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writing meaningful lyrics


Li10

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I'll sit down and write a bunch of lyrics which seem to express my feelings well, but then when I read it over later it is just meaningless rubbish.

 

Do any of you have this problem?

 

I'm thinking, maybe it's because they're not structured properly, they don't fit together properly to form a picture, something that makes sense. Even now the phrases aren't memorable at all. Any tips?

 

Thanks and sorry for making yet another thread about this. :cop:

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Well, if I write you a letter, and I tell you how I'm feeling, what I've been thinking about, what's been going on, that might be an OK letter that communicates important stuff to me...

 

... but it doesn't necessarily make it art.

 

I think what some of us look for in the lyrics to songs is something that delivers on multiple levels.

 

If it was just about communicating feelings, I could say, well, I'm sad. That's not even a good letter. ;)

 

But if I show you why I'm sad... if I show you how I'm sad -- the kind of things I do, allow them to create a portrait of that sadness... or if I write about it in ways that makes us look at sadness in some new way or tie my sadness to yours or some sort of universal in a way that makes us think or feel... then it starts becoming something more than a report.

 

How do you do that?

 

By using the tools that songwriters have at their disposal: metaphor, imagery, storytelling, wordplay. If we can weave these together we can start to approach something that not only communicates facts, but helps suggest reasons, that entertains, and that might even enlighten or provoke one to look at things in significantly new ways.

 

That might sound daunting, but it's really just an extension of what we do every day when we talk to our friends, our selves, when we write in our journals or write letters.

 

But it's a much more concentrated form of writing -- and that's why we sometimes need to use all the tricks we can to get the song to achieve its potential.

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My general rule is not to worry about the things you mention. There is no reason for lyrics to "form a picture", "make sense" or "be structured properly". Anything goes for me, so long as I don't perceive it as obnoxious or offensive in some way. (Regardless of what words I use, the music itself is telling its own story anyway.)

 

But when I'm in the process of writing a song, I may be more strict than that especially if I am wanting to write about a specific topic or event or even just trying to convey an attitude. I'm not sure if I have any good tips other than urging you to read as much as you can, preferably from print as opposed to "the internets". :)

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One of the tricks I picked up a long time ago (when I had the same problem) is to go ahead and write exactly what I'm thinking or feeling. I write it just like I would say it in normal conversation. Once I've gotten the idea or the feeling out and on paper, I work on finding ways to say those things in other ways, metaphor, analogy, etc... The only rule is that NONE of what I wrote the first time can go into the actual lyrics.

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i think the most better way of writing song lyrics is to think about your feelings your experiences, whether it is good or bad happy or sad. and just have the heart of writing songs Im sure it will be great.....

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As you write enough you start to develop your own style and soon forget about some cool structure you had in your mind how you want your lyrics to be like.

 

I used to be able to tell quite easily from which artist I was influenced by. Over time as my knowledge and life experiences grow I'm able to focus more on my own thing and gaining influences by life, not just a lyric repertiore, if you will.

 

I guess I'm finally drowning the perfectionist inside me and actually show who I am. Don't if that helps, but the key is to express yourself. It doesn't have to be some cool metaphor that's arranged in a way the planets align.

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Many writers experience this phenomenon. For me, the solution is to rewrite, play song, rewrite, play, and repeat until I'm happy with the result.

 

Perseverance often pays off for me, although I admit that I have reams of paper with unsatisfactory/substandard/lousy lyrics on them. Sometimes I'll combine snippets of lyrics from several stillborn efforts, and come up with something usable.

 

keep at it!

cheers

R

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I'm a big big BIG fan of metaphor, so sometimes the lyrics that get to me the most and really sink in with me are the ones that just come out and say exactly what they're trying to say. "God, I really wish I had a..." "I'm so..." "I need..."

 

There are a lot of really effective ways to approach lyricsm, but I don't know if there's really a right or wrong. Just do what you feel. If you're not happy with the end result, try again. Not every song or poem is gonna come out great or exactly how you wanted. As long as you are able to purge what you're feeling while you're writing, what does it really matter if it makes sense or it's memorable when you re-read it?

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When I was more serious in pursuing a career as a professional writer, I had no problem at all writing down ideas for lyrics and having a knack for lyrical structure and rhythm. But since I started taking instrumentation much more seriously years ago, I am completely unable to write meaningful lyrics at all, or even really move past the part where I know what kind of lyrics I want to have.

 

All I can do is keep working on the craft because it is, in the end, an art that takes practice and dedication. I can definitely relate at being frustrated though.

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All I can do is keep working on the craft because it is, in the end, an art that takes practice and dedication. I can definitely relate at being frustrated though.

 

 

I have been writing a lot more lyrics lately, filled out about a third of a notebook this past 2 weeks, whereas i filled out three books over the course of a year a

while ago.

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