EP 235 Scientific Fact: Pop Songs Have Become Angrier and Sadder and That’s No Accident

As our society has gotten angrier and more frustrated, our music has reflected that as the soundtrack of our discontent.  Researchers have analyzed lyrics in best selling songs from the 1950’s to 2016 and found that expressions of anger and sadness have increased, while words about joy have dropped.  The study analyzed the lyrics of more than 6,000 songs from the Billboard Hot 100 in each year. Study co-author, Lior Shamir, of the Lawrence Technological University in Michigan, tells us that the dour mood conveyed in song reflects more on those of us who consume the music than those who are making it.  We trace music through the years to see what they learned about how what’s going on in society ends us on our car radios and speakers. And what it’s telling us about this moment in time. It’s a pretty sad song, indeed.