Visualizing Repetition in Lyrics

Today I stumbled upon Visualizing Repetition in T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets . Will Kurt  devised a simple and brilliant method to visualize repetition structure in poems and lyrics. And that got me wondering, how would lyrics of Hindi songs look in this visualization?

They  have so much repetition and so many different repeating patterns in the lyrics I was pretty sure I  would find something interesting. So, I coded a similar and  simpler version (visualize-lyrics).

What will the visualization look like?
You’ll be seeing a grid for each song. Each square in the grid visually  represents the similarity between two lines of the song. The bluer the  square is, the more similar the two lines are. Maroon means the lines  are dissimilar. A color legend is attached with each image for  clarification.

What patterns can you look for?
Repeating  patterns in blue correspond to repeating patterns in the song. More  maroon means the lyricist used lots of different words and did not  adhere to a lyrical structure. Remember the grid will be symmetric about  the diagonal. So, don’t look for that.

Let’s get started.

1. Rim Jhim Gire Saawan

A short and melancholic song. It returned the following:

The lyrics Rim jhim gire saawan, Sulag sulag jaaye mann is shown by the repeating blues. I daresay the grid resembles falling raindrops which is also the visual imagery created by the lyrics. Most probably just a coincidence.

2. Ek Ladki Bheegi Bhaagi Si

Here’s another song set against the backdrop of rain. And its visualization:

Again falling raindrops! Am I onto something here? On a more serious note (Inserted music pun. Score!),  this is a longer song and the lyrical structures are very evident.  Heck, the structures are almost symmetric about themselves too. That’s  sheer brilliance.

3. Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh

I chose this song on purpose. It has too many repetitions.

So  many that maroon can’t be assigned as the background color. And the  number of big squares formed shows how this song’s music is also  structured.

4. Emotional Atyachar

I included this because the repeating structure in this song develops around the middle and by the end we are only left with Tauba tera jalwa… emotional atyachar. So the visualization gives us this:

5. Husna

This is a very powerful song whose lyrics don’t give in to direct repetition to get lyrical structure.

The  lack of blue squares and increased number of yellow squares shows how  the lyricist follows a certain structure but does not repeat lines  altogether.

Speaking  of repeating lines altogether, one cannot ignore the contribution of a  certain Mr. Himesh Reshammiya and his lyricists. As an apt ending to  anything about repeating lyrics, I attach this masterpiece.

And its cosine-similarity graph.

The  repeating pattern is so damn beautiful. Lots of descending electric  rays, seeking the deepest crevices on earth, in the hope that the ocean  will muffle the song that created them.


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