The horror of ungrammatical lyrics
Do language errors in popular songs make you shudder? You’re not alone.
Among McKean’s observations:
A stranger misfire is when songwriters put in an extra preposition. That’s the issue in John Mellencamp’s “Small Town,” in which he sang “I cannot forget from where it is that I come from.” Maybe if you’re lucky, you missed hearing what’s commonly considered one of the “worst Christmas songs of all time” these past few weeks, Andy Williams’s “Happy Holidays/It’s the Holiday Season,” which includes the line: “he’ll be comin’ down the chimney down!”
But – all due respect – McKean missed the best example of all: Paul McCartney’s lyrics from “Live and Let Die”:
But if this ever changing world in which we live in/Makes you give in and cry/Say live and let die
Live and let cry, eh?