The embodiment of ‘Chinese strength’

Cultural collectivism in the lyrics of epidemic songs




COVID-19, Lyrics, Epidemic Songs, Cultural Collectivism


This article examines how Chinese songs have incorporated collectivism-oriented cultural values since the outbreak of COVID-19. Such songs are composed to express emotions and cultural values during the global crisis. They are also cultural symbols, sharing not only music but also cultural spirit. This article takes lyrics in Chinese songs, published from February to April 2020, as symbolic texts to analyse the cultural values behind music composing and expression. We identify keywords in song lyrics such as Yi Qing [epidemic], Kang Yi [anti-epidemic] and Xin Guan [COVID-19] via a representative music platform (NetEase Cloud Music) in China. The results show that these lyrics emphasize different levels of collectivism, including eulogizing the nation, advocating unity, and praising national heroes.

Author Biographies

Wenyu Zhong, University of Shanghai for Science and Technology

Wenyu Zhong is a post-graduate student at University of Shanghai for Science and Technology, China. Her research interests include popular music studies and communication studies.

Mengyu Luo, University of Shanghai for Science and Technology

Mengyu Luo is Associate Professor at University of Shanghai for Science and Technology, China. Her research interests include music sociology and cultural studies.


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Online songs

[Confirm that Love Will Win] 2020. NetEase Cloud Music. 2 February. (accessed 1 September 2021).

Fight as ONE 2020. NetEase Cloud Music. 3 April. (accessed 1 September 2021).

[Out of War] 2020. NetEase Cloud Music. 8 February. (accessed 1 September 2021).

[We Are Together] 2020. NetEase Cloud Music. 12 February. (accessed 1 September 2021).

[We Will Certainly Win] 2020. NetEase Cloud Music. 4 February. (accessed 1 September 2021).



How to Cite

Zhong, W. ., & Luo, M. . (2021). The embodiment of ‘Chinese strength’: Cultural collectivism in the lyrics of epidemic songs. Perfect Beat, 21(2), 118–122.