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Study Claims Biggest Songs of Past 10 Years Boast Third-Grade Reading Level

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Someone must have read one of my posts for this one. https://music.yahoo.com/blogs/live-nation/study-claims-biggest-songs-of-past-10-years-boast-third-grade-reading-level-191647681.html

 

 

I did a personal survey of the top 100 dating back to the 40's and found 80% or more of them to be lame.

 

Is it really that difficult to incorporate high quality poetry into a song? I know I did experiments myself using poetry books.

I'd borrow the poetry and attempt to fit it to music. It was a bit difficult finding any that could be sight read and put to music.

 

I believe its because poetry is something you have to read a little and savor its meaning which takes time. Music is time based and

has limits on how quickly you can formulate and image and comprehend what's being said.

 

I have a hard time following what's being said in rap music with its monotone machine gun production of words in music.

Its kind of like an old time movie being sped up so you don't see the shadows between the frames. The quality of the music in rap

is some of the lowest quality musical arrangements going so the speedy lyrics distract you from the boring musical content.

 

I suppose the drop in reading level comes down to the drop in reading level of the kids buying music. Producing abbreviated text messages

instead of actually reading books to expand your vocabulary seems to be the trend.

 

I wonder if music will eventually become nothing but abbreviated text where the person already has to know what that code means to understand the songs lyrics?

Seems like a logical progression to me. You can pronounce the letters then leave large air gaps between while the people have time to decipher what was

coded out at a 3rd grade level comprehension speed.

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I think today's pop music sucks, but I wouldn't fault it on lyric quality necessarily. I mean many legendary pop songs from the '50s and early '60s had even a 1st grade reading comprehension level. Lyrically I do think today's music makes too many contemporary references so much that people in the future will laugh at how dated it was.

 

But as a musician, lyrics are the last thing I pay attention to in a song.

 

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I'm not a connoisseur of fine songs. I do think though that the libretto to a lot of classical stuff - opera and earlier choral stuff comes in right around retarded by comparison. I like catchy stuff. Beck's about as sophisticated as I'd Give AS about. Good melody. words that flow; good enough.

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Study Claims Biggest Movie Scripts of Past 10 Years Boast Third-Grade Reading Level

 

I don't know if that's true or not. I just wanted to see how it looked in print. :D

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I would be interested in seeing an analysis done on a decade by decade basis for the entire history of recorded music... I suspect that popular music isn't written at a college reading level, and never has been. By definition, it's supposed to be popular, which often means writing to the least common denominator; if it's too smart, you're excluding half the population (see sig ;) ).

 

It would also be interesting to see an analysis of the most popular subjects for popular songs in each decade.

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I would be interested in seeing an analysis done on a decade by decade basis for the entire history of recorded music... I suspect that popular music isn't written at a college reading level, and never has been. By definition, it's supposed to be popular, which often means writing to the least common denominator; if it's too smart, you're excluding half the population (see sig ;) ).

 

Yes exactly! That's what makes it Pop!

 

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Another possible factor is it sounds at least to my ears that music has become increasingly percussive in nature over the years. Hence, quick, single-syllable, percussive words fit in well.

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But as a musician, lyrics are the last thing I pay attention to in a song.

 

Once in a while I'll hear a song on the radio and it will dawn on me what the song is about. Never mind the fact I may have heard it a thousand times over the course of thirty or forty years. I never really paid much attention to the lyrics.

 

A song either moves you or it doesn't regardless of what the lyrics are about.

Edited by Folder

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"Ah louaye louaye, ohhh baby, I said me gotta go yeah yeah yeah yeah

Ah louaye lowye, ohh babyI said now we gotta go

A fine little girl she's a waitin' for me

[untelligible unintelligible] across the sea

[untelligible] all alone

[unintelligible]"

 

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I would be interested in seeing an analysis done on a decade by decade basis for the entire history of recorded music... I suspect that popular music isn't written at a college reading level, and never has been. By definition, it's supposed to be popular, which often means writing to the least common denominator; if it's too smart, you're excluding half the population (see sig ;) ).

 

It would also be interesting to see an analysis of the most popular subjects for popular songs in each decade.

 

todays college reading level isn't that high either :D

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It would also be interesting to see an analysis of the most popular subjects for popular songs in each decade.

 

I'd be willing to bet most of them involve sex, and hardly any involve food additives.

 

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Sex, jobs/school/the man, sex, parents/the man, cars, sex, stuck up girls, guys who are dogs, cheating, sex, forgiveness, regret, forever, never, sex, drugs/alcohol, more cheating, and sex.

 

And girl names.

Edited by blue2blue

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Sex, jobs/school/the man, sex, parents/the man, cars, sex, stuck up girls, guys who are dogs, cheating, sex, forgiveness, regret, forever, never, sex, drugs/alcohol, more cheating, and sex.

 

And girl names.

 

That's why I like country.

 

Momma + trucks + trains + cars + prison + getting drunk = perfect country western song.

 

Just ask David Allen Coe :lol:

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I think there have been periods where good bands have surfaced and some great lyrics with extraordinary depth and meaning. They may not be their hit songs but other songs in their repertoire. It’s even better when the band has a higher level of musicianship. I'm trying to think of some examples and bands like Kansas popped up in my mind. They had consistently decent lyrics or at least hit upon some lasting visions in lyrics that could stand on their own as being poetry without the aid of music. They also proved you can have a number one hit while having quality lyrics too.

 

I think bands like Yes, Supertramp ELP and even some of the Eagles had hits using some decent lyrics at the same time. Maybe not university level but at least they could span a much wider age group from young to old and could be interpreted by those groups of people in their own ways. I think that’s what gave them superstar status as well.

 

Of course those bands may have had allot of help getting their lyrics refined. I know many bands during that time were still part of the Label machine that had all the help they needed to refine things like lyrics,

I know some that bought allot of their lyrics and even songs. Look at Elton John. He had a Ghost writer Who wrote most of his hits for at least half his career.

 

Being good at performing, writing music and having great lyrics is allot to ask for and just that more difficult for a single individual. Look at Morrison. He was basically into poetry and had a really hard time becoming a performer. Others may be great musicians and add lyrics because they have to have something there to fit the formula, even if it’s only a single liner that’s repeated a thousand times.

Edited by WRGKMC

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I thought we had this conversation before…. ???

 

Most Top 40 tunes are silly lyrically in nature. They have to be. As Phil said, the general public ain`t too swift.

 

If anything, whenever I amuse myself and actually listen to radio, I do notice most tunes are of the same subject matter….

 

Oh baby, I see you across the dance floor

You`re hot, I`m horny

You know you want me, don`t deny it.

 

Lets drink, and live for now

Cause thats all we`ve have

Your body rubbing up mine

You know you`re driving me crazy

 

(BIG DROP into chorus)

 

Lets drink, get drunk, lets dance

And have a good time

Lets drink, get drunk, lets dance

And have a good time

 

Oh baby, I see you across my bed

You`re hot, I`m horny

Don`t make me wait no longer

 

Keep drinking, lets live for now

Just you and me, lets have a good time

Cause thats all we`ve have

You got a man, I got a girl

Don`t want to think about them cause we only have right now…

 

Lets drink, lets Fu$-, lets dance

And have a good time

Lets drink, get drunk, lets dance

And have a good time

 

(Some guest artist pops in here and flows over a verse)

 

(Lofi effect with buildup…)

Oh baby, I see you across my bed

You`re hot, I`m horny

Don`t make me wait no longer

 

(BIG DROP)

Lets drink, lets Fu$-, lets dance

And have a good time

Lets drink, get drunk, lets dance

And have a good time

 

Lets drink, lets Fu$-, lets dance

And have a good time

Lets drink, get drunk, lets dance

And have a good time

 

Lets drink, lets Fu$-, lets dance

And have a good time

Lets drink, get drunk, lets dance

And have a good time

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