Advertisement

Lyrical Geographies and the Topography of Social Resistance in Popular Music in the United States

  • Chris W. PostEmail author
  • Mark Rhodes
Living reference work entry

Later version available View entry history

Abstract

Popular music, in all genres, often contains both instrumental and lyrical melodies. While both of these elements are inherently geographical, lyrical content provides a special opportunity to express a critical perspective on social, political, and environmental issues. This chapter analyzes the lyrics of 20 songs in each of four topics: civil rights, environmental awareness, feminism, and antiwar movements. This project utilizes the mixed methods of word counts, word cloud technology, and narrative analysis to assess the key strategies and geographies of popular music’s ability to vocalize and affect change in socio-political structures in the United States.

Keywords

Popular music Social resistance Lyrical analysis Body 

References

  1. Abercrombie, P. (1933). Town and country planning. London: Thornton Butterworth.Google Scholar
  2. Alderman, D., & Inwood, J. (2016). Mobility as antiracism work: The “Hard Driving” of NASCAR’s Wendell Scott. Annals of the American Association of Geographers, 106(3), 597–611.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. BaileyShea, M. (2014). From me to you: Dynamic discourse in popular music. Music Theory Online, 20(4), 1–15.Google Scholar
  4. Ballesteros, C., Bocigas, M., & Montoya, A. (2015). Singing consumption: Discourse analysis and consumption driven values that underlies lyrics. Boletin de Estudios Economicos, 70(215), 347–368.Google Scholar
  5. Brackett, D. (2000). Interpreting popular music. Berkeley: University of California Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Brandellero, A., & Janssen, S. (2014). Popular music as cultural heritage: Scoping out the field of practice. International Journal of Heritage Studies, 20, 224–240.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cornish, V. (1934). The scenic amenity of Great Britain. Geography, 19, 195–202.Google Scholar
  8. Cresswell, T. (2006). On the move: Mobility in the western world. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  9. Crossley, S. (2005). Metaphorical conceptions in hip-hop music. African American Review, 39(4), 501–512.Google Scholar
  10. Daynes, S. (2009). A lesson of geography, on the Riddim: The symbolic topography of reggae music. In O. Johansson & T. Bell (Eds.), Sound, society, and the geography of popular music (pp. 91–106). Farnham: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  11. Gold, J. (1998). Roll on Columbia: Woodie Guthrie, migrants’ tales, and regional transformation in the Pacific Northwest. Journal of Cultural Geography, 18, 83–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Griffiths, D. (2003). From lyric to anti-lyric: Analyzing the words in pop song. In A. Moore (Ed.), Analyzing popular music (pp. 39–59). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hochbaum, C. (2010). An exploratory study of the representation of people with disabilities in mainstream American music in 1987, 1997, and 2007. The International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, 10, 227–239.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hoskins, G. (2010). A secret reservoir of values: The narrative economy of Angel Island Immigration Station. Cultural Geographies, 17, 259–275.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Ingram, D. (2008). “My Dirty Stream”: Pete Seeger, American folk music, and environmental protest. Popular Music and Society, 31, 21–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Jackiewicz, E., & Craine, J. (2009). Scales of resistance: Billy Bragg and the creation of activist spaces. In O. Johansson & T. Bell (Eds.), Sound, society, and the geography of popular music (pp. 33–52). Farnham: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  17. Joad, C. (1934). A charter for ramblers. London: Hutchinson.Google Scholar
  18. Johansson, O., & Bell, T. (2009). Sound, society, and the geography of popular music. Farnham: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  19. Kaye, S. (1967). The rhetoric of song. Ann Arbor: University Microfilms International.Google Scholar
  20. Keeling, D. (2011). Iconic landscapes: The lyrical links of songs and cities. Focus on Geography, 54, 113–125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kong, L. (1995). Popular music in geographic analyses. Progress in Human Geography, 19, 183–198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kong, L. (1997). Popular music in a transnational world: The construction of local identities in Singapore. Asia Pacific Viewpoint, 38, 19–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kong, L. (2006). Music and moral geographies: Constructions of “nation” and identity in Singapore. GeoJournal, 65, 103–111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Krims, A. (2007). Music and urban geography. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  25. Kruse, R. (2005). A cultural geography of the Beatles: Representing landscapes as musical texts (Strawberry Fields, Abbey Road, and Penny Lane). Lampeter: Edwin Mellen Press.Google Scholar
  26. Leyshon, A., Matless, D., & Revill, G. (1998). The place of music. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  27. Liptak, A. (2016). How does it feel, Chief Justice Roberts, to hone a Dylan quote? New York Times. Retrieved 16 May 2016, from http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/23/us/politics/how-does-it-feel-chief-justice-roberts-to-hone-a-dylan-quote.html
  28. Middleton, R. (1990). Studying popular music. Milton Keynes: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  29. Moss, P. (1992). Where is the ‘Promised Land’?: Class and gender in Bruce Springsteen’s rock lyric. Geografiska Annaler. Series B, Human Geography, 74, 167–187.Google Scholar
  30. Moss, P. (2011). Still searching for the Promised Land: Placing women in Bruce Springsteen’s lyrical landscapes. Cultural Geographies, 18(3), 343–362.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Moss, P. (2014). Mary, Maria, and the intensity of redemption: Everyday spiritual healing in the lyrics of Bruce Springsteen. In G. Andrews, P. Kingsbury, & R. Kearns (Eds.), Soundscapes of wellbeing in popular music (pp. 225–236). Farnham: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  32. Murphey, T. (1992). The discourse of pop songs. TESOL Quarterly, 26, 770–774.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Nash, P. (1975). Music and environment: An investigation of some of the spatial aspects of production, diffusion, and consumption of music. Canadian Association of University Schools of Music Journal, 5, 42–71.Google Scholar
  34. Negus, K. (2012). Narrative, interpretation, and the popular song. The Musical Quarterly, 95, 368–395.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Nicholls, D. (2007). Narrative theory as an analytical tool in the study of popular music texts. Music and Letters, 88, 297–315.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Niewiara, A. (2010). Vantage theory, statistics and the mental worldview. Language Sciences, 32, 315–322.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Pedelty, M. (2008). Woody Guthrie and the Columbia River: Propaganda, art, and irony. Popular Music and Society, 31, 329–355.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Pedelty, M. (2012). Ecomusicology: Rock, folk, and the environment. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.Google Scholar
  39. Prior, J., & Cusack, C. (2008). Ritual, liminality and transformation: Secular spirituality in Sydney’s gay bathhouses. Australian Geographer, 39(3), 271–281.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Relph, E. (1976). Place and Placelessness. London: Pion.Google Scholar
  41. Rogers, T. (2004). “Roll On, Columbia, Roll On” rolls on. Canadian Folk Music, 38, 11–12.Google Scholar
  42. Rycroft, S. (1998). Global undergrounds: The cultural politics of sound and light in Los Angeles, 1965–1975. In A. Leyshon, D. Matless, & G. Revill (Eds.), The place of music (pp. 222–248). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  43. Salaam, K. (1995). It Didn’t Jes Grew: The social and aesthetic significance of African American music. African American Review, 29(2), 351–375.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Smiley, S. S., & Post, C. (2014). Using popular music to teach the geography of the United States and Canada. Journal of Geography, 113(6), 238–246.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Smitherman, G. (1997). “The Chain Remain the Same”: Communicative practices in the Hip Hop Nation. Journal of Black Studies, 28(1), 3–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Tyner, J., Rhodes, M., & Kimsroy, S. (2016). Music, nature, power, and place: An ecomusicology of Khmer Rouge songs. GeoHumanities.  https://doi.org/10.1080/2373566X.2016.1183464.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeographyKent State University at StarkNorth CantonUSA
  2. 2.Department of GeographyKent State UniversityKentUSA

Personalised recommendations