Saturday, 16 April 2011

Worst first lines

We had a splendid good time talking about best first lines. But today my wife suggested I should also do a post about the worst first lines. Her nomination is pretty hard to beat – it's the opening sentence of a Katy Perry song called "Firework" (which Wikipedia describes as "a self-empowerment anthem with inspirational lyrics"). Here are the inspiring and self-empowering first lines:
Do you ever feel like a plastic bag
Drifting through the wind,
Wanting to start again?
In just three lines, Katy Perry has achieved something that I never would have dreamed possible. She has managed to vulgarise that-than-which-nothing-more-vulgar-can-be-conceived: the plastic bag.

Brothers and sisters, until I heard those lines I was seriously tempted to believe in universal salvation. But I have turned aside from my errors: nobody who writes like that will inherit the kingdom of heaven.

14 Comments:

milton said...

Worst First Lines, Student-Essay Edition:

-"Merriam-Webster's dictionary defines X as..."

-"Throughout the ages, man has wondered about X..."

-"Imagine yourself in [such-and-such situation]."

Terry Wright said...

It's a bit mean to pick on poor ol' Katy when Boom, Boom, Boom by the Outhere Brothers epitomises chivalry and romance with its opening lyric, 'If I cannot sleep with you, maybe I could have a taste.'

Anonymous said...

2 song nominees:

-Evans Blue, "Cold":

"Hello, I'm your martyr, will you be my gangster"

-GODSMACK, "Love-Hate-Sex-Pain":

"Love-Hate-Sex-Pain
It's complicating me sometimes"

(ok, so the second one is the chorus but...)

Anonymous said...

Pretty sure that Katy Perry thing is supposed to be referencing American Beauty. But yeah.

Keljeck said...

"Physicist Leonardo Vetra smelled burning flesh, and he knew it was his own."

Angels and Demons

Every time I see this in the bookstore I have to read the first line and laugh out loud.

John Hartley said...

They do say that Eusebius's first sentence of his "Ecclesiastical History" is hard to beat. I'm told it is 166 words long, and the one and only main verb is the 153rd of them.

My personal favourite is "There is a book who runs may read".

Yours in Christ - JOHN HARTLEY.

Steven Demmler said...

Terry,

That song was everywhere while I grew up. But I am afraid you did not come near picking the worst line in that song, ha!

Cheers.

Steve Wright said...

If you are talking about song lyrics, it's hard to beat the Shame of Canada (aka Nickelback): "I like your pants around your feet."

But we shouldn't forget Jordin Sparks' profound revival of a classic prayer: "If I should die before I wake it's 'cause you took my breath away."

Terry Wright said...

@ Steven D: yeah, it's pretty bad all the way through, but I had to stick with the opening line.

Liliana G. said...

You are very right..the society we live in now a days and their "idols" have disrespected the plastic bag and made me feel as though I need salvation not just from these horrible lyrics but from the ignorance in society.

Anonymous said...

Plastic bags need rights tooooo!!

(Someone petition the current Labor/Green Government in Australia)

Anonymous said...

So I'm guessing you've never watched American Beauty...
Plus I was enjoying your blog until you totally belittled the power of salvation. Uncool.

Scott Kirkland said...

I was reading Nietzsche this morning and this passage reminded me of this post. "... we regard the popular song as the musical mirror of the world, as the original melody, which now seeks for itself a parallel dream-phenomenon and expresses it in poetry." If our world is mirrored by Katy Perry, unfortunately our world sucks.

-- chase said...

Even if it's a reference to American Beauty, it doesn't save that from being a terrible line. In fact, that might make it worse.

However, the worst first line to a song ever definitely goes to Canada's Soul Decision from their song "Faded": "When I get you all alone, I'm going to take off all your clothes / Ain't nobody going to interrupt my game."

Post a Comment

New book

Archive

Contact

Although I'm not always able to reply to all emails, please feel free to contact me.

Faith and Theology © 2008. Template by Dicas Blogger.

TOPO