Olivia here. A bit late to the party, I recently stumbled upon a brilliant website called Love In Lyrics, which collates any mention of romance in popular music, chewing them up and spitting them out in a handy infographic. For any musos out there (or indeed pop culture enthusiasts) this is a bit of a dream come true. Spanning from the 1950’s up until the present day, it’s possible to see how the way we portray love through song has changed through the years, using Billboard Top 100 songs for each decade as an indication of the most popular tracks through history. A lot has changed since those heady days of drive in cinemas and ice cream parlours, for instance, 2014 was the biggest year for singing about money rather than love, chocking up 80 occurrences of the words ‘money’ or ‘dollar’ compared to a meagre 20 for the whole of the 1950’s. The terminology has changed too; whilst ‘baby’ has always been the most common term of endearment, the 21st century saw ‘darling’, popular right up until the 00’s, all but fade into obscurity and ‘tiger’ (ew) enter the fray. Some things never change however – romance still inspires, even if this manifests in different ways. I recently had this conversation with a 15 year old singing student of mine, who, desperate to tackle Zayn Malik’s ‘Pillowtalk‘, had to find ways to make an R rated song PG. Once we removed the expletives, we were surprised by how sweet the sentiment behind the track really is – and how spending a day in the arms of a lover really has been a mainstay of popular music since it began. A tradition continued by London future pop band SWEAT, whose latest offering ‘Stay’ encapsulates both the magical and the murky aspects of modern love. Underpinned by strong rhythm section and dreamy swirling synths, lyrics like ‘I quite like it when you’re rough/ And baby you’re looking rough tonight‘ sung in heady falsetto sound positively amorous. A little bit steamy, a little bit sweet, this is one to listen to with your darling (or tiger).