The Worst Music Of All Time Or Maybe Just One Decade

I am not Allen Ginsberg. I did not see the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked. Instead I saw the best minds of my generation happily rocking out to “Ice Ice Baby,” which is sort of similar, but with more clothing and later, a lot more secret shame.

The Rolling Stone has come out with a list of the worst songs of the 1990s, and surprisingly, “Ice Ice Baby” is not at the top. It is the secret shame of most people age 29-35 or so that we once liked this song.

In about 15 years, when board rooms of respectable, staid executives are mostly filled with people of this age group, know this: Most of the people in leadership positions in the Fortune 500 still remember the words to “Ice Ice Baby.” I predict someone will publicize this and cause a stock market crash as the public suddenly realizes the terrible truth.

I’m not saying that “Ice Ice Baby” should be at the top of the list. The actual holder of that dubious honor, “Barbie Girl,” somehow escaped being banned worldwide by the Geneva Convention, but probably only because the Convention was last signed in 1949 and “Barbie Girl” wasn’t made until 1997.

Otherwise I’m pretty sure it would have been at the top of the Convention’s to-ban list, not just for its vaguely creepy sexual content, but also because of the voice of Lene Nystrom, which has a similar effect on the brain to repeatedly ramming an ice pick into it. The song is also an earworm, so once you listen to it, it will stick with you like … well, like the words to Vanilla Ice.

Had we realized this in 1997, we would have been able to gather up every copy of the song, place it in a secure location (preferably one we didn’t like very much) and put a sarcophagus over it, Chernobyl-style. Then we could have posted signs warning people away from the property. Unfortunately, it’s online, so, like poverty, it will probably never disappear.

There’s plenty of bad to find on this list. There are plenty of earworms, and the less said about “Achy Breaky Heart” the better. But be warned: this list is not for the faint of heart. These songs are apt to stay with you long after you’d like them dead and buried.

Take heed.

’cause I’m a lyrical poet.

4 Responses

    1. Which one, “Ice Ice Baby” or “Barbie Girl”?

      “Ice Ice Baby” uses a great hook, from “Under Pressure,” and it’s mostly just vaguely embarrassing.

      With “Barbie Girl,” however, you can really only nuke the site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

  1. Deb

    OMG!!! Thanks for the stroll down memory lane. When I can finally stop laughing I might be able to get up off the floor. You brightened my day :-). Had lunch with a dear friend today. Missed you

    1. “Barbie Girl” was inexplicably popular when I was in Russia. It was by far the worst song on the Russian MTV channel. Even the weird European novelty songs (which were much more popular than novelty songs are in America, apparently) were better.

      In other words: I went all the way to Russia and I still couldn’t escape “Barbie Girl.”

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