London, July 31 : In yesteryears, people would buy an album, put it on the hi-fi and listened to it while reading the lyrics on the record sleeve. But now time has changed, for the 'iPod generation' doesn't know the words to their favourite songs - because they have no album covers to learn them from, says a new study.
Millions of teenagers have moped to Morrissey after pouring over their lyrics for hours, the practice of reading and memorising lyrics seems o be on the wane, says the study.
But, according to the poll of 4,000 adults for the National Year of Reading, there is still an appetite for reading lyrics that is not being met.
Half of those surveyed said they felt music lyrics were less accessible than five years ago.
Although lyrics are available on many websites, most thought booting up their computer and searching for them was a poor substitute for reading a lovingly illustrated sleeve.
Two-thirds (62 per cent) of those polled said lyrics websites were unreliable and often incorrect, rising to three-quarters (75 per cent) of those aged 18 to 25.
And more than three-quarters (77 per cent) felt download sites should be offering definitive and accurate lyrics as part of the download service, the survey found.
Reading lyrics has the power to "change moods", just over half thought, while many believed being in love really brought the words to life.
"Our survey shows that audiences want to be able to read and appreciate them properly. This is great news! Our findings suggest that lyrics form a really significant backdrop to all our lives, so let's celebrate this," Telegraph quoted Honor Wilson-Fletcher, director of the National Year of Reading, as saying.