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Revenge Songs

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Musicians.  Prima donnas?  Mostly.  Sensitive souls?  So they tell us.  Gossamer-skinned tantrum throwers?  Invariably.  

 

Some of the best songs ever written were penned in malice - to get back at someone who has done them wrong, or offended them, or fallen out with them badly.  

 

Show us what you've got, and give a brief synopsis of the falling out.  

 

I'll start with the obvious one.  Carly Simon inexplicably got it into her head that Warren Beatty was a one-woman man.  Needless to say, it didn't last long.

 

 

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Musician falls out with band mate of several years.  Bruce Thomas, Elvis's bassist, wrote a book about like on the road in a band, and though the singer was referred to only as 'The Singer', it was too much for Declan, who through his toys out of the pram, and his bassist out of the band, with rare alacrity.  

 

This truly venomous piece - Costello spitting the words out - was a parting shot.  They're still not on speaking terms, twenty years later.  And when Elvis and the Attractions got inducted into the Hall of Fame, Costello, couldn't even bear to look at the guy he'd roomed with in their early days.  

 

Things were never the same after Bruce left, and to this day Costello and the Impostors sound like a half-arsed tribute act.  

 

 

I was hell-bent on destroying my powers of concentration

While you were living like a saint
And all the time the very one you trusted was washing off
Somebody else's paint

 

Now you've got yourself a brand new occupation
Every fleeting thought is a pearl
And beautiful people stampede to the doorway
Of the funniest fucker in the world

 

They're here to help you
Satisfy your desire
There's a bright future for all you professional liars

 

Now you know how to be dumb Are you ready to take your place in the modern museum of mistakes?
Don't you know how to be dumb?  Like a building thrown up overnight in one of those reverse earthquakes

 

They emptied out all the asylums, they emptied out all the jails
The "new bruise" was the name of a dance craze
By "Jesus cross and the cruel nails"
Followed up by "torturing little beaver"
With their contraption of barbed wire
Between the fear and the fever lies all the rejection they require


They'll be howling by midnight, they'll be drooling by dawn
Skulls shrunk down to the size of their brains
Heads shaven and shorn

 

Now you know how to be dumb  Are you ready to take your place in the modern museum of mistakes?
Don't you know how to be dumb?  Like a building thrown up overnight in one of those reverse earthquakes

 

Trapped in the house of the perpetual sucker
Where bitterness always ends so pitifully
You always had to dress up your envy in some half-remembered philosophy

 

Now you're masquerading as pale powdered genius
Whose ever bad intention has been purged
You could've walked out any time you wanted but face it you didn't have the courage


I guess that makes you a full time hypocrite or some kind of twisted dilettante
Funny though people don't usually get so ugly 'til they think they know what they want
Scratch your own head stupid
Count up to three
Roll over on your back
Repeat after me

Don't you know how to be dumb? Are you ready to take your place in the modern museum of mistakes?

Don't you know how to be dumb? Like a building thrown up overnight in one of those reverse earthquakes

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Much speculation as to who it's aimed at, maybe more than one person and often assumed to be Greenwich Village and it's scene generally after he took up the electric guitar, but Positively 4th Street is quite the bitter diatribe.

 

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Ben Folds is a serial marrier.  No doubt, he's left some pissed off people in his wake.  That's no excuse though, for one of his ex-mates who was still pally with his ex-wife to write a shit song about what a twat Folds is.  

 

Folds didn't take too kindly to this hypocritical tirade, as he points out in the response, his ex-mate got blown in his basement while his wife was sleeping upstairs.  He accuses his ex-mate of being an unthinking mouthpiece for his missus, of writing a shit song, and suggesting he'd have been better off sorting it man to man with a dance-off.  

 

 

If you wanna write a letter, write a letter

If you'd rather make a phone call, pick up the phone up...
And call me
But if you had to say it all with a pop song,
Couldn't you at least have written me a good one?


She's brainwashed you, brainwashed you, brainwashed you, brainwashed you too.

 

Was it just a simple rewind and erase?
Was your mind squeaky clean in the first place?

 

If you've gotta write an essay, do your research
Stick your nose in a boy and girl fight, hear both sides first
There's something wrong being copied in a memo
In the form of a bad country demo

 

 

Is there a funnel from her mind to your mouth now?
Cause you don't edit anything, it just comes out.

I gotta say it's pretty gay trading jabs in pop song
So maybe next time, you should just have a dance off.
 

I think there's something in the Bible about forgiveness and love.
And more importantly about those stones and what your house is made of.
You might reflect upon your own arrangement - in 94 gettin' blown in your basement (while your wife slept)

 

She's brainwashed you (integrity)
She's brainwashed you (family)
She's b-b-brainwashed you (all-night rhyming dictionary)

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Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel - Make Me Smile

 

In 1973 EMI Records had signed the band to record three albums, and with Harley being the sole songwriter for the group, he reaped the majority of the financial rewards. After a UK tour promoting the second album The Psychomodo, three of the band members, led by Milton Reame-James, approached Harley insisting they too were going to write songs for the third album. However Harley felt this was unfair as he had been the one to originally hire the musicians for his group, and explained the deal to them at the time. The band split as a result, with only drummer Stuart Elliott joining Harley's second lineup of the group. In a television interview recorded in 2002, Harley described how the lyrics were vindictively directed at the former band members who, he felt, had abandoned him.

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"Hit 'Em Up" by 2Pac, featuring his group the Outlawz. It is the B-side to the single "How Do U Want It", released on June 4, 1996, from the album All Eyez On Me. The song was produced by long-time collaborator Johnny "J" and samples the bassline from "Don't Look Any Further" by Dennis Edwards and interpolates "Get Money" by Biggie Smalls group unior M.A.F.I.A, which used the Dennis Edwards sample as well. The video, itself described as infamous, includes impersonations of Biggie, Puffy and Lil' Kim.

"Hit 'Em Up" had a large role in exacerbating the East Coast-West Coast hip hop rivalry. Following its release, the East Coast rappers insulted in the song responded through tracks of their own. The controversy surrounding the song is due in part to Shakur’s murder only three months after its release.

The song is widely considered by the American hip hop community as one of the greatest "diss tracks" ever recorded due to its explicit lyrical content and the seriousness of violent intent by Shakur and his colleagues towards their competitors. (Source Link)

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I Saw Her Again - Mamas and the Papas

 

 

 

 

John Phillips was gutted to learn that his wife had been carrying on with their bandmate Denny Doherty.  In all the recriminations that followed, John wanted to stress to Michelle that Denny was being a selfish cunt and just using her. What better way than to write a dead catchy song, putting words into Denny's mouth and then making them sing it, night after night?

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I Saw Her Again - Mamas and the Papas

 

 

 

 

John Phillips was gutted to learn that his wife had been carrying on with their bandmate Denny Doherty.  In all the recriminations that followed, John wanted to stress to Michelle that Denny was being a selfish cunt and just using her. What better way than to write a dead catchy song, putting words into Denny's mouth and then making them sing it, night after night?

 

 

didn't know that - fucking hell.  

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I Saw Her Again - Mamas and the Papas

 

 

 

 

John Phillips was gutted to learn that his wife had been carrying on with their bandmate Denny Doherty.  In all the recriminations that followed, John wanted to stress to Michelle that Denny was being a selfish cunt and just using her. What better way than to write a dead catchy song, putting words into Denny's mouth and then making them sing it, night after night?

Who wouldn't have wanted to use Michelle?

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No idea who it's aimed at (some say it's a general pop at Andy Warhol and his hangers on) but Like a Rolling Stone is pretty cutting.

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And an awesome song

 

Queen, Death on 2 Legs...think it was about a manager who screwed them up when they first started

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zfd5EwZeL-4

 

It is

 

The band all said they didn't have a pot to piss in while the managers were buying new Rolls Royces.

 

Roger Taylor said they were telling him not to hit the drums so hard as the couldn't afford to replace his drum sticks

 

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I don't know how to put videos on here but "The Butterfly Collector" by The Jam is the best put down song ever recorded, supposedly written about a groupie Paul Weller had a short relationship with but I'm sure it's written about my ex wife, killer lines such as "And you started looking much older and your fashion sense is second rate like your perfume" and "There's tarts and whores but you're much more"  I'm 99% sure it's about her, if it only had a line in about having a big fat arse then I'd been 100%.

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