Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Dave Barry's Book of Bad Songs” as Want to Read:
Dave Barry's Book of Bad Songs
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Dave Barry's Book of Bad Songs

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  1,684 ratings  ·  166 reviews
When funnyman Dave Barry asked readers about their least favorite tunes, he thought he was penning just another installment of his weekly syndicated humor column. But the witty writer was flabbergasted by the response when over 10,000 readers voted. "I have never written a column that got a bigger response than the one announcing the Bad Song Survey," Barry wrote. Based on ...more
Paperback, 112 pages
Published March 1st 2000 by Andrews McMeel Publishing (first published 1997)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Dave Barry's Book of Bad Songs, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Dave Barry's Book of Bad Songs

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,684 ratings  ·  166 reviews

Sort order
Sep 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
It all started one fine day back in the 1990's, when Florida-based columnist Dave Barry made a flippant remark about the insipidity of Neil Diamond ballads. His faithful readers deluged Barry with mail, some supportive, others suggesting strongly that there were MUCH worse radio hits than the likes of "You Are the Words, I Am the Tune" or "Longfellow Serenade."

With a commendable bent toward direct democracy, Barry asked his readers to send in their nominations for worst-song-ever. Here's the to
Jill Mackin
Mar 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Earworms galore! Humorous look at some of the songs we love to hate.
Jill Hutchinson
Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
When Dave Barry asked the many readers of his column what their most hated song was, the response was so overwhelming and so clever that he decided to turn it into this book. So glad he did.

We all like "so bad they're good" lists but this is a "so bad they're bad" compilation of 60/70/80s songs which drive people to distraction. I was sorry to find one of my favorite dance songs, My Sharona on the list but you can bet that anyone who reads this book will be puzzled as to why songs that they. lov
Jun 14, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: humor, music, american-lit
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
Jul 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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.
Sep 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
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
Jackie "the Librarian"
Sep 23, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: too-funny
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.
Stewart Sternberg
Oct 06, 2017 rated it it was ok
This book reads like it was written in an afternoon, and was read as quickly. The material in this book is suited for a tight 750 word shtick, which is what it started as; a column in a newspaper. It made me smile a few times, so kudos for that.
Dec 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
✭✭✭ ...more
Petr Šrajer
Dec 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: music, non-fiction
Prokrastinační rychlovka, postavená na anketě, ve které chtěl americký sloupkař Dave Barry zjistit, jaké písně lidé nenávidí. Nedojde sice na Despacito, protože tento "průzkum" proběhl na začátku devadesátých let a kniha vyšla v roce 1997, ale řada zmiňovaných písní je i tak pořád v oběhu a člověk si rozšíří obzory i o další skvosty. Dave Barry komentuje hlavně textovou stránku písní, která mu často poskytuje příležitost ke skvělým humorům, kvůli kterým se možná poohlédnu i po jeho nehudebních k ...more
Jan C
Mar 31, 2019 added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jan C by: Jill Hutchinson
Shelves: tbr-kindle, 2019, music, humor
For whatever reason I was never a great fan of Dave Barry.

But I did find this book humorous. Although I didn't always agree that they were bad songs. And, of course, I thought he left out an awful lot of bad songs.

Definitely left out a number of songs with misquoted lines. Like "there's a bathroom on the right" in CCR's Bad Moon Rising, or if Jimi Hendrix is singing "kiss this guy" rather than kiss the sky (I think).

Anyway, it was entertaining enough.
Feb 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I may have read this book more often than any other book on my Kindle. This time I was in a mildly bad mood and it made me laugh, full-on from the diaphragm, on the DLR at Westferry. At WESTFERRY. I fully believe that Dave Barry is one of the greatest American writers of the postwar period and so many sentences in this are a work of art. This whole book is a work of art. It should be shot into space on the next Voyager or Pioneer or Vanguard or We're The Best, Hi Exoplanets or whatever, assuming ...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
Nov 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Joe Eidson
Apr 30, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Feb 11, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Feb 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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.
Mar 31, 2008 rated it really liked it
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. :-)
Janet Rosfeld
Dec 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
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!!!!
Sep 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
So OK, this is not a great work of literature, but it made me laugh so hard that I cried, and my husband kicked me out of bed. It takes some talent to write something this funny.
Apr 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
My FAVORITE Dave Barry book of all.
This book is laugh-out-loud funny. On the negative side, Jesus' name is used in vain one time in the book and a crude word is used three times.
Oct 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Peter Barr
Jan 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dave Barry's Book of Bad Songs is simply a book of bad songs from about 1960 to 1990. Dave Barry makes fun of them and is amazed by them at the same time. I chuckled throughout my reading of the book but I also laughed so hard at parts that tears came to my eyes. Nearly his grand finale was a chapter entitled "Teen Death Songs" and, yes, there were enough well known songs during that time period about teenage deaths that he had no problem filling an entire chapter. I will leave with the words of ...more
Diane Baker
Jul 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tears on my pillow, pain in my heart caused by you!

There's no doubt that Dave Barry's *Book of Bad Songs* is a compendium of painful memories consisting of "earworms" you wish you could drown in acid, but the most painful one is by the renowned Minnie Ripperton, or Rippington (do do n do do aieereeeee!) who fortunately has dropped from the scene. We laughed so hard at one convention, the hotel security knocked on the shared room door of four harmless women over fifty, each sharing their worst mu
May 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Very short, but highly entertaining audio book to listen to on a long ride. I think you'd have to be a person of a certain age, though, to remember most of these songs as the book was written in 1997 and the songs go back decades from there. I especially liked the part about about Gary Puckett as I had just remarked to my husband a week or so earlier, when I heard "Young Girl" on the radio, how creepy some songs from the sixties sound nowadays.
Gordon Clason
Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Always Hilarious

This book, however, will resonate with baby boomers, because ours are the songs he is talking about. There are some truly bad songs from the swing era (ever listened to Lawrence Welk?) But Dave Barry grew up with '60s and '70s pop radio, so those are the songs he is most familiar with.
Nov 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is hilarious. I read parts out loud during a long drive and was overcome, couldn't finish the sentences, because I was laughing so hard.
I made someone else read it when we arrived.
Forced reading of a hilarious book and we all enjoyed it again.

I wish I still had it to read!

For long drives, Dave Barry and Jim Gaffigan, have saved us from long periods of driving despair.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • 'Scuse Me While I Kiss This Guy and Other Misheard Lyrics
  • The Mystery Science Theater 3000: Amazing Colossal Episode Guide
  • Non Campus Mentis: World History According to College Students
  • Shave the Whales
  • The Late Night with David Letterman Book of Top Ten Lists
  • Get Your Tongue Out of My Mouth, I'm Kissing You Goodbye!
  • Ranting Again
  • The Onion's Finest News Reporting, Volume 1
  • Mike Nelson's Movie Megacheese
  • If Love Were Oil, I'd Be about a Quart Low
  • The Gallery of Regrettable Food
  • Few Minutes with Andy Rooney
  • Forever, Erma
  • Confessions of a Cineplex Heckler: Celluloid Tirades and Escapades
  • They Call Me Naughty Lola: Personal Ads from the London Review of Books
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
“Probably the most violently hated of the weenie songs cited in the survey was “Sometimes When We Touch,” sung in a very emotional manner by Dan Hill, who sounds as though he’s having his prostate examined by Captain Hook.” 1 likes
More quotes…