Bergen Clinical Psychology Research Group
Pop lyrics

Text analysis of the Beatles' lyrics

A new study led by James Pennebaker, a professor of psychology at the University of Texas, in collaboration with prof. Keith Petrie (University of Auckland) and Børge Sivertsen (University of Bergen), takes text analysis down a winding path from terrorist communications to the Beatles lyrics. In this recently published study, John Lennon’s songs were for example found to have more “negative emotion” words than Paul McCartney’s. By counting the different kinds of words a person says, Pennepaker and colleagues are breaking new linguistic ground and leading a resurgent interest in text analysis.

Main content


Read more about the work about Prof Pennebaker here  (link to article the New York Times).

Click here to download the entire paper.