Monday, December 24, 2007

I've always wondered about this...

I am not a country music fan, partly because like the plots of most romance novels, many of the songs deal with the same life situations over and over again. Granted they are common scenarios, but country music zeroes in almost exclusively on the depressing ones: drinking, divorce, heartbreak, etc.

And it made some economists wonder:
This article assesses the link between country music and metropolitan suicide rates. Country music is hypothesized to nurture a suicidal mood through its concerns with problems common in the suicidal population, such as marital discord, alcohol abuse, and alienation from work. The results of a multiple regression analysis of 49 metropolitan areas show that the greater the airtime devoted to country music, the greater the white suicide rate. The effect is independent of divorce, southernness, poverty, and gun availability. The existence of a country music subculture is thought to reinforce the link between country music and suicide. Our model explains 51% of the variance in urban white suicide rates. [More]

One can only speculate on the effect of Wagner. Or Manilow.

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