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Thursday, September 17, 2015

Decade Specific Words In Song Titles

Decade specific song titles image
Rhythm, feel, chordal structure and melody of popular songs change with the decades, so why shouldn't song titles change as well? A study by shows that they do, and much more than you might think.

The informal study looks at the Billboard charts from 1890 to 2014 and came to a number of interesting conclusions (as excerpted from the article).

  • The 2010s seem both more vulgar ("hell" and "f*ck") and more inclusive ("we" instead of the "you", "ya" and "u" of the 1990s and 2000s).
  • The 1990s and 2000s featured "U", "Ya" and "Thang". and "U."
  • Lots of the decades can be made into intelligible five-word sentences. For example: "Hell Yeah, We Die, F*ck!" (2010s). "Ya Breathe It Like U" (2000s), "You Get Up, U Thang" (1990s), "Don't Rock On Fire, Love" (1980s), "Sing, Moon, In A Swing" (1930s)
  • As anyone who listens to the radio in December knows, all the Christmas songs are oldies, and that shows in the results for the 1950s, with "Christmas" and "Red-nosed".
  • You can track genres with the keywords: "Rag" (1910s), "Blues" (1920s), "Swing" (1930s), "Boogie", "Polka" (1940s), "Mambo" (1950s), "Twist" (1960s), "Disco" (1970s), "Rock" (1970s and 1980s). After that, people realized you don't have to actually name the genre in the song title, people can figure it out by listening. (N'Sync must not have gotten that memo for 2001's "Pop".)

There's a lot more including a great chart on

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