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Feature: The 40 Worst Songs Ever To Top The Irish Chart

Posted November 28, 2012 by Lisa McInerney in Music

This list started life as one of Ramp.ie’s delightfully thorough Top Tens, but it turns out there are simply far too many terrible songs that Ireland, a country with profoundly bad taste in all things, saw fit to place on the commercial pedestal that is our Number 1 chart spot. Good grief. We are terrible people.

Without further ado (we’re now too depressed for ado), here are the forty worst songs ever to top the Irish charts. We are NEVER going to be done with the amount of Hail Marys this sin demands of us.

40. ‘Dragostea Din Tei’ – O-Zone

Not so bad it’s good. So bad it transcends all qualitative adjectives. It is a hard, cold being indeed that can watch the video for the song the world (and Gary Brolsma) knows as ‘Numa Numa’ and not end up squeezing wet hot tears from his gasping, crinkled face. Though there are no winners on this list, Dragostea Din Tei’s place at Number 40 is no accident. Atrocious though it may be, it’s far too loveable to hate.

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39. ‘Dancing In The Street’ – Mick Jagger and David Bowie

One great song. Two undeniable legends. The clusterfuck to end all clusterfucks. This is like adding two and two and getting minus eight and brain cancer; simple equations are not supposed to go this badly wrong. We aren’t entirely sure why they look so pleased with themselves, but we imagine ‘South AMERICAAAAAAA!’ has something to do with it.

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38. ‘Hello’ – Lionel Richie

Picking on ‘Hello’ has come to feel something like picking on the weird kid in your Leaving Cert year. You’ve given him quite enough shit, and you feel ashamed of yourself, and you’re beginning to think he’s not all bad, now that he’s got some sort of kitsch kudos… but old habits die hard, you know, and besides, he wouldn’t have gotten so much abuse if he wasn’t so stupid and creepy and melodramatic in the first place.

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37. ‘My Boy Lollipop’ – Millie

Since banned in the United States because of its promotion of helium abuse, ‘My Boy Lollipop’ is cuter than any of you fuckers and will kill you with kindness should you attempt to prove otherwise. A song about lust for people with broken genitals. Have at you, sweetums.

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36. ‘Spanish Lady’ – Dustin and Ronnie Drew

Look, we love Dustin. We really do. We love how he brings the Dub to his covers of Irish standards and we love that he still makes us laugh. We love Ronnie Drew and all. But in fairness, Ireland, just because something is ticklish doesn’t mean it has artistic merit and you should stick it at Number 1 for the whole world to see. This is exactly how we befuddled all those Serbians in 2008.

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35. ‘Informer’ – Snow

What can you say about Snow’s ‘Informer’ that Jim Carrey hasn’t already said from fourteen different angles? This song sounds like the verbal manifestation of a middle manager’s demonic possession and makes as much sense as a stick insect in jackboots.

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34. ‘Do The Bartman’ – The Simpsons

Like all people currently alive, we love The Simpsons. Like all people who escaped from the ‘90s with their sense of shame still intact, we have fallen out of love with ‘Do The Bartman’. Co-written and co-produced by Michael Jackson, it’s still better than fucking ‘Earth Song’, but so’s cholera, so that’s not saying much.

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33. ‘Chanson D’Amour’ – The Manhattan Transfer

This isn’t a fucking song. It’s a collection of old-woman orgasms set to the keyboard rhythm presets of Foster and Allen.

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32. ‘I Want Your Sex’ – George Michael

Was there ever a darker day for pop music than the one George Michael decided ‘sex’ was a possession to be coveted? ‘I want your sex’, says he, in a clumsy attempt at sensual chat which festers somewhere between ‘spoilt predator’ and ‘awkward virgin for whom English is a third language’. Would you like a sex with that? Have two sexes; we’re feeling generous.

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31. ‘Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love For You’ – Glenn Medeiros

Here’s everything you need to know about this steaming pile of fly-intoxicating schmaltz. A 16-year-old Hawaiian called Glenn Medeiros won a local radio contest when he sang a cover of George Benson’s ‘Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love for You’ which was expanded into an album, which was heard by a visiting radio exec, which subsequently became an international hit. Come back, Westlife, all is forgiven (Westlife recorded a cover, natch).

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About the Author

Lisa McInerney

Lisa’s soul is so damn sensitive, she has to invent and occupy parallel universes just to spread herself evenly. This is also known as being a frustrated novelist.

  • http://twitter.com/DiscoverFinland Discovering Finland

    Meh. You’re too young to actually remember when Gloria managed to kill the Irish charts with her One Day nonsense, otherwise no other song could possibly be given the number one slot, no matter how awful. Also, I seem to recall Shaddupya Face by Joe Dolce was a chart topper too. And there’s no mention of Shine up your lobby by whoever, nor of the abysmal T.R. Dallas.

    • http://www.ramp.ie/ Lisa McInerney

      You’re right, there isn’t!

      Bloody ‘One Day At A Time’. I heard plenty of it in my upbringing in a fundamentalist Clare FM household. I’d still rather listen to that than any of the cynical codswallop that made up 7-1 on this list.

    • SeanIRL

      Fianna Fail councillor TR Dallas? People thought his Fianna Fail-soaked country and irish stuff was bad until the stuff that came along afterwards. Mike Denver, 3 Amigos, Derek Ryan, etc. Give me TR any old time.

  • http://twitter.com/SerialBlogamist Catherine C

    So many truly awful songs on this list, but Dr Jones and Bartman (and some others I’m too lazy to scroll back for) where great guilty pleasures!!
    PS: I really really hate Hello and Maniac 2000.

    • http://www.ramp.ie/ Lisa McInerney

      Catherine, I’m not going to lie to you. Some of these songs are loveable and wonderful and truly epitomise the concept of guilty pleasure. But that doesn’t make them any less atrocious. We just have to accept it; they’re awful and we’re terrible people for allowing that kind of carry-on. NOW HOLD ME.

  • Will

    So many brilliant songs here. I cannot begin to describe my disgust at some of the inclusions here. Yes, the Top 10 are vomit quality but there are true gems hidden throughout the list.

    Nothing wrong however with some Bowie and Jagger, and no love for Britney. Let me tell you Lisa some of the entries in the list means its possible that something could change my love for you!
    Also I was in the Late Late Show audience last year when Gloria made a come back and sang ‘One Day at a Time’. I thought they had left someone out of a retirement home on day release. It was awful.

    • http://www.ramp.ie/ Lisa McInerney

      Ah now, don’t be shy, Will. Tell us which of these wondrous aural diamonds are rippin’ their way up the Top 10 of your heart.

      I bet it’s Linda Martin. I’ve always had you down as a Linda Martin kinda man.

      • Kevin Lehane

        Singing along to ‘Dancing in the Street’ – you know it’s about prostituting yourself, right? Great song. Great message.

        • Kevin Lehane

          Also I just realised there that the lyrics to Samantha Mumba’s song begin with ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Your love for me came like a waterfall, flowing inside me like never before.’ That’s just feckin’ disgusting, that is. BAN THIS FILTH!

  • http://twitter.com/nuckpang Stephen R.

    Hmm? Sorry, what’s that, Lisa? I can’t hear you over the sound of how beautifully naff Dustin’s Rat Trap is, so I shall continue enjoying this fine example of Irish culture. “NrrrrrrrGGGGHAAAA NUH NUH, nuhnuhnuhnuhnuh!”

    • http://www.ramp.ie/ Lisa McInerney


      “Ah Bob, please!”

  • http://twitter.com/TheSonicScrew Sean C.

    Haha I disagree with so much of this list…Dustin?!? THE HAY WRAP?!

    C’mon, they are daycent choons…then again maybe I have a fondness for so many of these growing up in the 90′s…

  • http://twitter.com/TheSonicScrew Sean C.


    I mean if those aren’t the greatest lyrics in the history of ever…

    • http://www.ramp.ie/ Lisa McInerney


  • http://twitter.com/ElleEmSee Laura

    One day we shall be married and have an elegant wedding in the West Country and he’ll sing me his Greatest Hits.
    Ahh… to dream.

    • http://www.ramp.ie/ Lisa McInerney

      See? I told you you were a hipster. Ironic groom and everything.

      • http://twitter.com/ElleEmSee Laura

        … Ironic?
        I’ve loved Cliff from when I was wee, watching Summer Holiday during the Christmas holidays. Oh that string vest. What I wouldn’t do…

        • http://www.ramp.ie/ Lisa McInerney

          This is getting too intense for me, Laura. I’m frightened.

          • http://twitter.com/ElleEmSee Laura

            No one is more frightened of my love of Cliff Richard than me Lisa. No one.

            *weeps into Cliff bedclothes*

    • Kevin Lehane

      Damn right! I’m singing along to it now and laughing along to a pretend snow fight I’m having in the kitchen. I’m on my own.

      • http://www.ramp.ie/ Lisa McInerney

        No one’s ever truly alone when they’re listening to Cliff.

        • Kevin Lehane

          So true. So true, Lisa.

          *puts down razor*

  • sinéad

    I adore the featured image for this post.

  • http://twitter.com/Sarklor Ciaran O’Brien

    Thanks for reopening 40 painful wounds I thought had just about scabbed over. I mean I even memorised the Bartman. What the actual fuck was I thinking!?

    • http://www.ramp.ie/ Lisa McInerney

      You were just a child, Ciarán. You mustn’t blame yourself!

      • http://twitter.com/Sarklor Ciaran O’Brien

        I know, I know… But still, it hurts. I mean, I was smart enough not to eat wallpaper paste, I should have been smart enough not to fall for the Bartman.

  • http://twitter.com/powertara Tara Power

    So many hilarious parts in this, it’s impossible not to burst out laughing at my desk!

    Excellent, excellent article.

    • http://www.ramp.ie/ Lisa McInerney

      Awww. Thank you!

  • http://twitter.com/notRuairi Here Comes The Boom

    I can’t be the only one who’s disappointed there’s a Eurovision winner on this list.

    • http://www.ramp.ie/ Lisa McInerney

      Sure Johnny Logan’s sent us death threats.

  • http://twitter.com/CynicalFilm Philip Bagnall

    As a MASSIVE Bowie fan, your inclusion of Dancing In The Street upsets
    me (I usually blame Jagger for that one), and I won’t deny having bopped
    to Eiffel 65 in my salad days. That said, this selection is utterly
    cringeworthy, and kudos for pointing ‘em all out.

    One Day At A Time? Sweet Jesus, indeed.

    • http://www.ramp.ie/ Lisa McInerney

      I too love The Bowie, but being awesome in other spheres doesn’t negate being appalling in ‘Dancing In The Street’. In fact, it makes it worse. AND he’s wearing a onesie.

  • http://twitter.com/jennyfoxe Jenny Foxe

    I find it hard to believe you got through 40 without mentioning the Sawdoctors. Bowie could never be worse than The Sawdoctors even if he was performing a medley of the top 5 here. *ponders the notion of Bowie covering Crazy Frog

    • http://www.ramp.ie/ Lisa McInerney

      Ah Jenny. The Sawdoctors are at number 12.

      • http://twitter.com/jennyfoxe Jenny Foxe

        So they are. That’d be my selective blindness refusing to acknowledge their existence again.

  • AGirl that KNOWS


    IF #33 is how you relate to ORGASM HONEY you ARE FUCKING DOING IT WRONG. I suggest some personal ALONE PLAY time so you can get it right! YOU POOR SUFFERING THING! This should NOT happen to anyone. Not anyone at all. Not even you Lisa!

    • http://www.ramp.ie/ Lisa McInerney

      Why, thank you, Dr. Ruth. Still, I’m not an old woman yet so it doesn’t apply.

  • Kevin Leonard

    Is it my bad memory or did Maniac 2000 stay number one for a ridiculously long time? Like 8 weeks or something?

  • Tonedead Jones

    Looks like a list of songs that were big hits in many countries. Just looks like your pointing out the obvious here,that a lot of pop hits do not age well.

  • SeanIRL

    I can see the appeal of boybands and girlbands (eye candy for the younger music fans). I can laugh at these novelty so bad they are good things like Richie Kavanagh, The Langer and Jumbo Breakfast, etc. BUT there is no excuse whatsoever for bad Irish country music by acts like Mike Denver and The 3 Amigos. Songs like ‘On your wedding day’ and ‘Hold onto your hat’ are simply awful. I don’t know how many of these topped the Irish chart but most of them are awful. ‘Wagon wheel’ was a major Country and Irish hit a couple of years back for sure but at least this is a Bob Dylan cover, albeit not the greatest Dylan cover (go with Dylan’s original instead). But still better than the rest of the C&I stuff which is total rubbish.

  • SeanIRL

    Top 5 worst Irish songs ever (via only 2 acts!!!):

    1. The 3 Amigos: On your wedding day.
    2. Derek Ryan: The gathering (Welcome home)
    3. Derek Ryan: Hold onto your hat
    4. Derek Ryan: It’s Friday
    5. The 3 Amigos: Mama Courtney

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