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Dave Barry's Book of Bad Songs

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  1,191 ratings  ·  114 reviews
Based on the results from Dave Barry's monumental survey, Dave Barry's Book of Bad Songs is a compilation of some of the worst songs ever written, including such special categories as Teen Death Songs, Songs That People Always Get Wrong, Songs Women Hate and, of course, Weenie Music.
Hardcover, 94 pages
Published August 1st 1997 by Andrews McMeel Publishing (first published 1997)
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Trin
This is one of the funniest books I've ever read. As Barry says, "song badness" is apparently a topic that people care about a lot. And how can we not? In a world where Neil Diamond has made a living confessing his innermost feelings to a cruelly unresponsive chair, it is our pleasure, nay, our duty to mock.
Kathy Clark
I learned that I am not the only person fascinated with terrible lyrics. Do it to my one more time. Muscrat love. I sincerely hope that if I am ever in a coma, someone will read this out loud to me because it will still make me laugh.
Judy
Oct 18, 2011 Judy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who enjoys songs and lyrics
Recommended to Judy by: Lisa
Shelves: my-2011-books
Too too funny! My husband and I both read this book and then went back and re-read and laughed over so many of the funniest parts. It's a short book, not a huge time committment, but hysterically funny if you are familiar at all with the songs.

Some of the funniest parts are from his "bad song survey" comments, in which people commented on the songs they hated or did not understand:

"The part of 'Billie Jean' where Michael Jackson sings 'The chair is not my son' (We don't know if this is the same
...more
Maurean
Oh My GOSH!! This book was hilarious! Really. I literally laughed until I cried. Had I read the previous journal entries prior to the book, I would have heeded Carol's warning and saved myself from having to actually leave the comfort of my bed as to not wake the other-half with my persistent giggling! (when Barry talks about "Girl Watchers" ;

Hello there female
my, my but do you look swell

Gosh! Thank You, Male! Let's have sex relations!"

yeah; that's where I lost it.)

I read this through in one ev
...more
Liz
Well, Dave Barry warned me at the beginning that I would be sorry if I kept reading past his WARNING page. I read on anyway and now, as he says at the end of the book, my "brain is now an infected, festering, oozing mass of irritating melodies and pathetic lyrics." Oh well, it was totally worth it since it was laugh out loud funny.
Janet Rosfeld
If you want to laugh and have some really bad songs stuck in your brain, this is the book for you. Chapter title -Teenage death songs-think Leader of the Pack or Honey. Help I have Bobby Goldsboro songs stuck in my head!!!!
Joe Eidson
Dave Barry's hilarious take on all of the impossibly bad songs that haunt the airwaves (up until the early 90's, that is). I found myself knowing nearly every song, and most of them in excruciating detail. His warning that "reading this book will get these songs into your brain" is 100% accurate. My biggest complaints about the book is that it is very short (albeit longer than the original article the idea branched from) and the list stops at the early 90's. It would be interesting if he did the ...more
Lulu
This book had me rolling on the floor, laughing. Dave Barry has been one of my favorite authors of all time for a long time now, and I think this books is him at his funniest. I don't even mind him taking a jab at some of my favorite songs, such as "Never Been to Me," because he's right, despite the beautiful melody, I still can't quite figure out what the lyrics are about, either. One of my particular favorites in this book is the section about songs with lyrics that are hard to decipher--funny ...more
Jackie "the Librarian"
Sep 23, 2007 Jackie "the Librarian" rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: if you remember the music of the 70's
Shelves: humor, non-fiction, music
I hate the song "You're Having My Baby" by Paul Anka, and apparently, I am not alone. Barry lists it as one of the most reviled songs of all time! Find out what other songs make the list here, along with misunderstood lyrics.

Speaking of mishearing lyrics, my husband misheard one of the lines from the Kiss song "Rock and Roll All Nite" Original line:
I wanna rock and roll all night and party everyday

How my husband heard it:
I wanna rock and roll all night, and part of every day.

Naturally, as yo
...more
Robin
Whatever you do, don't read this book while you're eating or drinking.
You'll just get choked, and then either someone will have to do the heimlich maneuver (manuever? they both look wrong) on you, or you'll end up looking dead and foolish.
This book is just that funny.
Also, you'll never be able to listen to the radio the same way again. Especially the oldies station.
And I can't listen to Gary Puckett at all any more after reading this.
Sarah
I love this book. I read it at least once a year, when I want to be helplessly giggly, and be reminded of the best birthday card I ever bought. (It had a cake. In the rain. If you're old enough, you understand.) Weenie Songs, Teen Death Songs, Songs Women Really Hate . . . there's something for everybody.
Laura
Jul 11, 2008 Laura rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Laura by: Amber
Shelves: humor
Laugh out loud funny. I actually had to go into my room to read during SSR (silent sustained reading) time with my girls because my laughter was disturbing their attempts at reading. Not to mention my bursting into song regularly - a bit much for them. :-)
MyACPL Athens County Public Libraries
from Mary:

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha….
When I was shelving books recently, I came across Dave Barry’s Book of Bad Songs and decided to read it again. I remembered it as being funny, and my memory was correct. You will want to read this to your friends and family, but…ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha… You won’t be able to!

There are chapters about Dave’s Bad Song Survey Results, Weenie Music, Love Songs, Songs Women Really Hate, Teen Death Songs, and Songs People Get Wrong.

WARNING! There are songs in
...more
Evanston Public  Library
Twenty years ago Dave Barry wrote a classic Miami Herald column mocking songs that stink, eliciting thousands of reader comments and leading to this great collection of bad lyrics and apt quips about them. For example, "I Am," written and sung with great emotion by Neil Diamond: "I am, I said / To no one there / And no one heard at all / Not even the chair." To which Barry responds: "Was Neil surprised?" And then there's "MacArthur Park," by Jimmy Webb: "Someone left the cake out in the rain / I ...more
Jill Minor
For all the songs Neil Diamond "brang" to us. . . for the chair that did not or would not hear poor Neil in "I Am, I Said," and every other song or lyric you've ever loathed--including my personal rip-out-the-radio anthem, "Copacabana" by Barry Manilow. From the weird ones, like "Muskrat Love" and "MacArthur Park," to breakup sobfests like "All By Myself"; from teen-death ditties to all the girls Willie Nelson's loved before, if there are any songs that you would honest-to-God pay cold cash neve ...more
Deborah
My FAVORITE Dave Barry book of all.
Elisabeth
This book was gifted following a discussion about an NPR Soundcheck Smackdown, which pitted the lovers of Neil Diamond against the dingalings who don't like him (I know, blasphemy). The segment opened with a brief interview with Dave Barry, who years ago in one of his columns made the mistake of being negative about Neil's choice of lyrics in "I Am I Said." The reader response was primarily one of spittle-flecked ire - not only for Barry's criticism of this song and thus of the Neil, but of othe ...more
Daniel A.
Nov 05, 2013 Daniel A. rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of pop music, good and bad
Dave Barry's Book of Bad Songs, by—of course—humor columnist Dave Barry, was an amusing, quick read that resonated precisely because who among us cannot identify with knowing any number of popular songs that induce more cringing than actual enjoyment?

The result of a Barry column surveying readers for the songs that they hated, but that expanded far beyond its original bounds because of the overwhelming response, Dave Barry's Book of Bad Songs works primarily because of Barry's "voice" permeating
...more
Leena
A quick, easy read. Since the book is from the 90's, there should definitely be an updated version with more recent bad songs - I can only imagine what he would say about Miley Cyrus or Nicki Minaj. As with any book about the worst, bad, etc, the snark in this book grows a little abrasive towards the end and makes you feel like reading more affirming material, but as a fun, fast distraction it works. Unlike the songs he takes apart. And I used to like MacArthur Park...
Rich
Dave Barry is always good for a laugh. He's a little formulaic/predictable if you read enough of him, but if you pick up this book in the first place, you're probably not looking for a literary masterpiece. Some days, you just need some brain candy.

Dave's not in his best form in this one -- but, then, he's not the primary source of comedic value here. Rather, it's the ridiculousness of the song lyrics themselves.

And it finally made me break down and by "The Essential Isley Brothers" to pick up
...more
Brett
I've considered reading Dave Barry a sort of guilty pleasure ever since I was in high school. This is more of the same style from him, though it is so short that it hardly qualifies as a book--more like an extended essay. You can read it in a couple hours or less.

And although there is something enjoyable to making fun of bad music (and no shortage of bad music to choose from), Barry mostly sticks to the sort of music that is known by people around his own age. If you're much younger than him, ch
...more
David
May 19, 2015 David rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to David by: Gift from wife and daughter, who know I hate James Taylor
The title is self-explanatory. Includes results of a survey answered by 10,000 people and a variety of categories, such as "Songs Women Really Hate" and "Teen Death Songs." Just writing this makes me want to read it again. I'm betting everything James Taylor ever sang will be at the top of the list. At least he's at the top of my "bad" list.
Richard
Has Dave Barry ever written a bad book? I don't think so. Dave has the audacity to knock some of the favorite songs from the 50s and 60s. I didn't agree with all of his choices of bad songs, but most of them he got right. It's not a long book, you can read it in a few hours--if your tears of laughter and aching sides don't interfere.
Dale
Funny, but the book on tape format begged the question - "why not include parts of the actual songs?"

Yes, I realize it would be a publishing nightmare - trying to convince someone to let you use their song just so you could make fun of it, but it would have been so much more effective!

Oh well, what might have been!

Dave Barry's Book of Bad Songs really is a funny book. Dave's quirky sense of humor was effective, as always. I thoroughly enjoyed Dave's list of bad songs and his analytical diss
...more
Rebecca
A quick, easy read that is funny in some spots, but I didn't know a lot of the songs, so that made it less interesting to me. The section of songs women hate was offensive because of the lyrics of some songs included. I did not know such offensive songs about domestic violence existed.
M.L.
Remember sitting around with good friends, joking about mundane, everyday matters. Saying to yourself, "s/he feels the same way I do," and laughing your *sses off? That's what reading Barry's book is like. I re-read this one when I need cheering up.
Eric
I am a major fan of all things Dave Barry has written. I discovered his writing in my early childhood, and have been into it since. I'd read Dave Barry Is Not Making This Up, in which he initially proposed the "Bad Song Contest" as part of a humor column, and got an unexpectedly huge response!

I was given Dave Barry's Book of Bad Songs as a Christmas gift, and I was not disappointed. Drawing from those original columns, Barry expounds upon the art of bad songship as only he can. Though it's been
...more
Corri
I liked the "warning", intro, and conclusion the best. True to every other Dave Barry book I've read, it was hilarious. While the main chapters of the book were written in the same funny style, I think had a harder time enjoying them because I didn't know a lot of the songs. Actually, I probably do know the songs, but just don't know them by their titles. It crossed my mind to looke up the songs online while I was reading, but it was such a quick read that I was done before I had time to grab my ...more
Peter
Barry (circa 1998) ridicules song lyrics in a superficial way, as picked by the readers of his column. Rinse, repeat. Mildly amusing.

He has no insight into why record companies and radio stations play the same songs over-and-over. He offers no insights into what makes an "earworm."

The book is interesting as a cultural artifact of moderately affluent middle-aged Americans in 1998. I don't know most of the songs "Bad Songs" mentions, even though most of the rock/pop albums I own are from 1989 to 2
...more
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Dave Barry is a humor columnist. For 25 years he was a syndicated columnist whose work appeared in more than 500 newspapers in the United States and abroad. In 1988 he won the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary. Many people are still trying to figure out how this happened.
Dave has also written a total of 30 books, although virtually none of them contain useful information. Two of his books were used as
...more
More about Dave Barry...
Peter and the Starcatchers (Peter and the Starcatchers, #1) Peter and the Shadow Thieves (Peter and the Starcatchers, #2) Peter and the Secret of Rundoon (Peter and the Starcatchers, #3) Big Trouble Peter and the Sword of Mercy (Peter and the Starcatchers, #4)

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