The study, to be published in the Journal of Advertising Research, looked at the top artists from the past 60 years, breaking down by decade the major lyrical themes in the No. 1 songs on Billboard’s Hot 100.
1960s: Nostalgia, Pain, Rebellion
1970s: Nostalgia, Rebellion, Jaded
1980s: Loss, Aspiration, Confusion
1990s: Loss, Inspiration, Escapism
2000s: Inspiration, Pain, Desperation