The Worst Singles of the Decade, Part 3: #30-#21

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October 30, 2009

It Stinks!After  Part 1 and Part 2 , we’re wading further into the sea of mediocrity.

The Worst Singles of the Decade, Part 3: #30-#21

#30
Terri Clark, “Dirty Girl”

Double entendres are a lot more enjoyable when the naughty meaning is the real one.

#29
Jamey Johnson, “The Dollar”

Real kids don’t talk like this.

#28
Garth Brooks & Trisha Yearwood, “Love Will Always Win”

This treacly ballad is the nadir of Trisha’s career and one “It’s Midnight Cinderella” away from being Garth’s as well.

#27
Darryl Worley, “Have You Forgotten?”

Featuring more straw men than a Wizard of Oz audition.

#26
Clint Black, “I Raq and Roll”

“Have You Forgotten?” without all the nuance and subtlety.

#25
Shania Twain and Billy Currington, “Party For Two”

Proof positive that spoken dialogue can ruin a song before it even begins.

#24
Martina McBride, “God’s Will”
He was dressed as a bag of leaves? That’s his costume? Hey, at least she didn’t kill him off in the last verse.

#23
Brooks & Dunn, “Play Something Country”

There are so many poorly written female characters in Brooks & Dunn songs, it’s hard to pick just one to represent them all. But I’ll give the nod to this one, simply because it has her howling the title to a melodic hook that’s a blatant rip-off of Mary Chapin Carpenter’s “Shut Up and Kiss Me.”

#22
Jason Aldean, “Johnny Cash”

The “country star as song name” trend hasn’t yielded anything worthwhile, but at least “Tim McGraw” and “Kristofferson” have some tenuous connection to their titular song. “Johnny Cash” is just shameless name-dropping.

#21
Gretchen Wilson, “Red Bird Fever”

In retrospect, this should’ve been a huge red flag that Wilson wasn’t built to last.  My personal favorite moment of this St. Louis Cardinals shout-out comes in the chorus, when she sings “Let me get a big ‘Go Cards!’ from the Red Bird fans like me. Go Cards!” and the backup singers answer back, “Hell yeah!”  because they couldn’t be bothered to change the “Redneck Woman” backing track.

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  1. JaneNo Gravatar says:

    Though I adore Martina, I agree with God’s Will being on this list. It’s not one of my favourites from her!

  2. Paul DennisNo Gravatar says:

    The Worley and Johnson songs don’t belong on this list at all. On the other hand, the Jason Aldean entry would be in my top (or is it bottom) five

  3. Leeann WardNo Gravatar says:

    The Gretchen Wilson thing is priceless!!

    Yeah, in my experience, kids don’t talk like that , unless adults manipulate them to do so.

  4. ErikNo Gravatar says:

    I love “God’s Will”. And yes, I’m ashamed.

    I don’t think the Garth & Trisha song belongs on here, though I strongly prefer the Faith Hill version. I also think there are far worse singles than “Party for Two”.

  5. chesnuttisNo Gravatar says:

    These are all some pretty bad songs (though somehow “Play Something Country” is a guilty pleasure for me and I don’t mind “Party for Two”). I think the worst of this bunch are “Have You Forgotten” (yeah, Daryl, I “forgot” that 9/11 happened! Thanks for reminding me) and “The Dollar” (Don’t like Jamey Johson’s voice). I hadn’t heard “Red Bird Fever” before but its so bad its good.

  6. MichaelNo Gravatar says:

    “Have You Forgotten” would top my list (with Toby Keith filling a few slots in the Top Ten as well) so I can’t wait to see what’s next on yours. “Party For Two” and “Play Something Country” remain guilty pleasures of mine. I love the write up for “God’s Will”. Hah!

  7. Leeann WardNo Gravatar says:

    “Party for Two” is a guilty pleasure of mine too, though not the one with Mark McGrath. He sounded like he was sleeping.

  8. JohnNo Gravatar says:

    The Jamey Johnson SO deserves to be on here. Darryl Worley and Clint Black? Check. I don’t mind “Johnny Cash”, but I get your drift. Did I mention “Beer Gut”?

  9. Leeann WardNo Gravatar says:

    John, you love it. Right?

  10. JonathanNo Gravatar says:

    I had somehow managed to miss the Gretchen Wilson single, and wow, that may actually go beyond laziness and qualify as sloth. I wouldn’t argue with the inclusion of any of these ten, and “God’s Will” would rank significantly higher for me.

  11. MichaelNo Gravatar says:

    Yes, I never thought I’d write the following sentence but… “I also prefer the Billy Currington version of this song.”

  12. Leeann WardNo Gravatar says:

    “God’s Will” makes me cringe a million times over.

  13. ZackNo Gravatar says:

    “Dirty Girl,” “Party For Two,” and “God’s Will” aren’t among the ones I hate… however I havent listened to any of these songs from these artists in a long long while… oh well.

    I will say that “God’s Will” did seem like another “Concrete Angel” (Love this song, BTW) attempt from Martina. IMO.

    I also am partial to “RedBird Fever” …. but that’s just cuz I’m a Cards fan.. go figure. haha.

  14. JoJoNo Gravatar says:

    I love “Party For Two” and “Play Something Country”!!

  15. J.R. JourneyNo Gravatar says:

    I can’t disagree with any song on this list, but I do think I’d have put ‘Have You Forgotten’ a bit closer to the top – but we’ll see what’s worse than it … Gotta be bad.

    Never heard the Gretchen Wilson remix before.

  16. NicolasNo Gravatar says:

    I’ve only heard “God’s Will” once or twice, but I remember it was poorly-done melodrama =X

    I like Martina though

  17. Leeann WardNo Gravatar says:

    Yes, Nicholas, “God’s Will” is mellodrama meets patronizing.

  18. Leeann WardNo Gravatar says:

    And if “It’s Midnight Cinderella” had been from this year, it would definitely belong on this list. I really like Garth and Trisha’s voices together, but I don’t think they’ve made the best of their collaboration selections, with the exception of “Squeeze Me In” and Garth even sounded a bit too screechy there.

  19. Razor XNo Gravatar says:

    One can only hope that Mark McGuinn’s “Mrs. Stephen Rudy”, one of the most irritating songs of all time, lands near the top of this list.

  20. Cutting The TreacleNo Gravatar says:

    I remember years ago, Entertainment Weekly gave a horrible review to a Randy Travis album because it had “Point of Light”. The reviewer felt it was a political song that didn’t belong on the album. I remember the reviewer commented that Randy Travis tried to keep it off the album, but the label wouldn’t let him. The reviewer’s conclusion: “He should have tried harder. Grade: D”. A “D”! For an album that “Forever Together” and “Better Class of Losers”.

    Several years later, Entertainment Weekly gave a much better review to “Stones in the Road” by Mary Chapin Carpenter, with its line “a thousand points of light or shame”. That crystallized for me the problem of reviewers traveling to the intersection of music and politics: they can’t leave their baggage at home. And I think that’s the case with some entries on this list.

    Yankees suck. Go Phillies!

  21. Leeann WardNo Gravatar says:

    I really like “Point of Light”, but I’m pretty partial to songs like that, helping your fellow being. As I said somewhere else discussing this topic (“The9513), I won’t get into “Have You Forgotten” this time around, because I understand and accept the political polarization of the interpretation, but “I Raq and Roll” is beyond reproach as a lyrically stupid song and I cannot help but think that it’s a partisan thing for those who defend it as anything else.

  22. Leeann WardNo Gravatar says:

    Here’s my favorite part of this masterpiece:

    Now it might be a smart bomb,
    they find stupid people too.
    If you stand with the likes of Saddam,
    well, one might just find you.
    Iraq, I rack ‘em up and I roll,
    I’m back and I’m a hi-tech GI Joe.
    I got infrared, I got GPS,
    I got that good old-fashioned lead.
    No price too high for freedom,
    so be careful where you tread.
    Now you can come along
    or you can stay behind

    or you can get out of the way.
    But our troops take out the garbage
    for the good old USA.
    Iraq, I rack ‘em up and I roll.
    for the USA.

  23. MichaelNo Gravatar says:

    Oh… My… Gawd. That IS awful. I guess I’ve never heard it before. So sad that the man who gave us so many great songs also churned out that steaming pile. A

    nyway, I’ve always liked the message in “Point of Light” too. I was too young to know anything about George Sr.’s program so I don’t really associate it with that.

  24. chesnuttisNo Gravatar says:

    I agree with Cutting the Treacle that it is hard to keep one’s political views out of an evaluation of a political song. Absolutely true.

    I think thats true of other songs as well. though maybe to a lesser extent. Our own views of the world influence whether we thing a song is cliched, sappy, overtly cynical, et cetera. One person might think “Bonfire” is a fun, harmless song about hanging out, another might think it bad because it celebrates alcohol consumption.

  25. Leeann WardNo Gravatar says:

    I actually agree with that part of Treacle’s point too. Luckily, it won’t stop me from allowing my particular persuasions to influence whether or not I like a song. I think it’s natural. I like to deal with the technical stuff, but it’s also impossible not to allow personal bias to enter into the critiquing equation. Otherwise, we’re simply providing overviews rather than reviews, which is obviously boring and not the point of this site or most country music blogs.

  26. Cory DeSteinNo Gravatar says:

    Seeing Trisha Yearwood’s name on this list feels like a kick in the pants….but i have to agree. The production seemed like it was rushed and very sloppy and lyrically stomach turning. It stands so far away from such a stellar catalog of Yearwood’s. I dont really care for anything her and Brooks have done except for maybe “In Another’s Eyes” Trisha has had MUCH better duet partners.

  27. Soul Miners DaughterNo Gravatar says:

    “Play Something Country” … Yet more proof that Brooks & Dunn should have reeled it in YEARS ago.
    Excellent point that they totally ripped off Chapin (one of my long time faves, btw).

    “Have You Forgotten” … I actually like this one cuz that was a very meaningful and life-changing time for me personally.

    Clint Black song… Just. NO. Can’t take Clint anyway.

    Jason Aldean… My new pet peeve is songs that have to name drop either a big name singer or band. Recent uses of Springsteen and AC/DC by other acts are nauseating.
    Make it on your own… just saying….

    Garth & Trisha / Shania & Billy …. further proof that modern acts just can’t get the duet thing down like the legends used to.

  28. plain_joNo Gravatar says:

    I really like “God’s Will” probably because of a Will I know with autism.

    As far as “Have You Forgotten” I think it falls under the category of relevant at the time does not stand up to the test of time.

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  30. PatrickNo Gravatar says:

    Come on, Redbird Fever wasn’t that bad. But I guess that’s because I like the original, Redneck Woman. However, I will whole-heartedly agree with Johnny Cash. It’s shameless name-dropping that sounds like it’s trying to be countrier-than-thou

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