These song lyrics have been the voted the worst of all time.

There is a song that is universally considered to have the worst lyrics in the world, and somehow I didn’t know about it until last night.

You see, I went to trivia at the local pub. And, as usual, I realised that throughout my entire life I’ve managed to accumulate barely any general knowledge.

But in between rounds, the host (quiz dude?) made an offhanded remark about the song with the worst lyrics in history.

Surprisingly, it wasn’t Work by Rihanna, which goes a lil’ something like “work-work-work-work-work-you see me I be-work-work-work-work-work” (…what?).

Or Snap’s Rhythm is a Dancer “I’m as serious as cancer when I say rhythm is a dancer” (cancer is… never an appropriate analogy).

A BBC poll has determined the song with the worst lyrics is the 1995 hit Life by Des’ree. 

Des'ree thinking about life etc. Image via Genius.

You think you don't know it. But you do. 

And before we go any further I need to preface this by saying I really like this song and would definitely sing to it if it popped up on the radio. Because it's brilliant and straight up catchy AF.

Firstly, the word 'life' is repeated precisely 46 times throughout the song. So it is slightly repetitive. But is it really that bad?

It begins pretty innocently, with;

Mmm, yeah yeah yeah
Oh yeah, yeah yeah
Oh life, oh life.

Is she singing TO life? Or ABOUT life? And what about life specifically? It's a fairly broad subject matter - she's ambitious and I like it.

She continues;


I'm afraid of the dark
Especially when I'm in a park
And there's no one else around
Ooh, I get the shivers

Yeah, that does look pretty scary. Image via iStock.

Did she just say 'park' because it rhymed with 'dark'? How often are you walking around in a dark park with no one else around? She's right though, I guess that would be pretty scary.

I don't want to see a ghost
It's a sight that I fear most
I'd rather have a piece of toast
And watch the evening news

Where did the ghost thing come from? Like, I don't either, are ghosts even real? We can't be sure...But you fear seeing ghosts more than ANYTHING else? What about being buried alive? Or losing your entire family?

AHHHHH! Image via iStock.

Wait - she'd rather have a piece of a toast than see a ghost? How are those things in ANY WAY related?

I'd rather have a piece of toast than get hit by a car but that's not a thing I've ever chosen to articulate. Because it's pretty much a given.

Furthermore, who's eating toast with the evening news? It's dinner time. Toast isn't the ideal dinner, it's breakfast food.

There is also a problem with the rhyming pattern, because she simply should not have rhymed three words in a row. It's not the same as the verse before it and it is giving me anxiety.

The chorus pretty much sounds like something I'd sing when I just don't know the words to a song. I respect that.

Life, oh life, oh life, oh life
Doo, doo doo doo
Life, oh life, oh life, oh life
Doo, doo doo doo

In the next verse, Des'ree goes rogue. It's like she had really bad writers block and someone said "Just write whatever runs through your head!" and she literally did that.

I'm a superstitious girl
I'm the worst in the world
Never walk under ladders
I keep a rabbit's tail

I'd never heard of keeping a rabbits tail as a superstition. So I googled it. And you know what came up? An online forum from 2004 with someone asking "Hi guys, what does "keep a rabbit tail" mean? I've found this in the song "Life" (late 90's, I think)."


Oh yes I really like rabbits. Image via iStock.

The actual superstition seems to be a rabbit foot. So now she's just carrying around a goddamn rabbit's tail for no reason and frankly I think it would make her look like a crazy person.


Can we also acknowledge that nothing about this verse rhymes. She's just given up.

I'll take you up on a dare
Anytime, anywhere
Name the place, I'll be there
Bungee jumping, I don't care


Bungee jumping is also an incredibly unlikely and expensive 'dare'.

And now we're back to the chorus. It repeats the word 'oh' and 'life' and 'do' a bunch of times.

By verse three she's lost it.

So after all is said and done
I know I'm not the only one
Life indeed can be fun
If you really want to

You're not the only one...who what? That is just a completely unrelated sentence. "Life can be fun" also seems very reminiscent of what a Year Three student might write if they were given 20 minutes to write a poem about anything.

Did I just listen to this whole thing about 'life' to be told that it can be fun if you really want it to be? Why yes I did.

Speaking of life being fun, what's your word for 2017? Here are ours. Post continues below.

And, oh God, there's more.

Sometimes living out your dreams
Ain't as easy as it seems
You wanna fly around the world
In a beautiful balloon

Wait. So life can be fun BUT ALSO HARD. This song needs to be etched into rock and passed down to ancestors for centuries to come. The rhyming continues to be inconsistent and difficult to follow.

But now for an ending to beat all other song endings:

Life, oh life, oh life, oh life
Doo, doo doo doo
Life, oh life, oh life, oh life
Doo, doo doo doo
Life, oh life, oh life, oh life
Doo, doo doo doo
Life, oh life, oh life, oh life
Doo, doo doo doo
Doo, doo doo doo
Doo, doo doo doo
Doo, doo doo doo
Doo, doo doo doo
Doo, doo doo doo
Oh life, oh life
Oh life, oh life, oh life, oh life
Oh life, oh life, oh life, oh life


Other songs universally understood to have appalling lyrics include "That was then but this is now" by ABC, "Africa" by Toto (a total banger in my opinion) and "Ice, Ice, Baby" by Vanilla Ice.

Des'ree's "Life" doesn't necessarily make sense, and it certainly isn't a literary masterpiece, but GODDAMN is it catchy.

And making sense is overrated anyway.