Thursday, April 29, 2010

Anger is an energy: 11 great hate songs

John Lydon (nee Rotten) is right: anger is an energy.

So, while it may be true that revenge is a dish best served cold, it may also be a dish best served with music and lyrics, so people can sing along with you and your agony, and you can feel better when you realize that everybody needs somebody (to hate) sometimes.

Hey, it beats kicking a hole in the wall, lying in your bed, and listening to the sound of your tears hitting the pillow, right? Right!

If you're lucky, your song might strike a chord, and people might even wonder, "Why, who is that angry song about?"

That's your cue to make a career of refusing to reveal the mystery, hanging it over the head of the person who it's about forever and ever - just like Carly Simon! And the dirty scumbags - they're so vain, they'll probably just think that your song is about them.

That said, here are 11 great hate songs to inspire you the next time someone lame does you wrong or looks at you funny (a special shout out to Elvis Costello's "How to be Dumb," which is miraculously not online, and K. McCarty's kick-ass version of Daniel Johnston's "Hate Song," below):

1. Martha Wainwright - You Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole

Key line: "I'm cracking up, and you have no idea."

2. Lucinda Williams - Changed the Locks

Key line: "I changed the name of this town, so you can't track me down."

3. Bob Dylan - Positively 4th Street

Key line: "You gotta lotta nerve to say you are my friend."

4. Queen - Death on Two Legs

Key line: "Kill joy. Bad guy. Big talking. Small fry."

5. Carly Simon - You're So Vain

Key line: "You probably think this song is about you."

6. English Beat - Best Friend

Key line: "Talk about yourself again - always you you you!"

7. Billy Bragg - Accident Waiting to Happen

Key line: "Your life has lost its dignity, its beauty, and its passion."

8. Mudhoney - Into Your Shtik

Key line: "Why don't you blow your brains out too?"

9. Eels - Fucker

Key line: "I hate you."

10. Ben Folds - Song for the Dumped

Key line: "Give me my money back, you bitch!"

11. Daniel Johnston - Hate Song

Key line: "No one will be there to find you dead."

Ahhhh - I feel better already!


  1. This, is a good list. I feel like running over Ken in Barbie's Jeep.

  2. Dear Kenton,

    Do you need a hug?


    Shelley C.

  3. Really, considering their combined stories, "the whole Wainwright clan" is a pretty good argument for anger as a creative energy.

  4. Do I need a hug or do we need a group hug? Ha!


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