How to Build a Song/Write a Lyrics Poem From Scratch
1. What to write about
Think of something or someone that inspires you
Something or someone that bothers you
Something or someone that changed your life
A person you admire
A childhood or travel memory
A small incident in a moment that reversed itself in your life
Any subject it seems no one talks about
2. How to write it
Pick a melody in your head or a catch phrase that you like and just flesh it out.
You can change any song idea after getting stuck for some other new angle or different idea. Don't stay stuck long. Use your journal. Catch ideas that don't yet fit for later.
Use a rhyming dictionary, thesarus (directory of concepts!) or some creativity exercise.
Oh yeah....keep doing it. Someone once said "there's no such thing as a genius, just someone who practiced 100,000 times".
3. Format for familiarity
People often write lyrics as poetry, but fight the usual rhyming and formatting most
popular songs use. It's your choice, but it also depends heavily on whether your target
audience is going to "get" your work if you get away from a standard AABA format with
a solid chorus and hook, or whether the object is to try new creative or innovative ideas.
In the end, you decide how and what to tell the world. Personally, I believe in choruses,
familiar rock/country/blues formats and whatever gets your audience to sing along.
Usually, less is more and repeating a key line once or twice makes a point stand out.
4. Standing on the shoulders of giants
Someone somewhere blew you away with a song or two. What was it about
that song that you liked? Would you like to try and make a song that
blows people away like that too?
Emulate your idols without copying, or be inspired by a song you just
heard on the radio.
Believe in what you're doing. The only thing the greats (Dylan, Lennon,
etc.) had in common was the belief that they could change the world by
doing what they did. They were right.
5. Exhibit A
Hello, Blondie! Hurry up and get Dagwood off the couch
You’re teaching our children they can live just like that slouch
Hey there, Mr. Wilson, where did your senses go?
All you have to do is tell that wild boy Dennis, “NO!”
I see – the picture’s so much clearer
I see – our lives in comedic mirror
All this hilarity is true
Unfortunately, the joke’s on you.
Hello, Archie Andrews, you’re a cute two-timing fool
Choose either love or money, send the loser back to school
Hi there, Cookie Monster, stuff your face just as you please
Even Big Bird cannot count your intake of calories
I see – the drawings of the truth
I see – the effects upon our youth
In the Sunday comics, a laugh is a must
Sorry to say, though, the joke’s on us.
Please Superman, if you can, take pity on your lesser man,
We need proof, we’re not aloof; that’s why we try to dive from the roof
Save me from reality, whatever that really happens to be
Promise me my kids won’t be all bitches like in Apartment 3-G!
(God, what a bunch of bitches!!)
Katzenjammer to Simpsons, a parallel story
Real crosses fantasy in search of short glory
Capturing the spirit, staking your claim,
Someday we’ll see if Charlie Brown is to blame
I see – our lives in printed bliss
I see – more to the tale than this
Panels of experts, chuckling through
Laugh at them now, but the joke’s on you.
Laughing Dolphin Music