Sgt. Pepper’s Word Cloud

As my last post hinted at, I’ve been working on scraping Beatles lyrics from the web. I was never really able to fully automate the process since the links didn’t have an easily repeatable pattern - the lyrics for each song were on a page with that song in the address. Nevertheless, I was able to complete the collection of lyrics from the “core” albums without too much hassle. Everything can be found in my beatles-lyrics repo on Github.

I have several analyses planned using this data. To get things started, I thought I’d create a simple word cloud for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The code is really simple and I’m using the tm and wordcloud packages. I have the songs for each album in their own folder, and all of the album folders are in a folder called “Beatles” that is in my usual R working directory.

First, load the packages and set the working directory:



Next, load the data and create a corpus from the Sgt. Pepper’s lyrics before doing some basic processing:

sgtp <- VCorpus(DirSource("SgtPeppers/"))

sgtp <- tm_map(sgtp, removePunctuation)
sgtp <- tm_map(sgtp, content_transformer(tolower))
sgtp <- tm_map(sgtp, removeNumbers)
sgtp <- tm_map(sgtp, stripWhitespace)
sgtp <- tm_map(sgtp, removeWords, stopwords("english")) 

I did some transformations like: removing punctuation, removing any numbers, and converting to lower case. Importantly, I also removed “stop words” (words like “the”), but I did not do any stemming.

From there, I created the document-term matix, and only a few more lines of code were needed to produce the word cloud. Note that I am only including words with a minimum frequency of five.

dtm <- DocumentTermMatrix(sgtp)

freq <- colSums(as.matrix(dtm))

wordcloud(names(freq), freq, min.freq = 5, colors = brewer.pal(3, "Accent"))

The final result can be seen here: Imgur

There should be some more cool stuff coming from this. I know I want to do a sentiment analysis, and I also plan on trying out the tidytext package. Also, I already have at least one Shiny app planned for this data. Stay tuned!