Blue without my Green: A Corpus Analysis on Colours of Grief and Emotive Expressions of Amy Winehouse’s Compositions


  • Nicola Philippou Cardiff University
  • Aiden Yeh Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages


Mental health, colours of grief, metaphors, corpus analysis, Amy Winehouse


Singers and songwriters use their music as a platform for communication, using lyrics to express intimate sentiments - often caused by the pressures of the music industry as well as personal matters such as mental health. In this study, we analysed Amy Winehouse’s songs, exploring the explicit and subliminal affective messages using linguistic techniques i.e., metaphors and colour symbolism. Grounded on corpus analysis and stages of grief theory, we looked at linguistic patterns and intensity of word choice related to Amy’s choices of colours and emotive expressions. The findings show that sadness was the most prevalent emotion in her lyrics and its correlation to her mental health issues; the transition of positive sentiments developing into negative emotions was also evident in the data. Her complex relationships and experiences were also infused into her deliberate self-portrayal of catalytic mental deterioration, self-destruction, and torment. This study offers new insights in corpus analysis research on psycholinguistics and mental health in pop culture. 


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Author Biographies

Nicola Philippou, Cardiff University

Nicola Philippou received her BA in Translation and Modern Languages (Chinese) from Cardiff University. Whilst working on this research paper she was on an exchange program at Wenzao University of Foreign Languages in Taiwan. She is currently pursuing her graduate studies.

Aiden Yeh, Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages

Dr. Aiden Yeh is an Associate Professor at Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages, Taiwan where she teaches Discourse Analysis, Pragmatics, and Linguistics. Her current research interests focus on corpus and critical discourse analysis. She received her PhD in Applied Linguistics from the University of Birmingham, U.K. 



How to Cite

Philippou, N. ., & Yeh, A. (2023). Blue without my Green: A Corpus Analysis on Colours of Grief and Emotive Expressions of Amy Winehouse’s Compositions. International Journal of Language and Literary Studies, 5(4), 1–19.