Music Lyrics

Finding and Writing Lyrics

Finding Them

Many people I know have their favorite site for finding lyrics. They use the site's built-in search to find what they need. This may not bring them good results as databases may have some holes here and there and if they're searching for specific languages they will be in an even harder situation.

What I would recommend is to use everyone's favorite search engine, Google. If you type in the song you are looking for plus „lyrics” you will most definitely find what you are looking for at the very top so you can even use the „I'm feeling lucky” button to transport you to the first hit directly. The other upside of this is that you can also search for a specific band's lyrics and probably land on a page that has a list, but you can also search for a phrase found inside the lyrics and have a better chance of finding it.

Writing Them

If you are musically and poetically inclined you may want to have a go at writing some lyrics. MY philosophy about everything in music in general is that there are some rules, but if you break them and it sounds good who will really care? Rules are meant to guide you, not bind you so feel free to experiment anywhere, anytime. I will show a very basic lyric outline which is by no means definitive, but for the first few tries you may want to go with it. My outline does not take into account factors like when a writer deliberately alters the structure because the different structure gives the song a different meaning. Let's keep to the basics here.

The Idea

First you should have clear idea of what you're going to write about. If you are the spontanious type no problem, but have at least a faint outline. You may want to take notes and jot down everything that comes into your head.

Structure

The most common structural elements in a song (lyric-wise) are the verse, the chorus and the bridge. In a typical structure the lyrics may follow this pattern:

Verse – Verse – Chorus – Verse – Verse – Chorus – Bridge – Chorus

The verse is usually where all the exposition goes while the chorus underlines the meaning and shows what the writer was writing about. The bridge may have many functions, it can be used to add a new twist to the lyrics' meaning or to strengthen the role of the chorus. It is also very typical to have a nice framed structure like so:

Verse – Verse – Chorus – Verse – Verse – Chorus – Verse

Rhymes

While rhyming is by no means necessary, if your lyrics rhyme you really should put some though into thrm. Having rhymes like „Out on the beach in the sun, life is oh so fun” is just not good enough. You may be able to get away with them now and then, but you really should put brainwork behind the rhymes. Combining rhymes with metaphors is the best as this allows you to deviate from the subject, while staying focused on the meaning.

Musical Context

If you are writing to a specific song, or have a good idea of what the music will be like to your lyrics you should consider this and think ahead in advance. It is possible to write lyrics and a song separately then fuse them together but this is painful work, requires you to sacrifice from the music and the lyrics. Ideally you should use the music to your advantage, or the music should use the lyrics to it's advantage.

A rock song might call for fast, quick lyrics with many words, while a ballad may accomplish all this in fewer words. You can take chorus and bridge placements into account and use them to your advantage to convey meaning. You could use the last chorus to alter the words of the original slightly, again, putting another layer to your words.

Overview

What makes good lyrics is one of two things. The person hearing it can either totally understand what's going on because you wrote about something very obvious and you did it very well. The other type is when you write about a feeling and listeners may happen to get the same vibe from the lyrics, but may think of something totally different. This is ok, this is the point. People have their own life's experience and think differently, the fact that you induce a different, but also in-place feeling in someone is to be yearned for, this is our goal. Good luck!

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