Sentiment Analysis of 11 Iconic Punk Band's Lyrics

I recently created word clouds for 11 of the most well known punk bands. I chose bands that were iconic but also attempted to choose bands that were from different punk sub-genres. This helped diversify the types of lyrics and subject matter that these bands sang about.

While looking at the word clouds, I began to wonder which of these bands had negative lyrics and which had positive lyrics. In general punk rockers like to complain about things, so I figured a lot of the lyrics would be negative, but in reality, I had no idea.

I figured Crass, which is a anarchist punk band would have a lot of negative lyrics, as their songs are fueled by protest against the government and capitalism. I figured that a band called Hatebreed is also likely to have a lot of negative lyrics.

At the same time, I thought that the more melodic bands like the Buzzcocks and Green Day would have more positive lyrics.

So I took the lyrics I collected from each of these bands and ran them through a sentiment analysis program. This program looked at each line of each available song for these bands and gave it a positive, negative or neutral score.

As a percentage, the results look like this:

Band % Positive Lines % Negative Lines % Neutral Lines
Misfits 4.73 16.75 78.53
Hatebreed 5.02 15.54 79.45
Blink-182 5.88 8.29 85.83
Green_Day 5.61 11.53 82.86
The_Clash 4.95 8.71 86.34
Angelic_Upstarts 8.72 15.58 75.70
Crass 8.43 16.70 74.87
Bikini_Kill 6.76 8.04 85.20
Buzzcocks 9.07 6.35 84.58
Ramones 9.80 8.35 81.85
Black_Flag 5.03 10.50 84.47
Minor_Threat 4.28 10.81 84.90

And for you visual learners:

As I expected, Crass and Hatebreed had a lot of negative lyrics, but so did The Misfits and the Angelic Upstarts. Green Day does not have the most negative lyrics, but they have more than a number of other bands.

Crass are also the most opinionated of these bands. One fourth of all their lyrics either have a positive or negative sentiment. The Angelic Upstarts also have about one fourth of their lyrics being positive or negative. Both of these bands have a lot of political songs. It is then a little surprising to see The Clash having the largest amount of neutral lyrics. The Clash is another of the most political bands on this list, but for whatever reason their lyrics are some of the least polarizing according to this analysis.

The Buzzcocks are definitely the most positive of bands on the list. They have the least amount of negative lyrics and the second most amount of positive lyrics. The Ramones have the most positive lyrics overall.

The ratio of positive to negative lyrics for each band looks like this:

The bands with the tallest graphs have the most positive lyrics compared to negative lyrics.