Changing musical styles often make a song’s melody or arrangement seem dated. What makes a lyric seem dated?
Obviously, outdated cultural references are one possibility. (Case in point: “No Shortage,” The Imperials)
Slang is another. (Case in point: The Blackwood Brothers’ “It Must Be the Man in the Sky”—and, perhaps, “Have You Talked to the Man Upstairs,” though I suppose there is a possibility people somewhere still use that to refer to God. Another case in point: Everything in Contemporary Christian Music from 1975-1985! 😀 )
Some would say King James-era language is a third. It probably is in Contemporary Christian Music, but in this genre, I would contend that it’s more likely to bring classic hymns to mind—and that’s far from a bad thing.
What other factors might make a lyric seem dated? What would make you say, “Oh, that sounds so 1950s”—from the lyrics alone?