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Poll Ranks Most Over-Used Cliches in J-Pop Lyrics

posted on by Eric Stimson
Also: key lyrics for hit songs

It's hard to argue that love songs are the last place to look for creative or original lyrics, and despite J-pop's broad popularity in Japan, its lyrics are no more innovative than any other genre dominated by romance. Accordingly, My Navi Woman, a Japanese news website, has conducted a poll of the most over-used lyrics in J-pop.

"[You're] not alone" ("Hitori janai") tops the poll with 20.6% of the vote. "I hear it a lot in songs of lost love," says a 32-year-old working in the financial securities sector. A 29-year-old health care worker concurs: "I somehow get the feeling I hear that a lot. But the question comes up: What if you are alone? So I'm tired of it." "We are all born alone and die alone," a 32-year-old working in the food and beverage sector notes.

Here are the other cliched lyrics:

2. "I want to protect you" ("Kimi-wo mamoritai," 15.6%)
3. "I won't let go of those hands" ("Sono te-wo hanasanai," 8.4%)
4. "If [we] could go back to those days" ("Ano koro-ni modoretara," 7.3%)
5. "I called your name." ("Kimi-no na-wo yonda," 6.7%)
5. "A feeling I can't express" ("Todokanai omoi," 6.7%)

In addition, My Navi Woman also surveyed users about lyrics required for hit songs. Tellingly, several of the phrases that appeared in the most cliched list reappeared in this batch. A 25-year-old store employee likes "in a shifting season" ("Utsuriyuku kisetsu-no naka-de") because "it's a roundabout way of saying something you'd only hear in song lyrics." "I won't let go of those hands" is a favorite of a 32-year-old in the education sector, even though she doesn't understand why. "It's fitting and has a quality that generally hits the spot." And a 42-year-old warehouse worker supports "I called your name." even though she hasn't called anyone's name before "because it comes up a lot in song lyrics."

The poll was conducted from May 3 to May 12 online. 617 people were queried, of whom 409 were female.

[Via Livedoor News]

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