"mot" is rather the descriptive of the basic element of a sentence, while "paroles" is not only a more elegant word, it also means "a lot of words".
For songs, lyrics are "les paroles".
Can 'les paroles', then, mean 'the speech', (singular)? Speech, in English, is both countable and uncountable, and I note that most of these sentences use in this lesson use 'les paroles' in plural in a way that I suspect could translate as 'the speech', singular.
Would it be accurate to say that "mots" refers to basic words, and "paroles" refers to prose?
"des mots" are words, written or not, single units of language, meaningful combination of letters...
"des paroles" are a series of words said or sung (= lyrics)
"une parole" is a vow, a promise, a commitment
The same idea in English when we "give our word" it implies a vow (singular) even though there may be multiple words involved in the vow itself.
Also, when we say that we like the words to one song, and not the words to another song, we are usually not referring to the individual words themselves ,but to the way the words are strung together in lyrics.
Thank you for the insight! French is WAY more like English than I had thought it would be.