Twitter Asks: Who Are the WORST People in the History of Song?
On this very enjoyable Twitter thread author Tod Goldberg asked people “who is the worst person in the history of songs?” His choice was the two people in “Escape (The Pina Colada Song)” opining, “they deserve their pain”.
This gem from 1979 is about a guy who is “tired of his lady” and answers a lonely hearts ad in his newspaper. For those of you too young to know what that is I’ll explain: a “newspaper” is a form of printed journalism from the previous millennium that would occasional allow people to pay to publicize the fact that they wanted to smash. Think of it as Tindr but for your Apple News Alerts.
Anyway, while his old lady is laying there asleep he decides to meet the stranger in the personal ad. They meet at a bar and he finds out it was HIS old lady the whole time. Here’s the video and, no, that’s not your middle school social studies teacher singing. It’s the actual original artist.
Yeah, neither one of them are great I suppose but at least he didn’t want to pay a hit man to bump her off like in “Dirty Deeds (Done Dirt Cheap) by AC/DC!
And, at least she wasn’t cheating on him because he was a paralyzed Vietnam veteran like in that song by Kenny Rogers!
Here are a few of my own suggestions for the Worst People in the History of Song along with my reasoning:
The guy in Folsom Prison Blues who was SO MEAN he shot a man in Reno “just to watch him die”! And it wasn’t like he didn’t know any better! He just admitted that his mom told him to be a good boy and never play with guns.
Every guy in every song by Gary Puckett and the Union Gap that has the words “young” and “girl” in it. What a creep!
The Gatlin Boys in “Coward of the County” by Kenny Rogers. Also, Lucille in “Lucille”…uh, also by Kenny Rogers. And we’ve already mentioned that unpatriotic b**** Ruby…ALSO BY KENNY ROGERS! Now that I think about it, I should really re-listen to the entire Kenny Rogers catalog. There’s probably a serial killer lurking somewhere in the lyrics of “Islands in the Stream”.
But no one…NO ONE…in the history of song chaps my hide like Billy Joe and Bobby Sue from “Take the Money and Run” by Steve “blame the victim” Miller! Check out this B.S.:
So you’ve got these two losers, Billy Joe and Bobby Sue, who’ve got nothing better to do than sit around the house, get high and watch the tube. It must be so tough to lay around all days smoking the giggle weed and watching “Mannix” or whatever was on in the 70s. But are these two degenerates happy? No, because the next thing we know they headed down to El Paso and, in the process of a home invasion, they shoot the innocent home-owner. The detective, one Billy Mack (why was the name Billy so popular in the 70s??) is trying to bring these two monsters to justice. Officer Mack is casually dismissed in the lyrics because he commits the unforgivable sin of making his living “off other people’s taxes”. You know…like almost ALL law enforcement officers do. Why should that even bother Billy Joe and Bobby Sue? You don’t pay taxes for smoking grass, watching television OR committing ARMED F***ING ROBBERY AND MURDER! So, it seems like kind of a weird flex.
The worst part of it is…they just get away with it! Amazingly, the song ends with them getting away, getting the money and living in Mexico TO THIS VERY DAY.
Wow. F you, Steve Miller.