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Song lyrics are becoming simpler and simpler

Song lyrics are becoming simpler and simpler

Research shows that song lyrics have been getting simpler and simpler since the 1980s. Fewer words, more repetition.

On this page of Dutch Scientias there is a nice article about the simplification of song lyrics from the 1980s onward. We read that fewer and fewer words are used in those song lyrics, and more and more repetition can be found. Or – as it is so nicely called – the “vocabulary richness” is decreasing. What causes this? The suspicions are that, among other things, it has to do with a changing form of music consumption. For example, music is increasingly used as background, musical wallpaper.

More emotions

However, emotions are increasingly being addressed directly in song lyrics, both positive and negative. Emotions vary by genre, with word usage for negative emotions like anger or describing anger increasing for all genres. Perhaps this is a result of an overall social trend of dissatisfaction and a cry for simplicity? We dare not say…