Words and Music

  • Peter Grant
Part of the Palgrave Studies in the History of Subcultures and Popular Music book series (PSHSPM)


This chapter covers statistical and textual analysis of all 1500 songs. Looks at the importance of gender and ethnicity in relation to songs about the War followed by a number of tables covering country of origin, year of release and genre. Through the use of ‘word clouds’ compares three types of contrasting songs: writers in English and writers in French, British and American lyricists, and folk and metal writers. Compares the readability of 20 key songs utilising Flesch–Kincaid analysis. Undertakes an in-depth analysis of two pairs of songs. Al Stewart’s ‘Somewhere in England 1915’ (folk) and Cryptic Wintermoon’s ‘The End’ (black metal) are shown as quite similar in approach despite being musically very different. The similarities and differences between the War myths of Australia and Canada are brought out through an analysis of a key song from each country: Eric Bogle’s ‘And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda’ and Bryan Adam’s ‘Remembrance Day’ respectively.


Popular Music Word Cloud Musical Style Black Artist Female Artist 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Allard, G. (2013, April 20). Al Stewart discusses Time Passages, Tune Groover. Accessed 9 Aug 2015.
  2. Christgau, R. (n.d.). Christgau’s consumer guide. Accessed 3 Apr 2013.
  3. Faupel, A., & Schmutz, V. (2011). From fallen women to Madonnas: Changing gender stereotypes in popular music critical discourse. Sociologie de L’Art, 18(3), 15–34.Google Scholar
  4. Foster, R. (2014, November 11). Reviews Einstürzende Neubauten Lament, The Accessed 13 Apr 2015.
  5. Fournet, A. K. (2010). Women rockers and the strategies of a minority position. Music and Arts in Action, 3(1), 20–47.Google Scholar
  6. Kattago, S. (2015a). Written in stone: Monuments and representation. In S. Kattago (Ed.), The Ashgate research companion to memory studies (pp. 179–196). Farnham: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  7. Lankford, R. D. (n.d.). Al Stewart: A Beach Full of Shells, AllMusic. Accessed 1 Sept 2015.
  8. Leonard, M. (2007). Gender in the music industry: Rock, discourse and girl power. Aldershot: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  9. Middleton, R. (1990). Studying popular music. Milton Keynes/Philadelphia: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Middleton, R. (2000). Reading pop: Approaches to textual analysis in popular music. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Moy, R. (2007). Kate Bush and ‘Hounds of Love’. Aldershot: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  12. Pederson, S. (1996). The methods of musical narratology. Semiotica, 110(1/2), 179–196.Google Scholar
  13. Pottle, M. (ed.) (1999). Letter of September 7, 1915, to Eddie Marsh, Champion redoubtable: The diaries and letters of Violet Bonham Carter, 1914–45. London: Weidenfeld and Nicholson.Google Scholar
  14. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. (2015). Accessed 27 May 2015.
  15. Shelden, M. (2013). Young Titan: The making of Winston Churchill. New York: Simon and Schuster.Google Scholar
  16. Stewart, A. (2015). Interview with the author recorded on 29 September.Google Scholar
  17. Whiteley, S. (2005). Too much too young: Popular music, age and gender. London/New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  18. Wilson, J. M. (2004). Siegfried Sassoon: The journey from the trenches, a biography 1918–1967. London: Duckworth.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Grant
    • 1
  1. 1.Cass Business SchoolCity University of LondonLondonUK

Personalised recommendations