Video Killed the Radio Star by Jonathan Harel
if { "Video Killed the Radio Star" was the first video played on MTV; } What will be the first software project submitted to
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Taxonomy for Lyrics

Somehow, this project's approach to indexing song lyrics reminds a little bit of runme itself.

Words usually have specific, emotionally (over)loaded meanings in the context of pop songs. In Jonathan Harel's Lyrics Collection, they become database fodder, to be indexed and cross-referenced with one another in seemingly arbitrary ways that reveal something about the emotion and logic of information culture:
the cross-referencing of everything.

Individual lyrics in each pop song within Harel's database are hyperlinked - the hyperlink pulls up search results for that word's appearance in each song within the database. This might be info-cliche and dull if only the total number of song appearances were displayed, or even if lists of song titles appeared. However, Harel displays the words in the context of each song in which they appear - search engine results with a pop lyric mindset. Killed: "...That's what I did, I killed my toe (Nirvana) - "...Don't you love the life you killed" (Goo Goo Dolls) - "Father, I killed my monkey" (Tori Amos)...

The lyrics develop an odd taxonomical structure, as you look up words from "killed" to "oooh" and see them in a shiny new, neatly cross-referenced, info-culture light.

by Amy Alexander, posted 15 Dec 2002

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