I remember an article years ago by Nick Hornby where he talked about how, even though he loves Al Green’s “Let’s Get Married”, it almost ruins the song when Al Green says “might as well, might as well”, since it’s just not something you’d say to someone while proposing.
Today, I was listening to “American Without Tears”, which is probably one of my top five all-time Elvis Costello songs and I remembered just how much this lyric bothers me
Outside in New Orleans the heat was almost frightening
But my hotel room as usual was freezing and unkind
On TV they prosecute anyone who’s exciting
So I put on my overcoat and went down to find
If the heat is almost frightening, why is he putting on his overcoat?
Another example is any song where they use “I” as a direct object (“Redemption Songs” gets a pass because “I” has some rastafarian meaning there, I think.) Granted many of those songs are awful anyway, e.g. “Touch Me, Baby” and the Dawson’s Creek song.
What otherwise good songs are ruined for you by small, silly lyrical imperfections?