Societal values in music
3/12/14 / Kevin Raines
We stumbled across the interesting data visualization today, which shows how commonly different words or phrases have appeared in Billboard’s Top 100 songs over the past 50 years or so.
As we scroll through the tables, the most obvious pattern is the increase in profanity (described as “foul words”) since 1990. Prior to that era, it was almost unheard of to include profanity in a popular song, but … times have changed.
However, we find some more subtle patterns to be more of interest. The word “love” has become notably less common since the turn of the century, along with the word “home”, and in its place we now hear more references to “sex” and “money”. Is this a reflection of a less grounded society? Or is it a contributing factor?