Taylor Swift; Lionel Hahn/Getty Images; Sir Tim Rice; Karwai Tang/WireImage

Music is the way that artists express their emotions, and not all emotions are happy. That’s why it seems odd that one famous, Oscar-winning songwriter is complaining that today’s pop music isn’t happy enough.

Sir Tim Rice, 79, wrote the lyrics for hit musicals like Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, as well as for hit animated films like The Lion King and Aladdin. He tells the U.K.’s The Times, “One of the things that depresses me today about a lot of pop music is that so many of these songs seem to be pretty miserable in a very ‘me me me’ way.”

“I was listening to ‘Traitor‘ by Olivia Rodrigo — she’s a great singer and there’s some great musicianship, but you think, ‘They sound really unhappy,'” says Rice.

“And Taylor Swift: every time she falls out with somebody, the poor bloke gets slaughtered in the next song,” he continues. “In the unlikely event that Taylor Swift asked me out, I would say no.”

So if their songs are “unhappy,” what songs cheer him up?

Rice says, “Early rock ’n’ roll: Elvis, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, the Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly … all the stuff that was really big when I was in my early teens. Even if it was a sad song, it cheered you up.”

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