Idle hands, bad songs. What a natural fit.

Sitting here on Day 2 of America Held Hostage (I know, it’s a rip-off of the ABC series of the same name during the Iran Hostage Saga) I cannot stay perpetually glum and pissed off that I am out of work because the government is shut down. Or maybe it should be pissed off and glum. Who gives a rats ass anyway? So I decided to compile a list of terrible songs. Now I know many of these have found their way onto the Internet. It is surprising to find what some folks thing of as bad songs while millions of others buy these songs and their albums or CDs off the wall.

Some people think the Eagles’ “Hotel California” is bad. I think a lot of the dislike stems from what certain listeners believe are excessively cryptic lyrics. Examples: “Her mind is Tiffany twisted.” While some imagined a spoiled Valley Girl named Tiffany twisting some poor soul’s head, the reference is to a famous jewelry shop. In other words, the wealth that allows the woman who “drives a Mercedes-Benz” to shop in the glamor of such places as Tiffany’s. Also twisting some minds was the line: “Warm smell of colitas rising up in the air.” I think it was later explained by Don Henley or one of the other band members that “colitas” referred to a marijuana bud although folks had many other interpretations. One particularly hilarious meaning appeared in the early Internet days:

“There was this fireworks factory just three blocks from the Hotel California . . . and it blew up! Big tragedy. One of the workers was named Wurn Snell and he was from the town of Colitas in Greece. One of the workers who escaped the explosion talked to another guy . . . I think it was probably Don Henley . . . and Don asked what the guy saw. The worker said, “Wurn Snell of Colitas .  . . rising up through the air.”

Given tastes in music runs in many dimensions, I present My Unfavorite 10 Songs Of the Last Two Centuries:

1. Feelings — Morris Albert. I can’t remember how many bars I visited during my Navy enlistment in the mid-70s, but at least half had this God awful song playing. “Feelings,” I can just imagine singing, “I shot the piano player playing Feelings … ” I once had a trailer park neighbor who I heard playing a solo “Feelings” on a saxophone. Fortunately, he was a nice guy and I didn’t have to kick him in the nethers.

2. Havin’ My Baby — Paul Anka. I like Anka and many of his songs even though many of the songs I like are really by Neil Sedaka and not Paul Anka. It just somehow doesn’t sound right, “Havin’ My Baby,” as if Anka was ready to pop.

3. You Light Up My Life — Debby Boone. It might have been a good song for all I know. It just remembers me of a lonely birthday night in Guam during which I heard this young woman practicing this song over and over and over … “You make me sick, you make me die, you light up my gun …. “

4. We Built This City — Starship. Now I am a long-time fan of Jefferson Airplane and its parts and evolutions, Jefferson Starship, Starship, Grace Slick. Real hippie music. I also like singer Mickey Thomas, particularly his Elvin Bishop Group hit “Fooled Around and Fell In Love.” But there was something disquieting about “We Built This City.” When my friend Warren and I pal-ed around after graduating from college, we would hear the song on the radio or in the bar and I would always join in: “We built this city. We built this city on a garbage dump … “

5. Funky Town — Lipps Inc. This disco-esque electronic tune made me want to destroy any electrical implement handy.

6. Those Were The Days — Mary Hopkin. Not the happiest song to begin with, this was a song sad enough to make puppies cry. My Dad, a very bizarrely comedic man, would tire of the repeated ending saying that it sounded as if it should say: “Turn it off, turn it off, turn it off … “

7. Sukiyaki — Kyu Sakamoto. The first hit Japanese record (and maybe the last) presented a pleasant-enough tune but the words sort of defeated its purpose. If this isn’t bad enough, the title as I later discovered, had nothing to do with the song. Kind of like my headlines do here sometimes. The title, which bears the name of a Japanese hot-pot dish, was a translation that said one columnist: ‘like issuing the title Moon River in Japan as Beef Stew.’ “

8. Ice Baby Ice — Vanilla Ice. Just the concept of Vanilla Ice, the white rapper,  is confounding.

9. I’m Too Sexy — Right Said Fred. I’m too sexy for my own good. That’s what this annoying song implies. I’m too sexy to listen to this crap.

10. Last Kiss — J. Frank Wilson. I suppose I should be happy for any artist from my home area of East Texas. But this Lufkin native perpetuated the dreaded “tragedy tune.” You know “Teen Angel” “Leader of the Pack.” “D.O.A.”  “Where oh where can my baby be, the football captain took her away from me … “

Well, there is more. But the longer this damned lockout goes on, the more idle hands in the Devil’s Workshop.