Sundays 8pm to 11pm on Radio 2

New Episodes at CBC Music

New Episodes at CBC Music

Need more Strombo Show? Head over to our page on CBC Music for new episodes, playlists and video extras.

CBC Music Past Shows



Alt News
Where Is The Love? Fewer Big Pop Songs Have “Love” In The Title
May 4, 2013
submit to reddit


In the past, love may have kept us together; it may have hurt; it even bit sometimes, and was given a bad name.

But now, it seems the word "love" is becoming less and less popular in the names of the biggest pop songs.

According to researchers at Idibon, a business intelligence company that investigates language, "for the last couple of years, the percentage of hits with love in the title has been only 30 per cent of what it was in 1980."

Clearly, we've lost that lovin' feeling, according to linguist Tyler Schnoebelen, who looked at data from pop songs in the Billboard Hot 100.

Percentage of Song Titles with 'Love' in Them

Love is the most frequent word (after "the", "you", and "I") in the tens of thousands of song titles contained in the Whitburn Project database of Billboard Chart hits compiled over more than a century.

The database has a spreadsheet of 37,000 songs and 112 columns of raw data, including each song's duration, beats-per-minute, etc.

Love in Song Titles by Year

This chart tracks the percentage of songs that had love in the title over the years - looks like 1910 was a big one (although there isn't much data from back then), and then things really spiked around 1980.

And now? Well, love seems to have deserted us. And in recent years, "hate" was on the rise.

Apparently, there were only 30 Billboard charting songs with the word "hate" in the title between 1890 and 2012. 11 of them appeared between 2002-2006. What's with the negativity?

Oh, and if you're an aspiring pop songwriter and you want your tune to last, maybe go easy on the "love". The study found that songs without love in the title tend to stay on the charts about long two weeks longer.

Here are a few of the artists who love to use love in their song titles:

Frank Sinatra (21 of 159 songs have love in the title)
Paul Anka (14 of 53)
The Supremes (11 of 32)
Donna Summer (10 of 32)
Jackie Wilson (13 of 54)
Stevie Wonder (9 of 55)

Via The Week


Top 28 Short Songs

27 Songs that Influenced Kurt Cobain

Happy Birthday Johnny Cash: 25 Songs by the Man in Black


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Submission Policy

Note: The CBC does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that comments are moderated and published according to our submission guidelines.