Aging is portrayed as mainly negative in popular music lyrics

A recent analysis of popular music reveals that while older age and aging are represented both negatively and positively in music lyrics, negative representations predominate.

Most of the music texts were generated from a young person's perspective and their imaginings of old age.

While negative and positive emotions can influence health and well-being, further research is needed to explore what impact negative texts in may have on older individuals.

"Recommendations from these studies suggest more sensitive, positive, inclusive and less stereotypical media reporting of issues and activities relating to ageing and ," the authors of the Journal of Advanced Nursing study wrote. "While it may prove an impossible task and an infringement on free expression to censor all negative expressions of old age, it is important nonetheless that awareness is raised and some efforts exerted to suspend stereotypes and negative age and ageing identities in popular music due to the penetrating effects of melody and lyrics on peoples' mindsets."


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More information: Jacinta Kelly et al. Representation of age and ageing identities in popular music texts, Journal of Advanced Nursing (2016). DOI: 10.1111/jan.12916
Journal information: Journal of Advanced Nursing

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