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

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  1,498 Ratings  ·  139 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, 112 pages
Published August 1st 1997 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)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jun 14, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: music, humor, 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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  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
Apr 30, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
✭✭✭ ...more
Feb 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jackie "the Librarian"
Sep 23, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: if you remember the music of the 70's
Shelves: non-fiction, humor, 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
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.
Feb 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  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. :-)
Janet Rosfeld
Dec 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
My FAVORITE Dave Barry book of all.
May 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Norman Styers
Jun 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
A deep exploration of the ambiguities of existence.
May 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fun read. It brought back memories of songs with ridiculous lyrics and those who sang some really bad songs.
Jen Pierce
Dec 22, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
3.5. Cute.
Debbie Mcclelland
Oh,HELP, my sides hurt!

This is one of Dave Barry's funniest books yet! I wish it was longer but I don't know if I could survive much longer laughing that hard. Try to read this in a private place so bystanders don't think you're crazy!
Daniel A.
Sep 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
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
Oct 20, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 07, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, music
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
Joe Slavinsky
Jan 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My sister sent me this trivia quiz, and in the section on '60's music, this book was referenced. Since I just finished Barry's novel "Tricky Business", and still had a taste for him, I went to the local library, and checked it out. As he says in the "Warning"(forward), this book covers songs released between 1960 & 1990, right after he warns you not to read the book, as you'll have all these god-awful songs stuck in your head. I read it anyway, as they're already stuck in my long term memory ...more
Jan 03, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor
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
Jul 22, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Mary Lou
Feb 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I laughed at some bits so hard my face hurt. :-)
« 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 »
  • Non Campus Mentis: World History According to College Students
  • When Your Phone Doesn't Ring, It'll Be Me
  • Mike Nelson's Movie Megacheese
  • Ranting Again
  • The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Amazing Colossal Episode Guide
  • The Late Night with David Letterman Book of Top Ten Lists
  • Still Pumped from Using the Mouse
  • Forever, Erma
  • The Bride of Anguished English: A Bonanza of Bloopers, Blunders, Botches, and Boo-Boos
  • The Onion's Finest News Reporting, Volume 1
  • Few Minutes with Andy Rooney
  • 'Scuse Me While I Kiss This Guy and Other Misheard Lyrics
  • If Love Were Oil, I'd Be about a Quart Low
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 about Dave Barry...

Share This Book

“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…