand
    The stove is creeping up his spine again
    Can't get enough trash
    • Then again, the entire album was done in the style of The Beatles...
  • My Chemical Romance's Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)
    Oh let me tell you 'bout the sad man
    Shut up and let me see your jazz hands
    Remember when you were a mad man
    Thought you was Batman!
    And hit the party with the gas can
    Kiss me you animal!
  • Ludo's "Love Me Dead"
    Kill me romantically
    Fill my soul with vomit
    Then ask me for a piece of gum.
    Bitter and dumb
    You're my sugarplumb.
    You're awful, I love you!
    • Actually not that obscure, just a little dense. He's clearly singing about a guy in a toxic relationship. She's bad for him, and he knows it, but he can't stay away.
  • While most of Matthew Good's lyrics do have some meaning to them, obscured or otherwise, the lyrics to Hello Time Bomb are a bit of a headscratcher. Somewhat understandable, as Matt's gone on record saying that the song came from a discussion with some friends about "songs that are about nothing".
    I found me a reason
    So check me tomorrow
    We'll see if I'm leaking
    Push and push and push till it hurts
    My devil's on roller skates
    Down at the roller rink
    Picking up chicks for me
    Ones that push and push and push till it hurts
    Push and push till it hurts
    • Lampshaded by Matt himself during the Live at Massey Hall album:
      "What's with that lyric, that sugar smacks lyric? It's so lame... you know, you look back after ten years and go "What the fuck was I thinking?". I gotta say, one of the shitty things about being a musician or an artist in general is... while it might seem envious to some, you have a permanent record of your own idiocy. And hundreds of thousands of other people have it too."
  • A milder example from Chiodos (from I Didn't Say I Was Powerful, I Said I Was A Wizard)
    Sightings of shape-shifting
    Dissolved into the darkness
    A final opinion is of less value
    Than an appreciation of,
    And tolerance for obscurity
  • Pick a Red Hot Chili Peppers song at random, and chances are it'll probably be a word salad song. A good example is "Can't Stop":
    Knockout, but boy, you'd better come to
    Don't die, you know, the truth is, some do
    Go write your message on the pavement
    Burning so bright, I wonder what the wave meant?
    • Or "Give it Away":
      Realize I don't wanna be a miser
      Confide with sly you'll be the wiser
      Young blood is the lovin' upriser
      How come everybody wanna keep it like the kaiser
    • A repeated section in "By The Way": Each time, four two-word phrases are said, different for each of the four times this section appears. They don't appear to be significant in any way to anything.
    • "Especially In Michigan":
      Life is my friend, underwater violins
      Order now from Ho Chi Minh
      A porcelain that comes in twins
    • While the initial lyrics to "Death of a Martian" make sense (and are in fact quite tear jerking), the outro to the song is as word salad as it gets:
      She's got a sword in case though this is not her lord in case the one who can't afford to face her image is restored to grace. Disappeared. No trace. Musky tears. Suitcase. The down turn brave little burncub bearcareless turnip snare rampages pitch color pages...down and out but not in Vegas. Disembarks and disengages. No loft. Sweet pink canary cages plummet pop dewskin fortitude for the sniffing black noses that snort and allude to the dangling trinkets that mimic the dirt cough go drink its. It's for you. Blue battered naval town slip kisses delivered by duck muscles and bottlenosed grifters arrive in time to catch the late show. It's a beehive barrel race. A shehive stare and chase wasted feature who tried and failed to reach her. Embossed beneath a box in the closet that's lost. The kind that you find when you mind your own business. Shiv sister to the quickness before it blisters into the newmorning milk blanket. Your ilk is funny to the turnstyle touch bunny whose bouquet set a course for bloom without decay. get your broom and sweep echoes of yesternights fallen freckles...AWAY!!!
  • The Hombres' '60s garage rock novelty "Let It All Hang Out" was deliberately written to be as nonsensical as possible, as a parody of Bob Dylan's lyrical style. One interview does reveal some lines at least had some basis in private jokes among band members, however. Amusingly, the line "Hot dog, my razor broke!" came about because the singer suddenly exclaimed it to the guitarist while they were trying to brainstorm for lyrical ideas - He had been shaving at the time and his razor did in fact fall apart.
  • T. Rex's "Rip Off," apparently written to appeal to Americans. If you ever wondered about Dylan's influence on the world...well, "the president's weird, he's got a burgundy beard"...
  • Clutch loves this trope. The best example may be "10001110101":
    Ribonucleic acid freakout, the power of prayer. Long halls of science and all the lunatics committed there. Robot lords of Tokyo, smile! Taste kittens! Did you not know that the royal hunting grounds are always forbidden?
  • Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven", which combines references to Celtic mythology and Christianity, concepts from The Lord of the Rings, and outright lyrical noodling.
  • Many of Blue Öyster Cult's songs, particularly early on when manager Sandy Perlman wrote the lyrics to most of their songs. Songs set in Perlman's Imaginos metaplot (including the titular concept album) generally take the cake.
    Four doors at the Four Winds Bar
    Two doors locked and windows barred
    One door to let to take you in
    The other one just mirrors it
    Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!
    Hellish glare and inference
    The other one's a duplicate
    The Queenly flux, eternal light
    Or the light that never warms
  • Scott Weiland has a fondness for this with some of his bands' songs. "Big Bang Baby" by Stone Temple Pilots and "Slither" by Velvet Revolver are a few examples of his often nigh-incomprehensible lyrics.
    • "Interstate Love Song" doesn't seem to have anything to do with either love or an interstate.
    • "Between The Lines" is also an example, its second verse in particular making absolutely no sense whatsoever.
  • The majority of Electric Six's work is like this. The weird ballad "Jimmy Carter" references politicians, the Backstreet Boys and Slouching Towards Gomorrah without any logical connection between the themes whatsoever:
    Like Harry Truman dropping bombs out of the air / like any self-respecting multi-billionaire
    This is who you are / five dancing teenage boys who sing their way into our hearts
    Backstreet’s back
  • Neutral Milk Hotel have such moving yet surreal lyrics as "Blister please, with those wings in your spine/Love to be with a brother of mine/How he'd love to find/Your tongue in his teeth/In a struggle to find/Secret songs that you keep/Wrapped in boxes so tight/Sounding only at night as you sleep".
    • "Rubby Bulbs". Choice line: "I need to fill your lungs with smallpox." Pleasant dreams.
    • "The King of Carrot Flowers, Pt. One" is otherwise entirely normal, but randomly contains the line "In holy rattlesnakes that fell all around your feet."
  • Rogue Wave, with such gems as this from "Stars and Stripes":
    Never had a false alarm
    Softer than a baby's arm
    All hands are right
    ** Occasionally you can hear a line or two of something meaningful, but Zach Rogue has a tendency to mumble a bit, so it's never quite coherent.
  • "Love Underground," by Robbers on High Street. Extremely catchy... and really nonsensical.
  • Although he has a Dylanesque sophistication to him anything by Dan Bejar aka Destroyer, also of The New Pornographers. He also is infamous for referencing not only others' lyrics, but HIS OWN ones as well. There's an entire wiki dedicated to analyzing his lyrics.
  • Also: "The Geeks Were Right," by The Faint. Catchy? As hell. Logical? Not the least. Though it does seem to have a pseudo-Green Aesop in it of sorts. At the very least, it states for one line that Humans Are Bastards... and then ignores it.
    • That's not even their worst example. Try "Forever Growing Centipedes". The lyrics are just as bizarre as the title. My best guess is that it has to do with chaos theory and anarcho-primitivism, but really, will we ever know?
  • The Eels' "Hidden Track" (yes, that's the actual name of the song, and it's not even particularly "hidden") consists of drummer Butch sing/speaking lyrics like "Jacuzzis and bunnies / A broken fondue set / Kool G is in the outhouse / you can be my Mr French". The official story to it is that there was an online contest for song titles, then the band just ended up putting a bunch of them together to use as lyrics. However, it seems that no one in the fan community remembers any such thing, so it was probably just written to sound like that was what happened.
  • Quite a few of The Fratellis' songs make little to no sense. Prime examples are "My Friend John" and "Tell Me a Lie", both from the album Here We Stand. Here, for example, is the chorus of "Tell Me a Lie":
    And the boy cried "whoop-a-dee-dee"
    There's a woman with a moustache who won't leave me be
    She was born on a Monday, she's 104
    She's a liar! She's a liar! A little bit more
    Say what you wanna, say what you will
    Write your number of my telephone bill
    Walk like a monkey, kick like a mule
    I could be a beggar but I'd rather be just as cruel
  • JJ72 - "October Swimmer" especially
  • Animal Collective's Feels. All of it. They're all quirky love songs. Or end-of-relationship songs. This said, each individual song has, beyond the underlying premise, plenty of Word Salad and/or Mind Screw ("Word Parsley"?!) to go around. Which is true of most of their material, frankly.
  • Some of King Crimson's works, especially "The World is my Oyster Soup Kitchen Floor Wax Museum" which also fits World's salad title wax museum... w...wait...what did I just say?
    • That particular song's actually a rather clever sort of word salad— it's a bunch of overlapping phrases, along the lines of Wheel of Fortune's "Before and After" category.
  • Yes. For a real treat check out the lyrics for "Tales from Topographic Oceans" by Yes, which starts out: "Dawn of light lying between the silence and sold sources / Chased amid fusions of wonder / In moments hardly seen forgotten / Coloured in pastures of chance dancing leaves cast spells of challenge / Amused but real in thought / We fled from the sea / Whole..." and goes on like that for another 79 minutes or so. Like the R.E.M. example above, this partially comes about because Jon Anderson treated the vocals as another instrument, prioritizing how the words sounded over whether they necessarily made sense.
    • This is actually a songwriting technique designed to move a writer's focus away from lyrics which are completely logical but a pain in the neck to easily sing or listen to. It's a way of adding "danceability".
    • One of the best-known songs by Yes is Roundabout, which features the extraordinary lyrics, "In and around the lake, mountains come out of the sky and they stand there"note .. How extraordinary are those words? Well, a history of Progressive Rock, written by Will Romano (available on Amazon) is entitled, "Mountains Come Out of the Sky".
      • Roger Dean's cover art for the live Yessongs set actually includes, among other things, images of - you guessed it - mountains coming out of the sky and standing there. Upside down.
    • "Close to the Edge" one-ups that. It kicks off with "A seasoned witch could call you from the depths of your disgrace / And rearrange your liver to the solid mental grace....", and carries on in that vein for almost 19 minutes.
    • "And You And I" is clearly inspired by The Foundation Trilogy (as it then was), but has some lyrics which make little sense in that or any other context. Jon Anderson has admitted that he often chose words because they sounded good, rather than because they made sense.
    • "Yours Is No Disgrace" off their second self-titled album is meant to be a Protest Song about the Vietnam War, although it is a very obtuse one
      Yesterday a morning came, a smile upon your face.
      Caesar's palace, morning glory, silly human race,
      On a sailing ship to nowhere, leaving any place,
      If the summer changed to winter, yours is no disgrace.
    • "The Gates of Delirium" has "Power spent passion bespoils our soul receiver / Surely we know!" One has to wonder what Jon Anderson's grocery lists look like.
    • Starcastle, a band that built its career on sounding like Yes, took this to its ultimate extreme:
      Rolled in velvet crystal
      Broken reds with scarlet
      Hand-me-down of sundry seas
      Melting golden flesh is cracked in garden circles grown
      Of me
    • Yes also influenced the style of neo-prog band IQ, whose songs are equally confusing. (Zero Hour for example,)
      Yesterday is up for auction
      Souvenirs are in demand
      In the rooms where rocking horses
      Carried us on moonlit strands
      Thunder crash and flash of lightning
      Storms of metal raining down
      Little hands that cradle ashes
      Little eyelids heavy, head run aground
  • The Mars Volta embodies this trope, with lyrics like "Trackmarked amoeba lands craft/Cartwheel of scratches/Dress the tapeworm as pets/Tentacles smirk please/Flinch the cocooned meat…" And no discussion of TMV's word-salad lyrics is complete without the infamous line "The kiosk in my temporal lobe is shaped like Rosalyn Carter!"
  • A lot of Porcupine Tree's early material is like this. "Jupiter Island," the first song on their first real album, starts things off and it stays that way up until "Signify," and even on that album you have songs like "Sever."
  • Emerson, Lake & Palmer had its fair share of incomprehensible lyrics including "right before your eyes, we pull laughter from the skies and he laughs until he cries, then he dies, then he dies"
    • That's when they worked with former King Crimson lyricist Peter Sinfield.
  • Gorillaz songs are usually blunt and poignant, but there's a few incomprehensible doozies in there as well, like the chorus to 19/2000:
    "Get the cool~ Get the cool shoeshine (lalalalalalalaaa) Get the cool~ Get the cool shoeshine!"
    • "Feel Good Inc". Whether this is also an example of Indecipherable Lyrics is debatable, because the lyrics aren't that poorly enunciated, but they're so bizarre that they sound like a mondegreen and throw off attempts to decipher them that way.
    You've got a new horizon, it's ephemeral style
    A melancholy town where we never smile
    And all I wanna hear is the message beep
    My dreams they get a-kissing 'cause I don't get no sleep, no...
    • The Phase 3 song "Rhinestone Eyes" is... extremely odd, to say the least. The animatic music video adds a bit of clarification, but it's really not enough. Even with the music video, there is really no explanation for what the hell's going on with Verse 2.
    I can't see you now my heart is frozen
    All the bowses and the growses
    Have been abstinated in my soul
    I prayed on the immovable
    Yet clinging to the atoms of rock
    Seasons see adjustment signs of change
    I can't see now, she said, "Taxi"
    Now that light is all I can take
    This dawn brings strange loyalties and skies
  • "Incense & Peppermints" by late-‘60s one-hit wonders Strawberry Alarm Clock. They even lampshade this in the lyrics: "Incense and peppermints, meaningless nouns."
  • The lyrics for Brian Wilson's Smile project, written by Van Dyke Parks: "Columnated ruins domino" indeed. One of the main reasons The Beach Boys didn't complete it in 1967 was that Mike Love started complaining that he didn't understand the lyrics, and even got in an argument with Parks over them.
    • Most of Van Dyke Parks' lyrics qualify as word salads.
  • The Beatles did this a lot—or rather John Lennon did this a lot with the Beatles, Paul and George not so much. Lennon's "I Am The Walrus", which he wrote specifically to confound people who analyzed his lyrics, is one of the most famous examples of this trope.
    • "Yellow matter custard dripping from a dead dog's eye
      Crabalocker fishwife, pornographic priestess..."
    • Later on, the final verse has "Expert texpert choking smokers, don't you think the joker laughs at you?" and "Semolina pilchard, climbing up the Eiffel Tower, Elememtary penguin singing Hare Krishna..."
    • "Happiness Is A Warm Gun" is another Beatles example, although not quite as nonsensical as "Walrus".
    • "Come Together" is another one. One can only speculate as to what are the rules to toe-jam football, although if your early warning tells you you have muddy water, a mojo filter might be a nice thing to have.
    • "Glass Onion" is another example, full of Shout Outs to earlier Beatles songs of this type. Done deliberately as a Take That! at people who came up with extensive literary analyses of their previous albums. On the original studio recording track, Lennon can be heard saying "Let's see the fuckers figure that one out".
    • And, of course, "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds".
    • And "Sun King" from Abbey Road ends this way:
      Cuando para mucho mi amore de felize corazón,
      Mundo paparazzi mi amore chicka ferdy parasol,
      Cuesto obrigato tanto mucho que can eat a carousel
    • "Dig a Pony" from Let It Be:
      "I dig a pony, Well, you can celebrate anything you want...", "I do a road hog, Well you can penetrate any place you go...",
      "I pick a moon dog, Well you can radiate everything you are..."note ,
      "I roll a stoney, Well you can imitate everyone you know...",
      "I feel the wind blow, Well you can indicate everything you see...",
      "I go alone, Well, you can syndicate any boat you row..."
      • You might have noticed all of the above songs were by John Lennon.
    • Parodied (like everything else in the Beatles' career) by The Rutles, with such ditties as "Good Times Roll" and "Piggy in the Middle".
    • The infamous mishearing "Some day monkey won't play piano song."
    • "Because" opens with the lyrics "Because the world is round, it turns me on". It only makes less and less sense as the song goes on.
    • Lampshaded in the lyrics of "Only a Northern Song" from Yellow Submarine, which George wrote as a Take That! to Northern Songs, with the company retaining the copyright for the songs with John, Paul and the shareholders benefiting more than George did:
      If you're listening to this song, You may think the chords are going wrong, But they're not, He just wrote it like that
      When you're listening late at night, You may think the band are not quite right, But they are, They just play it like that
      It doesn't really matter what chords I play, What words I say or time of day it is, As it's only a Northern song
  • David Bowie often writes this, sometimes using the Burroughs "cut-up" technique. Strangely though, he still manages to spin together something cohesive enough to understand in spite of this technique, yet it's pretty clear that there's no way one could speak of each song's concept in conversation in the exact same manner without coming off as a looney. A prime example of this would be his song "Fall Dog Bombs the Moon" from the album Reality.
    • "Life On Mars?" begins fairly straightforward, with a girl's life going downhill, but once she goes to the movies for escapism, a weird collage (presumably whatever she's watching) begins:
      Sailors fighting in the dance hall
      Oh man! Look at those cavemen go
      It's the freakiest show
      Take a look at the lawman
      Beating up the wrong guy
      Oh man! Wonder if he'll ever know
      He's in the best selling show
      Is there life on Mars?
    • A better example would be "Little Wonder," which Name Drops the seven dwarfs, but otherwise is mostly random nonsense.
    • Even better: "Station to Station" which would be pure Dada if not for its apparent allusions to the effects of chronic cocaine use.
  • Frank Zappa does this a lot, particularly in a song called "Ya Hozna" which further confuses things by playing all the lyrics backwards.
  • It's been pointed out that many of Peter Frampton's lyrics are just a bunch of random lines stuck together with no attempt at a narrative or thematic concept. "Show Me The Way" is a particularly notable offender.
  • The Band's "Chest Fever": "'She's stoned' said the Swede / And the Moon Calf agreed / But I'm like a viper in shock / With my eyes in the clock." This was the result of temporary filler lyrics becoming a Permanent Placeholder.
  • "Blinded by the Light" by Bruce Springsteen (or Manfred Mann)
    • Really, most of the lyrics from Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ fit this trope. Of course, that was during his "next Bob Dylan" phase.
      Wizard imps and sweat sock pimps, interstellar mongrel nymphs...
  • Paul McCartney was prone to this trope on occasion. His most prominent example is probably "Junior's Farm".
    You should have seem me with the poker man
    I had a honey and I bet a grand
    Just in the nick of time I looked at his hand
    I was talking to an Eskimo
    Said he was hoping for a fall of snow
    When up popped a sea lion ready to go
    • Can anyone explain what "Jet" is supposed to mean?
  • Most Oasis songs. As the page quote shows, Noel Gallagher, writer of the majority, has admitted sometimes even he doesn't understand the lyrics. An excerpt of "Champagne Supernova" (which he also doesn't understand) frequently enters lists of Worst Lyric Ever ("Slowly walking down the hall/Faster than a cannonball/Where were you while we were gettin' high?").
    • Some other examples include:
      • I Hope, I Think, I Know:
        "I hope I think I know
        If I ever hear the names you call
        And if I stumble catch me when I fall
        'Cause baby, after all
        You'll never forget my name"
    • Shakermaker (although intentionally written as a psychedelic/insane kind of song):
      "I've been driving in my car with my friend Mr. Soft
      Mr. Clean and Mr. Ben are living in my loft
      Aaaaaaaaaa-ahhh, Shake along with me"
    • Some Might Say:
      "The sink is full of fishes
      She's got dirty dishes on the brain
      All my dogs been itchin'
      Itchin' in the kitchen once again"
    • Honorable mention goes to "Supersonic", which was written in the half-hour before its recording, so it wouldn't make sense anyway.
    • All of the aforementioned songs were written by Noel Gallagher while high as a kite (he even once said "I used to write really pissed and out of it so I can’t remember what I was thinking about.”), which should make up for an explanation.
    • Noel's brother Liam has written a few of his own, including "Wind Up Dream" by his new band, Beady Eye:
      "If tonight is all we have
      Then make the bed with sheets of glass
      Let's take it out for one last laugh, come on, come on
      If yesterday's is all we got
      We tie our bones in one big knot
      Squeeze it out 'til every drop is all gone, all gone..."
  • Al Stewart's "Red Toupee" song: "To Catalina in a fishing boat/They call it Henry Cisneros/We got no money but we still stay afloat/The jellyfishes don't scare us...In your Red Toupee".
  • Shudder to Think went for this fairly frequently, a couple of the most surreal examples being "Shake Your Halo Down" ("Stick a fish in a tattoo gun/ see what color ink comes out") and "Hit Liquor" ("Party of mouths/ a finger fan courtship / The case of her bones are softer than loose meat"). The latter may just be an incredibly cryptic version of an Intercourse with You song though.
  • The late Chris Cornell admitted that most of his lyrics had no intended literal meaning and were more intended to evoke a mood. As such, a number of Soundgarden songs make no sense if you actually pay attention to the lyrics:
    • "Black Hole Sun"
    In my eyes, indisposed
    In disguise as no one knows
    Hides the face
    Lies the snake
    The sun in my disgrace
    Boiling heat
    Summer stench
    Neath the black the sky looks dead
    • "Outshined":
    I got up feeling so down
    I got off being sold out
    I've kept the movie rolling
    But the story's getting old now
    I just looked in the mirror
    Things aren't looking so good
    I'm looking California
    And feeling Minnesota
  • The "Willow Farm" portion of the Genesis song "Supper's Ready" definitely qualifies.
    There's Winston Churchill dressed in drag,
    he used to be a British flag, plastic bag, what a drag.
    The frog was a prince, the prince was a brick, the brick was an egg,
    the egg was a bird.
    (Fly away you sweet little thing, they're hard on your tail)
    Hadn't you heard?
    (They're going to change you into a human being!)
    Yes, we're happy as fish and gorgeous as geese,
    and wonderfully clean in the morning.
    Feel your body melt;
    Mum to mud to mad to dad
    Dad diddley office, Dad diddley office,
    You're all full of ball.
    Dad to dam to dum to mum
    Mum diddley washing, Mum diddley washing,
    You're all full of ball.
  • The Whitlams' "No Aphrodisiac"
    Forty, shaved, sexy, wants to do it all day
    With a gun-totin' trigger-happy tranny named Kinky Renée.
    Tired teacher, twenty-eight, seeks regular meetings
    for masculine muscular nappy-clad brutal breeding
    while his wife rough-wrestles with a puppy
    all aquiver on a wine-soaked strobe-lit Asiatic hall of mirrors and a dash of loneliness
    There's no aphrodisiac quite like it.
    • And then they intentionally tried to top themselves on "Chunky Chunky Air Guitar".
    She came from the Cocos Islands
    With a limp and a snow-shaker huh
    Hocked by a fine Arabian Ginger Monsignor
    He said you ain'ts gets nothing
    Cause nothin' gets made by Koreans
    He had dubbin in his hair
    And he played the tambourine.
  • "This Is A Call" by Foo Fighters. The chorus is pretty straightforward, but the verses seem to just consist of cryptic wordplay, the strangest line being "Seems that all the cysts and mollusks tend to barter".
    • Dave Grohl admitted that most of the lyrics in the debut album were scribbled 20 minutes before he recorded the songs, and that "a few of them aren't even words", written out of catharsis after Kurt Cobain's death.
    • Or "All My Life" (on his words, "the middle section is about eating pussy and the verses are kind of vague. That's all you've gotta know!"):
      All my life I've been searching for somethin'
      Somethin' never comes, never leads to nuthin'
      Nothin' satisfies, but I'm gettin' close
      Closer to the prize at the end of the rope
      All night long I dream of the day
      When it comes around, and it's taken away
      Leaves me with the feelin' that I fear the most
      Feel it come to life when I see your ghost
    • Dave wrote more intelligible lyrics as time passed, but every now and then (specially after his bassist said "I really like it when you write songs that are silly and mean nothing, too.") he does something like "White Limo" ("There's a line in it that says 'what ever happened to dayglo thongs' and that's why it's easy to scream because I don't feel like I have to write a love letter to myself.").
    • Parodied by "Weird Al" Yankovic in "My Own Eyes", which he admitted to be a Foo Fighters tribute and is full of absurd lines.
  • Bowling for Soup's "I Gotchoo", especially obvious since their lyrics are generally witty, not that it detracts from the song.
    Waves hit rocks and folks get wet,
    I was gonna say somethin' but now I forget,
    Chocolate covered cherries with the milk on the side,
    I'll meet you at the party if I find a ride,
    Helicopters fly and birds like to nest,
    Elvis or The Beatles,
    Who care's who's the best, (the Beatles)
    Raleigh is the capital of North Carolina,
    Peanut Butter sandwich with some Aunt Jemima
  • Like a lot of other prog rock groups, Jethro Tull is susceptible to putting out Word Salads. Despite such extended examples as "Thick as a Brick" and "Baker Street Muse", their most egregious example is probably "Cold Wind to Valhalla".
  • A lot of songs by Half Man Half Biscuit don't even try to make sense, but most of Four Skinny Indie Kids sounds like the singer randomly flipping through a dictionary.
  • Some of 16 Horsepower's early material qualifies. Individual stanzas and verses make sense, but they don't fit together into a cohesive song; the overall effect is like David Eugene Edwards exploded a hymnbook and pasted the page scraps back together at random.
  • Every single Guided by Voices side project name (example: the Moping Swans), album title (example: Self-Inflicted Aerial Nostalgia), song title (example: Bright Paper Werewolves) and 80% of the lyrics (example: -from Jabberstroker "Cling to the sides, brain-boy we lost our numb-er selves in jail leaving a groovy wit matter on a sailing sky, alive and jabberstroking"). Bob Pollard lives for Word Salad Lyrics. Must be all the beer.
  • Linkin Park's High Voltage pretty much consists of these kinds of lyrics.
    I've been digging in the crates ever since I was living in space
    Before the rat race
    Before monkeys had human traits
    I mastered numerology and big bang theology
    Performed lobotomies with telekinetic psychology\\
  • In the fadeout of "Seven Stars" by Uriah Heep, David Byron apparently got tired of repeating the numbers 1-7, and started running down the letters of the alphabet.
  • Sparklehorse lived on this trope. Example: The Knives of Summertime.
    A flock of knives
    Cut the sky
    And buried in my black eyes
    And the clouds they bled
    In my head
    And autumn rain soaked the dry beds
    And the hurricane
    Of her eyes
    Wailed away the knives
    The knives of summertime
  • The Doors:
    Peppermint, miniskirts, chocolate candy,
    Champion sax, and a girl named Sandy.
    There's only four ways to get unraveled:
    One is to sleep, and the other is travel, da-da!
    One is a bandit up in the hills;
    One is to love your neighbor 'til...
    His wife gets home.
    • Christ, it's hard to describe just how weird that song is. For reference, these are the lyrics. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.
    • As Jim Morrison was a published poet, many of their songs crawl into this territory. Another notable example is Celebration of the Lizard.
  • Interpol is well known for this. Basically every song is Word Salad Lyrics, Intercourse with You, or both. Some examples:
    • Specialist:
      My love's a laboratory
      I set all my pets free
      So baby you should sleep with me
      I make trips to the bathroom
      Yeah my friends all have true grit
      I am speckled like a leopard
    • Slow hands:
      We spies, intimate slow hands
      Killer for hire, you know not yourself
      We spies, intimate slow hands
      You let the face slap around yourself
    • Narc:
      Touch your thighs, I'm the lonely one
      Remember that last sweat 'cause that was the right one
    • The Heinrich Maneuver:
      How are things on the West Coast?
      I hear you're moving real fine
      You wear those shoes like a dove
      Now strut those shoes, we'll go roaming in the night
    • PDA:
      Yours is the only version of my desertion that I could ever subscribe to
      That is all that I can do
      You are a past winner, the last dinner,
      I'm raking all around me, until the last drop is behind you [...]
      Sleep tight, grim rite, we have two hundred couches...
  • Tom Petty (minus the Heartbreakers, on "Full Moon Fever") in "A Mind With A Heart Of Its Own": "Well the man out to end us had a hurricane business / He'd raise them from babies all by himself / But his teen-age accountant had become surrounded / He drank up the party and everyone left." There's also random mentions of Brooker and Micanopy, are/were two suburbs of Gainesville (Petty's hometown). a bit further down
    • Speaking of Petty, see also the entry for the Traveling Wilburys (of which Petty was a member).
  • Everything Else's "What Can't Be Seen". Lampshaded with the line "You don't know what I mean."
  • Primitive Radio Gods' "Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth with Money in My Hand" seems to be trying to say something profound...until the last line of the third verse: "And bathe yourself in zebra flesh".
  • The Cardiacs' lyrics were always purposely surreal so as to allow fans to make their own interpretations of each song. I still have no idea what to make of stuff like "The Duck and Roger The Horse" though.
  • Pick a Pavement song besides "Cut Your Hair" and you'll run into this. An example from "AT&T"
    Someone's gonna save me
    My heart is made of gravy
    And the laps I swim from lunatics don't count
  • Sloan's "Penpals", sort of - it's fairly clear through context that the song has something to do with sending a celebrity fan mail, but most of the lyrics are full of idiosyncratic phrasing (for instance: "I have only 13 years / and I am crazy of you"). The lyrics were actually excerpts from international fan mail sent to Kurt Cobain - the band had access to said letters when they were signed to the same label as Nirvana.
  • The Queens of the Stone Age song "Feel Good Hit Of The Summer" has several repetitions of "nicotin, Valium, Vicodin, marijuana, ecstasy and alcohol" as its lyrics, with the occasional break for "co-co-co-co-co-co-caine!".
  • "Anyone for Tennis" by Cream.
    Twice upon a time in the valley of the tears
    The auctioneer is bidding for a box of fading years
    And the elephants are dancing on the graves of squealing mice
    Anyone for tennis, wouldn't that be nice?
  • "Looking Out My Back Door" by Creedence Clearwater Revival.
    There's a giant doing cartwheels,
    A statue wearing high heels.
    Look at all the happy creatures dancing on the lawn.
    A dinosaur Victrola listening to Buck Owens.
  • Coldplay mostly deals with inner feelings, love, but can get really cryptic at times.
    In my scarecrow dreams
    When they smash my heart into smithereens
    Be a bright red rose come bursting the concrete
    Be a cartoon heart
  • Dutch band Treble has several songs in made-up language, including their biggest hits Ramaganana and Amambanda. They sound vaguely like the African songs in The Lion King (1994) but they're really just pretty-sounding gibberish.
    Lo cala malangalande
    A babaia cola via hananda zaeaa
    O momo gooido veidi memi zon
    Ton no masteka jon donge
  • Just about any song by Alt-J, but especially Fitzpleasure.
    Steepled fingers, ring leaders, queue jumpers
    Rock fist paper scissors, lingered fluffers
    In your hoof lies the heartland
    Where we tent for our treasure, pleasure, leisure
    Les yeux, it's all in your eyes
    In your snatch fits pleasure, broom-shaped pleasure
    Deep greedy and Googling every corner
    Blended by the lights
  • Cracker, "Low":
    A million poppies is gonna make me sleep
    Just one rose and knows your name
    The fruit is rusting on the vine
    The fruit is calling from the trees
  • KMFDM's "Megalomaniac" and the title track of Tohuvabohu.
    Nihilistic mystics
    Apostolic alcoholics
    Messianic manics
    Cataclysmic, and prolific
    In the age of super-boredom
    Hype and mediocrity
    Celebrate relentlessness
    Menace to society
  • Much of Fall Out Boy's Folie a Deux qualifies. It may qualify as Fridge Brilliance for a lot of listeners since a lot of the album is narrated by drug abusers. An example, from "Tiffany Blews":
    A long walk to a dark ha-ha-ha-ha-house
    A Roman candle keeps us far apart
    I've got your body doing alright
    Hate me, baby, maybe I'm a piece of art
    • Since they started their ever-increasing tendency to go more Pop on every album since 2013, this has become one of their major criticisms. On Save Rock and Roll, this was mostly due to mixed metaphors that Pete Wentz wrote in some of the songs. American Beauty/American Psycho has more of these, particularly in 'Uma Thurman,' a song they admit they specifically wrote after some people suggested to them that the Munsters theme that they had ready to sample reminded them of Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill, with Uma's roles in those movies. Then some of the singles on Mania definitely have this, with them directly name-dropping Nikki Sixx, but then referencing Britney Spears' song 'Oops I Did It Again' not two lines later for some reason, and some of the choruses of their more recent songs not being directly relating to the stories of their songs, but more so being a part of the song because they sound nice when put into a song. An example from 'Uma Thurman':
    She wants to dance like Uma Thurman
    Bury me till I confess
    She wants to dance like Uma Thurman
    And I can’t get you out of my head
    The stench, the stench, of summer sex
    And CK eternity, oh hell yes
    Divide me down to the smallest I can be
    Put your, put your v-v-venom in me
    • Good luck saying the song makes any sense, especially with the sample it uses, with these lyrics!
  • "Whole Day Off" by Oingo Boingo opens with this gem:
    Have you seen my girlfriend she lives in a pig pen
    Have you seen my girlfriend?
    I can't seem to find her perhaps she is hiding
    Underneath a blade of grass
  • In a rare non-English example, every song by the Italian band Verdena.
    • Speaking of Italian acts, the entire repertoire of one-man band Le Luci della Centrale Elettrica has this trope. Just look at their debut single Cara Catastrofe, here translated for our English-speaking friends:
      Dear catastrophe, fingerprints and the night patrols
      that chase moths, and comets like you
      between love letters typed at the computer
      and then we'll tremble like California, love, in our separated bedrooms
      nailing down stars, declaring wars, writing on walls that you rarely think of me
  • John Lees of Barclay James Harvest is known for writing lyrics with complex multiple meanings which look like this trope until you work them out - which may take years, especially since he rarely explains them. But the line "If music be the food of love, then someone ate the crown" still has fans completely baffled decades after he wrote it, and if it isn't this trope it might as well be.
  • About half The Traveling Wilburys' songs. You can ... sort of ... tell what they're about, but a lot of the actual lyrics seem to have been chosen because they fit the meter and rhyme. "Tweeter and the Monkey Man" has a narrative based on the exploits of the eponymous pair involving drug dealing, cross-dressing, possible adultery (though it's never clear if the Monkey Man returned Jan's feelings), and revenge, though what "And the walls came down/All the way to Hell/Never saw them when they standing, never saw them when they fell" means is anybody's guess. There are a few others which are similar in that they sort of tell a story ... it's just that that story is kind of surreal ("Last Night", "Cool Dry Place"). Others make sense but contain short nonsense phrases ("Dirty World", where the list of things "he loves" includes "your electric dumplings", "your quest for junk food", and "your big refrigerator"). Then there's "Margarita", where a significant fraction of the words aren't even words:
    I asked her what we're gonna do tonight
    She said "Cahuenga langa langa shoe box soup"
    We better keep trying till we get it right
    Tala mala sheela jaipur dhoop
  • A lot of Phoenix's lyrics qualify, but "Trying To Be Cool" deserves special mention, even beyond the baffling line "There is no physical evidence of cannibal boyfriend":
    They teach you suffer to resist
    Too much intention, Presbyterian
    Mint julep testosterone
    Tell me that you want me
    Tell me that you want me
  • Many early songs by Incubus, with "Take Me To Your Leader" probably being the most baffling:
    What if I was just dreaming?
    What if I lived in a pear?
    What if my watch read 4:20 every hour, every day?
    You can bet your dollar I'd be happy
    I forgot to remember
    I forgot to remember my pain
    Take me to your leader
    Or die by the fly guy
  • Poets of the Fall:
    • Inverted in-universe in the video for "Lift," Mad Dreamer Mark's speech, which consists of entirely coherent lyrics from a nervous, ambivalent love song, is transcribed and treated by prison psychologists evaluating him as evidence of his schizophrenia and criminal insanity.
    • With the exception of the chorus, the lyrics to "Choice Millionaire" range from nonsensical to flirting with coherence from line to line as the listener attempts to parse them.
      Subliminal love for the ones you hate
      LOL as I abbreviate
      Alleviate if you can relate to the pink slip
      Of love unzipped
  • Metric embraced Word Salad Lyrics straight out the gate - the opening song "IOU" on their first studio album Old World Underground, Where Are You Now? has these opening lines:
    Old World Underground, where are you now?
    Subtract my age from the mileage on my speeding heart, credit cards.
    Accelerate, accumulate,
    Looked for you downtown.
  • The songs by Foals, at least their earlier work, featured nonsense lyrics like "The lighthouse is an accident" and "Saturday we could go home and cut the phone lines". The band that preceded Foals, called The Edmund Fitzgerald, was also a bit like this. It seems like the lyrics are all written by Yannis Philippakis himself, and the booklets that accompanied the albums "Antidotes" and "Total Life Forever" were more like art pieces than anything else. It is important to note that Foals (and The Edmund Fitzgerald) have math rock origins - that is a genre where long song titles and bizarre lyrics are extremely common; the instrumentation is considered more important. There is also the related project "Youthmovies Soundtrack Strategies" by ex-Foals member Andrew Mears where he also sang pretty nonsensical stuff.
  • "I'm Too Sexy" by Right Said Fred starts off with the narrator boasting about how he's so sexy that he needs to take off his shirt to show everyone, then rapidly devolves into complete nonsense as he declares himself too sexy for every random object he thinks of, including a car, a cat, and the song itself.
  • Don McLean has outright admitted to this, that the only meaning of American Pie is "I'll never have to work again." This hasn't stopped fans from searching for some deeper meaning to read into all the word salad for decades now.
  • "In the Air Tonight" was long rumored to be Phil Collins given an autobiographical description of witnessing a murder, but Collins says it's an example of this trope.
  • Songs by the Dutch group Nits such as "In The Dutch Mountains" appear like this, and not without a reason: Nits were a bunch of surrealists who decided to make music.
    I met a miller on the back of a cow
    He was looking for the wind but he didn't know how
    I said, "Follow the cloud that looks like a sheep"
    In the Dutch mountains
  • Much of Sleigh Bells' album Treats - the music was written first, so the lyrics often seem to be chosen for sound rather than meaning. From "Infinity Guitars":
    Deaf chords, deaf hens
    Sling set can't meet the demands
    Dumb whores, best friends
    Infinity guitars, your heart
  • Downplayed with The Rare Occasions song "Caterpillar!" While most of it makes sense, it briefly asks nonsensical and random questions like "Where do you go when your grandma is stoned and your dog's on the phone with the DEA?" and "Why does the sound of a bull sitting down give you all kinds of doubt about stock investing?"

  • It seems a lot of Aqua songs take after this trope; and if not this, then there is definitely some Simlish being sung.
  • "Oh Industry" by Bette Midler, lyrics to which may be found here. Great song, but... "the mud's prophecy"? "Hydrogen fuel, it burns so clean; throbs in the veins, a mother-lovin' machine"? Whaaa? It was written for Beaches and makes a little more sense in context there: Midler's character C.C., a singer and actress, sings the song as the finale of some sort of avant-garde off-Broadway musical within a movie. The moment the performance ends, two audience members walk off discussing it - one found the play completely incomprehensible, the other thought it was a work of artistic genius.
  • ''The Look'' by Roxette. This was their breakthrough hit in North America and UK, despite having lyrics that weren't even supposed to be kept, let alone make sense. Tasty like a raindrop!
    Per Gessle: "Walking like a man, hitting like a hammer"... the first two verses are guide lyrics, words just scribbled down to have something to sing. Couldn't come up with anything better, so we kept them. Everybody gets lucky sometimes...
    • Perhaps recognising a winning formula, they later had a massive hit with ''Joyride'', which if anything was even sillier.
    • In fact, pretty much the entire discography of Roxette can be listed here, though at least a few of the ballads are relatively coherent.
  • The song "She Amazed Me" by German power-pop band Rivo Drei. Scott Adams wondered one day about how hard it would be to write a hit song, so he asked his blog's readers to submit lyrics that SEEMED to ALMOST make sense, then gave them to the band to arrange into a song.
    • Just so you can see how this turned out, here's the first verse:
      She had runaway eyes and marshmallow kittens
      My heart heard a dreamlike ten-thousand mittens
      Woah-oh-oh, a tear in her hand
      She spread deja vu all across the land
      She spins round and round with a frog in her ear
      Whispering fountains, and rocks she couldn't hear...
  • "Welcome Machine Gun" by Hubert Kah:
    Martha planned to make a movie, movie made in stereo
    Then she went to California, winded up on radio
    Round about the Navy ballroom, get the man in gabardine
    Kiss him once and kiss them all and send me cards on Halloween
    Monday up to Saturday, you kick yourself from 9 to 5
    Sunday's always wonderful, you wander on the TV line
    Love is not a silly notion, love is not a monorail
    Love is like the way you love a candle in a hurricane
  • David Sylvian: a mishmash of mythology (Krishna, Orpheus, Shaman, Alchemy), Meaningless Meaningful Words ("I am far from the future and ambush the world"), and Purple Prose ("the room of sixteen shimmers"), best served with a hint of violence (bullfighter; boy with a gun, man who skins rabbits).
    • The lyrics in his previous group Japan were often written due to Sylvian liking the way the words sounded and having little time to write anything better. A popular example of this is "Communist China", which has nothing to do with Chinese politics. It still cropped up in their later career "Gentlemen Take Polaroids", for example, is mostly titled due to the long words fitting the tune (although Sylvian did like photography).
  • Many songs by The Associates border on incomprehensible.
    • Some choice lines from Kitchen person:
    I eat Viennas
    Drunk Parade
    My drunk parade
    I got my ears off a jackass
    I cross my Ts with black
    • Message Oblique Speech''
    Hypothermic ice cubes are melting down
    With prisoners from BSA and the Royal Crown
    A fertilising agent for the parasitic fool
    Well, he drinks double hernias
    Spits up wooden stools
    Ripping ropes from Belgian wharfs
    Breathless Beauxillous griffin once removed seemed dwarfed
    They're simple in that they happen to be there
  • "Prisencolinensinainciusol" by Adriano Celentano is perhaps better classified as Word Puree Lyrics; the lyrics are an Italian speaker's imitation of what English sounds like, and are thus complete gibberish.
  • A lot of Tori Amos's songs. The explanations behind them are often even weirder.
    Lemon pie, he's coming through
    He's our commander still
    Space dog.
    • Lyrics like "tuna, rubber, a little blubber in my igloo" make perfect and complete sense to her.
    • Boys for Pele was even panned for its incomprehensible lyrics. Her fans consider it one of her trademarks, and they like to interpret her songs. Although a lot of the time, you need Tori to explain what her songs are about since her lyrics are that cryptic. For example, Tori alludes that "Riot Poof" is about homosexuality (which would explain the "poof" in "Riot Poof"), but the lyrics just don't make any sense.
      this alliance you say
      'i'm on the threshold of greatness girl'
      so you burn your pagoda
      through the congo till there's
      a broken bond
      on the birth of the search
      white trash my native son

      you know what you know
      so you go chain her to your flow
      she bites through your dried
      lean meat as she's
      going to the movie show

      in a bath of glitter and a tiny shiver
      she crawls through your java sea
      black sahara i'm stepping in
      to your space oddity
  • Of Montreal's Skeletal Lamping. The whole album. The fact that it's basically an (incredibly disjointed) hour-long single doesn't help. Earlier songs qualify to a degree, but none even come close to this album.
    • The lyrics make slightly more sense if you know that Skeletal Lamping is a concept album about a middle-aged black transsexual who lives in Norway. His name is Georgie Fruit, and he has issues to work through. Lots of issues. (The second half of the previous album, Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? is also focused on the singer's alter-ego.)
  • The English version of "Twister", the theme song of The World Ends with You, is definitely one of these. Many of the lyrics appear to be intentional mondegreens of the Japanese lyrics.
    • Needs more candy canes...
  • Lemon Demon's "Word Disassociation" is pretty much this in its purest form.
  • Almost every song by Cincinnati's electro indie-pop band The Seedy Seeds.
  • Ricardo Arjona sometimes goes too far into "post-modern metaphors", so they decided to create this.
  • Several of Shakira's songs can fall into this. The best example is "Eyes Like Yours." "Crossed a river of salt/Just after I rode/A ship that's sunk in the desert" springs to mind.
  • Although the rest of the song is relatively straightforward, the first line of Duran Duran "New Moon on Monday" is "Shake up the picture with the lizard mixture".
    • They've stated outright that "The Reflex" isn't about anything. "The reflex is in charge of finding treasure in the dark / And watching over lucky clover isn't that bizarre..."
      • They apparently wrote "The Reflex" while they were drunk, which makes you wonder what on Earth they were drinking at the time.....
  • Almost all Talking Heads songs, lo —- their concert movie is titled Stop Making Sense.
    • "Burning Down The House"
      Watch out you might get what you're after
      Boom babies strange but not a stranger
      I'm an ordinary guy
      Burning down the house
    • And then there's "I Zimbra" which is adapted from a Dadaist poem by Hugo Ball:
      Gadji beri bimba glandridi
      Lauli lonni cadori gadjam
      A bim beri glassala glandride
      E glassala tuffm I zimbra
  • The Cars were fond of using a series of disconnected images as lyrics. "Moving in Stereo" is a good example.
  • Plastic Bertrand's "Ça Plane Pour Moi". The lyrics make absolutely no sense, even in the original French. (There was a French genre called yaya that had Word Salad Lyrics as a defining aspect.)
  • Morning Musume's song "Koi wa Hassou Do The Hustle" is like this.
    • "Koi no Dance Site" as well. It makes even less sense if you look up the translated lyrics.
    • Other Hello! Project examples include Hana wo Puun, Seishun Bus Guide ("I want to be reborn as a microphone"), Edo no Temari Uta II (which only makes sense if you know something about the Edo period), Robokiss, Konnichi pa...
  • Puffy's "Destruction Pancake." It makes even less sense in translation.
  • Brazilian musician Carlinhos Brown writes lyrics based on the sonority of the words, even if they don't make sense (a translated example: "Wheels in G, songs in C, A Brazilian, ô An entire form, ô, You, you, you").
  • And then there's Richard Harris's "MacArthur Park". The chorus is thus:
    MacArthur's Park is melting in the dark
    All the sweet, green icing flowing down
    Someone left the cake out in the rain
    I don't think that I can take it
    'Cause it took so long to bake it
    And I'll never have that recipe again
    Oh no!
    • The rest of the song makes considerably less sense. Perhaps they made a good choice casting Harris as Dumbledore.
    • There was a story about somebody interviewing him about all the symbolism in that imagery, and he said that no, it was really about a cake in the rain.
    • Word of God from songwriter Jimmy Webb is that he wrote the song after he broke up with a woman. They used to meet for dates at MacArthur Park in Los Angeles, and there always seemed to be birthday parties going on there, hence the cake imagery. Now, when it comes to "pressed in love's hot fevered iron like a striped pair of pants"...
  • Madonna's "Candy Perfume Girl"
    Rush me ghost you see
    Every center's my home
    Fever steam girl
    Throb the oceans
  • This is Girls Aloud's entire shtick. "Love Machine" is their most famous example. More recent ones are "Sexy! No No No..." and "Miss You Bow Wow". This is all due to Xenomania's method of inventing random words to serve as placeholders while shaping the music and then shaping the lyrics from there, leading to lyrics like "jumping on my tutu", and whatever the hell "Sexy! No No No..." means.
    We're only turning into tigers when we gotta fight back
    Let's go, Eskimo
    Out into the blue
  • Spandau Ballet, frequently. "True"'s "Take your seaside arms and write the next line" is just the start. The most blatant example (it even hangs a lampshade on it) is "Instinction", which starts:
    Cheap bed, in the red
    Sleep the words out of your head
    Cold floor, nice and raw
    Eat the meat that's on the floor
    • ...and keeps going in the same vein (the most quoted line being "Stealing cake to eat the moon", and if you think it probably makes sense in context, go look it up on YouTube). A lot of their other hits also lean heavily on lyrics that just sound good rather than making any actual sense, but worthy of particular mention is "Lifeline", which on first hearing not only sounds like it makes sense but even like it might have a proper storyline. Until you try to work out what the story actually is...
  • Lady Gaga's "Highway Unicorn (Road to Love)."
  • Elton John's "Grey Seal" is pretty word salady. But nothing beats Solar Prestige A Gammon. It almost sounds like he's singing in French, but half of it is random English and the rest of it is gibberish.
    • Many of John's songs with Bernie Taupin fit, such as "Skyline Pigeon".
  • "I Want You" by Savage Garden hangs a lampshade on it. The second verse compares "the time of talking using symbols using words" to "a deep-sea diver who is swimming with a raincoat," implying that words have become entirely inadequate for expressing his feelings, which may result in this.
  • Michael Nesmith's 1967-68 Monkees songs, which also usually had inscrutable titles that appeared nowhere in the lyrics: "Daily Nightly", "Auntie's Municipal Court", "Tapioca Tundra", "Writing Wrongs", "Circle Sky", "Highway 99 with Melange".
    • Also bandmate Micky Dolenz's "Randy Scouse Git" ("Alternative Title" in the UK, where they knew what "randy Scouse git" meant; Micky heard it on Till Death Us Do Part and thought the words were inherently funny).
    • "No Time" starts out like this:
    Hober reeber sabasoben,
    Hobaseeba snick,
    Seeberraber hobosoben,
    What did you expect?
  • "The Na-Na Song" by Sheryl Crow. Some of it does border on Phrase Salad Lyrics, as certain individual lines obliquely comment on politics and pop culture in the early 90s - for instance "Beatles wrote the Nike song and called it macaroni" is a reference to controversy over the Beatles song "Revolution" being licensed for a Nike television ad.
  • The lyrics to "The Riddle" by Nik Kershaw are, in the words of the artist himself, "nonsense, rubbish, bollocks, the confused ramblings of an 80s popstar".
    • This was really the lyrical equivalent of Lorem Ipsum that led to a bit of kerfuffle as the result of over-eager executives at the label. Running out of time before the recording session, he cobbled together some nonsense to fit the melody and laid it down as a vocal, and then decided it sounded good enough that it didn't matter that it didn't mean anything, so he left it like that. Before he could break the bad news, someone had decided to promote the single with a competition to decipher the lyrics.
  • The Magnetic Fields occasionally make use of this, particularly in their early work. From "Living in an abandoned firehouse with you":
    Take me out to the beach and I'll tell you my secret name
    Take me under the sea and we'll derail the trains
    Let's run away into the caves I still love you I still love you baby
    You're in your own little box with ribbons in your hair
    And there's dust in your mouth and worms in the air
    Hideous city of unknown words...
    That's where I live when I go to sleep
    In an abandoned firehouse with you.

  • P!nk's "Feel Good Time". It's pretty unusual for her, but more much more typical of Beck, who co-wrote the song note .
    We go where we like, we got overtime
    We get paid to rattle our chains
    We go in the back, paint our money black
    Spend it on the enemy
    Sleeping in the church, riding in the dirt
    Put a banner over my grave
    Make a body work, make a beggar hurt
    Sell me something big and untamed
  • Pick almost any New Order song. While a few are reasonably lucid, quite a lot of their songs seem to just be collections of phrases Bernard Sumner thought sounded good together (much like the way Jon Anderson writes a lot of his lyrics, per the Yes entry above).
  • Roben og Knud has this in every song they've made.
  • "Summer Girls" by LFO opens with the lyrics "New Kids On The Block got a lotta hits, Chinese food makes me sick" and just gets weirder from there. Although, it really falls more under Non Sequitur Lyrics/Lyrical Shoehorn (rhyming "hornet" with "sonnet," for example). Rich Cronin, the song's late writer, admitted that it was a silly demo for his friends that unexpectedly got big, which had he known he would have worded the lyrics differently.
  • Kanye West's rapping bridge in Katy Perry's E.T., while mostly coherent, also contains lyrics such as "Tryin' to bathe my ape in your Milky Way" and "Pockets on Shrek, rockets on deck." note 
  • Parodied in Anders Nilsen's "Salsa Tequila". The lyrics just list a bunch of Latin-related things like Spanish phrases, foods, and drinks. The song is a parody of club songs and has a message that it can become a hit even if the lyrics don't make any sense. This worked. It did become a hit in Norway.
  • Lorde normally averts this trope, who usually makes very clear songs about the depressing aspects of being a teenager, or the state of the world we live in. However, "Buzzcut Season" fits this trope nicely. On the other hand, the lyrics aren't meaningless at all, it's just hard to decipher. The song is an analogy of the general public who ignore very real problems such as ongoing war so they can continue living in their own personal fantasies.
    And I'll never go home again
    (Place the call, feel it start)
    Favorite friend
    (And nothing's wrong but nothing's true)
    I live in a hologram with you
    Where all the things that we do for fun
    (And I'll breathe, and it goes)
    Play along
    (Make believe, it's hyper real)
    But I live in a hologram with you
  • The song "Rolowanie" by Polish artist Natasza Urbanska. Lyrics consist of a bizarre Polish-English pidgin supposed to sound like teenage slang. It was so bad it spawned several Memetic Mutations.
  • Lene Marlin is given to this. Most of her lyrics are so unspecific they could be about anything.
  • Parodied by comedian Kyle Gordon with "Planet of the Bass" (aka "Every European Dance Song in The '90s"), a spoof of Y2K-era Europop in which he and Chrissi Poland (credited as DJ Crazy Times and Ms. Biljana Electronicanote ) sing nonsense lyrics that sound poorly machine-translated from Slovakian into English over an uptempo electronic beat. Aqua, one of the bands whose music was being parodied, voiced their approval by way of a Euphoria meme.
    All of the dream, how does it mean?
    When the rhythm is glad, there is nothing to be sad
    Danger and dance, clapping the hands
    When we out in the space on the planet of the...
    Life, it never die, women are my favorite guy
    Sex, I'm wanting more, tell the world, stop the war
    Boom, hear the bass go zoom, have a body, feel the groove
    Cyber system overload, everybody MOVEMENT!

  • "She's My Kind of Rain" by Tim McGraw is a very rare example of word salad in country music:
    She's my kind of rain
    Like love in a drunken sky
    She's confetti falling down all night
    She sits quietly there
    Black water in a jar
    Says, "Baby, why are you trembling like you are?"
  • Big & Rich did this on occasion as well, most notably on "Real World". This one is made even weirder in that its melody and orchestration sound like a countrified "Bohemian Rhapsody":
    Green, green grass and a rubber Russian bimbo
    No one's got a name for the brain in a scarecrow
    How can he believe what he sees on the TV
    Nothin' but extreme over-executed fantasy
    Happy dancin' feet down the street, down the corner
    Some, they say he's silly, some, they say that he's a loner
    How can you explain, he's got a name, nobody knows it
    Did anybody ever stop and offer him a Prozac?
    • Before Big & Rich, Big Kenny also did this a lot on his 1998 solo album (which was not released until 2005, after which Big & Rich had become famous). Case in point with "Candy Colored Glasses":
    Oh the birds are dancing sky is turning ebony and gray
    The trees are leaning swaying to the rhythm of the day
    Horses running from the thunder rolling by
    Voices screaming from their nowhere looking eyes
    Looking at the world through these
    Candy-colored glasses that I'm wearing
    Staring, noticing that everything is
    Just the way I'd like for it to be
    So please knock before you walk into my dream
  • Faith Hill's "Red Umbrella". Something about your love being like a red umbrella that you can see on her face, collecting tears in a bottle made of gold, and God crying.
  • Lyle Lovett is a fan of this. "Cowboy Man" is a good example:
    She said, I got a 40 gallon Stetson hat
    With a 38 foot brim
    We could dance outside the outside, baby
    Till we both fall in
    And you can rope me on the prairie
    And you can ride me on the plain
    And I will be your Cinderella
    If you'll be my cowboy man

  • The lyrics to BT's "Never Gonna Come Back Down" are mostly complete nonsense, courtesy of Mike Doughty. The song ends with BT himself laughing hysterically at Doughty's ramblings.
    BT: *laughing* Fucking excellent, man!
    Doughty: That's what I do for a living.
  • Half of Fluke's Risotto album is instrumental, but the half that's lyrical is definitely this. For instance the first two lines of the appropriately named "Absurd" are "King kong in Cannes / On a date with Spiderman"
  • Scooter. To be fair, they're German guys singing in English but does that really excuse lines like:
    I want you back so clean up the dish
    By the way, how much is the fish?
  • Squarepusher's F-Train has the following for its chorus:
    Axis discrepancy reveals hexagons beyond control anomaly,
    Mutilation colony reflects no triangular energy,
    Asynchronous matter avoided by a diagram invisibility,
    Subtle methods symmetry uncovered by a diagonal telemetry.
And that's not even getting started on the verses.
  • Underworld lyrics generally seem to emphasize setting a mood over having any literal meaning. "Born Slippy (Nuxx)" for instance - one kind of gets the impression that it's about a night of debauchery gone wrong from a handful of more direct lines, but it's full of passages like "Random blonde bio high-density rhythm / Blonde boy blonde country blonde high density".
    • Word of God says the Born Slippy .NUXX lyrics were meant to represent an alcoholic's internal thoughts. Singer Karl Hyde was, by his own admission, a functioning alcoholic when he wrote them (so you can imagine his reaction when people took the "Lager! Lager! Lager!"-chant to them).
  • "Fireflies" by the musical project Owl City, featuring such gems like "Cause I'd get a thousand hugs/From ten thousand lightning bugs/As they tried to teach me how to dance." Then again, pretty much anything by Owl City fits this trope.
    • Given that the opening lines describe the narrator falling asleep, "Fireflies" is probably one of Owl City's saner songs: the lyrics may be weird, but it's at least clear that they're describing a dream of some sort. Compare that to "Hello Seattle", which has no such excuse:
    Hello Seattle, I am a mountaineer
    In the hills and highlands
    I fall asleep in hospital parking lots
    And awake in your mouth
  • Crystal Castles' song Air War:
    Bronze by gold heard the hoofrons,
    steelyringing imperthnthn thnthnthn.
    Chips, picking chips off rocky thumbnail, chips.
    Horrid! And gold flushed more.
    • The song can at least be partially explained by cribbing lyrics from James Joyce's Ulysses.
  • "Hot Limit" by John Desire, especially because it's a Translation Train Wreck of a TM Revolution song.
    • Many other Eurobeat songs are this as well.
  • The Young Punx' "Rock Star (Understand)" is a particularly interesting case of this. The song is a cover of Asian Kung Fu Generation's "Understand", and like the above-mentioned theme from The World Ends with You, the lyrics were chosen to sound like the original Japanese while still making some vague semblance of sense in English.
  • Angelspit love this trope! From "100%"
    Dip my tail in blood ink
    Write it down in red
    Scribe the words "Happy meal"
    Right across your head
    • From "Vena Cava"
    Empty, Heiress, Tantrums
    Psycho, with a gun
    Finger heresy
    Clean out the poison when you cut out your tongue
  • Goldfrapp, many times.
  • The Black Lagoon opening "Red Fraction" by MELL is a prime example:
    Get down on your knees
    Get a good head on your shoulders
    If it's for your guys
    Go to the end of the earth
    Do what you think, give it with dedication
    I'll put out your misery

    You made a mess
    For Christ sake, this rotten world
    Shit out of luck
    Go with my vision
    Light up the fire, right on the power
    Weapon...I have it all
    • Granted, some of the lyrics could vaguely reflect some aspect of Revy's life.
      • When you've got the lyrics, the song makes sense. Deciphering them from the song, though...
  • "Elektrobank", by The Chemical Brothers:
    "Who's this, doing this type of synthetic alpha beta psychedelic funking?"
  • "Fireball" by Ken Martin.
  • HORSE the Band. Their songs are either A. About video games or B. complete randomness. There is no C. Here's a sample.
    I am locked in his black hole gaze... I eat moons
  • Skinny Puppy. As if their music wasn't freakish enough. Exhibit A, "Convulsion":
    heaven's trash fixation
    turning mass direction
    having a relationship without guilt

    mass direction
    off and away
    hazy circles round the eyes
    how long

    heaven's trash
    it's a vacant
    scathing vapor
    ancient role play
  • The M Machine's Promise Me A Rose Garden gives us these lyrics:
    I cannot be sure I see the future
    In my head, in my head
    Why make myself for all I need help for
    In my head, in my head
  • "Candy Land Wedding" by Kill Paradise.
    And I found you in the ocean blue
    Fake sky
    Rosy coloured bones poke through
    And I could never write a lullaby for you, for you
  • "Bones" by MSMR, which you may recognize from the "Game of Thrones" trailer. It seems to be various "Gothic" images randomly strung together.
    Candy bar creep show, my highs hit a new low
    Marinate in misery, like a girl of only seventeen
    Man-made madness, and the romance of sadness
    A beautiful dance that happened by chance, happened by chance
    Dig up her bones but leave the soul alone
    Let her find a way to a better place
    Broken dreams and silent screams, empty churches with soulless curses
    We have found a way to escape the day
  • For the first ten years of their career, every Tangerine Dream album was 100% instrumental, no lyrics. Then in 1978, they released two songs with lyrics on their Cyclone album, and everyone understood why they never wrote lyrics before. Both songs received a Word Salad Title ("Bent Cold Sidewalk" and "Rising Runner Missed By Endless Sender"), and the actual lyrics were every bit as nonsensical, like this passage from the former song.
    When I talk to the city
    I have already learned three answers
    Before I call the question
    And slowly, I wish myself among trees
    But can not hear myself wishing
    When I talk to the people
    Who are the trees that grow in the city
    They reply with a fond kindness, slowly
    But there is no answer
    For experience to be made by mistake
    • Made even worse by the very heavy effects applied to the vocal. It is more or less impossible to decipher the words without seeing them written down (or even with), and epic mishearing is pretty much inevitable, all the more so since it doesn't help to realise that your interpretation makes no sense.
  • "Left Alone" by Flume featuring Chet Faker, especially in the following passage:
    Cannot swallow blue found vow
    More than that my sleep is wild
    All I need is suffering bones
    Breathe in sorrow
  • When Sergei Pakhomov (aka Pakhom) decided to record an album (in addition of being a cult film actor, painter, and a few other things) the result was, expectedly what could have been the trope codifier if it wasn't in Russian language and therefore limited to Post-Soviet grounds. The song And Life's a Merry Carnival translates as follows:
    A Bus.
    Give me a minute.
    And life's a merry carnival
    And life's a merry carnival... (Repeated many times)
  • Russian indie synthpop/noise/whatever-they-want band named Kobyla i trupoglzye zhaby iskali tseziyu, nashli pozdno utrom svistyashego khna (Roughly translated The Horse and the Corpse-Eyed Toads Have Searched for Caesium And Found It Late In The Morning of Whistling Henna; often shortened to "Kobyla i trupoglazye zhaby" for obvious reasons) has a cult status partially built on Non-Appearing Title and this trope. Their (in fact, more or less HIS, as the band mainly consists of musician Anton Vagin and a few lesser stars) lyrics often have a lot of rather obscure references to Russian and Soviet history, paleontology and also frequently chaotically name some dishes. It is probably pure Dada with no sense at all, but it looks like it has something hidden very well, anyway. To provide a small example, these are excerpts from their song How Am I Became a Kaiser (Listen to it legally here, on their official site, track 4):
    Mongolia eats the antelope
    The grossberry kept up
    Exam on Ancient Europe
    And Chernyshevskiy's getting sick.
    So pour me some borsch, please,
    Joseph Jugashvili!
    And bring me the Darwin bread, fast
    So set the table,
    Joseph Jugashvili!
    Herring under the fur coat [in fact, a nickname of a popular fish dish in Russia], tossed salad, roast goose.
    • It is actually rhymed (not everywhere, though), but really hard to translate into English.
  • Rusko's "Lick The Lizard":
    Big box
    Small box
    Crystal ball
    Single doorbell
    Double doorbell
    Ice cream cone
    Feed the pigeons
    Forward swim
    Feed the horse
    Roger the hippo
    Rogue the orangutan
    Spank the monkey
    And finally, lick the lizard
  • Even though the vast majority of Jean-Michel Jarre's music is Instrumental, there are cases of this, particulary on the mostly vocal album Metamorphoses:
    • "Millions of Stars" seems to have these, at least it had them before the verses were rewritten with stars and planets. If you're a musician, though, you will find out that they're chords. The first line in the first verse (see below) is actually even played at that time during the song.
    Gm, Dm, Cm⁹, Gm
    • This applies to the Laurie Anderson collab "Love Love Love" to a lesser extent—until you discover that Laurie Anderson has pieced together some of the words in the lyrics from entirely different words.
  • "Swordfish Hotkiss Night" by Empire of the Sun, though there does seem to be a running theme of contrasting nature and tradition with modern conveniences and technology:
    Kings cross hotshot
    Jesus Christ on web blog
    Cowboy in a cop shop
    Tiger in a drug store
  • Reed & Caroline's "Oh My Dog": A memetic video of a cat's strange yowling sounds was interpreted into nonsensical English phrases, which the duo then used as lyrics for a trippy Synth-Pop song:
    Oh my dog
    Oh long John
    Oh long Johnson
    Oh Don piano
    All the live long day

    Experimental Rock 
  • Deerhoof. They seem to have gone through the "deliberately ridiculous", ironic and post-ironic forms of this trope, and are now making songs about pandas, flowers, pickup bears and seeing the duck because those sound like awesome things to write songs about.
  • "Eleven Saints" by Jason Webley with Jay Thompson.
  • Pick a Captain Beefheart song. Any Captain Beefheart song.
    Shish sookie Singabus,
    Snored like a red merry-go-round horse!
    And an acid gold bar swirled up and down,
    Up and down, in back of the Singabus.
    And the panataloon duck, white goose neck quacked:
    Webcore, webcore...
    • Van Vliet would probably sincerely tell you that all of those lyrics make perfect sense. He's really that eccentric and seems to speak a language that nobody else does. At any rate, his lyrics are more about creating images than establishing a narrative.
      • Indeed, he's prone to making that claim. And in a way, those lyrics do paint a picture that makes sense to a person in a certain frame of mind, who also speaks Venusian or whatever language he uses. His delivery has a lot to do with it.
  • The opening theme, "Logos Naki World", from the first anime of Hellsing. It doesn't help that it's never been clarified what the actual lyrics are, prompting many fans to make their own guesses, none of them anywhere near making sense.
    • The OST has liner notes which contain lyrics to the song, just as expected the lyrics are still quite opaque: Don't be cool vibration/Revlofantasy
  • Brian Eno, period. When he's not doing spacey ambient electronic music, he has lyrical Rorschach tests like this one from "Backwater" (complete with lots of gratuitous Accent Upon The Wrong Syllable)
    There was a senator from Ecuador who talked about a meteor
    That crashed on a hill in the south of Peru
    And was found by a conquistador who took it to the emperor
    And he passed it on to a Turkish guru
    • Many others, but "Ali Click" and "Miss Shapiro" (the latter recorded with fellow ex-Roxy Music member Phil Manzanera) are two of the defining examples.
  • Many of Faust's lyrics fit this trope. For example "Meadow Meal":
    You are a fruit fork
    And the money you look up
    And the madame you look up
    And the middle you look up
    A wonderful wooden reason
    To stand in line keep in line
  • Robert Wyatt's lyrics are often word salad, at least under a generous interpretation of "word".
    Burlybunch the water mole
    Hellyplop and fingerhole
    Not a wossit, bundy, see?
    For jangle and bojangle.
  • Pretty much everything by The Legendary Pink Dots. Won't you dance with me, my little pickled herring?
  • Architecture in Helsinki. Really, you could just say their name and be done, but specific songs spring to mind pretty quickly: "Do the Whirlwind", "Heart it Races" (which also has an incomprehensible title), and "The Owls Go". (Attic in a basement with a knife serrated, I'll forget you.)
  • Many of The Residents' earlier songs, especially "The Laughing Song":
    A boiled old egg with a red peg leg
    Thought a porcupine was his daughter
    He soon found out that she had the gout
    And she often would wrinkle underwater
    • For another example try this verse from "Walter Westinghouse":
    Eat exuding oinks upon
    And bleed decrepit broken bones
    At caustic spells of hell!
    He sees the threads of worn-out treads
    And calls his color true.
    (Also pretty scary)
    Me, I cried out "God!"
    You dared me in the dark,
    I felt the hush fall quietly from my spark.
    So now I hide in piles of princely orange peels.
    It feels the way you told me how it'd always feel.
  • Anything by Liquid Liquid. Justified, as they used voice as more of an instrument as opposed to just having regular singing.
    Mess with my head
    So precious to my brain
    Slip in and out of a phenomenon
    Slip in and out of a phenomenon

    Folk / Folk-Rock 
  • Leo Kottke, "Bungle Party":
    Laughter insurance buys grins in repairs
    From slapstick saviours stealing your air
    While luminous bipeds in cellophane shirts
    Watch shoe leather futures with memories of dirt
    Porcupine birthday cakes labour the point
    Great big pigs earthquake, but mainly they oink
    Ambulance bread trucks line up on your head
    Got mashed potatoes, ain't got no bread.
  • Wes Carr's single "Love Is An Animal." Especially a bridge.
    Yeah, the doors have ears
    But they don't have eyes
    So you do not have to present disguises
    And the walls have mouths
    But they do not listen
    They seem to bite you when you're not welcome...
  • Turin Brakes. Just Turin Brakes.
  • "Flickr" by Jonathan Coulton has lyrics describing randomly selected photos from Flickr that had Creative Commons licenses. The first verse or so kinda makes sense before descending into randomness.
  • America, the band responsible for the lyric "Alligator lizards in the air." In the chorus. And "Ventura Highway" overall makes much more sense than "Horse With No Name" (which actually tells a story) or "Tinman." Beautiful harmonies, though.
    • There was a comedian who used to say that in an age of rebellion, America was rebelling against grammar.
    where there ain't no one for to give you no pain
    • and
    there were trees and birds and rocks and things
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic's "Bob". Every line is a palindrome, sung in a half-assed Bob Dylan voice.
  • Wilco's "Born Alone" is, according to Word of God, entirely made of this trope. The lyrics are a mishmash of random words found in a book of 19th-century poetry that Jeff Tweedy was looking through as he wrote the song.
    • There's also Billy Bragg and Wilco's "Hoodoo Voodoo", which actually had lyrics written by Woody Guthrie. Justified because Woody was just writing a silly song full of Inherently Funny Words to entertain his children - though the way Billy Bragg and Wilco play it, it comes off more like a psychedelic rock song:
    Jinga jangler, tinga lingle, picture on a bricky wall
    Hot and scamper, foamy lather, huggle me close
    Hot breeze, old cheese, slicky slacky fishy tails
    Brush my hair, kissle me some more
    • "I Am Trying To Break Your Heart" is sort of on the borderline: It seems to tell a straightforward story about a man getting drunk and wanting to hook up with an ex, but it's peppered with strange metaphors and just plain "word garnish" ("Take off your band-aid, 'cause I don't believe in touchdowns" and "I am an American aquarium drinker" for instance).
  • A Hawk and a Hacksaw: "I Am Not a Gambling Man".
    There will be no hunting season,
    this year,
    all the hunters have been poisoned
    by an old beer.
    And in the cities and the towns
    all the banks are closed down.
    The bankers have all gone home
    to make love to their wives like they were twenty-five.
    And if you lie down by the roadside,
    leave some kind of sign by the roadside.
  • Some Trout Fishing in America songs lean this way, such as "Spider's Fence" and "My Front Door".
  • Natalia O'Shea seems to have a certain fondness for this trope.
  • Michigan band Frontier Ruckus, whose music is often framed as telling the "stories" of a fictional place, have some mild cases of this. One interesting example is their relatively popular song "Dark Autumn Hour":
    Anne, let's die in some dim town / My brown eyes wait to weigh us down / The candles 'round the tub will drown, / In our afternoons
    Music from our evening parlor / Darker than the autumn hour / I gave my child twenty dollars / For tearing at our moons
  • Iron & Wine's lyrics occasionally border on the incomprehensible. This verse from "Flightless Bird, American Mouth" is a pretty standard example:
    Now I'm a fat house cat
    nursing my sore blunt tongue
    watching the warm poison rats
    curl through the wide fence cracks
    pissin' on magazine photos
    those fishing lures
    thrown in the cold and clean
    blood of Christ mountain stream...

  • Pick a song written in Latin, any song in Latin. They almost always sound really awesome, but are, when translated, revealed to be a random mix of grammarless, half-connected words. Sometimes the tense doesn't even stay constant. Then again, Latin is a dead language so it's not like the majority of people would know any better anyway.
    • Well-exemplified by the music for the world-view portions of Rome: Total War; it won several awards, but the lyrics are just random Latin words with no particular relevance to anything.
    • Enya's "Afer Ventus" (from the album Shepherd Moons), penned by Roma Ryan, is exactly this. Likewise "Cursum Perficio", which is a fair bit closer to intelligible Latin but is still filled with weird phrasings and apparently random grammar.
  • The opera Four Saints in Three Acts. The lyrics were written by Gertrude Stein, well known for her Word Salad Poems.
    "Let Lucy Lily Lily Lucy Lucy let Lucy Lucy Lily Lily Lily Lily Lily let Lily Lucy Lucy let Lily. Let Lucy Lily."
  • The Ominous Sanskrit Chanting of "Duel of the Fates". John Williams asked a friend to translate a stanza of a Celtic poem to Sanskrit, then reduced the stanza to phrases consisting of a single word when translated to English and repeated their Sanskrit counterparts. Just take a look.
  • The Argentinian humor group Les Luthiers has several songs specifically created to sound as foreign language songs, but they really have nonsensical lyrics, usually in Spanish. Among these are Oi Gadoñaya (presumably Russian, but really absurd Spanish) and Gloria Hossanna, that's the question (nonsense yuxtaposed Latin words). They even have an instrumental song, Miss Lilly Higgins sings shimmy in Mississippi's spring which includes a section of "scat-like" sounds. They really are (again) nonsensical Spanish phrases:
    Papa, batata, barata dirán
    tanta pavada taraba a un titán
    Vida para tribu,
    estúpido bidet se traba.
    Tipa brava dura daba prioridad.
    Tapa pava hervida,
    probará varón tu piba.
    Trampa obtura entrada,
    vivir a pan.
    ("They will say 'potato, sweet potato, cheap',
    so much silliness turned a titan to idiocy.
    Life for the tribe,
    stupid bidet clogs itself.
    Hard, difficult woman gave priority.
    Cover boiled teapot,
    your girl will have the taste of a man,
    trapdoor closes entrance,
    to live off bread.")

  • Chip Tha Ripper's S.L.A.B. Freestyle contains some pretty impenetrable metaphors, to the point of internet notoriety.
    Interior crocodile alligator/I drive a Chevrolet movie theater
    • Actually, subverted. This seemingly nonsense phrase means that a) His Chevrolet has been reupholstered with crocodile skin and b) that it has a sound system powerful enough to serve as a small movie theater.
  • This song from Busdriver.
  • Before they became more well known for instrumental hip hop, The Avalanches' music included rapping that largely fit into this trope. "Rap Fever" for instance:
    Untraceable calculators with electronic eyes
    Rap fever!
    Paisley-striped animal collisions
    Rap fever!
    • Of course, their most famous song "Frontier Psychiatrist" doesn't make much sense either.
    Did I ever tell you the story about Cowboys!
    Midgets, the Indians and, Frontier Psychiatrist
    I felt strangely hypnotised
    I was in another world, a world of 20.000 girls
    And milk! Rectangles, to an optometrist, the man with the golden eyeball
    And tighten your buttocks, pour juice on your chin
    I promised my girlfriend I could... violin violin violin violin...
    • There's also "Everyday", to which the lyrics make no sense.
    Such an easy way to get around
    I was dreamin' like a fool
    High school lovin', everything's alright, yeah
  • The whole point of the Insane Clown Posse song "Scatterbrain"
    Horrified jelly worms with electric infantago,
    Dinosaur crybabies cookin' shrimp in San Diageo.
    Full moons mean nothing without your roller skates,
    When the water runs dry and blood fills the great lakes.
  • Kool Keith has done this on most of his albums but took it to legendary heights under his "Dr. Octagon" pseudonym.
    My vomit fluctuates, covers your skull like protoplasm
    Lightning bugs turn pink, on my tongue catches spasms
    Green elephants, I battle streets with a zebra
    My mechanism is more than Dionne's psychic voodoo
    African beads, snakeskins, cold script through you my medical passes
    You can't see, with greedy glasses
    Carbon dioxide, pour right through 'em with gases.
  • Nearly everything by Aesop Rock. Though at least some of it is comprehensible, it's hard to separate it from the more bizarre parts.
    You are dealing with a reborn icicle age poltergeist,
    Uprock, sidewalk cycles stuck at the bus stop.
    Wookie foot must not sleep under the invaders, no batteries, no jumper cables.
  • WreckdoM's "Gallows Hill", which was recorded for a song fightcompetition, has lyrics that were written by way of playing mad libs with that site's forum members. Thus explaining lines like:
    Gallows hill is a Goomba I've found
    It's a tumultuous table, and there's no coconut syrup around
    So if you've got the Chinese apple, then let's make a plan
    To masticate away
    so you can hold my rectum
    (Son of a biscuit!)
  • Pretty much any lyric in any given Death Grips song.
    Got the DNA of gothic lemons
    Shredded thirteen times out of eleven
    Your bad ideas are the ATM
    Shed my skin, leave it for the homeless to sleep in
  • Anything and everything by cLOUDDEAD falls into this. From Apt. A pt. 2:
    Trim brushes, paint buckets, second story roof tag,
    what it means to have an artist plug a black hole with mortar.
    Close circuit walk home, broken brick and lease is up,
    house is open, keyhole empty.
    Meet you out in california, rucksack, sleeping on nude beaches,
    Performing for our dimes and nickels.
    sewerside on street corners speaking out our piece,
    we'll till the land with a pulled up parking meter
    'til the soil churns to wind.
    A stretched taffy howl to peacock plume our haircuts,
    the painted pigeon dessert's a crust of bread.
    The former melon's rhine and open empty shell,
    which ones get the poets' bedrooms?
    And kicks the pebble loose, a sylvan lot, its painted rail,
    a horde of cricket carcasses.
  • 90's rap Group The Fu-Schnickens were often guilty of this, especially stand-out member Chip-Fu, who rapped so fast that a lot of the stuff he says sounds incredible despite it being gibberish, even the likes of:
    So eeney, meeney, miney, mo good goobelly goo I bumped my toe
    Oh-oh, "oh-oh better get Maoco" chocolate Chip's about to flow
    The super the cala the fraja the listic expiala-Dope Chip
    When the mic is gripped in ridobidobip bip da be bong de dang, Bo!
  • This is a staple of Bike For Three!'s songs, which range from having a vague story ("Lazarus Phenomenon") to being incomprehensible ("All There Is To Say About Love"). For example, "Nightdriving":
    Milk's been spilt, the wall's been built,
    Bones like glass and painted-over guilt,
    Unanswered questions I fed on in prison
    Opposite fears in head-on collision.
  • A frequent trope for the Beastie Boys.
    Never been dumped 'cause I'm the most mackinest
    Never been jumped 'cause I'm known the most packinest
    Yeah we've got beef, chief, we're knocking out teeth, chief
    And if you don't believe us you should question your belief, Keith
    Like Fred Flintstone driving around with bald feet
    Should I have another sip? / Nah, skip it
    In the back of the ride and bust with the whippet
    Rope-a-dope dookies all around the neck
    Whoo-ha / (Got them all in check)
  • Eminem:
    • Parodied by Eminem in "Not Alike", where he mocks Migos, Bhad Bhabie, etc by rapping a Rhyming List of random gibberish in a dead-on imitation of their style:
      Brain dead, eye drops
      Pain meds, cyclops
      Daybed, iPod
      "May-back," Maybach
      Trainwrecks, sidewalks
      Payless, high-tops
      K-Fed, iHop
      Playtex, icebox
    • In "Kill You", he raps a bunch of antisocial trailer-trash words and alliterates them into the sound of a revving chainsaw. Note that he pronounces "volatile vicious vain Vicodin" to sound like "little bitches takin' Vicodin", making the lyric make somewhat more sense... but only if you're able to interpret the words as both things simultaneously.:
      I invented violence, you vile venomous volatile vicious vain Vicodin, vrin-vrin vrinnn
    • One of Eminem's freestyles (sometimes called "Fubba U Cubba Cubba" or "The New Language Freestyle") parodies this:
      I'mma just make a new language
      Fubba-u-cubba-kubba yubba obubba ubba
      You-ba can subbabick my dadibbadick through a tuba!
    • "On Fire", a song Eminem recorded while transitioning out of his Relapse style into a highly technical style based on his old Infinite open-mic style, is almost complete gibberish. In one of the few coherent passages of the song, he lampshades this by saying he can put "a bullshit hook between two long-ass verses" and people will think it's a real song.
  • Hex D/Cloud Rap artist AERO GROS M's album Chocolate Hearts and Stag Beetles contains plenty of examples of this. Here's a couple of lyrics from the first track:
    Who wants to live forever in a book made out of diamond?
    Sleep throughout the day, share a coffin with a giant
    She's pounding on the door, tell her future wife she's lying
    A bird to blue light monitor with astronauts, they're eyeing
    Invited into palm trees, make a rave out of her enemies
    Unconscious, a plant grows right where her brain would be
    A mosh inside the casket in her dreams where she is not a child
    Split a line in two and bust your head to fade serenity

  • The '40s swing tune: Mairsey Dotes.
  • Almost any Steely Dan song. Go ahead, pick one. (The effect is spoiled if you get the references though.) One example in particular, "Throw Back The Little Ones":
    Lost in the barrio
    I walk like an Injun
    So Carlo won't suspect that something's wrong here
    I dance in place
    And paint my face
    And act like I belong here
    Throw back the little ones
    And pan fry the big ones
    Use tact, poise, and reason
    And gently squeeze them

  • "Ça Plane Pour Moi" by Plastic Bertrand: It shares a near-identical melody and arrangement (and the same backing musicians) as "Jet Boy Jet Girl" by Elton Motello. However, "Jet Boy Jet Girl" is a peppy tune about a jilted, possibly homicidal, underage gay boy and his relationship with an older man, while "Ça Plane Pour Moi" is French (and occasionally Gratuitous English) word salad. One of the English phrases included is "I am the king of the divan!" for example.
    • If you pierce through all of the bizarre French slang, the meaning of the lyrics becomes pretty clear... That said, it's pretty incoherent and whacked out, suggesting lots of speed was taken during the writing process.
  • Wire are notorious for this trope, or rather for very subtly subverting it: Quite often, their least comprehensible lyrics are actually loaded with meaning. "Outdoor Miner", for example, sounds like utter gibberish but is actually about a chlorophyll-eating insect. And it's really catchy.
    • Doubly subverted with "The 15th", which is a passionate song about... nothing, really.
    • "Kidney Bingos" plays this one pretty straight, although it can be read as a very abstract List Song - all the words and phrases used could describe either things one might worry about despite not being able to do anything to stop it (e.g. "fire", "mob", "crash"), or vices one might use to distract themselves from those worries (e.g. "pints", "drugs", "sex calls"). The chorus alone is "Money spines, paper lung, kidney bingos, organ fun"...
    • "German Shepherds" makes this scary.
  • The Dead Milkmen have also been known for word salad lyrics, most notably on "Smokin' Banana Peels," in which such phrases as "Mites are living in your eyelashes" and "Dip your breasts in shimmering lip balm" are interspersed among the more coherent lyrics. Other examples include:
    • "I Am The Walrus"
    I sold my niece to Edwin Meese
    And I wonder what life's about
    I talked of tires while your dog caught fire
    And I wonder what life's about
    • "Where The Tarantula Lives"
    Jim Bakker got eaten by wombats
    The fever's spread to town
    Ol' Doris Day has been taken away
    Has anybody seen my downs?
  • Glassjaw is certainly fond of this trope, with Word Salad Titles thrown in for good measure.
    It's a shame that our messiahs move their pawns
    from different mountains
    And we're left to dance these bodies 'round the fountain
    If a leader preaches worship to the sheep within the valley
    Who'll be riding in a tank that says 'just married'
  • Don't forget At The Drive-In, the band which eventually spawned TMV. The song lyrics for that band are also way out there, though, for both bands, the lyrics are heavy on metaphor and DO have meaning. Either Cedric Bixler-Zavala thinks on a higher plane than most people, or he just doesn't think like us.
  • And Also The Trees (even their name is wordsalad) have tons of these. Examples include "i could live in the space between his heartbeats", "while all around him wallpaper dies" from the aptly named "wallpaper dying" and "She moves painless, slow and flowing Across the wild and trembling path and the headless clay woman's motionless beauty shines" from headless clay woman. Though one can't help but feel like it's all just symbolism you fail to grasp.
  • Pretty much anything by early '90s post-punk group Drunken Boat (though not the currently active, entirely different band going by that name). Taken to extremes towards the end of "Spin Around", where suddenly two overdubbed tracks of vocalist Todd Colby come in, babbling like Talkative Loons about two entirely different things ("trolley... car... c-cable car? c-c-cable car"), and eventually having a cryptic conversation with each other:
    Go to the government.
    I went to the government office.
    I demanded my piece of the pie
    What pie?
    This will get results...
    • "Dream Wagon" is another notable case - The song is basically a two minute instrumental that begins with a minute and a half of dialogue spoken by an older-sounding man and woman, but said dialogue is very strange:
      Woman: Gee, I think that I'm just getting this thought to my head...
      Man: Watermelon or monster?
      Woman: Bone.
  • The vast majority of The Fall's oeuvre is this.
  • On the self-titled debut by That Petrol Emotion — when they were still post-punk — a wildly-varied (but great!) profusion of styles were attempted: unified, primarily, by loud guitars and killer hooks. More of a head-scratcher, "Cheapskate" knelt before the altar of The Fall:
    And double-breasted
    A pretty serious dude
    Commits an iceberg
    To hum those blues
  • Melt-Banana's lyrics (and name) are of the "sounds, not meanings" variety, to the point that most of the time, none of the (rapidly shouted, heavily Japanese-accented) words are decipherable even in isolation — it's pretty much only about their rhythmic/percussive qualities. (Yasuko Onuki actually seems to be pretty good with English but of the uses it can be put to, "communication" doesn't make the list when she's in a studio.)
  • The secret track on NoFX's album Wolves In Wolves' Clothing has Fat Mike singing either this or outright Singing Simlish to the tune of various songs the band made. This was (if I recall) because the lyrics to those songs had not actually been written yet at that point.
  • This and Lyrical Shoehorn are the defining tropes for a lot of Goth music. Bands are pretty evenly split between those who will admit to this (e.g., Bauhaus), and those who insist that there is a deeper meaning that listeners are too dense to understand (e.g., Sisters of Mercy). Examples:
    • Bauhaus' "Terror Couple Kill Colonel". The title was taken from a tabloid headline.
    And as he lay there
    Playing games with his pain
    He felt his choice of jobs
    Was such a mistake
    He could have been a doctor in a soft easy chair
    Instead he chose three stars
    A territorial affair
    • Sisters of Mercy's "Dominion/Mother Russia"
    In the light of the fact
    On the lone and level sand stretched far away
    In the heat of the action
    In the settled dust
    Hold hold and say
    In the meeting of minds
    Down in the streets of shame
    In the betting of names on gold to rust
    In the land of the blind
    Be...King, king, king, king
    • Siouxsie and the Banshees' "Songs From the Edge of the World"
      Let the fire fall in
      The footsteps we leave
      Painted on the ground
      We'll watch the stars
      Come crashing down
      Upon our heads
      Like a madding crown
  • A few early Wildhearts songs. Assuming that the words to If Life Is Like A Love Band I Want An Overdraft have actually been deciphered correctly, any guesses what "fists, gists and communists, I feel like a log, it's a dog in onyx" is meant to mean?
  • A few songs by Worm Quartet are like this:
  • Atom And His Package's "It's A Mad Mad Mad Mad Lib" was written as though the lyrics were produced mad libs style. Worm Quartet took this a step further by actually replacing certain words with fan-submitted ones.
  • German punk rockers Die Goldenen Zitronen are fond of long leftist rants, influenced by rap music.
  • Iggy Pop's "Lust For Life". Even knowing the lyrics are metaphorically or indirectly about a heroin-addict male prostitute doesn't really help.
    Hey man where'd you get
    That lotion, I been hurting
    Since I bought the gimmick
    About something called love
    Yeah something called love
    That's like hypnotizing chickens

    Internet Original 
  • Ghost from True Capitalist Radio seems to be keen on inventing his own songs with rather surreal lyrics including
  • Bad Lip Reading, a YouTube artist who specializes in taking music videos or political ads and redubbing them with nonsense lyrics/dialogue.
    • Take for example Dirty Spaceman, assembled using clips from the Nicki Minaj and Will-I-Am music video "Check It Out".
      Tonight I'm leaving, though I'm bleeding
      Now you know me as
      Dirty spaceman, yeah
      And now I'm leaving, got that spaceman head
      And now I'm leaving
      Now I'm leaving
      Angelmouth ate my Jedi jello
      Now she feels the burn
      Now she feels the burn
      And now I'm feeling extra angry
      I'm the dirty spaceman
    • Or take Morning Dew, a mash-up of Bruno Mars, Jay-Z, and Lady Gaga.
      A midget said "Speak with an accent"
      So I did
      Just so I could steal his Porsche
      While he was tied to a stake
      In the rain
    • Then there's politician Rick Perry.
    Ice cream. That is cheap. Fact.
    And then I suspended Marsha off this bridge, and took a virgin heifer nightriding for a while; we never got a dead spirit. We hated it though. It's disgusting.
    Someone had a grade-A lungfish decorate their home for a merry fool's function.
    What's good is to get these goats for our computer industry!
    I'm bored by famine. I cannot wait for a medieval cookie, a Cinnabon, hot yellow Kool-aid, and save a pretzel for the gas-jets!
    Some do the Olympics; and some defy the titans. Ice cream.
    You know, I had this girl, who was too ugly to ride; and we were bitter. This princess-and-the-mustache, one-size-fits-all, everybody-hookup? Babe.
    You can borrow my CDs, but not one every day! You could try my Kwanzaa CDs; but they're not yours, and you don't have to take any of them.
  • Gunnarolla's "What If I Was A Llama?" and "The Chicken Told Me I Was Gay" both demonstrate what happens when you let YouTube commenters write your lyrics one line at a time:
    I'm not sorry.
    I ate my pony
    Please don't go aw-ay
    You know that old donkey?
    potatoes are itchy!
    The fridge is my best friend
    (I am a brony!)
  • The Llama Song. The verses are even weirder than the choruses about llamas:
    I was once a treehouse, I lived in a cake
    But I never saw the way—the orange slayed the rake
    I was only three years dead, but it told a tale
    And now listen little child, to the safety rail!
  • Many Tay Zonday songs have this, but oddly enough, his most popular song, "Chocolate Rain", is not an example, as the many of its infamously odd lyrics are direct metaphors of systemic racial discrimination (the titular "chocolate rain" being a layered metaphor of the "blood" of black people).
  • Sunshine and Celery Stalks by PinkiePieSwear, being seemingly random bits of dialogue by Applejack stung together.
    • Every song of his is made in this way, which can make attempting to sing them a nightmare.
      Build the sun, build the sun//Add that on deep, wide, then wonder, deep, wide, then wonder.
  • Experimental musician So Great and Powerful really loves writing these kinds of lyrics, "E38" and "The Morning And" being two good examples.
  • The Popular Front End by Derick Watts and the Sunday Blues is made up entirely of badly translated nonsense that Nic Smal and Gareth Allison found on the boxes of Chinese imports to South Africa, with such gems as "I will make you happy with the happiness", "The more you play with me, the happier I will be", "This product forbids the swallow", and of course, "We always walk in the popular front-end".
  • The Google Translate Sings series transforms songs into this by putting their lyrics through several layers of Google Translate until it screws up hilariously.
  • "Abracadabralifornia", a Red Hot Chili Peppers spoof first posted to a fake Super Bowl website to coincide with RHCP's half time show performance in 2014 (the actual performers were Jon Daly and Cyrus Ghahremani). Alongside other Chili Peppers trademarks, such as scatting and gratuitous references to California, it's full of nonsensical rapping:
    I'm a bad mamma jamma
    From here to Alabama
    I play in a band called the Alabama Jammers
    I'm standin' by a llama
    Take a picture with your camera
    I hope we don't get tricked by the Alabama Scammer
  • The "Otaku Lyrics 101" series by AzukanoAMVs.
    Come cologne, sue my poo
    Sue your hickey sue narwhal
    Classy dead, homo gay wash it my son!
    Sack of shit, so sue gay men
    Dad'll eat, sue it all!
    Come and wash all that Billy hotdog meat!

    Hey! Goat, sidewalk, come on Deidara!
    You suck a light, hey a retarded kitty!
  • Demon Tomato Dave's appropriately-named It Doesn't Make Sense.
  • A Twitter user "edited" the lyrics to "Mr. Brightside" by The Killers by starting to type each line into google and letting autocomplete finish - it didn't truly become a "music" example until someone else sang the new lyrics over a karaoke track:
    Coming out of the closet
    And I've been doing a little boozing
    Gotta go fast
    Because I wanna know in Spanish
    It started as a tax cut
    How did Lil' Peep die?
    • Billy Cobb's since done this with a few other songs, namely Buddy Holly ("Oo wee oo, I got horses in the back / Oh oh, and you're watching Disney Channel") and Creep ("But I'm dummy thicc / I'm a banana / What the hell did I just read / I don't like Mondays").
  • Botnik Studios also covered The Killers, replacing the lyrics to "All These Things That I've Done" with lines from Arby's commercials and YouTube reviews of Arby's food to create "Arby's Things That Are Yum". It's somehow even weirder than you'd expect.
    I've got the car beef
    I've got the big meat
    Arby's, Arby's
    Sit on me, on me
    I want the eggplant
    My breath smells so good
    I want a bite of something horsey that is soaking wet
  • Youtuber Elise Ecklund has written songs based on things like Instagram comments from fans, or out-of context quotes from Spongebob Squarepants or popular Vines. The fan-submitted lyrics tend to have an interesting tone to them because they're generally a mix of memes/fandom in-jokes, Word-Salad Humor, and the occasional line that actually seems meant to be taken seriously: Within the same song you have lyrics like "life is tough, but we can do it because we believe" and "I cry tears of lemonade, you gotta have cheez-whiz".
  • RWBY has a soundtrack full of songs where composer Jeff Williams read the scripts, put himself in a mindset complete with a few dialogue lines verbatim, and somehow manages to get a thematically coherent set of lyrics. That is, aside from "Caffeine", featuring a bunch of cool-sounding but nonsensical boasts ("A certified monster I'm an absolute trip,\\ Like Otis Redding, hard to handle so you better get a grip,\\A super-fast, superfly, bonafide wise guy.\\Call the morgue and say goodbye, write your will; it's time to die."), and the Volume 6 opener "Rising", which after a straightforward opening verse gets very cryptic:
    The sparrow's born to fly
    The mountains tower
    The river knows to reach the sea
    Rain will help the flowers be
    We're the same, you and me
    The lightning doesn't take advice from anyone
    The willow doesn't need to learn to stand
    As sun seeks day
    We'll find our way
    And we'll catch the dream together
    Someday soon
    We're rising like the moon
  • "Above All That Is Random" was a Played for Laughs YouTube series of surreal pop songs deliberately smothered in all manner of blatant and overdone Auto-Tune effects and harmonized and processed vocals (with equally comic "choreography") sung by Christina Grimmie and her friend Sarah Happiesby, amateurly filmed from Grimmie's house. All of the lyrics are made up of random, strung-together words picked to sound comical with the digital effects.
  • YouTube music critic Diamond Axe Studios Music asked his friends to each rewrite a line from "Astronaut in the Ocean" completely independent of each other, resulting in a comically disjointed (but still no less coherent than the original) song he called "Cucumber Melon Lotion".

  • Erykah Badu's "On and On", which incorporates the teachings of the Five Percent Nation, an offshoot of the Nation of Islam, which believes heavily in numerology and symbolism (and influenced many early hip-hop artists). To anyone not in the know, however, they seem like nonsense lyrics.
    I was born under water
    With three dollars and six dimes
    Yeah you might laugh 'cause you did not do your math

Non-music examples:

    Anime and Manga 
  • Lucky Star's opening theme "Motteke! Sailor Fuku!" has rather nonsensical lyrics, which is quite appropriate considering it somewhat parodies shows with songs exactly like it. It doesn't help that what the song actually says changes depending on who you're talking to. Is the second line about being wrapped up in a sailor uniform, a school uniform being wrapped in the person wearing it, or rapping in a sailor uniform? It's so confusing!
  • The Team Dai-Gurren theme from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (technically called "Rap is a Man's Soul") is mostly a Hot-Blooded anthem about doing the impossible , but then there's the second verse...
    Second-best, dedicates to the real peeps
    What we got to say is so real thing
    Cuz, revolution ain't never gonna televise
    Kicking the mad flow, microphone phenotype
    Open your third eye, seeing through the overground
    I'm about to hit you with the scream from the underground
    Whole city is covered with the cyber flavor
    "G" is in your area, one of the toughest enigma
  • From Dragon Ball Z: Sparkle sparkle, the galaxy's a POPCORN SHOWER!
    • The official English version of Cha-la Head-Cha-la, straight from Kageyama's mouth:
      If there ever was a dinosaur
      In a mound of icicles
      I would wanna train it to ride a ball.
  • The anime Weiß Kreuz has image songs for all the major characters. "Spiritualized", the song for psychic Schuldig, is like this, likely to illustrate the chaotic feeling of touching unshielded minds.
    Goodbye, my mars
    I shot your pigs
    Goodbye, strange fruits
    Get higher, get higher
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena is loaded with rock-opera-esque choral songs by composer J.A. Seazer, all with dense, metaphorical lyrics. The writing come in two general modes: word salad invoking a barrage of relevant imagery, and obtuse commentary relating the imagery to the individual. Then again, only in Japanese is it possible to eloquently sing:
    Full moon, mysterious and ever-changing (Mangetsu nazo no hengenjizai)
    I am a imaginary living body come to its end (Watashi hatenaru kuusou seimeitai)
    • J.A. Seazer is a sort of musical Refuge in Audacity. One of these songs basically just lists all the components of a heraldic crest ('"I Am All the Mysteries in Creation") and another one more-or-less recites geological eras ("Paleozoic in My Body'") but this works - sung by a choir, they seem like incantations.
      The thematic link between the song lyrics and the action on-screen is seldom obvious. Most of the songs were not written for the show, but picked from Seazer's earlier works based on correlations that the audience can only guess at. But they aren't all impossible. For instance, "Utopian Past Tense Incantation" is a song about using a time machine to return to an idealized childhood, which accompanies a fight with a duelist who idealizes her childhood.
  • All of the English songs on the Soul Eater OSTs, as well as the French one. "Step Up" in particular comes to mind.
    Times I get into it they're appealing from the dirt
    White spot so easily cursed by the rose mary's flirt
  • Azumanga Daioh's OP, "Soramimi Cake," is a great anime example of a word-salad song.
    LU LA LU LA The piano is a melody in the world's field of blooming dreams
    Believe in the broken clock and who's side will time be on?
    Why is my heart waiting so much for that tender-hearted someone?
    Tell me a wonderful future MOONLIGHT, MOONLIGHT SLEEPIN'
    LU LA LU LA The girl of awakenings will kiss the apple of memories and
    In a book opened with sorrow and longing, the bell meant for the two of us will ring
    Because I want to hold you tight my dear one
    Don't cry any more GOOD BYE SADNESS
    The words on the mysterious door read "Soramimi Cake"
    WONDERLAND! Welcome, to you FAIRYLAND! It's the magic of love
    LOVE'S ALL WAY! Every day, the temptations of wheat, so fluffy
    CAKE FOR YOU! Eat, for tonight is TEA FOR YOU! A tea-party in the constellations
    The chorus of angels at the window is to you, just your ear playing tricks?
    The voice saying "I love you, I love you"
    • Somewhat justified, in that much of the lyrics are odd puns and wordplays in the original Japanese. For example, the song title, "Soramimi Cake", which is pronounced "soramimi keiki" and is usually translated "Fancy Hearing Cake", sounds a lot like "sora mimikaki". "Sora" is typically translated as "sky", and the kanji used to write it is also translatable as "air" or "empty". "Mimikaki" is a device for cleaning out earwax, and the two kanji used to write it can be translated as "ear" or "edge", and "scratch", "scrape, or "noise" respectively. So with a slight twist, the title becomes "Empty Ear Noise". Taking things a step further, in the popular Japanese vernacular, "soramimi" is a slang term for the phenomenon of foreign-language lyrics sounding uncannily similar to nonsense phrases in the listener's native tongue, deriving itself from the aforementioned "empty ear noise" meaning. That's right: the song is deliberately as nonsensical as possible simply to poke fun at inter-linguistic mondegreens!
  • Haruhi Suzumiya:
    • Most of the Image Songs (and indeed, most Image Songs in general) are designed to make sense, as they're written to give depth to the characters. Not Nagato Yuki's. As we don't really understand what's going on in her head, some of her image songs get nigh-incomprehensible. "Under Mebius" (which actually means "Moebius") starts out with English word salad, then segues into the kind of equally nonsensical Japanese you'd hear from a human computer:
      Under section, might Mebius
      Replay play play Mebius
      Land wake but our Mebius ring the ring
      Existence, past, present, local time difference
      Amendment, improper, restartable
      Selection, comprehension, junction search, manual
    • The opening of Haruhi-chan, "The Story Up To Now", combines anime references, Mythology Gags, obscure Japanese puns, and... words fail, just watch this.
  • The ending of Joshiraku begins with an untranslatable simile-rap verse that has no grammatical structure and doesn't seem to have any meaning other than being a Tongue Twister Hurricane of Puns… much like the series itself, one could say. It's actually the name of Jugemu, a famous Rakugo character.
    Jugemu jugemu gokō no surikire
    Kaijarisuigyo no suigyōmatsu
    Unraimatsu fūraimatsu
    Kūnerutokoro ni sumutokoro
    Yaburakōji no burakōji
    Paipu paipu paipu no shūringan
    Shūringan no gūrindai
    Gūrindai no ponpokopi no ponpokona no
    Chōkyūmei no Chōsuke.
  • "aLIEz" from Aldnoah.Zero has a chorus consisting of an incomprehensible mishmash of Japanese, English, and German.
    Ai-same-CRIER aibu-save-LIAR
    Eid-sei-Rising HELL
    Aishiteru Game sekai no Day
    Don't-sei-War Lie-heishi-War-World
    A-Z Looser-Krankheit-Was IS das?
    • It's not the only song on the soundtrack guilty of it either. To wit, from the first ending theme "A/Z":
    Scene 1/Rise Again/&
    It's Show/Rage/no/My Mind
    B-5/round 2 fight
  • The opening to the TV series adaptation of Hellsing, 'The World Without Logos' is (almost) completely in Englishnote , but barely even 2 words in a row make any sense.
    Oh no harbor won't you buy valley show
    Take me want to talking revolution
    No hava wan cheese have lay shownote 
    Diviphon de have worry star
    Shooby dooby doo shooby dooby doo durul
    Shooby dooby doo shooby dooby doo durul

  • AOP's first opening to Osomatsu-san turns out to little to no sense when translated. Hell, it's still unclear what the title is supposed to mean in the first place.note  Their later openings don't make any more sense than "Hanamaru Pippi" did.


    Films: Live Action 
  • "Can You Picture That?" by Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem, from The Muppet Movie. See The Muppet Show entry below.
    Let me take your picture, add it to the mixture, there it is I got you now
    Really nothin' to it, anyone can do it, it's easy and we all know how
    Now begins the changin', mental rearrangin', nothing's really where it's at
    Now the Eiffel Tower's holdin' up a flower
    I gave it to a Texas cat
  • "So Far To You I May" from Czech film Lemonade Joe sounds like a song in English spiced with some Spanish words, as fits The Western set in Arizona. The lyrics actually mean nothing, but the gibberish is hilarious. Then you read the lyrics. The words are written as Czech speakers without any knowledge of English would hear them, and transcribed phonetically ("Sou Fár Tů Jů Aj Mej").
  • The British Rockstar Protozoa and his band Microbe in the Disney Channel Original Movie Zenon seem to subscribe to this trope. They jam various unrelated scientific terms together, add a beat, and call it a song. Just what is "interplanetary megastellar hydrostatic" supposed to mean? Oh, and the boys on the Wyndham Space Station don't like Microbe because they can understand him, meaning the music they like is even more in line with this trope.
  • "The Neapolitan song", also known as "Uno Momento", from the Soviet movie Love Formula is basically just a bunch of Italian words its composer Gennadi Gladkov was able to remember from his musical education. It remains one of his most popular numbers.
  • Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory: Like in the original book, the Oompa-Loompas sing a song each time a child is eliminated from the tour, but here they use lots of nonsense words just for the sake of creating easy rhymes. For example, they begin each song with "Oompa-Loompa, Doopity-Doo, I've got a perfect puzzle for you!" (switching "a perfect puzzle" to "another puzzle" in all songs after the first).

    Films: Animation 
  • "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo" from Cinderella is 25% intelligible, and the rest of its lyrics are nonsensical gibberish. Justified, since most of it consists of magic words.
    Salagadoola mechicka boola
    Put them together and what have you got
    Salagadoola mechicka boola
    It'll do magic, believe it or not
    Yes, salagadoola means
    Mechicka booleroo
    But the thing mabob that does the job
    Is bibbidi-bobbidi-boo
    Salagadoola menchicka boola
    Put them together and what have you got?

  • The Mortal Instruments:
    • The lyrics to any song by Lawn Chair Crisis/Sea Vegetable Conspiracy/Sexist Pigs/Rock Solid Panda/Salacious Mold/Millennium Lint/Dangerous Stain/Dichotomous Lemur are like this.
    • Not to mention Eric's poetry readings:
    Come, my faux juggernaut, my nefarious loins! Slather every protuberance with arid zeal! Turgid is my torment! Agony swells within!
  • Any computer poetry ever. Remember "The policeman's beard is half-constructed" by the "Racter" program?
  • Much of Dylan Thomas's poetry comes across this way. Thomas had an unusual, somewhat improvisational way of writing: instead of coming up with a concept or structure and writing a poem around it, he would simply start writing and let the words take shape on their own. This would sometimes result in stanzas like this:
    How soon the servant sun,
    (Sir morrow mark),
    Can time unriddle, and the cupboard stone,
    (Fog has a bone
    He'll trumpet into meat),
    Unshelve that all my gristles have a gown
    And the naked egg stand straight,

    Sir morrow at his sponge,
    (The wound records),
    The nurse of giants by the cut sea basin,
    (Fog by his spring
    Soaks up the sewing tides),
    Tells you and you, my masters, as his strange
    Man morrow blows through food.
  • The Reluctant King: One story by Jorian has a king presiding over a poetry contest whose proposed winning entry (plus the other submissions) was a rhymeless random word string literally plucked from a dictionary. He dismisses them all in disgust. This is a rather obvious slam against certain modern "poetry".

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Ending Theme for Frasier, and some of its variations make it even more so. Amusingly, said lyrics involve an actual salad. Word of God, by the way, is that the "tossed salad and scrambled eggs" really is meant to be a relatively nice way of referring to some of his patients. Tossed salad can't be un-tossed and scrambled eggs can't be un-scrambled, just like some neurotic people can't be cured.
  • One sketch in Key & Peele plays this for laughs. Key and Peele play a funk band with some very interesting lyrics. They start off sounding fine "Got a pocket full of funky with a peppermint twist." and then quickly devolve into complete nonsense "Penicillin trapdoor laser currency beans."
    Keegan: Hey, what the hell are we singin', man?
    Jordan: I got no idea, man. I'm just hungry and talkin' about the galaxy and trains. I think they buyin' it tho'!
  • In The Late Show (1992), Tony Martin's parody of the R.E.M. song "Stand", making the point that Michael Stipe could come out and sing pretty much anything and it just wouldn't matter.
    "Stand on your head in the sink.
    Now face north.
    Say the Lord's Prayer while you force a strawberry Slurpee up your nose.
    Set you trousers on fire.
    Now face west.
    Move to Pakistan and teach a hundred yaks to speak French.
    I'm confused, I must confess.
    What this song means is anyone's guess.
    Your feet are walking all over the place.
    I must have written that when I was off my face."
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000:
    • The show parodies this trope with "Idiot Control Now", their mondegreen-ish remake of "Burning Rubber Tires", a song performed by the Fake Band in Pod People.
    • Season 12 gives us "Get In Your Mech", an In-Universe attempt to cash in on "Every Country Has A Monster" from Season 11.
  • The Mighty Boosh with their crimps.
  • The second episode of Community ends with Abed and Troy rapping in Spanish. The song includes such statements as "The goat's mustache is Cameron Diaz".
  • One of Not the Nine O'Clock News's songs had a Surreal Music Video and word salad lyrics — except for the chorus, which was, ""Nice video, shame about the song."
  • "No Return", the theme song in the opening sequence of Yellowjackets. Anna Waronker and Craig Wedren wrote it specifically for the show, but it fits in with grunge music from The '90s, complete with world salad lyrics.
    ''Oh so cute, so revival, so alone
    Birthday suit, just a smile, no one home

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Opus tries to think up a poem in an old Bloom County comic:
    How I love to watch the morn, with golden sun that shines,
    Up above to nicely warm these frozen toes of mine.
    The wind doth taste of bittersweet, like jasper, wine, and sugar,
    I bet it's blown through others feet like those of -
    (Beat Panel as he thinks.)
    ...Caspar Weinberger.note 
  • Discussed in a 1977 Doonesbury. Bob Dylan is hanging out with Jimmy Thudpucker and talks about finding out that new President Jimmy Carter had called him "an authentic American voice." Dylan says, "I was just trying to make it rhyme, man," while Thudpucker thinks to himself, "Now he tells us."

    Puppet Shows 
  • The Muppet Show's house band The Electric Mayhem subscribes to the True Art Is Incomprehensible philosophy, particularly bassist Floyd Pepper.
    Floyd Pepper: "Man, if I didn't know I was a genius, I wouldn't listen to the trash I write."
  • Sesame Street: A Season 18 episode gives us "Nimi Nami Nomi", a really silly song Big Bird sings with the Birdketeers about nothing in particular aside from singing with them. Besides the ridiculously-sounding gibberish chorus, he also mentions various children's songs in the lyrics, while also claiming all of which are what the song isn't about.

  • Parodied in the Hancock's Half Hour radio episode "The Poetry Society" where Hancock tries to ingratiate himself with a group of snobbish intellectuals by attempting to imitate their word salad verses. Naturally, they immediately denounce him as a fraud, but when his idiot friend Bill tries it they hail Bill as a fellow genius.
  • The song "Whackit on the Dram" from the Hamish and Dougal episode "Fame Idol" is a string of random Scots words and just plain gibberish, concluding "Hi-ho! For the open road!"

  • 'Exquisite Corpse' from Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
    A random pattern with a needle and thread
    The overlapping way diseases have spread
    to a tornado body with a hand grenade head,
    and the legs are two lovers entwined.
  • Some of the lyrics from Jonathan Larson's unfinished play tick, tick... BOOM! can tend this way, in particular Actions Speak Louder Than Words, which seems more concerned with what sounds pretty than what makes sense.

    Cages or wings?
    Which do you prefer?
    Ask the birds.
    Fear or love, baby?
    Don't say the answer
    Actions speak louder than words.

    Video Games 
  • Sonic the Hedgehog CD: In contrast to "Sonic Boom" in the North American soundtrack, which is a clear Bragging Theme Tune about how awesome Sonic is, most of the lyrics to the two Japanese tunes "Sonic-You Can Do Anything" and "Cosmic Eternity" make no sense whatsoever, with the latter sounding more like an abstract, high energy workout tune than a motivational hero song.note 
    In the end/Who's on your side
    Who can you trust/In the middle of the night
    Where will you be/If you can't find you
    There's nowhere to go/Nothing to do
    If you gotta do something/Believe in yourself, yourself!
    - Cosmic Eternity
  • Portal 2 has four different title-screen pieces (one for each act, and another for after completion). The song that plays in Act II titled PotatOS's Lament is a hauntingly beautiful song, sung in Latin. That is —by the lyricist/vocalist's own admission— high-school student Latin. The lyrics, while sung very beautifully, make absolutely zero sense.
    Potato lacrimosa [Weeping potato]
    Potato po outa [Power potato vows]
    Dive me a atra anima evicta [My soul won over by the black goddess]
    Diu e me a atra a mei a adiu [Me from my long blackout, from any aid]
    Tristi anima evicta [Sadness won over my soul]
    Tristi demu notu [Sadness at last known]
    Do mo nata anima evicta [I give only the soul born the right to win]
    Dega mi atra ala te teme cha [You yourself live because of the black wing of my charity]
  • Deadpool's theme from Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is pretty nonsensical, appropriate to the man himself. Here's just the first verse:
    Do not walk, do not talk, don't be fool, go to school
    Do not watch, do not touch, do not throw a thing you have
    Do not grab, do not bend, don't be shy, do not lie
    Do not cry, do not shout, do not do it, never do it
  • Sonic The Hedgehog
    • Big the Cat's theme from Sonic Adventure. Here are the lyrics. Some lines make sense, but... some of them definitely don't. Lines like "Happy, Happy Muy Amable", and "Okay, all you have to do is sit up, look left, right, up, and down" makes one wonder what Ted Poley was smoking... At least it fits Big's character.
    • Cashell's "Un-Gravitify" from Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity makes such little sense that any attempts to find meaning in it are futile at best. There are even several sentences that are just plain grammatically incorrect!
  • "Daikenkai" from pop'n music and DanceDanceRevolution. Here's a translation of the refrain (and let's not talk about the rest of the lyrics):
    Nonsense from a spinning head, high tension, and a strong beat / From a five-match janken game comes tactics for big opinions/
    • Another from Pop'n Music and DDR is "CURUS". It's obviously got a vague love theme, but...some lines make absolutely no sense. Take for example the beginning of the extended version of the song (note - lyrics may not be 100% accurate):
      Think you slip away
      While I make my doing through you
      So I wonder how
      You picked me up to this real

      Make me so far grown
      How I'm daring to respect
      That's so off my pain
      Sometime, someplace, everywhere
  • Several songs from the Armored Core series. Composer Kota Hoshino's engrish makes the lyrics up to interpretation to say the least.
    I'm a thinker, I can break you know
    I'm a shooter, trust me baby
    Aztec jumper, feel it in the wind
    Crafting power in peace now with me

    See Seabiscuit running forward
    All are as you're seeking hour
    Outer space and someone waits there
    Sounds of mechs that play in the fallout
    • There are wildly varying versions of Thinker floating around, due to the song's nature lending itself well to mishearing them, with the only common theme being that they make little to no sense. The official lyrics as given in the game's OST booklet are as follows:
    I'm a thinker, I could break it down
    I'm a shooter, (a) drastic baby
    Agitate, jump out, feel it in the will
    Can you talk about deep sea with me?

    (The) deep sea fish loves you forever
    All are as you're thinking over
    Out of space when someone waits there
    Sound of jet, they played for out
  • The World Ends with You's opening theme Twister, in spades. While one can make some sense out of it if one tries really hard, and the visuals that accompany it are a heavily symbolic Spoiler Opening, the words themselves are thoroughly bizarre.
    Brain wave, main frame,
    Psycho got a high kick
    Collect and select
    Show me your best set

    Crystals, blisters,
    It's all over now:
    Psycho cane, you're so keen,
    I need some more candy canes.
  • A lot of the songs from Deemo, when they're not being Lyrically Dissonant. Probably most notably, Invite.

    I say do what I can
    Must be there must turn be there

    Cancelled what I am
    Cancelled what I am

    Wow wow

    Cancelled long long day wading in
    Through the way shaking hands

    Long long day wading in
    Through the way shaking hands

    I think it was technoc
    I think it was technoc

    Cancelled long long day wading in
    Through the way shaking hands

    Long long day wading in
    Through the way shaking hands

    I think it was technoc

    I say do what I can
    I say do what I can
  • In Nancy Drew: Last Train to Blue Moon Canyon, Hurley's engineer taught his grandson a poem so strange that, even decades ago, he still remembers it. It's a clue that shows how to find Hurley's treasure.
    The eye of the tiger is fixed on a star. Zircon lies in fingers that scar. Amethyst floats in a hand from the deep. Citrine is what the fowl mouth shall keep. Tourmaline by a soft arm is ensnared. Peridot rests at the foot of the mare.
  • The English lyrics from Persona 4 occasionally have some awkward metaphors or mispronounced emphasis, but most of the time are mostly-sensical and tie into the game's themes. Then out came the Reincarnation remix album, which adds a second verse to the main battle them "Reach Out to the Truth". While a couple of the lines are okay if a second look is taken at them ("Bleach out cock and bull" refers to washing away lies, for example), most of the entire second verse seems to be completely random, featuring lines such as "Flooded apple pie" and "It's already disgusting/To dance with your palm".
  • If a Groove Coaster song composed by Shohei Tsuchiya has singing that isn't Scatting, most of the time it will involve nonsensical Gratuitous English lyrics. Take "It's a pit world" for example:
    Pit world, everywhere
    Live in garbage
    Remains clog heart and brain
    Disappointing people
    What am I doing?
  • "Small of Two Pieces" from Xenogears. It's an absolutely gorgeous song with amazing vocals by Joanne Hogg, but the lyrics can be pretty confusing. Even after you've played the game several times and understand how the lyrics are supposed to relate to the game, it still doesn't make a lot of sense.
  • One NPC in Chrono Cross offers this example:
    Lah lala lalah! / I don't need a recipe book / Because I'm the happy cook / Who feeds the people gook!

     Web Animation 
  • "Look at This" from the Helluva Boss episode "Oops" consists of promises that the song is leading up to a point that never comes, random nonsense, and open lampshading of the fact that Fizzarolli is improvising it as a distraction and is running out of things to say.
    When I was a young boy
    I never thought it'd come to this
    The scars all seem to heal
    And soon all I feel is regret
    And now I'm a grown man
    I've lost it all again
    But what I'll miss the most
    Pay close attention while you get a look at this!

    Yeah, look at this!
    Then look at that!
    And here's a hat!

    This nonsense mostly doesn't mean a thing!
    But listen closely, maybe it explains everything!
    The secret to bitcoin, computers and microchips
    The key to the future
    If you only look at this

    Riches untold, you'll have dollars of gold
    If you focus on me as the story unfolds

    Look at this!
    I hold the key to the mystery!
    Look at this!
    Look at nothing except for me!
    Look at this!
    That was gibberish!
    Blitzo, hurry the fuck up!
    I don’t know how long I can do this

     Web Comics 
  • An "Axe Cop Christmas carol" that sounds like the (very young) writer improvised on the combination of the topics of Axe Cop and Christmas carols via random association before wandering off mentally:
    Chop to the World!
    the Lord has Axe Cop!
    Let Earth receive her Axe Cop!
    Let every head,
    Prepare for his axe...
    and bad guy babies are dumb
    and bad guy babies are dumb
    and bad guy, bad guy babies are dumb!

    Web Original 
  •'s list of "Top 10 Songs with Silly Lyrics", many of which have already been mentioned on this page.
  • The "Llama Song" - the only common thread is the titular concept of llamas:
    Llama llama
    Cheesecake llama
    Tablet brick potato llama
    Llama llama
    Mushroom llama
    Llama llama
    • The verse is even worse:
    I was once a treehouse
    I lived in a cake
    But I never saw the way
    The orange slayed the rake
    • Or this little gem:
    Is that how it's told now?
    Is it all so old?
    Is it made of lemon juice?
    Doorknob, ankle, cold.
  • The mondegreen version of the Tamil song "Kalluri Vanil" by Prabhu Deva, commonly known as "Benny Lava" among Internet-faring English-speakers.
  • Jon Lajoie parodies this in all three "WTF Collective" videos with MC Confusing. From the first collective:
    Yeah you're whack, cause everybody understands what you say
    But when I get on the mic, I make milk outta clay
    And I play air guitar with a tube of toothpaste
    And I say karate pencil case and put it on tape
  • "Gang Fight", the poorly lip-read version of "Friday" by Rebecca Black, has major themes of chicken (which, by the way, is for us to no eat) and gang fights, and then there's this:
    Ain't no chicken from China I'm blastin'
    I'm grabbing a routine vaccination
    With chicken and sweet carp on the side
  • Songs to Wear Pants To's "I Empty My Baby": A fan sent Andrew some already pretty silly lyrics for him to use in a song, and added that the lines didn't necessarily have to be in the same order. Andrew took the Literal Genie approach and changed the order of every single word. Thus:
    I empty my baby out my pockets to make me feel just right
    I sweat dry anti-fungal cream every day and every night
    You know my eye drops you every time I look for you
    Get out my feet you at me
    eyes get really so get so every my start time you don't me
    At look and
  • Some songs by Jonti Picking (a.k.a. The Weebl) tend to have those lyrics at least in some portions of the looping song.
  • Every "misheard lyrics" song subtitled by Buffalax or in the style of him ends up like this, given that the subtitles are just what the foreign singing sounds like, rather than a straight translation. Still, there's no doubt that lines like "Who put the goat in there? The yellow goat I ate!" and "In your yard, I am the Ferengi man, very odd and chunky!" qualify.
  • Songs that appears in many animutations also qualify, as like the gag dub example, animutations also make heavy use of mishearing the lyrics of a foreign song and trying to match what is going on with images on screen, resulting in very surreal animations and lyrics.
    Nippon Q Q / Ash Gala Wonderful / Easy Rider Salad the Mall / Who dong hide? / Q Q Q Q? / S S S S!
  • Ultra Fast Pony:
    • Zecora communicates mainly in rap, so she tends to say what she means in one line, then spout a complete non-sequitur that happens to rhyme in the second line.
    Zecora: The ponies of this town / are really weird. / Did you know Santa Claus / has a beard?
    Rarity: Sweet dreams are made of peas. / Who am I to eat your cheese?
    • Discord introduces himself by singing a song about "Penny and Clyde". He admits, in the song, that Penny and Clyde have nothing to do with anything, but he just likes saying their names.
  • Homestar Runner:
    • Homestar's attempt at singing a song for a stirring utensil in "Halloween Potion-Ma-Jig".
      Homestar Runner: Backyard peaches! Treats come true!
      Karate summer, what would ya do?
      The world is the egg, and diapers come true...
      Bubs: Ugh, heard enough of that one! You, you get a chewed-up pen.
    • Strong Bad Email #125, "rock opera", has the eponymous rock opera "SBEmail!", a song with lyrics based on randomly-chosen words from the last 124 Strong Bad Emails, strung together into semi-coherent sentences.
      Join me on my single hundred toilet dreams picture
      Everybody wanna scam some sweet bucks or... potential pizza
    • SBEmail #155, "theme song", features a vaguely-inspirational "life-affirming pop-ballad type theme song" with nonsensical lyrics.
      You and me babe, livin' for dreams
      Livin' for love, drinkin' for free
      Sittin on top of an old robot
      Sharin' and carin' it out
      The memory's scrubbing you down
      Memories scrubbing you down!
  • Spoofed in the February 1982 episode of '80s All Over: Drew pokes fun at the songs Tom Waits contributed to the film One from the Heart by singing in a low, scratchy voice "And the piano jumped upside down/And the bathtub's full of vinegar..."
  • "Blue Jeans and Bloody Tears" is a Eurovision Song Contest pastiche composed by an AI (with human assistance in the editing department). The creators call it a "duet on disillusioned love", and it comes off as a series of downbeat Ice Cream Koans. For example, the refrain is "blue jeans and bloody tears / there's no life without your life in misery".
  • From a pair of Tumblr posts that spawned a set of alternate lyrics for "Mister Sandman", as sung in this video and subsequently expanded into a full version:
    Mr Sandman, man me a sand
    Make him the cutest man car door hook hand

    Western Animation  
  • Phineas and Ferb
    • The duo make a song with meaningless lyrics in the episode "Flop Starz"
      Chicka chicka choo-wop, never gonna stop
      Gitchi gitchi goo means that I love you
    • Most songs in the series end up like this. A delicious example is "Dance, Baby" from "Candace Disconnected". The moment the song is sung is random and silly, and the lyrics top it off:
    Dance, baby, dance, baby, shake your hips
    Go down to the pier and get some fish and chips
    Groove, baby, groove, baby, motivate your limbs
    Never eat a cactus if you're out of practice
    • There is also the infamous "Squirrels in My Pants", which is the most random song in the whole show, having no scheme to it other than rhyming phrases with "Pants" and "P".
  • In The Weekenders, the in-universe band ''Chum Bukkit' have a song called "Suffused Elephant Quaff Winces Exasperating" with lyrics consisting of notes whose original meanings were mangled by Carver's lack of penmanship.
  • Barbie Dreamhouse Adventures: Tammy's song "Rock Your Socks Off", which we never hear in full:
    Oh, oh, oh! Yeah!
    We're gonna rock your socks off!
    Rock and roll! Lose control!
    I like ice cream, rocky road!
    Rock your socks off!
    Rock and roll! Lose control!
    We are rockstars, yeah, we know!
    Rocky, rocky, rocky, rocky, rock and roll!
    On the beach or in the snow!
    Rocky, rocky, rocky, rocky, rock and roll!
  • Doug: "Killer Tofu" by The Beets.
  • The second song in Imaginaria, Anything Is Possible Now, seems to literally try to form some cohesion to footage obviously edited together from multiple shorts. It manages to pull it off for the most part.
  • "Eep Opp Ork Ah Ah" from The Jetsons.
  • Winx Club transformations, namely the 'Enchantix' theme song, get this. It sounds like they just threw a bunch of semi-relevant words in.
  • There's a lot of singing in Adventure Time. Sometimes, the lyrics make zero sense, especially in earlier seasons.
  • "Glen Belt"'s song in I Am Not an Animal: "Why do you reject me? / You know I'm full of diseases / Quattro formaggio / Pizza made with four kinds of cheeses". It gets worse.
  • Daria: Mystik Spiral songs tend to be this way. One episode has Daria sneak a peek at the notebook where Trent works on lyrics.
    Daria: "My heart is like an open wound/That reads the tea leaves of its doom." What. "Soothe me with redemption's love/Like a heat-proof kitchen glove." God, I hope this is a first draft.
  • Rick and Morty has the infamous "Get Shwifty", a song about taking off your pants, shitting on the floor, and, well, getting shwifty, whatever that means. A Justified Trope, since Rick had to improvise the whole thing on the fly to save the Earth.
  • Two notable Looney Tunes examples:
    • 1939's "Hare-um Scare-um" features Happy Rabbit's song with lyics such as these:
    I'm going cuckoo, woo-woo
    Here comes the choo-choo, woo-woo
    I'm so gooney, Looney Tuney, teched in the head
    Please pass the ketchup, I think I'll go to bed
    • This from Bugs Bunny in "Hare Trigger":
    Peepin' through the knothole of grandpa's wooden leg
    Who'll wind the clock when I am gone?
    Go get the axe, there's a flea on Lizzie's ear
    For a boy's best friend is his mother
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: In the episode “Sing a Song of Patrick,” Patrick writes a song, but when it’s broadcast on the radio, the entire town hates it and even starts an angry mob about it. Considering that it was written by Patrick, the lyrics are complete nonsense. Despite this, the song actually doesn’t sound all that bad.
    This song is over, except for this line.
    You win this round, Broccoli!


Video Example(s):


Salsa Tequila

Salsa Tequila is a Spanish-language summer hit seemingly written by someone with little grasp of the Spanish language, which results in the lyrics being just a bunch of random Spanish words and names. Further driving the point home, some of the words are spelled wrong in the lyric video (for example, the two H's in Chihuahua are missing).

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

Main / WordSaladLyrics

Media sources: