Some negative contents portrayed in English song lyrics

Liliek Soepriatmadji, Katharina Rustipa


Some song lyrics may have been banned or rescheduled for their radio and television broadcasts. Those song lyrics were claimed to propagandize negative contents. Recently West Java Broadcasting Commission has regulated the broadcast of 17 western songs for the prejudice of negative contents. Based on semantic analysis of those song lyrics, the authors finally found out that they qualitatively describe lust, profanity, drug and alcohol abuse, etc. through periphrasis, simile, litotes, meiosis, and other speech figures. Clauses were selected to deliver the figures of speech of the lyrics sung by mostly male singers and the male-female duets in pop and r and b music genres.


song lyrics; negative content; speech figure; music genre

Full Text:



Allegri, C. (2019). Malaysia bans ’ Despacito ’ on state broadcaster for offensive lyrics. Retrieved March 19, 2019, from

Anderson, C. A., Carnagey, N. L., & Eubanks, J. (2003). Exposure to violent media : The effects of songs with violent lyrics on aggressive thoughts and feelings. 84(5), 960–971.

Frisby, C. M. (2016). Undressing the words : prevalence of profanity, misogyny, violence, and gender role references in popular music. (August 2010).

Johnson, J. D., Adams, M. S., Ashburn, L., & Reed, W. (1995). Differential gender effects of exposure to rap music on African American adolescents. Acceptance of teen dating violence. 33(1991), 597–598.

Jones, L. (2018). ‘ Baby, It ’ s Cold Outside ’ is not an ode to rape – banning it is stupid. Retrieved March 19, 2019, from

Koreaboo. (2018). K-Pop is illegal in North Korea… But now it was allowed to be played in public for the first time. Retrieved March 19, 2019, from

Kusumaningsih, D., Santosa, R., & Subroto, H. D. E. (2018). Vulgar and obscene terms in Indonesian song lyrics. 166(Prasasti), 60–65.

Lynxwiler, J., & Gay, D. (2000). Moral boundaries and deviant music: public attitudes toward heavy metal and rap. 21(1), 63–85.

Madanikia, Y., & Bartholomew, K. (2014). Themes of lust and love in popular music lyrics from 1971 to 2011. SAGE Open, 4(3), 2158244014547179.

Moernantyo, J. (2015). Pelecehan Seksual Dalam Lirik Lagu. (Yoyakarta).

Monson, I. (2000). The African diaspora: A Musical perspective (1st Ed.). New York: Garland Publishing, Inc.

Mutegi, J. W., Bannister, V. R. P., & Nichols, B. H. (2014). Tales from the Mic : A content analysis of 10 years of hip-hop lyrics, urban center for the advancement of STEM Educ. (January 2016).

Nauert, R. (2018). VPN built into the browser song lyrics in uence sexual behavior free & unlimited VPN by Opera.

Powell, C. T. (1991). Search education resources Rap Music : An Education with a beat from the street. 245–259.

Ramadhani, Y. (2019). Bruno Mars protes lagunya dibatasi jam Tayang di Jawa Barat. Retrieved March 19, 2019, from website:

Ramdhani, D. (2019). Ini alasan KPID Jabar batasi jam tayang 17 lagu berbahasa Inggris. Retrieved March 19, 2019, from website:

Rideout, V. J., Foehr, U. G., & Roberts, D. F. (2010). Mengungkap data tentang perilaku penikmat musik di era digital.

Rudman, L. & Lee, M. (2002). Group Processes & Intergroup. 2002, 133–150.

Samudro, A. (2019). Deretan negara yang keluarkan larangan & pembatasan jam tayang lagu. Retrieved March 19, 2019, from website:

Setiawan, R. (2019). KPID Jabar batasi siaran 17 lagu, PSI: Kriterianya Tidak jelas. Retrieved March 19, 2019, from website:

Susilo, W. (2019). Melarang lagu dalam sejarah politik Indonesia. Retrieved March 19, 2019, from website:

Suwanto, I. (2016). Mengungkap data tentang perilaku penikmat musik di era digital. Retrieved from (24 Maret 2019)

Thompson, W. F., Geeves, A. M., & Olsen, K. N. (2018). Who enjoys listening to violent music and why ? Who Enjoys Listening to Violent Music and Why ? (January).


Article Metrics

Metrics Loading ...

Metrics powered by PLOS ALM


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2020

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

EduLite Journal of English Education, Literature and Culture is published by Language and Communication Science Faculty (former Language Faculty), Universitas Islam Sultan Agung (UNISSULA), Indonesia, in collaboration with Persaudaraan Dosen Republik Indonesia (PDRI).

Contact us: EduLite Journal of English Education, Literature and CultureJl. Raya Kaligawe Km.4, PO BOX 1054/SM Semarang 50112, Central Java, Indonesia. Email: