ERIC Number: ED219752
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Jul
Reference Count: 0
Analysis of Popular Music Reveals Emphasis on Sex, De-Emphasis of Romance.
Fedler, Fred; And Others
A study of the lyrics of popular music was conducted to test the hypothesis that from the 1950s through the 1970s such songs placed a progressively greater emphasis upon physical as opposed to emotional love. Researchers analyzed the lyrics of the five most popular songs listed in "Billboard" magazine during every year from 1950 to 1980. The 112 songs with romantic lyrics were rated on a five-point scale. Of the songs released during the 1950s, 89.2% were rated "somewhat" or "very" emotional, while 71.4% of the songs from the 1960s, and only 42.5% of the songs from the 1970s were rated in these two categories. Conversely, only 2.7% of the songs released during the 1950s were rated "somewhat" or "very" physical, while 11.4% of those from the 1960s and 40% of those songs released during the 1970s were so rated. Love songs published during the 1950s and early 1960s often described persons yearning for their first love or the rapture of a couple's first encounter. Their romantic love was associated with dreams, hearts, and sacrifice, and portrayed as exclusive, true, and eternal. During the 1960s, lyrics became more ambiguous, and sexual desire became a more dominant theme. By the 1970s, the traditional values were broadened: persons described in modern love songs often met, spent a single night together, then parted without any emotional bond or commitment. Today even songs with the most explicit lyrics become number one hits. (HTH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism (65th, Athens, OH, July 25-28, 1982).