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The Most Annoyingly Catchy Songs Of All Time

We could be wrong here, but we assume that no musical artist, duo, band, or group ever sets out to create one of history’s most annoying songs. Whether blame is placed upon the background track, nonsensical vocals, or an obnoxious chorus, the bothersome songs of the modern era truly are maddening. From Nickelback’s “Photograph” to Culture Club’s “Karma Chameleon,” such a large number of hits from the last 50 years fall into this category. We don’t mean to be rude, and we hate to say it, but some of pop culture’s favorite songs are favored for all the wrong reasons. Do you agree with our list?

The Proclaimers, “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” (1988)

In 1983, twin brothers Craig and Charlie Reid founded their Scottish rock duo – The Proclaimers. The two first found fame with their 1987 song, “Letter from America”, but their most annoying song debuted in 1988 entitled “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles).” Now how did that go again?

“But I would walk five hundred miles

And I would walk five hundred more

Just to be the man who walked a thousand miles

To fall down at your door”

Starland Vocal Band, “Afternoon Delight” (1976)

Plain and simple, “Afternoon Delight” was Starland Vocal Band’s best-selling single. The band was initially composed of husband and wife duo, Bill Danoff and Taffy Nivert. They were later joined by Jon Carroll and Margot Chapman. When their namesake song was released in 1976, it instantly became a classic, yet obnoxious, hit. When the band was unable to achieve what they had previously achieved, they broke up in 1981. 

“Skyrockets in flight

Afternoon delight

Afternoon delight

Afternoon delight”

Barry Manilow, “Copacabana” (1978)

Since 1964, Barry Manilow has enjoyed a wildly successful career as a singer-songwriter, musician, arranger, actor, and producer. Aside from the catchy yet overplayed “Copacabana,” Manilow is also famous for “Could It Be Magic,” “I Write the Songs,” and “Can’t Smile Without You.”

“At the Copa, Copacabana (Copa, Copacabana)

The hottest spot north of Havana (Here)

At the Copa, Copacabana (Copacabana)

Music and passion were always the fashion

At the Copa, they fell in love

(Copa, Copacabana)”

Axel F, “Crazy Frog” (2005)

Believe it or not, one of history’s most annoying songs of all time doesn’t even feature lyrics. Well, intelligible lyrics, at least. In 2003, playwright and CGI animation artist Erik Wernquist used a sound sample provided by Daniel Malmedahl, who was imitating a two-stroke engine, and created the visual representation of what we all know today as Crazy Frog. The song, somehow, went on to reach the number one spot on several music charts in Australia, New Zealand, Turkey, and a great portion of Europe.

Cher, “Believe” (1988)

Elegantly known as the “Goddess of Pop,” Cher has been an active singer, television personality, and actress since 1963. In over six decades worth of entertainment experience, Cher has become the embodiment of female power and autonomy in a male-dominated industry. Recognized for her contralto voice, Cher has sold over 200 million records. Unfortunately, we can’t escape the sing-along chorus from “Believe.”

“Do you believe in life after love?

I can feel something inside me say

I really don’t think you’re strong enough, no

Do you believe in life after love?

I can feel something inside me say

I really don’t think you’re strong enough, no”

Baha Men, “Who Let The Dogs Out” (2000)

In 1977, a group of Bahamian men came together to form a musical group known as High Voltage. They originally played in the funk and disco music space. 14 years later, after being signed to Atlantic Records by Steve Greenberg, the group changed their name to the now well-known Baha Men namesake. In 2000, they released a remake of “Who Let the Dogs Out,” the single that would ultimately define the group’s true one-hit success.

“Who let the dogs out?

Who, who, who, who, who?

Who let the dogs out?

Who, who, who, who, who?

Who let the dogs out?”

Sherman Brothers, “It’s A Small World” (1963)

The Sherman Brothers, composed of Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman, are the masterminds behind the song in Disney’s “It’s a Small World” musical attraction. Amazingly, Time. com even mentioned that “It’s A Small World” is the most publicly performed song of all time.” The brothers wrote the piece in response to the Cuban Missile Crisis, placing emphasis on international brotherhood and peace in its lyrics.

“It’s a small world after all

It’s a small world after all

It’s a small world after all

It’s a small, small world”

Europe, “Final Countdown” (1986)

Formed in 1979, the band Europe was actually purely Swedish. They first gained name recognition when they won the 1982 Swedish “Rock-SM” television competition. They went on to rock the world in 1986 with the release of their third album, “The Final Countdown.” Consequently, this is when we were all introduced to the song of the same name. Thankfully, we also have songs like “Rock The Night” and “Open Your Heart” from the band.

“It’s the final countdown

The final countdown

The final countdown (Final countdown), oh”

Rednex, “Cotton Eye Joe” (1994)

Leave it to another Swedish musical group to create another everlasting, and annoying, cult classic. Rednex, formed in 1994, was the idea of three Swedish producers that sought to mix dance/pop music with American country/folk. Their euro-dance track, “Cotton Eye Joe,” became an international hit that is still overplayed today. 

“If it hadn’t been for Cotton-Eyed Joe

I’d been married long time ago

Where did you come from? Where did you go?

Where did you come from, Cotton-Eyed Joe?”

Tom Jones, “What’s New Pussycat” (1965)

With a voice described as “full-throated, robust baritone,” Welsh singer Tom Jones began his singing career in the 1960s with a range of top-ten singles. With over 100 million records sold, the New York Times rightfully named Jones a musical “shapeshifter”, able to “slide from soulful rasp to pop croon, with a voice as husky as it was pretty”. With hits like “She’s a Lady,” and “Sex Bomb,” we still regret he’s the voice behind “What’s New Pussycat?”

“What’s new pussycat? Woah, Woah

What’s new pussycat? Woah, Woah”

Starship, “We Built This City” (1985)

Starship, a rock band out of San Francisco in 1984, was formed out of a previous rock band named Jefferson Airplane. Even then, Jefferson Starship was formed out of a previous psychedelic rock band named Jefferson Airplane. The eventual name “Starship” was chosen as the band was taking their music in a new direction, lost former bandmates, and a lawsuit regarding the name finalized the change. Irrespective of the name, the band was best known for their singles “Sara” and the repetitive “We Built This City.” 

“We built this city

We built this city on rock and roll

Built this city

We built this city on rock and roll”

Eiffel 65, “Blue” (1988)

Contrary to their group name, Eiffel 65 is an Italian music group. Formed in 1997, the three-member band released two huge hits in their 1999 album, “Europop.” It was here that “Blue (Da Ba Dee)” and “Move Your Body” would quickly top Billboard charts. Nonetheless, their true breakout song “Blue” still has us contemplating over the lyrics.

“I’m blue da ba dee da ba daa

Da ba dee da ba daa, da ba dee da ba daa, da ba dee da ba daa

Da ba dee da ba daa, da ba dee da ba daa, da ba dee da ba daa”

James Blunt, “You’re Beautiful” (2005)

English singer and songwriter James Blunt has had an interesting come-up. He began his adult life as a former reconnaissance officer in the British Army, serving as part of NATO in the midst of the Kosovo War. In 2002, he left the Army, rising to fame in 2004 with the release of his album, “Back to Bedlam.” It was at this point that his single “You’re Beautiful” became an inspiration for romantic singers everywhere. 

“You’re beautiful

You’re beautiful

You’re beautiful, it’s true

I saw your face in a crowded place

And I don’t know what to do

‘Cause I’ll never be with you”

Rick Dees, “Disco Duck” (1978)

Rick Dees is formally known as Rigdon Osmond Dees III. The radio personality was widely recognized for his “The Rick Dees Weekly Top 40 Countdown” show. However, Dees was also an actor, comedian, and voice artist. In 1976, he released the satirical “Disco Duck.” He was inspired upon hearing a song from the 1960s entitled “The Duck” performed by Jackie Lee (Earl Lee Nelson). 

“Duck: Everybody’s doin’ the

Chorus: Disco, disco duck

Chorus: Disco, disco duck

Chorus: Try your luck

Duck: Wave to me

Chorus: Don’t be a cluck”

Nickelback, “Photograph” (2005)

Based out of Hanna, Alberta (Canada), Nickelback has become one of the country’s best-selling rock bands of all time. Formed in 1995, the band has gone on to sell over 50 million albums worldwide. In fact, Billboard ranked “How You Remind Me” as the best-selling rock song of the 2000s. Nevertheless, listeners have also been compelled to consistently ridicule the band’s 2005 release, “Photograph.” 

“Every memory of looking out the back door

I had the photo album spread out on my bedroom floor

It’s hard to say it, time to say it

Goodbye, goodbye”

Hanson, “MMMBop” (1997)

Hanson is composed of brothers Isaac, Taylor, and Zac Hanson. Originating from Tulsa, Oklahoma, the brother-based band is best remembered for their uplifting yet nonsensical chorus in “MMMBop,” their hit single from the 1997 album “Middle of Nowhere.”

“Mmmbop, ba duba dop

Ba du bop, ba duba dop

Ba du bop, ba duba dop

Ba du, oh yeah

Mmmbop, ba duba dop

Ba du bop, ba du dop

Ba du bop, ba du dop

Ba du, yeah”

Justin Bieber, “Baby” (2010)

Discovered on Youtube by American record executive Scooter Braun, Justin Bieber has become a monumental international musical success. Although he cemented himself as a teen idol during the late 2000s and through the 2010s, Bieber has transformed into a respected post-teen, adult performer. Nevertheless, we still can’t forgive Bieber for 2010’s “Baby,” one of the highest certified singles of all time (in the US).

“Baby, baby, baby oh

Like baby, baby, baby no

Like baby, baby, baby oh

Thought you’d always be mine, mine

Baby, baby, baby oh

Like baby, baby, baby no

Like baby, baby, baby oh

Thought you’d always be mine, mine”

The Four Seasons, “Sherry” (1962)

Established in 1960, The Four Seasons originally called themselves “the Four Lovers.” Then, the American rock band occasionally called themselves “Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons” since 1970. Either way, The Four Seasons are instrumental in American rock history. Only along with The Beach Boys, the Four Seasons were the only other American band to achieve some level of success when the “British Invasion” took place during the 1960s. The band first achieved commercial and chart success when they released their 1962 single, “Sherry.”

“Sherry baby (Sherry baby)

Sherry, can you come out tonight (Come come, come out tonight)

Sherry baby (Sherry baby)

Sherry, can you come out tonight”

The Police, “Message In A Bottle” (1979)

The Police, an English rock band out of London, was long composed of members Sting, Andy Summers, and Stewart Copeland. Their music, inspired by reggae, jazz, and punk, became popular across the globe in the late 1970s and early 1980s. In their second 1979 album, “Reggatta de Blanc,” The Police unleashed “Message in a Bottle” out into the sea. The song is actually a favorite of several band members but in the modern-day, the irresistible hook is a bit (or a lot) annoying. 

“I’ll send an S.O.S to the world

I’ll send an S.O.S to the world

I hope that someone gets my

I hope that someone gets my

I hope that someone gets my

Message in a bottle, yeah”

Aqua, “Barbie Girl” (1997)

Would you believe us if we suggested that Aqua, the Europop music group behind 1997’s hit “Barbie Girl,” is the most profitable Danish band ever? Well, it’s true! Through three albums and 33 million singles/albums sold, Aqua has earned itself a place in Denmark’s history books. Interestingly, Aqua was sued by Mattel, the makers of the Barbie Doll, for damaging the brand with the song’s suggestive lyrics. Funny enough, the judge presiding over the case simply stated: “The parties are advised to chill.”

“I’m a Barbie girl, in the Barbie world

Life in plastic, it’s fantastic

You can brush my hair, undress me everywhere

Imagination, life is your creation

Come on, Barbie, let’s go party”

Ricky Martin, “Livin’ La Vida Loca” (1999)

Ricky Martin, the “King of Latin Pop,” is a Puerto Rican singer/songwriter, producer, author, and humanitarian. In 1999, Martin performed “The Cup of Life” during the annual Grammy Awards Ceremony. This performance then brought the Latin pop genre to American viewers. A short time later, Martin released “Livin’ la Vida Loca.” This was the song that would ignite a worldwide interest in Latin pop.

“Upside, inside out

She’s livin’ la vida loca

She’ll push and pull you down

Livin’ la vida loca

Her lips are devil red”

Vanilla Ice, “Ice Ice Baby” (1989)

Robert Matthew Van Winkle, respected musically as Vanilla Ice, is an actor, rapper, and most recently, a television personality. After signing with SBK Records, Ice released a reformatted version of his 1989 debut album entitled “Hooked” as “To The Extreme” in 1990. Certainly thanks to the inclusion of his single “Ice Ice Baby,” the album became the fastest-selling hip hop album (in the US) of all time. The single brought considerable attention to the hip-hop genre.

“Ice, ice baby

Vanilla Ice, ice baby

Vanilla Ice, ice baby

Vanilla Ice, ice baby

Vanilla”

The Black Eyed Peas, “My Humps” (2005)

We’ll keep this one short. “My Humps,” released in 2005, had a peculiar yet suggestive chorus:

“’Cause of my humps my hump my hump my hump

My hump my hump my hump my lovely lady lumps

Check it out”

Thankfully, comedian Will Ferrell addressed these lines with his dialogue in the film, Blades of Glory

Jimmy : [disgusted]  I’m not skating to anything with references to lady humps. I don’t even know what that means.

Chazz : No one knows what it means, but it’s provocative…

Jimmy : No, it’s not, it’s gross…

Chazz : …It gets the people going!

Make sense?

Celine Dion, “My Heart Will Go On” (1997)

The lovely and elegant Celine Dion is the best-selling Canadian artist in music history. Although many of her performances are sung in English and French, Dion is also capable of singing in Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, Latin, German, Spanish, and Italian. Wow. Disregarding Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” and its famed relationship to James Cameron’s Titanic, the singer is the voice behind “The Power of Love,” “Because You Loved Me,” and “I’m Your Angel.”

“Near, far, wherever you are

I believe that the heart does go on

Once more, you open the door

And you’re here in my heart

And my heart will go on and on”

Sisqo, “The Thong Song” (2000)

Sisqo, legally known as Mark Althavan Andrews, is a singer/rapper, songwriter, producer, actor, and dancer. Sisqo is best remembered for his 2000 hit single, the “Thong Song.” Ironically, Sisqo is also a member of Dru Hill, an R&B group formed in the 1990s that sings gospel, soul, and hip hop. However, what follows, is no doubt, lyrics from the “Thong Song.”

“Baby (girl, I know you wanna show da na da na)

That thong th-thong, thong, thong

I like it when the beat goes (da na da na)

Baby, make your booty go (da na da na)

(Girl, I know you wanna show da na da na)

That thong th-thong thong, thong (uh, listen)”

Culture Club, “Karma Chameleon” (1983)

Made up of lead vocalist Boy George, guitar and keyboardist Roy Hay, bass guitarist Mikey Craig, and formerly drum and percussionist Jon Moss, Culture Club is certainly an English new wave band. The “Karma Chameleon” group also released “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me,” “I Just Wanna Be Loved,” and “Time (Clock of the Heart)” to considerable commercial success.

“Karma, karma, karma, karma, karma chameleon

You come and go, you come and go

Loving would be easy if your colors were like my dreams

Red, gold, and green, red, gold, and green”

Rebecca Black, “Friday” (2011)

In 2011, the young Rebecca Black released an unfortunate music video on Youtube entitled, “Friday.” The snappy yet irritating performance received hate as soon as it was posted. It was frequently called the “worst song ever” at the time. Does this all ring a bell, years later?

“It’s Friday, Friday

Gotta get down on Friday

Everybody’s lookin’ forward to the weekend, weekend

Friday, Friday

Gettin’ down on Friday

Everybody’s lookin’ forward to the weekend”

Billy Ray Cyrus, “Achy Breaky Heart” (1992)

Billy Ray Cyrus has 16 albums and 53 singles to his name. Without a doubt, he initially brought the Cyrus family name to fame with the 1992 release of his single, “Achy Breaky Heart.” These days, however, its daughter Miley that is keeping the country twang alive.

“But don’t tell my heart, my achy breaky heart

I just don’t think he’d understand

And if you tell my heart, my achy breaky heart

He might blow up and kill this man

Ooh”

Los Del Rio, “Macarena” (1995)

Los del Rio, translated to “Those from the River” in English, is the Spanish Latin pop duo composed of Antonio Romero Monge and Rafael Ruiz Pedigones. The duo has been around since 1962 but became a household name worldwide with the 1995 release of their dance single, “Macarena.”

“Give your body joy Macarena

That your body is to give you joy and good thing

Give your body joy, Macarena

Hey Macarena

Give your body joy Macarena

That your body is to give joy and good thing

Give your body joy, Macarena

Hey Macarena”

Spice Girls, “Wannabe” (1996)

A mere two years after the formation of the British girl group, Spice Girls, Scary, Sporty, Baby, Giner, and Posh Spice came together and released what would become a longterm pop classic: “Wannabe.”

“Yo, I’ll tell you what I want, what I really, really want

So tell me what you want, what you really, really want

I’ll tell you what I want, what I really, really want

So tell me what you want, what you really, really want

I wanna, (ha) I wanna, (ha) I wanna, (ha) I wanna, (ha)

I wanna really, really, really wanna zigazig ah”

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