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Survey: How Well Do People Know the Meanings of Popular Songs?


Artist Daya: picture

The picture is of singer of popular songs among kids, Daya, artist and songwriter, her song Sit Still Look Pretty got to number 28 on the top 100 charts. We wondered how well people know the meaning of her song, so we interviewed and asked questions about Sit Still Look Pretty, and what people think about it! The song spreads a message, and we figured out how people portrayed it. Our interviewers, Katelyn Provo, Mackenzie Meyerhofer, Tabatha Boody, and Vasily Yevseyev asked these questions:

  1. Have you heard Sit Still Look Pretty?

Only females seemed to have heard the song. Our interviewers asked the majority of boys in the school (Teachers and students), and none of them seemed to have heard it. We had a few girls who hadn’t but mostly they have.

“Yeah, my cousin loves that song!” Kayley Kenourski, a 9th grader, nods while shrugging.

“Yes, I have. I was just browsing through apple music, and I saw Daya, so I listened to it, and thought it was okay. The next day I heard it on the radio.” says 8th grader Samantha Ulicny.

“Yes!” says Kendall Serafin, laughing when asked about this.

“Yup, my sister showed me it.” was Laura Koslosif’s response.

“Yes, I heard it on the radio and I also listen to it on YouTube and Spotify.” Tabatha Boody, a seventh grader, joins the slew of girls who have heard this song.

  1. What do the lyrics mean to you?

“She doesn’t want to sit still and look pretty!” Kendall Serafin states. This is one of the most literal meanings, and if someone had just listened to the song for the first time, this would have probably been their answer.

“I don’t really know, but it seems like she’s talking about feminism.” Kayley says while bored.

“Some girl wants to do more, and not sit still look pretty.” Laura shrugs. Again, not everyone has connected with this song on as deep of a level.

“The lyrics mean to me that you know, there are models who don’t go out and experience the world, she wants to not look pretty for a minute and go adventure like a man would.” Tabatha put a little more thought into her answer, but again, not very much depth.

“The song is about this girl who refuses to sit at home while her man is at work making the money. She wants to be more than that, and she wants to contribute to society and be productive.” Samantha continues, when asked about the meaning. Her response was one of the more straightforward.

  1. What kind of message does it send out?

“It sends out the message that ladies aren’t going to just sit there while their husbands do stuff, but they’re going to look pretty anyway while doing the stuff.” Is Kaylee Johnston’s response.

“She doesn’t want to sit still, she wants to do more?” Laura states while confused.

“She doesn’t want to be patient…” Kendall guesses.

  1. Do you like the song, and what do you think about it?

“Of course I like the song, it’s a good tune. It’s a motivational piece for young girls.” Kaylee adds.

“Yes, I love the lyrics!” Kendall smiles while saying this.

“Not really to be honest, I didn’t like the lyrics. I don’t like listening to it either.” Laura says disgusted. Popular songs aren’t for everyone, especially when it is over something as controversial as this.

“I don’t like it anymore. It gets too annoying, and it’s everywhere. They made it public too much!” Tabatha, along with others didn’t like the song. Sounds very hipster.

The Truth:

In reality, Daya wrote this song as a message about equality, and how you (specifically girls) can do anything. She talks about breaking the norm, this is shown in the song quote, “You get off on your 9 to 5 dream of picket fences and trophy wives.” The message obviously reached it’s intended audience as mostly girls had heard it, and the majority of boys hadn’t. Surprisingly, out of most of the people surveyed, most of them only knew the chorus and based their explanation off that. Hopefully this survey convinced some people to listen to the lyrics, and the true meaning of songs.