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Real Lyrics -> Bad Grammar in Song Lyrics -> Latest Entries

Song lyrics aren't supposed to be a fountain of perfect english, but on the other hand some are just so atrocious, they need to get called out. We're not looking for sentance fragments or the word ain't since there are too many instances to count.

Bad Grammar in Song Lyrics, Latest Entries

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Tina Arena's, "If I Was A River"
The Lyrics:
If I was the sun,
I would shine my light
To light your world.
If I was the rain,
I would wash your tears away.
I keep your world right,
Be your light in the night.
If I was the sky,
I would rain down love into your life.
If I was a river,
You would be my ocean.
Later in the song, still another line begins with "If I was"; That line is "If I was the wind,". In that and all the above lines beginning "If I was", a condition contrary to fact follows "was", since the singer is really none of those things (sun, rain, sky, river, or wind). Such conditions contrary to fact grammatically call for the subjunctive mood. The past subjunctive form of the verb "To be", following "If I", is "were", not "was". So every instance in the lyrics of "If I was" should be "If I were" instead.
Submitted by: Karen Smith
Mamas & Papas', "California Dreamin'"
The Lyrics:
I'd be safe and warm if I was in LA
Should be "I'd be safe and warm if I were in LA"
Submitted by: Yam Erez
Elvis Presley's, "In The Getto"
The Lyrics:
Cause if there's one thing that she don't need
The verb "to do" in the 3rd singular negative person is "doesn't"
Submitted by: Juan josé sánchez cebolla
Paul Simon's, "Kodachrome"
The Lyrics:
And though my lack of education hasn't hurt me none
I can read the writing on the wall.
"Hasn't hurt me none" is a double negative.
Submitted by: Bob
Frank Sinatra's, "My Way"
The Lyrics:
But through it all, when there was doubt,
I ate it up and spit it out...
While this part of the song expresses past tense ("when there WAS doubt, I ATE it up..."), the word "spit" is in present tense. The correct form is: "I ate it up and SPAT it out".
Submitted by: Chowder
System Of A Down's, "Aerials"
The Lyrics:
'Cause we are the ones that wanna play...
We are the ones that wanna choose...
Both the "that"s should be "who"s, as things and animals, not people, are referred to as "that", Serj. It's not likely that this is sung from the point of view of birds or dogs. Then, the "that" would be correct.
Submitted by: MO
Chris Norman's, "No Arms Can Ever Hold You"
The Lyrics:
I'll never give up
Never one of my dreams...
A double negative!
Submitted by: Chowder
The Vaselines', "Jesus Doesn't Want Me For A Sunbeam"
The Lyrics:
Jesus don't want me for a sunbeam.
They got it right in the song title, and "doesn't" does fit the meter, but they still insisted on saying "don't", oddly. The Nirvana cover contains the same mistake.
Submitted by: MO
Metallica's, "Creeping Death"
The Lyrics:
Slaves! Hebrews born to serve
To the Pharaoh...
The correct form is "Hebrews born to serve the Pharaoh" ("to" after "serve" makes an awkward redundancy), but it wouldn't fit in the meter if sung that way.
Submitted by: Chowder
The All-American Rejects', "Gives You Hell"
The Lyrics:
When you find a man that's worth a damn
And treats you well
Unless they're singing about a mannequin, it should be "man WHO'S worth a damn", because "that" is reserved for objects, not people.
Submitted by: MO

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