Worst That Could Happen

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"Worst That Could Happen"
Brooklyn Bridge Worst That Could Happen.jpg
Single by The Brooklyn Bridge
from the album Brooklyn Bridge
B-side"Your Kite, My Kite"
ReleasedDecember 1968
GenreRock, pop rock
Songwriter(s)Jimmy Webb
Producer(s)Wes Farrell
The Brooklyn Bridge singles chronology
"Worst That Could Happen"
"Blessed Is the Rain" / "Welcome Me Love"

"Worst That Could Happen" is a song with lyrics and music written by singer-songwriter Jimmy Webb. Originally recorded by the 5th Dimension on their 1967 album of nearly all-Jimmy Webb songs, The Magic Garden, "Worst That Could Happen" was later recorded by The Brooklyn Bridge and reached the Billboard Hot 100's top 40, at #38 on January 4, 1969, peaking at #3 on February 1-8, 1969.[1]

The song tells about a man wishing well to a woman with whom he is still in love, but because the man was unwilling to settle down, she left him and is about to marry someone else who is more stable; the singer accepts the marriage but still feels that it is "the worst (thing) that could happen to (him)". It has been stated that, along with "MacArthur Park" and "By the Time I Get to Phoenix", "Worst That Could Happen" is about a relationship that Webb had had with a woman named Susan.[2]

The song is noted for the quoting of Mendelssohn's "Wedding March" from the incidental music to A Midsummer Night's Dream, which is heard at the end.

According to BMI (Broadcast Music Inc.) the legal title of the song is "Worst That Could Happen."[3]

The Brooklyn Bridge version appeared on the list of songs deemed inappropriate by Clear Channel following the September 11, 2001, attacks.[4]

Chart history[edit]

Other cover versions[edit]

  • B.J. Thomas on his 1969 LP, Young And In Love.
  • The Lettermen in 1969 on their I Have Dreamed album.
  • Hajji Alejandro recorded a Tagalog version titled “Panakip-Butas” in 1977 in his Hajji album. It was released as a single and was a big hit in the Philippines.
  • Jimmy Webb on his 1996 album Ten Easy Pieces.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Joel Whitburn (1 July 1995). Joel Whitburn Presents the Billboard Hot 100 Charts, The Sixties. Record Research Inc. ISBN 978-0898200744.
  2. ^ "Worst That Could Happen by Brooklyn Bridge". Songfacts.com. Retrieved 7 February 2019.
  3. ^ BMI repertoire
  4. ^ Here Are The 164 Songs That Were Banned From American Radio After 9/11 - We look at the songs deemed too “lyrically questionable” to play on the radio right after the 9/11 attacks. Published by online music site Kerrang and Posted on September 11th 2019, 5:00pm. Accessed online May 5, 2020
  5. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. 1969-02-10. Retrieved 2018-01-04.
  6. ^ "flavour of new zealand - search listener". Flavourofnz.co.nz. Retrieved 7 February 2019.
  7. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  8. ^ [1][permanent dead link]
  9. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca.
  10. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1969/Top 100 Songs of 1969". Musicoutfitters.com. Retrieved 7 February 2019.
  11. ^ "Cash Box YE Pop Singles - 1969". Tropicalglen.com. Archived from the original on 25 January 2019. Retrieved 7 February 2019.
  12. ^ Eder, Bruce. "Ten Easy Pieces". AllMusic. Retrieved October 26, 2012.