Let’s be honest with ourselves: you don’t listen to pop music for its soul-searching, ground-breaking lyrical poetry. Sure, the soaring vocals of pop balladeers might make a great soundtrack for moping around the house in trackies for three days after a rocky break-up, and us nineties kids have little to no shame in wailing along to our favourite bubblegum pop singles from childhood (can I hear an amen for S.O.A.P? Anybody?) But if you want real poetic hits-you-right-here verse, you might want to look into a different musical canon.

So it is with the upmost appreciation of pop music and all its beautiful children that we explore this list of the most popular lyrical clichés you might hear in Pop from throughout the ages.



Love You Forever…



You might have heard it in: I Wanna Love You Forever (Jessica Simpson), Forever (Westlife), Love You Forever (Ryan Huston)

It’s a nice enough sentiment but it’s a tad exaggerated, isn’t it? Forever is ages. Most of us only have forty, fifty years left anyway; are we to believe that Jessica Simpson is going to love [insert brawny dope with glossy abs here] past death and into the nether regions of time? That’s assuming that one even belongs to a faith that allows belief in such a concept – atheists like myself are happy enough to go with the worms option- therefore, forever doesn’t mean a lot to me. Stick with a more accurate timeline, like… “I’ll love you until we both get sick of each other and have a long, drawn out break-up where we develop drinking problems”.


A dream come true…



You might have heard it in: A Dream Come True (Brand New Heavies), Dreams Come True (S.E.S), You Make My Dreams Come True (Hall and Oates)

It’s an old hat; a tried-and-tried-and-tried-and-true lyrical go-to. Look, I don’t know about Hall and Oates, but my dreams often involve giant fish, frightened running, falling trucks and horrible ex- boyfriends. I don’t want those ones coming true. Although, the one about Cillian Murphy…


Never let you go


You might have heard it in: Never Let You Go (Justin Bieber), Never Let You Go (Evermore), Never Let You Go (Third Eye Blind)

What, never? What if I have to go to the bank? See, I don’t think this is gonna work out. You’re way too clingy, I need my own space. Look, don’t cry, I just want five minutes to take a shower without you hanging onto my legs.


I’d do anything…


You might have heard it in: I’d Do Anything (Simple Plan), Anything for You (Gloria Estefan), Anything for You (Lee Harding)

Anything, eh? Would you jam bamboo canes under your fingernails? Would you crawl across broken glass? Would you cross the Hume Highway at peak hour without the aid of a pedestrian crossing? No? Then don’t lie to me in song.




You might have heard it in: pretty much every pop song ever.

I’ve always wondered where this cutesy nickname comes from. ‘Baby’ and ‘babe’ are almost universal terms of affection, but when studied literally, sound a bit odd. What are you saying to this person, when you call them ‘baby’? That you wish to take care of them, nurse them, feed them and clothe them? Is it the natural animal parenting instinct within us that we desire not only to love and share our lives with someone, but also care for them in the way a protective, nurturing parent might? It’s a nice sentiment, but also a bit creepy.

Words: Lisa Dib

Tags: babe, baby, Gloria Estefan, Jessica Simpson, Justin Bieber, Lee Harding, pop cliche, pop music, Ryan Husten, S.O.A.P, Simple Plan, Third Eye Blind, Westlife

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