What’s the most-used word in rock lyrics?

I received this email from reader Ted over the weekend:

“My wife and I were sitting at the dinner table one day and got into a conversation about rock lyrics. This ended in a question: What is the most popular word in rock music (excluding articles like ‘the’)?”

Tall order, but someone has already done the hard work. If we leave out definite and indefinite articles and predictable words like “I” and “you,” things break down like this according to

If we look just at metal…

Related to that, which genre uses the word “death” the most? Oh, right.

And for fun, let’s look at hip-hop.

Find more fun wordcounts here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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2 thoughts on “What’s the most-used word in rock lyrics?

  • Please tell me someone has used only these words to make a song… (Maybe with the omitted words being allowed)…

  • I’m sure the “Most Used Lyrics in Rap” list there are indeed actual lyrics in rap songs.

    Looks like a chorus to me.


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