21 '90s Songs With Lyrics That Make Absolutely No Sense
When you well and truly love a song, you can sometimes cease to hear it for what it truly is. Misheard song lyrics can take on new forms, and ambiguous song meanings end up reinterpreted to basically represent whatever the heck you want them to. And, a lot of '90s music provided us with the sorts of words which were perfect for this. There's an abundance of '90s songs with easily misheard lyrics, of course, but there's also a ton of '90s songs with lyrics which make no sense, either. The sort of songs with such baffling, odd lyrics that you can only assume you must have misheard them. But, when you actually go to check those lyrics out? Nope, you absolutely heard them correctly, and yes, they're ludicrous.
Sometimes nonsense song lyrics come off as sounding like a pack of randomly selected words and at other times it's the truly baffling overall concept of a song which infuses the lyrics with lunacy. But then you also have the songs which are just plain weird and which no amount of analytical thinking can get to the bottom of. Here's 21 '90s songs which do just that, and believe me when I say that there's plenty more where these came from...
1. No Doubt, "Just A Girl"
Oh I'm just a girl/ Guess I'm some kind of freak/ 'Cause they all sit and stare/ With their eyes
People staring with their eyes, Gwen? I'm just glad that they weren't staring at her with their lips or ears or something.
2. Weezer, "Buddy Holly"
Oh no! What do we do?/ Don't look now but I lost my shoe/ I can't run and I can't kick/ What's a matter babe, are you feeling sick?
I mean, I guess in the panicked context of a fight scenario (as the song is describing) it kind of makes sense. But, as a song lyric, it's so bizarrely banal that it drifts off into complete and utter nonsense territory.
3. Hanson, "MMMBop"
Plant a seed, plant a flower, plant a rose/ You can plant any one of those/ Keep planting to find out which one grows/ It's a secret no one knows
Is that a secret? I mean, I'm not up on my horticulture but I'm pretty sure that a fresh seed probably stands more chance of growing than a trampled, withered old rose thrown in a pot of dirt. I just don't get it, boys. And yes, the phrase "MMMBop" in itself is hardly bursting with coherence, so there's also that.
4. Red Hot Chili Peppers, "Give It Away"
I'm a low brow but I rock a little know how/ No time for the piggies or the hoosegow/ Get smart get down with the pow wow/ Never been a better time than right now
I barely even know where to start with this one. But, considering that this was the era of the Chili Peppers ehere they had a habit of wearing nothing but socks on their genitals, I'm pretty certain its insanity also speaks for itself.
5. Aqua, "Barbie Girl"
You're my doll, rock'n'roll, feel the glamor in pink/ Kiss me here, touch me there, hanky panky
I mean, the very concept of "Barbie Girl" is baffling enough in itself, but it's when you reach lyrics like this that you can actually physically picture the band just half-heartedly improvising lines while counting money from a barrel of dollar bills.
6. Beck, "Loser"
With the plastic eyeballs/ Spray-paint the vegetables/ Dog food stalls with the beefcake pantyhose
So ludicrous it's basically genius. Beck, I salute you.
7. Spice Girls, "Spice Up Your Life"
Flamenco, Lambada / But hip hop is harder / We moonwalk the foxtrot / Then polka the salsa
I mean, there's actually a few problematic lyrics in this song which I won't go into right now, but this one? What the heck, girls? It's nonsense is actually deliberate, which feels kind of worse.
8. Christina Aguilera, "Come On Over (All I Want Is You)"
I know you know, you know, so baby don't/ Pretend you wont keep me guessing if ya/ You will you wont don't want to play a game with you baby
Otherwise known as the lyric where I lose track over who exactly knows something and what that something is to know and do I even know? No, I don't. Because it's nonsense.
9. Green Day, "Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)"
Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road/ Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go
I honestly used to think the lyrics to this song were super deep when I was a teenager, but in retrospect, I'm doubtful of time's capacity for being able to grab people by the wrist to give them helpful directions. Even as a metaphor, it kind of makes sense — I mean, is Billie Joe Armstrong referencing a wrist watch here, or what? And, if so, then why would a watch hold the answers?
10. Britney Spears, "Baby One More Time"
Give me a sign/ Hit me, baby, one more time
I really don't care what "hit me" is supposed to mean, because it still just sounds like an aggressive invitation to her own horoscope reading.
11. LFO, "Summer Girls"
The great Larry Byrd, jersey 33/ When you take a sip/ You buzz like a hornet/ Billy Shakespeare wrote/ A whole bunch of sonnets
The whole song is basically just a list of things with extremely vague, or absolutely no correlation to each other. That's the language of love right there. Also: Billy Shakespeare. Let's not.
12. Limp Bizkit, "Nookie"
I did it all for the nookie (C'mon)/ So you can take that cookie/ And stick it up your...(yeah!)/ Stick it up your...(yeah!)
I mean, I expect nothing less than juvenile vulgarity from a breakup song by Limp Bizkit, but I've never been able to fathom what the deal is with that cookie. Haven't a clue.
13. *NSYNC, "Tearin' Up My Heart"
Baby don't mis-understand (don't misunderstand)/ What I'm trying to tell ya/ In the corner of my mind (corner of my mind)/ Baby, it feels like we're running out of time
Sorry fellas, but I think I've completely misunderstood this one. Like, why is this muse of this song relegated to the paltry corner of *NSYNC's collective mind? And is that the reason why they're running out of time? Maybe it's a musical version of Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind and their "baby" is slowly being deleted from their memory. I don't know, that's my theory and I'm sticking with it.
14. Ace Of Base, "All She Wants"
It is a night for passion/ But the morning means goodbye/ Beware of what is flashing in her eyes/ She's going to get you
Is she wearing a pair of novelty sunglasses with some LED lights in them, or something?
15. Goo Goo Dolls, "Iris"
And you can't fight the tears that ain't coming
Just like you can't eat a burger that hasn't been ordered yet and you can't sing a song which hasn't been written yet. I get it, guys. It's totally goo goo, but I get it.
16. The Cardigans, "Hanging Around"
The filters that I use/ give me an excuse/ I take away what's real/ I feel it and it blows my fuse
Full disclosure: I love this song. But it doesn't stop me from feeling consistently bewlidered by the lyrics every time I hear it. Like, what is going here? Did The Cardigans foresee the creation of Instagram?
17. Smashing Pumpkins, "Bullet With Butterfly Wings"
The world is a vampire, sent to drain/ Secret destroyers, hold you up to the flames/ And what do I get, for my pain?/ Betrayed desires, and a piece of the game
Uh huh, I totally hear you Billy Corgan. I just don't think I fully understand any of it.
18. Hole, "Doll Parts"
I want to be the girl with the most cake/ I love him so much it just turns to hate
Though I can appreciate any lyric which understands my great desire to be eating the biggest slice of red velvet at a birthday party, I don't understand what that has to do with loving a guy? Unless he's the person making the cake, which is awesome, but he refuses to let me have a slice, which is bad. I don't know.
19. Backstreet Boys, "As Long As You Love Me"
Doesn't really matter if you're on the run/ It seems like we're meant to be
Whether this lyric is implying that the muse of this song is sort of a love fugitive or simply a genuine criminal fugitive who is on the run from the law, it's still a pretty crazy lyric. Just let them run, boys.
20. Len, "Steal My Sunshine"
My mind was thugged/ all laced and bugged/ all twisted wrong and beat/ A comfortable three feet deep/ Now the fuzzy stare from not being there on a confusing morning week/ Impaired my tribal lunar speak
"Tribal lunar speak," I think, says all you need to know about this one, which I will leave here, without comment.
21. Deee-Lite, "Groove Is In The Heart"
Your groove, I do deeply dig/ No walls, only the bridge/ My supper dish/ My succotash wish
It's nonsense, sure, but is it brilliant? Yes it is. I do deeply dig this track, even if it makes little to no sense at all.
I don't know about you, but I've got a headache from trying to even attempt to fathom a single one of these song lyrics. You were a wild, confusing beast, '90s music. But, while I may never fully understand you, I will always love you.