The 50 Worst Songs of the ’00s, F2K No. 4: Blue October, “Jump Rope”


As in “Blue October, I want to fucking strangle you with this jump rope right now.”

Let’s keep it brief: If you like this song, you shouldn’t be allowed to listen to music.

I hate to sound like a caricature of some myopic Brooklyn hipsterati message board droid who’s got his head in the Deitch Projects window, his feet stuck to the floor of Market Hotel, and his hands quietly but efficiently jerking off Dave Longstreth and Matthew Barney into a keffiyeh.

But fuck fuck fuck fucking fuckity shitballs. I’m being totally honest here when I say this. I am completely incapable of constructing an image of the type of human being that would enjoy this song. Seriously, who would it be? An office drone who cries at Hallmark specials and Sharpies over the word balloons when Ziggy gets “too catty”? A 17-year-old girl saving up money to cover up her Winnie The Pooh back tattoo with an Eeyore back tattoo? Someone who learns about other cultures by skimming through Chicken Soup for the African American Soul at the mall? Someone whose diet is 55% Cinnabons and 45% tears? Maybe some sort of friendly alien ambassador from Planet Dipshit overjoyed that he has found his new national moon anthem? “Hooray!” that alien would shout. “My comically simple people will sing this anthem proudly before they slip off their Crocs and tuck in for their nightly ritual of watching Universe Series Of Poker.”

Here’s why this song exists: Major labels are pissing their pants right now and are playing it safe. Like All-American Rejects safe. Like sanding the rough edges off Jason Mraz safe. Universal couldn’t be happier to have these platinum, guylinered, post-post-post-grunge superstars, who are like walking Nerf Balls of music. They stormed the Modern Rock charts throughout the decade with a handful of songs that were perfect for people that can’t handle lyrics more complicated than a Hallmark Card. First there was “Calling Me” (“I can’t believe you picked… me”). And then VH1 played the everloving shit out of Puddle Of Mudd-aping straining-with-a-big-ol-shit rocker “Hate Me,” a song with probably the most inscrutable opening line since “A-wop-bop-a-loo-bop.” Frontweiner Justin Furstenfeld sings, “I have to block out thoughts of you, so I don’t lose my head/They crawl in like a cockroach leaving babies in my bed.” What the fuck?

Even that couldn’t prepare anyone for “Jump Rope,” a deep cut off their latest album, Approaching Normal. Mercifully, Universal has spared America by not releasing this as a single (yet!), since its saccharine levels are Hooba level 5. Seriously the song is like watching Marley And Me in three minutes and chasing it down by eating a “Hang In There” poster smeared with Valentine’s Day chocolate from 1996.

The sentiment is so comically sappy that it’s hard to believe that a human adult wrote it and not either an eight-year-old or a cartoon animal of some kind. The chorus:

Life’s like a jump rope!

If you still have your lunch after that, there’s plenty left. First, check out that sub-Len, Barenaked Ladies-style rapping that just pits and poots along. Furstenfeld sings the bathetic money shot with Godsmackian gargle and–hold on your socks–an actual fucking kids chorus comes pouring in from the wings and turns it into a Kidz Bop nightmare! Was dude gunning to be in a direct-to-video Shrek sequel?

You stomp your feet so hard you make it pound
Raise the bottom to the top
And now we’re never coming down

It’s like Forrest Gump meets the Hokey fucking Pokey. You are all awful people and should be ashamed.

The 50 Worst Songs of the ’00s: The Complete List

50. brokeNCYDE, “Bree Bree”
49. LL Cool J feat. Jennifer Lopez, “Control Myself”
48. The Moldy Peaches, “Who’s Got The Crack”
47. Akon, “Sorry, Blame It On Me”
46. Dynamite Hack, “Boyz-N-The-Hood”
45. James Blunt, “You’re Beautiful”
44. Aaron Carter, “America A O”
43. Basshunter, “Please Don’t Go”
42. 3 Doors Down, “Kryptonite”
41. Vanessa Hudgens, “Sneakernight”
40. Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, and the Wu-Tang Clan, “For Heaven’s Sake 2000”
39. Aubrey O’Day feat. Roscoe Umali, “Never Fallin'”
38. Say Anything, “Got Your Money”
37. Satellite Party feat. Jim Morrison, “Woman In The Window”
36. Lady Sovereign, “Food Play”
35. Hampton The Hamster, “The Hampsterdance Song”
34. Happy Mondays, “Jelly Bean”
33. Heidi Montag, “Higher”
32. Smash Mouth, “I Wan’na Be Like You (The Monkey Song)”
31. 50 Cent, “Amusement Park”
30. Swizz Beatz with Ja Rule and Metallica, “We Did It Again”
29. John Mayer, “Your Body Is A Wonderland”
28. Xiu Xiu, “Support Our Troops OH (Black Angels OH)”
27. Kelly Osbourne and Ozzy Osbourne, “Changes”
26. Beastie Boys, “In A World Gone Mad”
25. Weezer, “Heart Songs”
24. Gummibar, “I Am Your Gummy Bear (The Gummy Bear Song)”
23. Santana feat. Chad Kroeger, “Into The Night”
22. The Notorious B.I.G. ft. Bob Marley, “Hold Ya Head”
21. Crazy Frog, “Last Christmas”
20. Gym Class Heroes, “Taxi Driver”
19. Nickelback, “Something In Your Mouth”
18. Toby Keith, “Courtesy of the Red, White, & Blue (The Angry American)”
17. Simple Plan, “Perfect”
16. William Hung, “O Come All Ye Faithful”
15. Hinder, “Born To Be Wild”
14. Korn, “Ya’ll Want A Single?”
13. Sugababes Vs. Girls Aloud, “Walk This Way”
12. Disturbed, “Land of Confusion”
11. Darryl Worley, “Have You Forgotten?”
10. Fieldy’s Dreams, “Baby Hugh Hef”
9. Ashlee Simpson, “La La”
8. Limp Bizkit and Johnny Rzeznik, “Wish You Were Here”
7. Nicole Scherzinger, “Puakenikeni”
6. Hot Action Cop, “Fever For The Flava”
5. Alvin & The Chipmunks, “Get Munk’d”
4. Blue October, “Jump Rope”
3. Tila Tequila, “I Love U”
2. Artists Against AIDS Worldwide, “What’s Goin’ On (Fred Durst’s Reality Check Mix)”
1. Counting Crows ft. Vanessa Carlton, “Big Yellow Taxi”

50 – 31 were originally published on

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