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These Popular Words in Music Over the Last 50 Years Reveal More Than Just the Music History

These Popular Words in Music Over the Last 50 Years Reveal More Than Just the Music History

Nickolay Lamm, a Pittsburgh-based digital artist, has a recent project called “History of Love” in which he collected the data of the songs on Billboard's Year-End Hot 100 list since 1960 and made colorful graphs that showed the frequency and popularity of certain words in the songs.

The horizontal axis represents the year and the y-axis represents the song's popularity according to Billboard. Each rectangle represents a song. The darker the color of the cell, the more often the specific word appears in the song.

the-word-baby

    The word “baby” appears in the songs constantly throughout so many decades, though it appeared more frequently in a song before year 2000.

    the-word-girls

      “Girls” or “Girl” appears in popular music all the time, do women tend to attract more focus in the society?

      the-word-boys

        Compare to “girls”, “boys” doesn't appear often in the songs.

        the-word-home

          “Home” seems to appear less in nowadays' songs.

          the-words-i-love-you

            “I love you” appeared very frequently in a song before 2000.

            the-word-love

              Love songs' everywhere, so as the word “Love”, but there's a decline in the frequency of its appearance in a song.

              the-word-money

                There're more and more popular songs mentioning “Money” in these few years.

                foul-words

                  There was almost no foul words at all in popular songs before the 1990s.

                  the-word-body

                    There's an increasing trend to have the word “body” in the songs.

                    the-word-sex

                      As the society's getting more opened, talking about “sex” in songs is getting quite common too.

                      While I'm enjoying the music history, I wonder what actually goes on in our culture that contributes to the difference throughout these years. What do you think?

                      More by this author

                      Anna Chui

                      Anna is a communication expert and a life enthusiast. She's the editor of Lifehack and loves to write about love, life, and passion.

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                      Last Updated on February 25, 2020

                      Face Adversity with a Smile

                      Face Adversity with a Smile

                      I told my friend Graham that I often cycle the two miles from my house to the town centre but unfortunately there is a big hill on the route. He replied, ‘You mean fortunately.’ He explained that I should be glad of the extra exercise that the hill provided.

                      My attitude to the hill has now changed. I used to grumble as I approached it but now I tell myself the following. This hill will exercise my heart and lungs. It will help me to lose weight and get fit. It will mean that I live longer. This hill is my friend. Finally as I wend my way up the incline I console myself with the thought of all those silly people who pay money to go to a gym and sit on stationery exercise bicycles when I can get the same value for free. I have a smug smile of satisfaction as I reach the top of the hill.

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                      Problems are there to be faced and overcome. We cannot achieve anything with an easy life. Helen Keller was the first deaf and blind person to gain a University degree. Her activism and writing proved inspirational. She wrote, “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

                      One of the main determinants of success in life is our attitude towards adversity. From time to time we all face hardships, problems, accidents, afflictions and difficulties. Some are of our making but many confront us through no fault of our own. Whilst we cannot choose the adversity we can choose our attitude towards it.

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                      Douglas Bader was 21 when in 1931 he had both legs amputated following a flying accident. He was determined to fly again and went on to become one of the leading flying aces in the Battle of Britain with 22 aerial victories over the Germans. He was an inspiration to others during the war. He said, “Don’t listen to anyone who tells you that you can’t do this or that. That’s nonsense. Make up your mind, you’ll never use crutches or a stick, then have a go at everything. Go to school, join in all the games you can. Go anywhere you want to. But never, never let them persuade you that things are too difficult or impossible.”

                      How can you change your attitude towards the adversity that you face? Try these steps:

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                      1. Confront the problem. Do not avoid it.
                      2. Deliberately take a positive attitude and write down some benefits or advantages of the situation.
                      3. Visualise how you will feel when you overcome this obstacle.
                      4. Develop an action plan for how to tackle it.
                      5. Smile and get cracking.

                      The biographies of great people are littered with examples of how they took these kinds of steps to overcome the difficulties they faced. The common thread is that they did not become defeatist or depressed. They chose their attitude. They opted to be positive. They took on the challenge. They won.

                      Featured photo credit: Jamie Brown via unsplash.com

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