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Help convince me Mars bars aren't actually getting smaller!
Old 14th September 2018
  #1
Gear Head
 

Talking Help convince me Mars bars aren't actually getting smaller!

OK, let me explain what I mean by that title. I've recently started a new free podcast (Project Studio Tea Break) where a friend and I take a not-altogether-serious slant on all things project-studio. For our latest recording, I mentioned that, although I don't normally agree with the "music was better in the 70s/60s/baroque/whateverpastperiod" point of view I sometimes hear from people of my age, I've begun to worry I might be starting to become such a curmudgeon myself...

You see, as I was reclining by the pool on holiday a couple of weeks ago, I heard ABBA's 'Lay All Your Love On Me', which contains the fabulous couplet "I used to think I was sensible / It makes the truth even more incomprehensible", with its six-syllable final word. So I started trying to think if there were any similarly long words in recent chart hits. And I couldn't come up with any!

Five-syllable words used to be commonplace ("Unforgettable" "You irreplaceable you" "Congratulations"...) and The Carpenters managed a whopping six syllables in "Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft" (a song which includes another 5-syllable and four 4-syllable words too). But the most recent six-syllable word I could find was "institutionalized" in So Solid Crew's "Broken Silence" back in 2003, and even five-syllable ones seem pretty scarce -- there's "opportunity" in Eminem's "Lose Yourself", for instance, but that's 2002.

So, please -- somebody! -- name me a hit song within the last 10 years that has at least a 5-syllable word in it, and preferably a 7-syllable one to stop The Carpenters looking so smug (a herculean labour, I know). Otherwise, I'm afraid I shall have to concede that Mars bars really are getting smaller, that policemen are getting younger, and that young people really don't show any respect for their elders any more. In my day, etc., etc., ...



Thanks!

Mike Senior

Last edited by triviul; 15th September 2018 at 09:13 AM..
Old 15th September 2018
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Owen L T's Avatar
Whichever anecdotal submissions might appear in this thread (and it won't be long before someone links to the incredibly misleading graph that "proves" lyrics are getting dumber), popular music has always - always - been a reflection of popular culture, expressed in the idiom of the time. If the syllable count in pop lyrics has decreased in any statistically meaningful way, it is a surefire guarantee that this is a reflection of current speech patterns, and written communication in general, rather than specific to pop music. I would guess that refernces to "sock hops" have also declined precipitously to since the 60s, as have references to telephone operators, jambourees and ... I dunno. Other stuff. Every generation reaches an age when they roll their eyes and the generation after them, and particularly the generation after that. Plus ca change.
Old 15th September 2018
  #3
Lives for gear
 

This is a current smash, closing in on a billion: YouTube

This just came out: YouTube

Here's the Biebs dropping big words: YouTube

Only so many multi-syllabic words work in big songs though, usually big words aren't emotionally cutting words, they're more scientific or specifically descriptive and thus come off forced (as anyone who writes with a thesaurus or rhyming dictionary knows, once you get to 4-5 syllable options they're pretty bleak).

This is clearly the most intelligent song out there: YouTube
Old 15th September 2018
  #4
Lives for gear
 
Owen L T's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by newguy1 View Post
This is clearly the most intelligent song out there: YouTube
In the time it took the link to load, I thought "ooh, what about s***...." - and laughed out loud when that turned out to be your choice. (Have reduced the number of letters shown so as not to spoil the gag.)
Old 15th September 2018
  #5
Gear Maniac
 

um-ba-re-la-el-a-el-a-eh-eh-eh 11 syllables, beat that!

Carpenters didn't write that song btw.
Old 16th September 2018
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Owen L T's Avatar
Meanwhile, let's quietly ignore the fact that, say, 99% of The Beatles "She Loves You" is a string of one syllable words, while classics like "Stand By Me" were 90% one syllable and 10% two syllable ... What tends to happen as time passes, is that a generation with a deep knowledge of songs from their era, holds up the best of those against a small, unrepresentative sample of current songs that have annoyed them. Hey presto: pop music is getting rubbish!
Old 17th September 2018
  #7
Gear Addict
 

I cheated a bit but found this. 2017, extraordinarily.
alt-J - Deadcrush Lyrics | AZLyrics.com
Old 17th September 2018
  #8
Gear Addict
 

I like a challenge,
Industrialization
Queensriche redemption, 2013

Autobiographical
Jay z Kanye West, Swagger like us 2008

Socioeconomic
Nick Cave, We call upon the author 2008

I found an octosyllabic effort by Tori Amos, Glory of the 80s in 1999
Electromagnetically
Old 18th September 2018
  #9
Gear Addict
 

Eminem, Almost famous 2010
antidisestablishmentarianism
Old 24th September 2018
  #10
Lives for gear
 
BlackBackDrop's Avatar
 

Yes, Mars bars are getting smaller. UK Sugar Tax!!!

Was 70g now 51g - buy a Duo and smile.... cheaper by weight.
Old 26th September 2018
  #11
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackBackDrop View Post
Yes, Mars bars are getting smaller. UK Sugar Tax!!!

Was 70g now 51g - buy a Duo and smile.... cheaper by weight.
Ha looked it up, the candy bar size debate is an actual thing.

Turns out candy bars have been fluctuating in size all along throughout the decades, so depending on your brand and initial reference point they could have gotten smaller or larger.
Old 26th September 2018
  #12
Gear Addict
 
clump's Avatar
 

"Sectoral Heterochromia" is a cracking line from 'Aviation' by The Last Shadow Puppets, which is also a banging tune.
Old 27th September 2018
  #13
Lives for gear
 

There's quite a bit of chunky stuff in this from 'The Sound' by The 1975:

"It's not about reciprocation it's just all about me
A sycophantic, prophetic, Socratic junkie wannabe
There's so much skin to see
A simple Epicurean Philosophy"

In fact, it was these two couplets that really piqued my interest in the song and the band, the first time I heard them.
Old 27th September 2018
  #14
Lives for gear
 
BlackBackDrop's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by newguy1 View Post
Ha looked it up, the candy bar size debate is an actual thing.

Turns out candy bars have been fluctuating in size all along throughout the decades, so depending on your brand and initial reference point they could have gotten smaller or larger.
Sure is. It is bigger than Brexit!

NG1 - when I was a kid Animal Rights Campaigners allegedly had poisoned Mars Bars with Rat poison. Subsequently they became very cheap. Boom! I got FAT... Then one day they decided to make them vegetarian and they never tasted the same. boo!

I got thin--ner....

I would pay ££££ for a pre vegy Mars Bar! HELP!!!!!!

Last edited by BlackBackDrop; 27th September 2018 at 01:16 PM.. Reason: Sepll Chker Eror
Old 1st October 2018
  #15
Gear Head
 

Thanks everyone -- you've helped restore my faith in da yoof of today.
Old 10th October 2018
  #16
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by newguy1 View Post
This is a current smash, closing in on a billion: YouTube
I don't understand how people are so naive thinking that a simple number, so easily to write down by google is taken for granted. I trust my ears more than anything. Everything is politics this days, the only thing you can control is youself.
Old 10th October 2018
  #17
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndreiPiatra View Post
I don't understand how people are so naive thinking that a simple number, so easily to write down by google is taken for granted. I trust my ears more than anything. Everything is politics this days, the only thing you can control is youself.
It went #3 on Billboard, was played on the radio every hour for months. Are you saying its not a big song?

I'm sure some Youtube numbers are fudged but you can't fudge a billion. The fudging mostly goes on at the thousands level, millions and billions start to get too big for the whole number farming thing.
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