The Lyrics From Today's Popular Songs Are At A 3rd-Grade Reading Level


It's no surprise the lyrics of top-charting songs aren't particularly complex.

But, it may surprise you to find out just how simplistic these lyrics actually are.

According to a study conducted by Andrew Powell-Morse, the lyrics of number one singles on the 2014 Billboard charts were, on average, at second to third-grade reading levels.

Over the past 10 years, the reading levels of popular songs decreased dramatically.

In 2005, the reading level of these hit tracks was a full grade higher than it is now.

The study looked at over 225 songs in genres ranging from country, pop, rock and hip-hop.

Country, as an entire genre, had the highest reading level with a 3.3. And hip-hop had the lowest reading level with an astonishing 2.6.

Also of note, the Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Dani California" was the most advanced of the songs studied whereas Three Day Grace's "The Good Life" was the least complex.

Here is a chart showing how the lyrics of songs changed over the past 10 years:

And here's one breaking it down by genre:

Citations: third grade lyrics reading level (Consequence of Sound)