99.7% of young Jamaicans watch videos for lyrics

99.7% of young Jamaicans watch videos for lyrics

TV screenI just read a fascinating analysis of the relationship between lyrics, the way they are understood, and the way kids learn them in Jamaica. In the link below, you’ll find the full article. Here’s the executive summary: although it is recognised that most adults don’t really follow the lyrics of songs, many if not most Jamaican teenagers do. And how do they learn the lyrics? Click through to find out…

It turns out that music videos are the main way to catch the words of a song. In a quick survey, the author – Marcia Forbes – found that an amazing 99.7% of 17 year-old Jamaican boys said they watched videos for the lyrics (which echoes the experience of French channel MCM which shows subtitles of some English-speaking songs). Some 72.5% claimed they knew all or most of the lyrics.

What was also interesting is that they often view the videos in the weirdest of places, such as taxis. She concludes: “We need to get beyond the ‘boom’, ‘boom’, ‘boom’ of the rhythms and actively engage our minds with the lyrics. It may just be a good idea for parents and guardians to sit in the living/family room with the young people while they watch. You might be surprised at what you learn.” I was already surprised by her article.

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