If music be the food of love, play on…

Posted on 25 July 2016

Songs often speak of a culture’s general values, or at least the values that those in power are wanting to prevail.

The below study of musical themes includes numbers that show the word “love” is being used less and less frequently. A couple commentators said this was because we are no longer using the word “love” when we mean “sex”. However, in the sixties we had songs like “All You Need Is Love“, “What the World Needs Now (is love sweet love)”, and “Put a Little Love in Your Heart“. In the 80s we had “Sowing The Seeds of Love” and in 2003 Black Eyed Peas came out with “Where Is The Love“.

Analysis of 50 Years of Hit Songs Yields Tips for Advertisers

Lyric intelligence has also gone down, particularly within popular music. It is worth considering how mega-popstars are made in this equation: how music mega-corporations discover, groom, and direct the sort of music being made and ensuring it is played on all the right radio, television, and online media channels.

Lyric Intelligence In Popular Music: A Ten Year Analysis

Finally, the level of narcissicism in songs has gone up and up. Clinical narcissicists are keen manipulators, but they are also easily manipulated. Consumerism benefits from a culture of narcissicism.

From ‘You’re So Vain’ to ‘I’m So Great’

Does this mean young people are stupider, more heartless, and vain than previous generations? I don’t think this is necessarily the case, unless we have brought them up to be so. The responsibility may belong to those advertisers who funded the thematic study. They are keen to mold our youth in order to create better consumers. What we are seeing here looks to me like the follow on from a “greed is good” generation. Every time an older generation judges the younger, they should really be pointing fingers at themselves.

Peace and kindness,


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