In the Broadway musical “Rent”, specifically in the song “Seasons of Love”, the cast asks: “How do you measure a year in the life?”. Their attempt to answer this question can be heard throughout the song. They start with the premise that a year consists of 525600 minutes, and that’s correct when it comes to quantifying a year (at least in our calendar). The cast gets stuck trying to provide answers when they start including elements that are intangible, such as love, life, truth, bridges burnt, etc. That’s when Qualitative research comes to the rescue.
If this group of young individuals was able to get an exact account of what happened in the year, and then plug the transcripts of this narrative into a document they will able to count words and identify key themes. The internet is full of tools that could aid in that process such as word clouds (for those who like visuals), and others like textalyser.net (for those of you who want to get technical with word counts). A quick analysis I did of the synopsis of the musical Rent did indeed provide me with the answer they were looking for. After eliminating proper nouns, and prepositions, I ran the synopsis of the play using textalyser.net, and the words “Love” and “Protest” came back tied as the two top key themes. So, according to my quick analysis, writer/composer Jonathan Larson was right to conclude that his characters must measure their life in love, otherwise his characters would have been disconnected from the brand of the play.
STATUS: AGREEING THAT SEASONS OF LOVE IS A BETTER TITLE THAN SEASONS OF PROTEST… OR IS IT?