Songs that say "You suck" - cheerfully!
June 8, 2014 2:52 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for songs that sound cheerful and perky but express disdain, loathing, hatred, etc. (Not necessarily directed at a former romantic partner, although there are a couple of break-up songs that may fit the bill.) Two of the best examples I can think of are Lily Allen's "Fuck You" and the Scissor Sisters "I Can't Decide." Genre is irrelevant, although it will probably be hard to find a death metal song that is appropriately sunny-sounding. Got any recommendations?
posted by rednikki to Media & Arts (132 answers total) 65 users marked this as a favorite
Fairytale of New York by the Pogues.
posted by MoonOrb at 2:53 PM on June 8 [3 favorites]

Ce Lo Green's Fuck You
posted by rhapsodie at 2:55 PM on June 8 [25 favorites]

You Suck - The Murmurs
posted by John Cohen at 2:56 PM on June 8 [8 favorites]

They Might Be Giants's "When Will You Die?"
posted by hollisimo at 2:56 PM on June 8 [1 favorite]

It's a Beautiful Day by Michael Buble. It took quite a few listens before I realized it was a beautiful day because his girlfriend dumped him.
posted by Bresciabouvier at 2:57 PM on June 8 [3 favorites]

Green Day - F.O.D. and Ha Ha You're Dead
posted by capricorn at 3:00 PM on June 8 [1 favorite]

"Sexy Sadie" — the Beatles
posted by John Cohen at 3:02 PM on June 8 [2 favorites]

The Housemartins specialized in this.
posted by Mchelly at 3:02 PM on June 8 [3 favorites]

Puddle of Mudd / She Hates Me (la la la la!)
posted by the webmistress at 3:04 PM on June 8 [2 favorites]

What is this Feeling, from the musical Wicked.
posted by pril at 3:05 PM on June 8 [2 favorites]

Soko's I'll Kill Her
posted by rhapsodie at 3:05 PM on June 8 [3 favorites]

Get Set Go - I hate everyone.
posted by lizzicide at 3:09 PM on June 8

The Beautiful South. "The perfect love song has no words, it only has death threats..."
posted by Lokheed at 3:09 PM on June 8 [2 favorites]

There's a song by the Boston-area 90s band Fuzzy, that starts with lyrics like "I can't stop laughing long enough to pretend to sympathize", and is really happy punk pop. It might be the song "Postcard", but it looks like the band hasn't really made it onto the Internet, so I'm not sure.
posted by benito.strauss at 3:13 PM on June 8

posted by Nerd of the North at 3:15 PM on June 8

Little Mix's Wings
posted by raztaj at 3:16 PM on June 8 [1 favorite]

Two of the classics to me are (Good Riddance) Time of Your Life (despite the first two words of the title) by Green Day, and Bruce Springsteen's Born In The USA.
posted by ambrosen at 3:18 PM on June 8

"You're so vain" by Carly Simon (reputed to be about James Taylor).
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 3:19 PM on June 8 [1 favorite]

I think just about every song on Nellie Mckay's Get Away From Me fits this description in some way or the other. It's the kind of album that you can listen to while wearing a perfect dress and smiling at everybody on the street while seething inside and planning your perfect terrible revenge. Or, you know, just working retail on a bad day. It's A Pose, Baby Watch Your Back, Won't U Please B Nice... all good places to start.
posted by redsparkler at 3:21 PM on June 8 [5 favorites]

"Thank God and Greyhound" by Roy Clark.... starts off like a lovely slow ballad then whomp!
posted by easily confused at 3:25 PM on June 8 [2 favorites]

Robbie Fulks, "Fuck this Town"
posted by dr. boludo at 3:27 PM on June 8 [1 favorite]

"I like you" The Dandy Warhols.
posted by effluvia at 3:27 PM on June 8

Your Frank. Morrissey.
posted by jpe at 3:29 PM on June 8

The Undertones, "My Perfect Cousin".
posted by billiebee at 3:34 PM on June 8

Icona Pop - I Don't Care
Pink - So What
posted by raztaj at 3:35 PM on June 8 [4 favorites]

Gob - Give Up The Grudge
posted by corvine at 3:37 PM on June 8

Not in the romantic vein, but about as broad a swathe of hatred as you can imagine: Randy Newman, Political Science (Let's Drop the Big One Now). Jaunty global conflagration, save as concerns the kangaroo.
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 3:38 PM on June 8

Malibu - Chick
Smile - Lily Allen
Go Your Own Way - Fleetwood Mac
Don't Go Away Mad (Just Go Away) - Motley Crue
posted by SisterHavana at 3:38 PM on June 8 [1 favorite]

Firewater Hey Clown
posted by arrmatie at 3:39 PM on June 8 [1 favorite]

"Grow Up" and "Too Stoopid" by Mustard Plug.
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:39 PM on June 8 [1 favorite]

Fitz and the Tantrums' first album had a fair bit of this (though mostly directed at former romantic partners)

My favorite song by them: Moneygrabber - Lyrics

Breakin' the Chains of Love - Lyrics
Pickin' Up the Pieces - Lyrics
Moneygrabber - Lyrics
Don't Gotta Work it Out - Lyrics

(they're pretty great in general, both of their albums are listenable on youtube)
posted by HermitDog at 3:42 PM on June 8 [2 favorites]

Blondie - Just Go Away
Half Man Half Biscuit - Corgi Registered Friends and many many more
posted by corvine at 3:44 PM on June 8

Where Have You Been - Reel Big Fish
I Didn't Like You Anyway - The Donnas
posted by SisterHavana at 3:45 PM on June 8

Sarge - Dear Josie, Love Robyn
posted by unknowncommand at 3:46 PM on June 8 [1 favorite]

Does it have to be sung in second person or is 3rd person ok? GnR Used to Love Her expresses a lot of disdain...
posted by fingersandtoes at 3:48 PM on June 8 [1 favorite]

Tuscadero - Dime a Dozen (though it's maybe more sweet than cheerful? your call)
posted by unknowncommand at 3:52 PM on June 8

The Stone Roses seemed to build their career, or at least their second album, on sweet sounding songs with fuck you lyrics. I Am The Resurrection and Shoot You Down for example.
posted by arha at 3:56 PM on June 8

Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks How Can I Miss You When You Won't Go Away
posted by BillMcMurdo at 3:56 PM on June 8

No mentions of the OG, "Since U Been Gone"?
posted by dekathelon at 4:00 PM on June 8 [5 favorites]

Unhappy Birthday and Frankly, Mr Shankly - The Smiths
posted by caoimhe at 4:01 PM on June 8 [1 favorite]

Lincoln Wish You Were Dead
posted by hydropsyche at 4:02 PM on June 8

This is the mode of a good chunk of my my new album First World Problems:


I'll Refuse

Keep it To Yourself
posted by ludwig_van at 4:03 PM on June 8 [1 favorite]

More pop:

Demi Lovato feat. Cher Lloyd, "Really Don't Care"
The Pipettes, "Your Kisses Are Wasted On Me"
posted by dekathelon at 4:11 PM on June 8

The South African protest songs documented in the movie Amandla.
posted by brujita at 4:14 PM on June 8

Aqua's brilliant Freaky Friday actually literally says "You Suck" cheerfully.
posted by merocet at 4:14 PM on June 8

Thank You Hater!
posted by martinrebas at 4:14 PM on June 8

Love Song by Sara Bareilles

Fuck You by Lily Allen
posted by d. z. wang at 4:15 PM on June 8

Sweet Emotion by Aerosmith

I don't think the entire song fits the bill but there is a line:
When some sweet hog mama with a face like a gent
Said my get up and go must've got up and went
If you have any doubt as the meaning, in the video, the singer grabs his crotch and makes a motion making it pretty clear that it means (roughly) "I would not hit that. In fact, seeing her killed my erection."
posted by Michele in California at 4:16 PM on June 8 [1 favorite]

Starry Eyes - The Records
How Long - Ace
Mentirosa - Mellow Man Ace
Take This Job And Shove It - Johnny Paycheck
Goodbye Earl - Dixie Chicks
I Don't Mind If You Forget Me - Morrissey
posted by SisterHavana at 4:17 PM on June 8

"Someone Like You" by Nickel Creek will fill the bill nicely. Sounds so sweet, reads so bitter. What a song!
posted by jcworth at 4:20 PM on June 8

Ugh, of course you named "Fuck You" in your question. I apologize.
posted by d. z. wang at 4:20 PM on June 8

The Heats (aka "The Heaters") I don't like your face
posted by Rumple at 4:24 PM on June 8 [1 favorite]

Also, U2s Sweetest Thing sounds really, really nice and sweet and upbeat but if you read the lyrics, it isn't so sweet.
posted by Michele in California at 4:32 PM on June 8

Louie Armstrong's I'll Be Glad When You're Dead You Rascal You is so sunny it makes me wish I had an enemy just so I could sing it to him.
posted by mono blanco at 4:36 PM on June 8 [3 favorites]

My Friend Peter by Alkaline Trio.
posted by bibliogrrl at 4:47 PM on June 8

Waitress in the Sky by the Replacements
posted by mullacc at 4:53 PM on June 8 [2 favorites]

The One I Love - by REM
posted by gfrobe at 5:00 PM on June 8

I'LL BELIEVE YOU WHEN by Matchbox Twenty
posted by just asking at 5:02 PM on June 8

Jenny Owens Young - Fuck Was I
One of my favorites from years ago. IMO it's a humble song that expresses regret towards knowing someone, all the while admitting fault with yourself.
posted by QueerAngel28 at 5:12 PM on June 8 [1 favorite]

Ben Folds Five - One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces ("If you really wanna see me/check the papers and the TV/look who's telling who what to do/kiss my ass")

Godsmack - Whatever - I don't know that I'd call it "sunny sounding", but it is so angry, so uptempo, and so good (link to the extra good live version - nothing like many thousands of people chorusing "better fucking go away")
posted by joycehealy at 5:21 PM on June 8

Cal Smith's Lord Knows I'm Drinking.
Jeannie C. Riley's Harper Valley PTA.
posted by sciencegeek at 5:34 PM on June 8 [1 favorite]

"Brand New Day" as sung by the "villain" of Dr. Horrible's Singalong Blog about how he's going to kill the "hero" (Captain Hammer) sorta fits the bill. Horribly cheerful :)
posted by thebrokedown at 5:51 PM on June 8 [2 favorites]

You've Got to Know by Ian Thomas, performed here by Lunch at Allen's, and originally by his group The Boomers. A bouncy little tune full of vitriol.
posted by kate4914 at 6:03 PM on June 8

Glad to See You Go by the Ramones
posted by AJaffe at 6:22 PM on June 8

Weird Al Yankovic - "Since You've Been Gone".
posted by chainsofreedom at 6:29 PM on June 8

Someone Is Crazy - Jonathan Coulton
Tom Cruise Crazy - Jonathan Coulton
World O Morons - Pop-O-Pies (I think it sounds happy & cheerful, YMMV!)
No One Else - Weezer
posted by Room 641-A at 6:39 PM on June 8

Ani Difranco's Untouchable Face has "fuck you" in the chorus and I think it sounds cheerful if you don't listen to closely.
posted by jessamyn at 7:02 PM on June 8 [3 favorites]

Brownie Mary - Goodbye

I hate the way dress, I hate the way you talk
I hate the way you chew things, and I hate the way you walk
Every time I tell a story you got something more to say
Every time I try to have fun you just get in the way
posted by bowmaniac at 7:04 PM on June 8

It takes some twists and turns, but Andrew Jackson Jihad's Kokopelli Face Tattoo has a great I-hate-you chorus.
posted by atropos at 7:13 PM on June 8

"I Wanna Destroy You", Soft Boys
posted by johngoren at 7:27 PM on June 8 [4 favorites]

Pick any song by The Muffs, and you've got about a 50:50 chance of hitting something in that vein.
posted by Pinback at 7:28 PM on June 8

There's a song by the Boston-area 90s band Fuzzy, that starts with lyrics like "I can't stop laughing long enough to pretend to sympathize",

This is Velocity Girl! This song has actually been running through my head off an on over the past few weeks for no reason at all. Link!
posted by jeoc at 7:54 PM on June 8 [1 favorite]

87 responses and no Positively 4th Street?!
I wish that for just one time
You could stand inside my shoes
And just for that one moment
I could be you

Yes, I wish that for just one time
You could stand inside my shoes
You’d know what a drag it is
To see you

Read more:
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:48 PM on June 8 [3 favorites]

D'oh! How could I have forgotten "I Wanna Destroy You"? Good call!
posted by Nerd of the North at 8:48 PM on June 8

This Elvis Costello song. Or, you know, most of them.
posted by chicainthecity at 8:49 PM on June 8

Asshole by Jim's Big Ego
posted by FlyByDay at 8:51 PM on June 8

You're Breakin' My Heart - - Harry Nilsson
posted by fairmettle at 9:44 PM on June 8 [2 favorites]

"Want You Gone", the closing theme from Portal 2 (written by Jonathan Coulton)
posted by Tool of the Conspiracy at 10:06 PM on June 8

Love Stinks, J. Geils Band.
posted by MacChimpman at 11:30 PM on June 8

I keep thinking of more of these.

Bug A Boo - Destiny's Child
Talk To Ya Later - The Tubes
How Could You Believe Me When I Said I Love You When You Know I've Been A Liar All My Life - Fred Astaire and Jane Powell
Cell Block Tango - Chicago
posted by SisterHavana at 11:37 PM on June 8 [1 favorite]

Hey, Get Out Of My Way by The Cardigans
Ciao by Lush. Lush has other songs in that vein.
posted by Too-Ticky at 12:58 AM on June 9 [1 favorite]

How about Anti Music Song by The Mountain Goats?
posted by lollymccatburglar at 1:09 AM on June 9

Cuddly Toy, composed by Harry Nilsson for the Monkees. According to the booklet in my old Monkees box set, this song is about a Hell's Angels gang bang! I see nothing in the lyrics themselves to suggest that, but any way you look at it, it's got some really nasty lyrics set to a bouncy, adorable tune. (Actually a surprising number of Monkees songs have rather dark lyrics set to a seemingly happy tune. That was kind of their thing.)

Bonus: the video features your minimum daily allotment of Davy Jones' crazy sideways-shuffle dancing.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 1:16 AM on June 9 [1 favorite]

What is this Feeling? From the musical Wicked.
posted by rip at 3:31 AM on June 9 [1 favorite]

The Beautiful South have been mentioned upthread, but they are an absolute goldmine for songs that sound sweet/pretty/cheerful but are lyrically bitter and furious.

To a world where the leaders finally confess
(I think the answer's yes, I think the answer's yes)
To the burning of the Stock Exchange and bombing of the press
(I think the answer's yes, I think the answer's yes)

posted by Decani at 3:57 AM on June 9 [2 favorites]

Baby, I Love You by the Yahoos.
posted by teleri025 at 5:14 AM on June 9

Lots of The Arrogants probably works, but Cool Shoes immediately springs to mind: it's cool, i'll be ok / i mean, i don't like you anyway / i only ever thought you wore cool shoes
posted by crush-onastick at 6:55 AM on June 9

Little Miss Can't Be Wrong by the Spin Doctors
posted by luckyveronica at 7:27 AM on June 9

The World is Full of Bastards by Mary Prankster.
posted by ActionPopulated at 7:31 AM on June 9

Butt Trumpet - I'm Ugly and I Don't Know Why

Man, I've been waiting a long time to be able to post this on MeFi.
posted by benbenson at 7:43 AM on June 9

Another Lily Allen song - Not Fair.
posted by travellingincognito at 7:51 AM on June 9

I present U Stink But I <3 U by the fictional band Billy and the Boingers from the awesome comic strip Bloom County.
posted by nosila at 11:26 AM on June 9 [2 favorites]

For sheer bitterness, it is hard to top

Bauhaus - Crowds

On edit: Sorry--this is not sunny sounding. I'll get me coat.
posted by Kafkaesque at 1:49 PM on June 9

Coincidentally, I just listened to a recent episode of Welcome to Night Vale (#47) where the song played for the Weather segment fits the bill perfectly:

Brendan Maclean - Stupid
posted by painquale at 3:55 PM on June 9

Just You Wait from My Fair Lady.
posted by SemiSalt at 4:38 PM on June 9 [2 favorites]

"Atta Girl" - Heavenly

It seriously cracks me up the Murmurs song wasn't the first and only response to this tailor-fit question.
posted by ifjuly at 7:21 PM on June 9

Okay, I kind of expected to be beaten to the Nilsson song. But someone beat me to "I don't like your face"??? I'm gratified. Steve? Don? Is that one of you?
posted by Meep! Eek! at 7:38 PM on June 9

I can't believe no one has linked this yet:

The Wonder Stuff - Unbearable

("Come and join us on holiday... and I will lose you 'round the mountain." Not to mention the great punchline to the chorus.)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 7:42 PM on June 9 [1 favorite]

Also: Tim Burgess - Held in Straps (from the excellent album, "I Believe". Example line: "Even when I'm crap, I'm still too good for you.")

And The Cribs' song, Mirror Kissers, which has shouty/angry lyrics directed at hipsters, and may not be cheerfully poppy enough for you.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 7:49 PM on June 9

What may seem like love - whiskeytown
posted by natasha_k at 8:12 PM on June 9

Ween do this a lot. "Baby Bitch" is a good one, but there are more, including "Push the Little Daisies," a Beavis & Butthead classic (and a secretly glorious, glorious tune).
posted by Joseph Gurl at 9:01 PM on June 9 [1 favorite]

The Creatures - Standing There. Don't mess with Siouxsie.

Brendan Maclean - Stupid "If you weren't so stupid, I could love you."

Dead Milkmen - You'll Dance to Anything

David J(Bauhaus/Love and Rockets) - Mess Up

Bedazzled "You fill me with inertia." If you can find the versions done by Pigface, or The Love Interest project they're also worth checking out.

This is kind of the opposite of what you're asking for, but Ethyl Meatplow managed to make their cover of Close to You sound like a hate song.
posted by Su at 4:56 AM on June 10

This is kind of Lily Allen's wheelhouse, so it's hard to match the sheer joy of her Fuck You, although Not Big is similar. Not Fair is actually different I think - it's how about how great he is, except in bed.

I'm on my phone, so linking is a pain, but Ludo's Love Me Dead is a fantastic video and song.
posted by maryr at 2:02 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]

They Might Be Giants - Your Racist Friend.
posted by pheide at 3:25 PM on June 10 [2 favorites]

Jim O'Rourke - Memory Lame
posted by hydrophonic at 4:45 PM on June 10

I loved the perkiness of this song by the Barenaked Ladies that basically calls the place a cesspool: Hello City
posted by BeBoth at 9:41 AM on June 11

Someone mentioned their song "Asshole" above, but I've always been fond of Lucky by Jim's Big Ego for a good upbeat "fuck off."
posted by anthom at 11:02 AM on June 11

If you're willing to consider classical, may I suggest Mozart's "Leck mich im Arsch"? It's a canon for 6 voices. It's not super-perky, but after the first round it picks up a bit.

The literal translation of the title is "Lick me in the ass", colloquially "Kiss my ass".
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 3:36 PM on June 14

If you need songs like this you might want to ask the question "Why Can't We Be Friends?" I linked to the Smashmouth version because the tempo really picks up part way through. The original by War is great though.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 3:56 PM on June 14

Thanks to everyone who posted something! There were a lot of songs that hit dead center on the mark - cheerful, upbeat, perky and "I hate you." There were a lot of songs here that I enjoyed the heck out of, even if they weren't quite what I had envisioned. You've all introduced me to a ton of good music!
posted by rednikki at 10:42 PM on June 14

How about GWAR doing Sick Of You
posted by Catblack at 11:35 PM on June 24

Mustard Plug - Too Stoopid

And of course, this classic:
Queen - Death On Two Legs
posted by Catblack at 12:00 AM on June 25

I keep thinking I'm through with answering, but someone upthread mentioned Pigface, and Closer To Heaven is the song with the delightful disdain in it's second half.
posted by Catblack at 12:23 AM on June 25

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