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Lyric/Song-Writing Don'ts?

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Scrybe
(@scrybe)
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Topic starter  

Actually, I'm still not sure what a para-de-tux actually is. :? No wonder that mishear never really made much sense to me.

Ra Er Ga.

Ninjazz have SuperChops.

http://www.blipfoto.com/Scrybe


   
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Rahul
(@rahul)
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Don't write about the fact that you will die for someone you love. Hell, if you would die, what will you gain anyhow ? Your love will surely find some other.


   
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Scrybe
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Topic starter  

Don't write about the fact that you will die for someone you love. Hell, if you would die, what will you gain anyhow ? Your love will surely find some other.
:lol: :lol: :lol:

"I'd die for yooooooouuuuuuuu
or kill you first........
Been outside your window for 6 months now....
I got this well re-hearsed....."

:lol:

Sorry. but yeah, good point.

"I'd die for you......but, before I do, will you [email protected] me first?" :shock: :wink:

Edit: Perhaps this could make it into a Nick IGFUITA (Part 2) (Remix) tune?

Ra Er Ga.

Ninjazz have SuperChops.

http://www.blipfoto.com/Scrybe


   
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MonsterBiscuit
(@monsterbiscuit)
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This is really going to depend on what kind of songs you want to write. One person's don't will be another's do's and visa versa. For me I'm not too into anything that sounds very "cliche" or too straight forward. But - really I am more of a music guy so I'll still love a song with uninteresting lyrics if I love the music.

Singing Lessons - Anyone Can Learn How To Sing!


   
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Alan Green
(@alangreen)
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Posts: 5342
 

Don't talk about love - chuck-bucket material

Don't mention anybody's name cos it dates your song instantly

Don't use the words Vietname, Iraq, Aghanistan etc - dates everything on the spot.

Don't use the F, S, B or C-words cos you won't get radio airplay. In fact, people who resort to lots of F, S, B or C-words in a song haven't got anything to say that's worth listening to anyway

Don't give a singer a tamborine - they always start to whack it right by the mic and you can't hear what they're singing about(a girl I knew in Frankfurt told me that, she was a singer)

Too many don'ts in this world. There should be more de doo doo doos. Sorry.

A :-)

"Be good at what you can do" - Fingerbanger"
I have always felt that it is better to do what is beautiful than what is 'right'" - Eliot Fisk
Wedding music and guitar lessons in Essex. Listen at: http://www.rollmopmusic.co.uk


   
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BarnaBus RoX
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I totally disagree with "don't s"

Ask yourself this question , " Who are you writing for ?"

I write for myself , I ain't ever going to be a famous writer so if I mention places as Alan mentioned then I will know when I wrote it , as for love being chuck material gees mate how many million $ have been cashed in on chuck material ? And like I said I write for myself so if there is a need in me to write a chuck song god damit I will .

All the bombs you guys have mentioned , Lennon has used nearly all of them in different songs , arn't you limiting yourselves to "Nursery Rhymes " ? Swearing is a part of everyday use , even if you don't like it its' there . Songs reflect the day and age of the writer don't they ? If not someone better tell Dylan he is wrong , and many others who have made millions ....

Write what you want , be original , open the doors of stereo typing where everyone is nice and the world is a beautiful place , because in reality it isn't , politicians lie , children die , women can be itches with a B and grown men cry ..Murder , Rape ,Drugs and oh no swearing is a part of life ..I have 2 daughters and never swear around them or their mother but that don't mean it don't happen some where in the world ..

Write from your heart , write what you know , and be true to yourself as a writer

My thoughts and my opinion , you probably disagree with me but thats good , don't reply with some immature response accept the world is a diverse and complex thing and so are the people who live here ..

Stay true to yourself
B.R

Here is to you as good as you are
And here is to me as bad as I am
As good as you are and as bad as I am
I'm as good as you are as bad as I am


   
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greybeard
(@greybeard)
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Posts: 5840
 

I have to write a song called "I hate bloody Chelsea and Drogba is a total wuss who couldn't handle an all-girls preschool let alone a proper game of football, but he might do well in panto." Succinct, I know.
North of Watford, those are becoming very much over-used lyrics. :D

True, but over-used.............

I started with nothing - and I've still got most of it left.
Did you know that the word "gullible" is not in any dictionary?
Greybeard's Pages
My Articles & Reviews on GN


   
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Nick Torres
(@nicktorres)
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Posts: 5381
 

You may disagree with "don'ts", but then I'd have to add, "don't listen to that man". The assumption here is that the writer is intent on playing the song for an audience. When you do that there is always something to consider. When writing that nursery rhyme are you going to drop the F-bomb?

Mary had a little lamb
it's fleece was white as snow
and everywhere that Mary went
that F'@*ker was sure to go.

or

Twas the night before Christmas
and all through the house
not a creature was stirring
except that F'ing mouse

or

You do not like
green eggs and ham?

I don't f'ing
like them,
Sam-I-am.

Could you, would you,
with a goat?

I would not,
could not,
with a f'ing goat!

Would you, could you,
on a boat?

I f'ing would not, on a boat.
I f'ing will not, with a goat.
no f'ing way in the rain.
no f'ing way on a train.
F no in the dark! F no in a tree!
Not in a f'ing car! You let me be!
I f'ing hate them in a box.
I f'ing hate them with a fox.
I f'ing will not in a house.
I f'ing will not with a mouse.
I do not like them here or there.
I don't like those f'ers ANYWHERE!

Although my adaptations are indeed brilliant and don't change the meaning of the song much, I wouldn't read this to my kids. I wouldn't read it to my mom. I wouldn't read them in a class. I wouldn't....OMG I'm stuck in Seuss mode. You get the idea.

Also do you want a commercial sound? Then you'll need to follow the don'ts. Not too many songs that are played on the radio, now or in the sixties lasted longer than 3-4 minutes.

Do you want a song that isn't immediately pigeon-holed as corny, trite, boring, been done before? Well some topics are just overdone.

I don't think you should be limited, but you should be aware. The song writing universe is wide open. Why would you view a few guidelines as limiting?

....and keep in mind that all of the above is written by a song writer who writes songs with very, very adult humor in them.


   
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KR2
 KR2
(@kr2)
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I liked the lyrics.
It's been written recently in SSG that 95% of listeners of a song really don't listen to the lyrics that much (or something to that effect).
But your lyrics, one is definitely going to listen to. I think it's called carpet bombing.

BTW, anyone know why Scrybe (originator of topic) hasn't logged in for so long?
Because this question is for her:

And walks along with a parrot that talks

=
and it's para-de-tux. tsk.....
Actually, I'm still not sure what a para-de-tux actually is. :? No wonder that mishear never really made much sense to me.

?

It's the rock that gives the stream its music . . . and the stream that gives the rock its roll.


   
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BarnaBus RoX
(@barnabus-rox)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 2957
 

Why write with in ANY limitations when , there isn't any golden rules to song writing ?
My reference to nursery rhymes was mere way of looking through the world in rose colored glasses , why not say it as it is ..

If the F*** ing B**ch stole your money , why not say it ?
Oh that low down hoe stole my money , sorry we ain't all "Americanized " just yet ..
I never said for one second that bombs should be used in every song you write , I never implied that it is the only way of phrasing things either , I believe that staying true to yourself .

Write how you say it , I might not be any brilliant song writer but I have just had a quick look and so far I have written 450 songs , not one of them would ever be national hits , nor even recorded by artist and in them songs I have one with a bomb once , in saying this then would the song work with out it ? In my opinion no , and that is what song writing is . Opinions self opinionated people with their opinions . Yes I do review other peoples song writing on this site and other sites as well , I do not believe that my opinion has never nor ever would be held with much respect for the simple reason , "What have I ever written " that would be respected by professional musicians ? Nothing of course , opinions on what one wants to see with in lyrics is just that , a opinion . Opinions vary from person to person culture to culture , language to language .

Who decided that they had the right to place limitations on song writing , through their own opinion ?
Sorry I never read that part of Song Writing , it must have been lost in the mail when I joined several song writing forums , personal opinions are not the guidelines for song writing , on this site and many other sites , keep it family friendly policies apply , which is just fine as contributors know the rules of sites when they join . But this isn't guidelines to all song writing ..

One simple rule applies to song writing as far as I am concerned , "Don't take others material and don't purge yourself " , after that , be true to yourself .

Just my opinion

Here is to you as good as you are
And here is to me as bad as I am
As good as you are and as bad as I am
I'm as good as you are as bad as I am


   
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David Hodge
(@davidhodge)
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Posts: 4472
 

Your main argument, "don't write with any limitations" is an excellent one. But...

One could easily turn your own argument around, Trev. It's funny, but until I got serious about writing, I had no compunctions about swearing or profanity. But as a writer, it became more and more important to find the right word, the word that meant what I wanted to say. As a songwriter, it's even more important, because you are often writing with other limitations, such as working within a melody or meter, and finding a single word that would replace a phrase, or a phrase that wouldn't sound like goobledygook when sung can improve a song immensely. Back to this in a minute...

Anyways, I began to realize that all the swearing I did didn't mean anything. More often than not, in fact, it acted as a "slight of hand" - I could have a killer line but all the listener heard was the swear. And if the listener wasn't getting the whole line, what was the sense?

It's important to understand that, yes we write for ourselves. But if you're going to have your song be heard by anyone besides yourself, then it's not all about you anymore. More important, you're writing lines that are sung and the chances are better than not that your listener is (a) not going to have a lyric sheet to read while listening and (b) is usually going to get one shot to hear the line. So it therefore becomes important to write something that's relatively easily sung and easily understood when sung.

Not that this precludes the use of profanity. Far from it. But from a writer's point of view, there is almost always a better word, a more powerful way of saying something than using a word that simply makes some people blush and others act like little kids who got away with something. Neither of those reactions are usually what a writer is hoping for. When it is, then go for it!

As I mentioned, it is kind of funny, because once I realized this about my writing, I also realized it about my speech. The only reason I had for swearing was either to shock or (appear) to be cool. It never was about communication. It was about me and about how I wanted to be perceived.

As a writer, for a communicator on any level, using a word that doesn't mean what I want it to, that is also so trite and overdone that it serves no purpose, well, that certainly qualifies as a limitation, no? If I have to weed through a lot of tripe to get to the meaning of a line, I'm more likely to think that I'm dealing with someone who either can't communicate well or, much worse, has chosen not to communicate well. And again (not to mention always), speaking strictly for myself, I like to think I respect my listeners more than that. And ultimately (and again speaking for myself), I write for both my listeners and myself. That certainly wasn't how I began as a writer, but that's where I grew into.

If it's about being true to yourself, and I totally agree with you that it is, then don't you also have to be true to start with? Otherwise it becomes being about being true to your image, which may or may not be true.

Just another thought... :wink:

Peace


   
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kingpatzer
(@kingpatzer)
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Posts: 2171
 

I've always thought that Don McLean was one of the all time great, and rather un-appreciated, lyricists.

Some of my favorites:

I feel like a spinning top or a dreidel.
The spinning don't stop when you leave the cradle.
You just slow down.
Round and around the world you go
Spinning through the lives of the people you know.
We all slow down.
How you gonna keep on turning from day to day?
How you gonna keep from turning your life away?

Here's one where he takes very cliche line, but surrounds it with enough really vibrant imagery to make it work:

Your fragile beauty caught me in its web.
And I am held by every silver strand of love you spin.
Here in a swirl of sleeping circles all my dreams begin.
Dreams that somehow always end with you.
You're the one that makes my dreams come true

And some of his stuff is really wryly on target about our society, like "Superman:"

Well I never was real or stronger than steel.
I'm a figment of Freudian need.
the video screen is a psychotic scene
it's all done with mirrors and green

My agent just called, the talks have been stalled
I soon will be pulled from the air.
But the image persists in the video mists
That a Superman still will be there!

And some of his lyrics, even 30 some years later, are still sadly appropriate social commentary:

My supper's on the stove, the war is on the screen
Pass the bread and butter while I watch the Marine
The shot him in the chest--Pass the chicken breast!
The general is saying that he's still unimpressed.
"We had to burn the city 'cause they wouldn't agree
That things go better with democracy!"
The weather will be fair, forget the ozone layer,
But strontium showers will be here and there

Well this is life, this is Prime time
This is livin' in the U. S. A.
Well this is life, this is Prime Time
This is livin' the American way

Well livin' in the country watchin' shadows fall
My reception ain't too good in a power stall
Bombers in the air, missiles in the sea
Chemicals in everything, including me
They don't keep their promise in the promised land
It's getting mighty hard to find an honest man
But coming very soon, a show you'll die to see
It's called "The End Of The World", on channel "C"

Well this is life, this is Prime time
This is livin' in the U. S. A.
Well this is life, this is Prime time
This is livin' in the U. S. A.
Well this is life, this is Prime Time
This is livin' the American way

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." -- HST


   
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Nick Torres
(@nicktorres)
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Right, so I proved my point with the (reverb please), HAMMER OF SUBTLETY

Sorry if that was over the top, no offense intended.

I think we are saying the same thing:

1. You have to consider who is listening.
2. You have to consider who you are writing it for.
3. You have to consider why you are writing it.

If the answers are:

1. Just you
2. Just you
3. To replace expensive therapy

Then the sky is the limit

If the answers are

1. Other people
2. A nursery school class
3. To introduce them to music, reading, rhyming

Then you have to impose limits. You can fill in the blanks with all kinds of things, a lover, a family member, a drinking buddy etc and you'll get all kinds of different limits. Throw in commercially viable, a genre etc and you get another set of limits thrown in. Toss in a handful of I want to be true to my message and art with all of the above and you get something all together different.

One other thing, I agree with David's post, and if you replace "profanity" with "cliche" you can say the same thing. Cliche is what you use when you don't want to bother with thinking of your own words. Something to avoid.


   
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David Hodge
(@davidhodge)
Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 4472
 

One other thing, I agree with David's post, and if you replace "profanity" with "cliche" you can say the same thing. Cliche is what you use when you don't want to bother with thinking of your own words. Something to avoid.

Thanks for getting to the heart of it! I definitely need a better editor :wink:

Peace


   
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BarnaBus RoX
(@barnabus-rox)
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I totally understand what David & Nick are saying , but do I have to agree with anyone else s point of view ? No does anyone have to agree with my opinion ? No

This is a healthy discussion and I just want to point out to anyone who reads this , there has never nor would there be any ill will between us . This is me putting my opinion on the forum , which is one of the reasons its a forum , we all have the choice to agree or disagree with out hurting anyones feelings .

So on this occasion I think we should agree to disagree with true forum spirit and accept that everyone has opinion of their own on what song writing is all about .

I thanks Nick & David for putting up a very mature and insightful posts that show their opinion and I will leave it there as I have said what I needed to say and look forward to reading this thread as it grows .

Stay True To Yourself
Trev.. :wink:

Here is to you as good as you are
And here is to me as bad as I am
As good as you are and as bad as I am
I'm as good as you are as bad as I am


   
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