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The Mystery of whole songs

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(@bleaseyhighflyer)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 41
Topic starter  

I have only recently started writing lyrics and songs, as my band are slowly progressing and we need "original material", i have written a few compositions but when it somes to lyrics i struggle. I can come up with farily good ideas for single lines, perhaps even names which suit the music but not entire lyrics for verses, chrus's or interludes's

Could you share you thoughts o wise ones about how you write entire songs?

" Ah man, that went down like a lead balloon."


   
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(@wes-inman)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5582
 

This may sound like the stupidest advice you've ever heard, but just write anything. This is not my own idea, but something I heard from Paul McCartney in an interview once. He said he just writes lines that sound good to him. They do not have to make any sense at all. I liked this. Just imagine what could come out.

Here is a song Paul wrote that makes no sense at all. But I love it. The lyrics are fantastic in my opinion.

Monkberry Moon Delight lyrics

So I sat in the attic,
A piano at my nose,
And the wind played a dreadful cantata (cantata...).
Sore was I from the crack of an enemy's hose,
And the horrible sound of tomato (tomato...).

Ketchup (ketchup)
Soup and puree (Soup and puree),
Don't get left behind (get left behind)...

When a rattle of rats had awoken,
The sinews, the nerves and the veins.
My piano was boldly outspoken, in attempts to repeat its refrain.

So I stood with a knot in my stomach,
And I gazed at that terrible sight
Of two youngsters concealed in a barrel,
Sucking monkberry moon delight.

Monkberry moon delight,
Monkberry moon delight.

Well, I know my banana is older than the rest,
And my hair is a tangled beretta.
When I leave my pajamas to Billy Budapest,
And I don't get the gist of your letter (your letter...).

Catch up! (catch up),
Cats and kittens (cats and kittens),
Don't get left behind (get left behind)...

Monkberry moon delight...
Monkberry moon delight...

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


   
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(@vic-lewis-vl)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 10264
 

There was a guy years ago - Pete Sinfield - used to write lyrics for King Crimson to Robert Fripp's music.......he admitted in an article all his lyrics came from Roget's Thesaurus.........

Might help if your vocabulary isn't as strong as you'd like it to be........

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


   
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(@bleaseyhighflyer)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 41
Topic starter  

Thanks for the advice, Nice one Wes, those lyrics are truely bizzare. I think i may invest in a thesaurus.......

" Ah man, that went down like a lead balloon."


   
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(@lederhoden)
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Posts: 82
 

Many years ago there was a craze for something called a "buzzword generator" - basically a computer program that was given one or two pointers about what was needed and it would generate whole paragraphs of wonderful sounding sentences that have absolutely no real meaning.

See if one of those might give you a few ideas.


   
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(@nicktorres)
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Check out the articles in my signature


   
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(@jbond)
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Posts: 3
 

Then again, not everyone is a huge fan of Paul McCartney lyrics ;)


   
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(@wes-inman)
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Monkberry Moon Delight happens to be one of my favorite Paul McCartney songs.

No, I was just describing a concept, that's all.

I saw a show about David Bowie maybe 20 years ago. He would write hundreds of short phrases about anything and everything on little strips of paper. He would put them in a large paper bag, shake it up, and then just draw them out. He said he used this technique quite often. I can't remember the exact songs, but he had several major hits written this way.

So this is all I was talking about. A method to get you out of a rut. If David Bowie and Paul McCartney use it, it can't be that bad.

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


   
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(@no1failure)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 3
 

Usually when I'm writing, I come up with a great 1 liner and just go from there..it works nice, and if you cant 'finish' a song then just use repetition and back-up/layerd vocals.


   
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(@omega)
Estimable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 92
 

Usually when I'm writing, I come up with a great 1 liner and just go from there.quote]

I can't ever do that, lol, because I get stuck trying to continue the story and make it rhyme. I have to think of the two words at the end that are going to rhyme first, then write the sentences. Unless of course I don't have rhyming at the end. :? .

With the original question, perhaps if you have trouble coming up with lyrics for a chorus, how about an instrumental chorus? or likewise, an interlude with just whispering of the verse, or oh's.. just find a way to use the voice as an instrument, or the like.

Somnium Dulcis.


   
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(@artistx13)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 61
 

Usually when I write lyrics one of two things happen either one I come up with a chord progression and play around with a word or just la la laaas or somethin that just pops in my head, or two im walking around my yard or just sittin somewhere and start singing it pays to have a little notebook with you. I dont ever just sit down and try to write a song cuz I can never get something. Ive found it easier to just let it flow, dont try to make it make sense from the beginning just write make sense of it later. A good little excercise I like to do when Im stumped is free write which is basically you start writing what comes to your head. dont worry about it can be something like: "Lalal well I have nothing to write about so Ill write about nothing but since im writing about nothing I do have something to write about. Hmm I wonder what that is. the floor is kinda hard and its kinda hot" yeah makes no sense but it helps free up the mind. well I believe ive devoled to ramblin so Ill end it. I hope this helps.

-Micheal :)

"I named my son Marshall, yeah I named him after the amp. Of course that wasnt my first choice, I was gonna name him Peavy but my wife didnt like it."- Ron "Tater Salad" White


   
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(@ajcharron)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 121
 

All great advice! If I can add, listen to the music, relax, get in the mood and the words will come: don't try to analyze them, it might take years before you understand what you wrote, but it generally makes sense.

Also, I've an articlel in "Songwriting" somewhere, I think it's called "À la Bowie", or something like that. Anyway, Bowie used to cut up sentences from papers and magazines and pull them out of a hat and put them together. He still does it occasionnally. I've put in a little Excel macro in the article that basically does the same thing.


   
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(@larro123)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 33
 

Another example of this songwriting style is Clapton's Badge. I read in an article that it doesn't mean anything.

ex. "I told you not to wander 'round in the dark,
I told you 'bout the swans that they live in the park,
then I told you 'bout our kid, now he's married to Mabel"


   
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(@sigil)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 17
 

I find others lyrics are inspirational to reinterpret. Like taking songs you feel in "tune " with the meanings (perhaps). Kinda like, ever hear a song so low on the radio you kinda make out what you think the lyrics are, then when you hear the song at full volume, you realise you were completely wrong?! I use that method to help me and re-write my interpretation.

example:

Fleetwood Mac/Behind the Mask part (Chris McVie)

Don't you come to close to me
Your dangerous, can't you see
You can make the darkness mean more
Than it ever did
Ever did before

The way I would typically re-interpret it

Don't try to tease me
My mind reels I can't see
Make the dark go away, no more
No more than it did before
Help me see

lalallalala etc...

Not a a real good example, but I do this alot to really get my mind
moving on its own, and usually I can warm up enough to where i don't need a "crutch" but I say use all teh mental tools you have to break those blank walls!

um ok I'm done now :)

Sigil is in creation mode


   
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(@fletch-bailey1212)
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Posts: 10
 

A great musician once told me that....

Write About Your Inner Feelings Because People Can Relate To How You Feel


   
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