Am I whiny enough?

Tony the Teacher doesn’t think much of “Kasey Chamber-pot “, who he accuses of “inflicting on us the worst, most whiney, most tuneless, most irritating song in living memory”. I certainly agree “Am I Pretty Enough?” is a first rate puke-inducing shocker, but the worst in living memory is a big call indeed. What about Tammy Wynette’s “Stand by Your Man” (written for Hillary Clinton in a flash of foresight) or “D-I-V-O-R-C-E”? Or Kenny Rogers’ “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Lurv to Town?” Or .. or .. or …

About Ken Parish

Ken Parish is a legal academic, with research areas in public law (constitutional and administrative law), civil procedure and teaching & learning theory and practice. He has been a legal academic for almost 20 years. Before that he ran a legal practice in Darwin for 15 years and was a Member of the NT Legislative Assembly for almost 4 years in the early 1990s.
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Tony.T
2021 years ago

I suspect you might be starting something Ken.

PS: I “Stand By My Call”

Gummo Trotsky
2021 years ago

Personall, I think Mawmma’s Pickchewer would be hard to top.

mark
2021 years ago

/We Built This City/ is way up there, combining everything that’s wrong with the other shockers with an aggressive cheerfulness that’s impossible to tune out. /It’s Hot in Here/ is not so bad, but is such a pretentious piece of “ooh aren’t I a bad boy?” bullshit “hip-hop” that I can’t help but want to give that “Nelly” character a *reason* to wear that fucking bandaid all the time.

As for /D-I-V-O-R-C-E/, it helps if you don’t consider it a song, but a comedy routine. It also helps if the only version you’ve ever heard is Billy Connolly’s hilarious rendition.

Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
2021 years ago

Hey, a rich motherlode to mine! ‘Harper Valley PTA’ is right up there, so is ‘Ach-ey Breaky Heart’ by the immortal, Billy-Ray Cyrus, not to mention the entire life’s work of Michael Bolton. Then there’s Cher’s ‘If you Believe in Life After Love’ and pretty much anything that Celine Dion has ever done – or will ever do, for that matter.

Ken Parish
Ken Parish
2021 years ago

Oh yeah, I’d forgotten all about ‘Harper Valley PTA’! A strong contender. Of course, then there’s the more folky side of grossness. Cat Stevens’ ‘Father and Son’ was a little ripper, or just about anything at all out of Bob Dylan’s christian phase.

Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
2021 years ago

Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam can perhaps be excused “Father and Son” given the enduring excellence of “Peace Train” – he’s actually just released a new version of it, which is great. Dolly Parton had a big hit with ‘Peace Train’ as well which kind of makes up for her ‘Island in The Stream’ duet horror with Kenny Whatsisname….

“Baby, when I met you there was peace unknown
I set out to get you with a fine tooth comb
I was soft inside, there was somethin’ going on…

They should both have got the electric chair…

Dan
Dan
2021 years ago

I think Tony was talking about “True Colors”, rather than “Not Pretty Enough”, neither of which I’d classify as tuneless (a good test for which is to imagine it played on a non-vocal instrument, and ask whether it would still be recognisable). Kasey’s voice was always going to have a polarising effect on listeners, there’s no doubt about that.

wen
wen
2021 years ago

Well I lay my head on the railroad track
waitin’ on the Double D –
but the train don’t run by here no more –
poor poor pitiful me….

Linda Ronstadt sang it, dunno who wrote it.

wen
wen
2021 years ago

Oh, I know – absolutely the whiniest (boomer collection, not mine): Janis Ian.

I learned the truth at seventeen
that love was meant for beauty queens
and high-school girls with clear-skinned smiles
who married young and then retired….

And this is the most upbeat track on the album.

wen
wen
2021 years ago

oh, dear. Have just reread previous posts. Sorry Ken. You were after awful, not whiny.

Ken Parish
Ken Parish
2021 years ago

No, no, we started out whiny, and digressed into just plain awful. But ‘At Seventeen’ qualifies on both counts, so you’re alright.

James Russell
James Russell
2021 years ago

“I have loved me a man” by Morgana King.
Enough said, surely.

James Russell
James Russell
2021 years ago

It also helps if the only version you’ve ever heard is Billy Connolly’s hilarious rendition.

I heard Billy’s version years before I ever heard the real thing. I’ve never been able to take the real version of the song seriously.

Ron Mead
Ron Mead
2021 years ago

I’m older than you lot, and my choice is “April Love” closely followed by everything else sung by Pat Boone.

Gummo Trotsky
2021 years ago

Pat Boone Eh?

Alright then: I Believe and anything sung by Frank Ifield.

Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
2021 years ago

“Linda Ronstadt sang it, dunno who wrote it.”

T’was the legendary Warren Zevon.

Yobbo
2021 years ago

Any more Kenny Rogers bashing and I will be forced to hack your insignificant blog into oblivion.

CAKA
Council for Australian Kenny Appreciation

Ann-Mason
Ann-Mason
2021 years ago

For true awfulness, the old-time classics take some beating. There was once a country tune called, “I’ve got tears in my ears from lying on my back and crying over you.” It is to gag.

mark
2021 years ago

“At Seventeen” is excused for the various nasty things it says about the girls who skate through life on beauty alone :-). Then again, I’ve known several such girls taking it as a heartfelt endorsement of their lives, against the adversary of yet lazier and prettier girls.

Ian’s “Society’s Child” is also up there for whininess (white girl meets black guy, guy faces prejudice for being black, girl tells guy to fuck off because she’s too spineless to keep dating him, and this is society’s fault).

Had forgotten about “Harper Valley PTA”. Ugh, what a stinker. “Achy Breaky Heart”, too. Still, I think “We Built this City” is still on top.

Gianna
2021 years ago

When I was sick with the flu recently and lying around watching Bert (just to see what all the fuss is about, since I grew up without TV and don’t quite understand the whole Bert Newton-worship thing that goes on), some soapie starlet came on with possibly the worst song I’ve heard in years. Sample lyrics:-

“Tick-tock, it’s a love-bomb, one touch and it’s gonna go off now / Watch out when you’re so close, one kiss and it’s gonna get hot / Something happens when you’re near me, one thing leads to another, / I know where this is going and we’ll be lovers.”

(Full awful song here: http://www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/Underground/7760/a_matter_of_time.html)

Os
Os
2021 years ago

Slim Dustty singing about Albert Namatjira … “His skin was black, but his heart was white, when he stepped up to meet the Queen.”

Os
Os
2021 years ago

Bugger … “Dusty”

Tony.T
2021 years ago

It’s against the law to bag Warren Zevon. Ken, I’m sure you’ve taught that somewhere. Wen, there’ll be trouble if you keep that up.

mark
2021 years ago

Little old lady got mutilated late last night…

Tony.T
2021 years ago

That’s more like it Mark! Top stuff that.

So is…”Well he dug up her grave and built a cage with her bones.”

wen
wen
2021 years ago

Actually, on reflection ( you know, the song going over & over in your head, all the long sleepless night) I have to agree agree with you, Tony. Poor Poor Pitiful Me’s not whiny at all – the lyrics are despairing, but the tune’s really pretty cheerful. How would you describe it ? Jaunty desperation?

Tony.T
2021 years ago

Desperaunty.

Nearly every song on the album (Warren Zevon – AS53039 or AS1060) is about a loser but it’s brilliant. A must have record!

pretzy
pretzy
2021 years ago

Hey guys, was scanning Google and came across this blog, just had to say i live on the sunshine coast in qld, and the local radio station did a parody of that casey chamber-pot song, went something like ” Am I not whiney enough, is my ass too flabby” was an absolute pearler, if i can geta copy of the lyrics i will post them , cheers @ all, enjoyed your site muchly :) , Pretzy

James Hamilton
James Hamilton
2021 years ago

Speaking of Dolly PArton she has written some great whiny classics, three examples:

“Down From Dover” about a girl who got put in the family way by a no-good user. Dolly sang it but the definitive version has to be the duet of Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazelwood.

“Lonely Coming Down” – not sure I have the name exactly right , I only heard it once.

“Joelene” – whiny in lyric but a great tune which may disqualify it from being pure whiny.

mo
mo
2021 years ago

Since the thread’s still alive…
Jewel’s title track from “Pieces of You” qualifies for the whiny and horrid awards.
Here are some choice bits:
“She’s an ugly girl, does it make you want to kill her?
She’s an ugly girl, do you want to kick in her face?
She’s an ugly girl, she doesn’t pose a threat.
She’s an ugly girl, does she make you feel safe?”
and later
“You say he’s a Jew, does it me that he’s tight?
You say he’s a Jew, do you want to hurt his kids tonight?
You say he’s a Jew, he’ll never wear that funny hat again.
You say he’s a Jew, as though being born were a sin.”
All I can say is, yeah girlfiriend, that’s DEEP!