THE SONG: 311, "Down"
THE LYRIC:"'Cuz we're dope and change like a chameleon / and my channel whenever that whack showReal Worldis on"
THE VERDICT: We put this on the list only to defend the honor of Judd Winick.
THE SONG: Bruce Springsteen, "Glory Days"
THE LYRIC: "He could throw that speed ball by you / make you look like a fool"
THE VERDICT: Bruce, we hate to bring this up, because we think you're great and everything, and it might sound a little nitpicky and all, but it's just that . . . um . . . well, a fastball is what Roger Clemens throws. A speedball is what John Belushi took to kill himself. Unless you were trying to make a prophetic comment about Doc Gooden's career, in which case you did a great job.
THE SONG: Cranberries, "Salvation"
THE LYRIC: "To all the kids with heroin eyes / don't do it"
THE VERDICT: Nancy Reagan, Irish-style. The kids always listen when you tell them not to do something.
THE SONG: Dashboard Confessional, "Screaming Infidelities"
THE LYRIC: "Your hair / it's everywhere"
THE VERDICT: We know Chris Carraba is the sentimental, romantic type and everything, and maybe our mind is in the “proverbial” gutter a little bit, but this just sounds gross.
THE SONG: Social Distortion, "Story of My Life"
THE LYRIC: "High school seemed like such a blur/I never had much interest in sports or school elections"
THE VERDICT: Mike, w hy didn’t you just smoke on the bleachers and play handball? High school had ended for you, like, ten years ago when you wrote this, didn't it? Might be time to move on. This one didn't get a lot of reader support (or editor support), but we’re keeping it here because Ryan doesn’t like it. Send your hate mail to Rstewart@phx.com.
THE SONG: Donna Summers, et al "MacArthur Park"
THE LYRIC: "Someone left the cake out in the rain/I don't think I could take it, `cause it took so long to bake it/And I'll never have that recipe again, oh no!"
THE VERDICT: Oft-cited on these lists, this song is classically inscrutable. But sometimes "inscrutable" is just a polite way of saying "not very good."
THE SONG: Genesis, "Dancing with the Moonlit Knight"
THE LYRIC: "Follow on/A Round Table-talking down we go/You're the show!/Off we go with/ You play the hobbyhorse/I'll play the fool/We'll tease the bull/Ringing round & loud, loud & round"
THE VERDICT: In retrospect, we really didn't explore the world of ridiculous, over-pretentious prog lyrics quite enough.
THE SONG: Rush, "Xanadu"
THE LYRIC: "To stand within the Pleasure Dome/Decreed by Kubla Khan/To taste anew the fruits of life/The last immortal man/To find the sacred river Alph/To walk the caves of ice/Oh, I will dine on honeydew/And drink the milk of Paradise"
THE VERDICT: We know a lot of Rush fans, and we'd like to hear them defend lyrics like this with a straight face. (A write-in vote by an anonymous Phoenix staffer whose name rhymes with "Mamille Modero")