Seen in the Harper's Index, August 2008:
Average word count of top-ten songs during the 1960s: 176
Average last year: 436
There is no attempt made to explain the reasons for this, as is customary for the Harper's Index, but there is obviously a simple explanation: Rap songs, which dominate the Top Ten these days, have lots of words. "I Saw Her Standing There," on the other hand, had 184.