Songs that make you cringe

Screamin’ Jay Hawkins just sang I Love Paris on the ol’ iPod. Screamin’ Jay is known for his ‘spooky’ and ‘funny’ stuff, but he was actually a good singer. But this song… The ‘German’ and ‘Chinese’ parodies are pretty offensive. (‘How about Africa? I saw Mau Mau kissing Santa Claus’ was kind of funny, though.)

Superman by The Brothers Four has a great beat; but it starts off with an ‘Hispanic’ accent, but they say the subject is Swiss so they don’t offend anybody. (I started a thread in 2009 asking about the Spanish lyrics.)

I know there are other cringeworthy songs, but I’ll have to wait for them to come up in the rotation.

There’s the astoundingly insensitive “Chinese Mule Train” by Spike Jones and His City Slickers (which is a parody of “Mule Train” made popular by Frankie Laine, Bing Crosby and others). Random gong noises, pseudo-Chinese gibberish, mixing “L” and “R” sounds, you name it, it’s got it!

Making you cringe was Screamin’ Jay’s M.O.

There’s also George Jones’ “The Poor Chinee,” which I will not post a link to.

Gary Puckett gets his own thread!

As does Lou Christie. A friend of mine once noted, “He’s a bigger pig than Gary Puckett.”

Wait, you think the German and Chinese ones are offensive (and they are), but that one gets a pass? Really?

Mick Jagger singing “Luxury” in a bad faux Jamaican accent makes me cringe:

Ringo Starr - “You’re Sixteen, You’re beautiful and you’re mine”


John Lennon - “She was just 17, if you know what I mean…”

No John, I DON’T know what you mean…care to elaborate?

On that note, do not read the lyrics for Daddy Should Have Stayed in High School by Cheap Trick. :hushed:

Ringo Starr is singing this song not from his own perspective, but from the perspective of a young man.

Likewise, Glen Campbell was not actually employed as a Wichita lineman. And when you hear Eric Clapton confess to shooting the sheriff, please do not call 911.

Huh, ok. That does make it tolerable.

Here’s an all-time cringetastic song…late 1988 / early 1989. I’m a young man, about the same age as the members of Guns n’ Roses, and I enjoyed “Appetite for Destruction”. Then “G n’ R Lies” comes out, with the lovely ballad “Patience” that was getting a ton of radio play, and still gets a lot of play to this day. So I buy the album and listen through. I get to the song “One in a Million”… :hushed:

Sample lyrics:

Police and n*****s, that’s right, get out of my way
Don’t need to buy none of your gold chains today

Immigrants and f*****s, they make no sense to me
They come to our country and think they’ll do as they please

NOT a song character either, this is pretty much Axl being Axl. here’s a little background about the song, talking about Axl’s motivations for writing it, and Slash and his family’s reservations about it. That song pretty much put me off G n’ R for all time after that.

The first few times I heard it, I thought he was calling Africans Mau Maus. I had only heard ‘Mau Mau’ as a pejorative for Black people. But Hawkins released the song in 1958, and he was directly referring to the Mau Mau Rebellion of 1950-1960. In that context, it’s clearly not a pejorative. But if someone didn’t know about the Mau Mau Rebellion and the release date of the song, it certainly wouldn’t get a pass.

I did take notice when Diane Feinstein said ‘I’ve been mau-mau’d by the best of them’ a while back. That was a pejorative.

As evidence of Western civilization’s moral obtuseness, future history books could do worse than cite the first verse of “Brown Sugar.”

Night Moves:

She was a black-haired beauty with big dark eyes
And points all her own sitting way up high
Way up firm and high

It just makes my skin crawl to hear Bob Seger singing about tits.

Ron Wood, Buried Alive. You should have been buried alive, your far to pretty to die.

Another that made some people uncomfortable was Timothy by The Buoys. Songs about cannibalism can do that.
THE BUOYS "Timothy" HQ - YouTube

Chantilly Lace

Already mentioned, but Screamin Jay Hawkins’ Constipation Blues is beyond cringe for me.