The Worst Song Ever

Over the past week, WYEP solicited listeners to vote for the Worst Song Ever and listeners chose the 1974 hit "(You're) Having My Baby" by Paul Anka and Odia Coates to top the list. Despite being a #1 hit on the pop charts, the song has always had its detractors.


Following closely behind Anka was the 2005 rock hit “Photograph” by Nickelback, proving that songs that repel listeners are not limited to any one era or genre. The complete list of finalists is below.


All music is subjective, of course, and just about any song of note will attract a mix of admirers and haters. Some surprising songs were nominated by listeners to be included for consideration in the Worst Song Ever voting, including widely-acclaimed songs such as John Lennon’s “Imagine,” “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison, Joni Mitchell’s “Coyote,”  and “Sledgehammer” by Peter Gabriel.


After analyzing all of the songs nominated by listeners, the year with more nominees than any other was 1976. That year produced three finalists: "Disco Duck" by Rick Dees, Starland Vocal Band's "Afternoon Delight," and "Silly Love Song" by Paul McCartney & Wings. It also featured other contenders like "Muskrat Love" by The Captain & Tennille and Elton John & Kiki Dee's "Don't Go Breaking My Heart."


The next biggest years with song nominations were 1983 (Styx, "Mr. Roboto"; Def Leppard, "Rock Of Ages"; Jackson Browne, "Lawyers in Love") and 1999 (Lou Bega, "Mambo No. 5"; Sugar Ray, "Someday"; Pearl Jam, "Last Kiss"), which illustrates that there appears to be a focal point of shame for each era of music.


And now on with the worst of the worst....

How the Finalists Ranked:


#20 - Chicago, "You're the Inspiration" (1984)

#19 - Paul McCartney & Wings, "Silly Love Songs" (1976)

#19 - REO Speedwagon, "Keep On Loving You" (1980)

#17 - Richard Harris, "MacArthur Park" (1968)

#16 - Cher, "Believe" (1998)

#16 - Styx, "Mr. Roboto" (1983)

#15 - 4 Non Blondes, "What's Up?" (1992)

#13 - Chumbawamba, "Tubthumping" (1997)

#12 - Starland Vocal Band, "Afternoon Delight" (1976)

#11 - Jimmy Buffett, "Cheeseburger in Paradise" (1978)

#10 - Phil Collins, "Sussudio" (1985)

#9 - The Beach Boys, "Kokomo" (1988)

#8 - Lou Bega, "Mambo No. 5 (A Little Bit of...)" (1999)

#7 - Debby Boone, "You Light Up My Life" (1977)

#6 - Starship, "We Built This City" (1985)

#5 - Billy Ray Cyrus, "Achy Break Heart" (1992)

#4 - Rick Dees, "Disco Duck" (1976)

#3 - Rebecca Black, "Friday" (2011)

#2 - Nickelback, "Photograph" (2005)

#1 - Paul Anka and Odia Coates, "(You're) Having My Baby" (1974)