What makes or breaks a make-out song? What changes a melody from “Oh baby” to “You have got to be kidding me?” I pondered this quite a bit while doing intense research. Intense research mostly involved sitting on my couch eating Swedish Fish and trolling through my iPod. My methods are unconventional but that’s how the big scientific breakthroughs happen.
For grins, I did ask a few people what they thought, and they had their opinions. For instance, some people said Madonna was right out. Personally, I can see doing a lip lock to “Justify My Love” but probably not her version of “American Pie.” Others claimed that any song from a Broadway musical was a passion-killer. Au contraire, my theatrically uninclined friends. True, some musical numbers just make me want to dust off my tap shoes and jazz hands, but others shimmer with make-out potential. I’m talking to you, “All that Jazz” by Bob Fosse. (Really, the mention of Bob Fosse’s name is a pick-up line in and of itself.) Some songs are fantastic tunes, but don’t conjure a mood conducive to lip locking. I would argue that Ben Folds’ “Song for the Dumped” is a hilariously angry anthem that I love, but with lyrics like, “Give me my money back, you bitch,” it’s probably not a great tongue-hockey enabler. (My thesaurus says there are no synonyms for “kiss.” My thesaurus is so wrong.)
And so, I submit for your consideration, songs that make it difficult, if not impossible, to smooch, kiss, mack down, make out, dock the tongue ferry in the safe harbor of someone else’s mouth, suck face, lip lock, deliver mouth-to-mouth in a non-emergency situation, peck, perform lip push-ups against the exercise mat of someone else’s face, enjoy mouth mambo, get smoocheriffic with it, E.T. phone home, pucker up, get on the buss bus, make kiss contact, give lip service, go full snog ahead, get your smack on. (Take THAT, Webster’s.)
TUBULAR BELLS/Mike Oldfield
This is more popularly known as the theme song for “The Exorcist.” Need I say more? If I hear even three notes of this, my skin starts to crawl and I start wishing I’d never played with that Ouija board when I was thirteen.
PEOPLE WHO DIED/Jim Carroll
Carroll, a New York city street kid who also wrote The Basketball Diaries, chronicles the various ways his many friends…died. There’s Jimmy who took Drano on the night he was wed; Eddie, who got cut in the jugular vein; the guy who got offed by some bikers. Tres romantic. It’s also got a frenetic beat that feels fueled by amphetamines. So maybe if you’re a jumpy, morbid kisser.
YOU’RE BREAKING MY HEART/Harry Nilsson
I actually adore this song and Harry Nilsson. But when the opening lyric is, “You’re breaking my heart/You’re tearing it apart/So fuck you,” perhaps it’s not the best choice for sucking face; it’s just a reminder of the horrors to come.
WHO LET THE DOGS OUT/Baha Men
Who? Who? Who? (I don’t know, but I’m pretty sure it’s no one I want to kiss.)
Here is the link to the video. That’s all.
OHIO/Crosby, Stills, Nash
“Four dead in Ohio.”
Try getting in the mood after that.
SEASONS IN THE SUN/Terry Jacks
It’s a song. About depression. And suicide. Pucker up, everybody!
“A place where nobody dared to go”…is making out to this song. All I can think is Let’s dress in bedsheets, sprinkle ourselves with glitter and SKATE!
CATCH MY DISEASE/Ben Lee
Um, Ben? Can we work on your pick-up lines? I’m just saying.
(Otherwise, really like the song.)
BITCHES AIN’T S**T/Dr. Dre & Snoop
Nothing says, “Baby, I’m-a-want you” like a song full of misogyny. Plus, all I can hear in my head is the hilarious emo cover of this that Ben Folds does. *Giggle*
ANYTHING BY THE CARPENTERS
You might as well go ahead and admit you run a stuffed animal hospital and are a frequent letter writer to Cat Fancy magazine.
JUMP IN MY CAR/David Hasselhoff
I’ve seen the video and…wait—don’t move away from me!
If you can mack down to this, you are my hero.
FIRE AND RAIN/James Taylor
I’m sorry I can’t make out with you because I DIED IN A FIERY PLANE CRASH AND LEFT YOU BROKEN-HEARTED.
SHE’S LIKE THE WIND/Patrick Swayze
Look, I love “Dirty Dancing” and nobody puts baby in a corner. But this song is a stinker, and not just because I once changed the lyrics to “She cuts bad wind.” (Because I am mature like that.) If some guy had this on his iPod it would be an automatic deal breaker.
MUSKRAT LOVE/The Captain & Tenille
Nibblin’ on bacon/Chewin’ on cheese…
Yeah. That’s got me worked up…for coughing up a furball.
DOWN UNDER/Red Army Choir
A novelty ‘80’s song that sounds like it’s being sung by somebody’s drunken uncles at a Brighton Beach wedding/karaoke night while Gogol Bordello waits in the wings. If I’m having a bad day, I put this on. But I don’t kiss to it.
TEARS IN HEAVEN/Eric Clapton
I will make out with you just as soon as I stop sobbing. Oh, wait. I can’t stop sobbing.
PERSONAL JESUS/Richard Cheese
A remake of the Depeche Mode song done by a man whose last name is Cheese—and for good reason. It’ll have you saying, Jesus, this is a miraculously bad make out song.
YOU ARE THE SUNSHINE OF MY LIFE/Jim Nabors
If you can suck face to this, you are more of a bad ass than I will ever, ever dream of being.
THE CONGA SONG/Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine
It doesn’t make me want to kiss, but strangely, it does make me want to perm my hair and wear colors not found in nature.
I will also include:
Anything by the Jonas Brothers (too young), Weird Al Yankovic (too funny), Celine Dion (too bombastic), ABBA (too…Swedish), Miley Cyrus (too…do I really need to explain this?), Disney movies (ditto), Kraftwerk (too creepy electronic), Christmas music (eww), Alvin & the Chipmunks (singing rodents=mood killer).
And now I ask you—what are your absolute no-go, worst make out songs of all time?