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#1084678 - 06/01/15 06:20 PM a word or two on lyrics.  
Joined: Mar 2009
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maccharles Online content
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maccharles  Online Content
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One of my favorite artists, talking about another favorite, with a few things to say about lyrics.


#1085262 - 06/10/15 01:41 AM Re: a word or two on lyrics. [Re: maccharles]  
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TC Perkins Online content
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TC Perkins  Online Content
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I love some of Joe's tunes! Thanks for sharing.


If it has strings I will find a way to play it!

You can hear my tunes at https://soundcloud.com/tc-gypsy
#1085274 - 06/10/15 08:41 AM Re: a word or two on lyrics. [Re: TC Perkins]  
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Colin Ward Offline
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A bit long winded, but here's the bit I liked.....

"Firstly, they need to fit the melody like a glove. This should be too obvious to need saying, but plenty of people try to fit words to tunes in the way that Cinderella's evil sisters tried to fit their feet into the magical glass slipper. Having the same number of syllables as notes really isn't good enough. The natural speech-rhythms, and the sound of the words, should fit the melody so perfectly that you can't imagine them existing separately. This is the kind of skill that can become less and less apparent the more it's perfected. It's like the tightrope-walker who goes from one end to the other as casually as someone strolling to the corner shop to buy a pint of milk.

Secondly, lyrics don't have to say very much. Most pop lyrics boil down to: (a) I really want to have sex with you; (b) I'm really happy because I'm in love; (c) I'm really sad because my baby left me; or (d) [naughty word removed] it, let's dance!

All of which is absolutely fine, but if you want to go a bit further and say something, then you're in more dangerous territory. It seems to me that if you want to do something clever, complex or provocative with words, you should probably be writing poetry rather than lyrics (it really isn't the same thing). And if you want to make a political statement, you should be writing an essay, a polemic, or a manifesto. A great lyric is more likely to be something that connects on some universal human level, something that just hits the nail on the head – but (here's the hard part) in a way that no one has quite done before."


I try to critique as if you mean business.....



#1085290 - 06/10/15 03:19 PM Re: a word or two on lyrics. [Re: Colin Ward]  
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Vicarn Offline
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Well, he's entitled to that opinion.
Personally, I like poetry in a song otherwise all you have is a dance beat or a singalong.
I like the sound of acoustic guitars, too.
Each to his own, though.


It's never too late? Yes it is, so do it now.

If, given time, a monkey can write the complete works of Shakespeare maybe there's hope for me.

#1085292 - 06/10/15 04:25 PM Re: a word or two on lyrics. [Re: Vicarn]  
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Dave Rice Online content
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Hi Mac:

Thanks for sharing. I appreciate Colin's brief synopsis 'cause I don't have time for watching videos right now. I agree with Vic. Nobody has a "magic formula" for creating instant success with lyrics or music these days. We each must do the best we can with what we have to "work with"... and for most of us, we don't stand a "ghost of a chance" in today's music biz. (There is always hope!)

Regards, everyone... ----Dave

#1085325 - 06/10/15 11:29 PM Re: a word or two on lyrics. [Re: Dave Rice]  
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Michael LeBlanc Offline
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so many ways to write a song,period

#1085335 - 06/11/15 03:18 AM Re: a word or two on lyrics. [Re: Michael LeBlanc]  
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TC Perkins Online content
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TC Perkins  Online Content
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I just write songs and try not to worry about whether they are 'hits' or even if anyone will like them. Sometimes they work better than others. Too much analysis thwarts the creative process. I know of musicians who never finished any songs because they thought none of them were 'good enough.'

Still, it was interesting listening to what Joe had to say.


If it has strings I will find a way to play it!

You can hear my tunes at https://soundcloud.com/tc-gypsy
#1085346 - 06/11/15 10:40 AM Re: a word or two on lyrics. [Re: TC Perkins]  
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Dave Rice Online content
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Dave Rice  Online Content
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Well said, TC:

My notebooks are full of "unborn lyrics" simply because they did not measure up to my expectations. On the flip side, I sometimes pour through the older books when the Muse fails to make an appointment... and I try to turn "Sow's Ears into Silk Purses." Every now and then... a successful salvage happens. (At least to my old ears.)

Have a great weekend, everyone. We've made it past "hump-day" and the sky has not fallen.



#1085353 - 06/11/15 11:57 AM Re: a word or two on lyrics. [Re: Dave Rice]  
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Ray E. Strode Online content
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Ray E. Strode  Online Content
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One of the things I have done is re-visit some of my songs/lyrics I wasn't completely happy with and made improvements. You all know which ones you aren't overtly happy with.

Ray E. Strode
#1085462 - 06/12/15 09:58 PM Re: a word or two on lyrics. [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
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TC Perkins Online content
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TC Perkins  Online Content
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I have been dredging up old stuff, too. It's amazing what you find when you have to move! I am moving at the end of the month, and in the process I have come across everything from full lyric sheets to little scraps of paper with song ideas on them.

Some of them are really lame but there are a few that might be diamonds in the rough. You never know until you try to record it!


If it has strings I will find a way to play it!

You can hear my tunes at https://soundcloud.com/tc-gypsy
#1088157 - 07/17/15 03:21 PM Re: a word or two on lyrics. [Re: Vicarn]  
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beechnut79 Online content
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beechnut79  Online Content
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I am with you on this. I have been told that many of my lyrics are more suited for poetry than music. But many pieces that begin as poetry do become songs once the right match is made. And that really is what song lyrics are: glorified poetry.

#1121896 - 01/03/17 08:08 PM Re: a word or two on lyrics. [Re: maccharles]  
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BenJones Offline
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BenJones  Offline
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I'm a big fan of joe Jackson. Look sharp and I'm the man are two of best albums I have heard, to this point.

I'm a bit surprised his take here in lyrics though, because he has written some great lyrics. His lyrics tell solid stories in short frames. He is one of my favorite songwriters of all

Sunday papers, or one of my favorites, It's different for girls.

But no doubt the music carries it

Last edited by BenJones; 01/03/17 08:08 PM.

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