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Help convince me Mars bars aren't actually getting smaller!
Old 4 days ago
Here for the gear

Thread Starter
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., ...


Mike Senior

Last edited by triviul; 4 days ago at 09:13 AM..
Old 3 days ago
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 3 days ago
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 3 days ago
Lives for gear
Owen L T's Avatar
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 3 days ago
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 3 days ago
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 1 day ago
Gear Addict

Old 1 day ago
Gear Addict

I like a challenge,
Queensriche redemption, 2013

Jay z Kanye West, Swagger like us 2008

Nick Cave, We call upon the author 2008

I found an octosyllabic effort by Tori Amos, Glory of the 80s in 1999
Old 1 day ago
Gear Addict

Eminem, Almost famous 2010
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