Can't think of a theme for my lyrics

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Bohemian
Member Since: May 04, 2003

I've been trying to write lyrics
so I can make music to it later but I just can't
seem to find the right theme
I just don't want it to be all corny about
love and stuff...(which is what I keep on ending at) please help me find the right theme:D

Thank you :)

Btw So I want to londen
and it was friggin' COOL
I am SOOOOO going again :D
the musicals were great

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Member
Since: Jun 28, 2002


Oct 10, 2003 06:24 pm

i never sit down to write lyrics they just will come to me then i'll write them down. if your going to sit down and write its always best to right about the mood your in at that moment. makes it more real.

Contributor
Since: Sep 09, 2002


Oct 10, 2003 06:36 pm

yeah, i've been wrinting poetry for years. i'm saving the best to use as song lyrics. i write about whatever i think or feel. the more honest it is the better. unfortunately, the things i write are things that come from life experiences which is something unique to each one of us, so i couldn't really give any advice for you on what to write about

Administrator
Since: Apr 03, 2002


Oct 10, 2003 07:13 pm

Themes are overrated, just stuff that rhymes and maybe as an added bonus they will actually make sense...

I am not a crook's head
Member
Since: Mar 14, 2003


Oct 10, 2003 08:13 pm

Oh, DB, ever the lyrical dadaist :)

Probably the best way to end up with lyrics you like is to make sure to write A LOT. Write every day. Write about anything that comes to mind. Tackle the simple things, even if it seems stupid at the time. It's more about practicing the art than ending up with something you're happy with every time. Heck, maybe out of 100 attempts you could end up with 10 you like. Plus, you can go back and mine the ones you don't like for ideas for future songs. You can't plagerize yourself!

Contributor
Since: Sep 09, 2002


Oct 10, 2003 08:54 pm

i can't count how many times i lay moments from sleep only to leap out of bed to jot down something my mind muttered in half-asleepland, or stopped doing what i aws doing at work and toook out a pen and pad to get a line or two down the moment it arrives before it contorts into something less meaningful. i store all of these as a txt file on my pc. so much inspiring stuff in there.

Member
Since: Jan 18, 2003


Oct 10, 2003 10:44 pm

i think theme is very very very important, both in music and in writing/literature. i think it's part of what distinguishes art from entertainment. i also think it can often be best approached subconsciously.

but you dont want to be pretentious about it. unfortunately, it's very easy to be pretentious about it, as i have found again and again, and usually when i dont have a clear idea of my theme and i'm trying to create one on purpose without really feeling it first.

when i listen to music, i'm always aware of the 'why' of the music. why does this song exist? why does this band exist? what is their motivation? i write off so many bands because you can tell in the first few lines that the goal of the band is 'to have a song.' or to 'be famous.'

automatic emptiness.

one of the best ways i have found to find themes is to keep a notebook that is not associated with songwriting. in the notebook, write down your feelings and observations, in a poetic or lyrical sort of way. but dont strive to write lyrics, strive to find truths that resonate with you. try to couch your observations and your take on the world, in metered lines. later--months later--go back through your notebook and look at the things you've been thinking about, and also ask yourself why you've been thinking about those things, and what it means to you that you are thinking these sorts of thoughts (and if you're brave enough, what it means to society and/or the world). then pick and choose lines from different pages that seem to go together.

they dont have to make coherent sense. my 4 favorite lyricists are: cobain, beck, chris cornell, and thom yorke. all four of them cull from notebooks, from what i understand. the songs will create themselves out of fragments later on down the line, when you go to assemble coherent meanings/feelings. and for me (and this is just me) i dont need a song to make logical sense. each individual line is a feeling and it carries a charge. they can be surreal. you juxtapose them with each other and you're painting with feelings and images. the beatles knew this. if all goes well, you end up producing a song that is unified by the themes that have surfaced again and again in your notebook.

organic.


Bane of All Existence
Member
Since: Mar 27, 2003


Oct 11, 2003 01:45 am

sounds like a good way to make every word count. if you go phrase by phrase like that, you might tend to "stretch" less.

sloppy dice, drinks twice
Member
Since: Aug 05, 2003


Oct 13, 2003 07:57 am

I know a lot of people (like me) actually prefer to write the music before the lyrics. I find it easier to let the song's themes inspire me to write lyrics than the other way around. Also - consider changing your medium. Maybe use a tape recorder instead of a pen? Keep it with you, so you can capture ideas at any time. Just a thought.

...bringing sexy back
Member
Since: Jul 01, 2002


Oct 13, 2003 12:15 pm

i always do the music first...and ive got four or five hardbacked notebooks with song ideas, snips of lyrics, little pictures and all kinds of stuff to inspire me.

the last four songs ive written have been using phrases and passages from these notepads - its well worth doing.

lyricist is a handy piece of software for catching those ideas too...worth checking out.

Administrator
Since: Apr 03, 2002


Oct 13, 2003 12:19 pm

it's generally pretty easy to pick out a song in which the lyrics were written first...

...bringing sexy back
Member
Since: Jul 01, 2002


Oct 13, 2003 12:19 pm

why?

Administrator
Since: Apr 03, 2002


Oct 13, 2003 12:22 pm

why? why? because very often, if the music is fit in around the lyrics, the music sounds kinda "forced". It can be done gracefully, but often is not.

I know a couple dudes that write lyrics (er, poetry) and then put music to them and it never sounds fluid and smooth, as poetry, while have rhyme and meter, does not necessarily follow the same rules as music and it just doesn't jive.

Puting music to lyrics is like trying to put the proverbial square peg in the round hole...

Maybe it's just me, but I just CAN'T work with people that write like that...one or the other is sacrificed...

...bringing sexy back
Member
Since: Jul 01, 2002


Oct 13, 2003 12:30 pm

gotcha

Banned


Oct 13, 2003 12:53 pm

see... its the other way around for me. i can read something a few times and come up with a nice arangement... id say.. if your a musician lyrics are not important.. performance is. if you just listen to music and your a fan i think lyrics should mean something to the fans. if the lyrics dont mean anything.. then the people who are mearly fans of the music are drones. just look at the people who watch mtv. how many serious musicians other than the pop field watch mtv? id admit.. my music is a little more poppy.. but i dont even own a tv so no mtv here. that stuff is so meaningless, thin, recycable. i mean.. i head from a friend the other day that linkin park was #6 of all time in music since mtv spawned... are you FKTMNRDNNUILF serious? like they had a count down or something.. [removed]. music needs to change.. we need to bring back the conept album, the storys, the creativity. if no one changes this in a few years everyone will be banging away at akia mpc4000s and putting the same lyrics in all their songs :)

...bringing sexy back
Member
Since: Jul 01, 2002


Oct 13, 2003 12:57 pm

please avoid making comments which may offend MyKungFu...i have removed the remark about olympics, in the interests of keeping this a friendly non-offensive forum.

thanks

Administrator
Since: Apr 03, 2002


Oct 13, 2003 12:58 pm

Quote:
if the lyrics dont mean anything.. then the people who are mearly fans of the music are drones


That's the most ignorant thing I have ever heard you say...the meaning of lyrics mean very little to me, personally, I get into the power, dynamics and rhythm of the words as an instrument of the song, not the meaning of them.

Does that make me a drone? No, it makes me a musician.

That was an offensive remark made toward handicapped people MKF. Pretty low blow at the defenseless. I am tiring or your insensitive and often ignorant and offensive remarks, consider this your first warning to clean up your responses.

Member
Since: May 23, 2003


Oct 13, 2003 01:03 pm

I almost always start with the music first and just the hum the tune to myself for a few days. Eventually you will come up with phrases that should sound in place with your music. Nothing works better lyrically then the standard themes like love, sadness, society etc, stuff that the average listener can relate to , after all that is what we all strive for right? Expressing ourselves musically and lyrically in the hopes that people who cant do this can have something to relate to. Also, a lot of great lyricists like Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain and Robert Plant would write down ideas and themes in poerty books and paste together all their "fragments" or ideas into one song. Making it sound like a whole entity. Hope this helps.

Administrator
Since: Apr 03, 2002


Oct 13, 2003 01:15 pm

Any time I have written lyrics that have actually meant anything has happened when something is going on in my life that has really had impact on me or made me do serious thinking or soul-searching like the death of a friend, birth of of a child, war and things like that. Not anything that I can turn on or turn off, it just happens...

Again, though it apparantly makes me a drone, I stand up for my belief that meanings are quite secondary to their adding to the song itself on a musical level. You can have the greatest lyrics in the world, if it does not musically fit in to the song and add to it, they are worthless.

...bringing sexy back
Member
Since: Jul 01, 2002


Oct 13, 2003 01:20 pm

id agree with that...theres some amazing pieces of music out there featuring not a single word...and theres some amazing music out there with a load of rubbish for lyrics which ruins it totally.

dunno where mine falls into that plan, with such insightful lyrics as 'its all gone, all gone'. genus, i am!


sloppy dice, drinks twice
Member
Since: Aug 05, 2003


Oct 13, 2003 01:29 pm

db, I think I understand what you're saying:

"meanings are quite secondary to their adding to the song itself on a musical level"

I agree for the most part. I feel like the lyrics are important as a piece of the overall puzzle - but in such a way that it's like a music video that accompanies a song. Yes, like a music video, lyrics CAN add meaning and depth to a song, and yes, lyrics can add artistic qualities to the song itself, but I find that I usually enjoy a song just as much even if I can't make out the lyrics. A lot of lyrics are like the ice cream with your cake - not necessary, but a tasty extra if you like that kind of thing.
I think that while that's true overall, of course you have those songs where the lyrics are key - for example comedy songs, or a Jimmy Buffett or Zappa song. I'd say Phish is a band that rides the fence on this one - some of their lyrics are very meaningful and soulful, others feature convoluted vocal rhythyms filled with 5-dollar words and it doesn't matter whether you "get it" or not - see the lyrics to "Geulah Papyrus" for a prime example. (Google --> query Geulah Papyrus lyrics, will take you right to it without posting a copyright infringment on HRC)

Member
Since: Jan 18, 2003


Oct 13, 2003 01:34 pm

i cant even HEAR lyrics unless i really try. sung words bleed together for me. but i can tell if i'll think they lyrics are good 99 percent of the time by the style of the singer...does he use too many pointless vocal flourishes? is he too 'breathy?' it's a good bet its shallow words, then.

even nonsense lyrics make for some great songs. just listen to the beatles or nirvana. i think the meaning of a song is in the mood; it kind of lives beneath the surface. often you can bring the meaning to the surface with select images and phrases. but if you approach it head on, sometimes you lose. sometimes the result is transparency and over-earnestness. over-earnestness always makes me doubt the reality of what i'm hearing. it's the surest way to break the illusion and make me realize that the song i'm hearing is deliberately crafted by human following some process, rather than by a pure spiritual force let loose with a guitar and a mic.

sloppy dice, drinks twice
Member
Since: Aug 05, 2003


Oct 13, 2003 01:36 pm

Geulah Papyrus lyrics
www.lyricsdepot.com/phish/guelah-papyrus.html

Member
Since: Jul 02, 2003


Oct 13, 2003 02:15 pm

I don't feel lyrics need have any deep meaning, and I'd suspect for most people that is the case if you listen to pop music over the last 100 years or so (I've only been listening over the 40 years or so though <g>). I guess if you consider love this/that/you/him/her/the dog, hate this/that/you/him/her/the dog meaningful then most songs have meaning. <G>

First & formost I think the music has to grab a person, then if there is some deep message or meaning people *might* listen to it and maybe even care. :)

Dan

Contributor
Since: Sep 09, 2002


Oct 13, 2003 03:32 pm

Quote:
others feature convoluted vocal rhythyms filled with 5-dollar words and it doesn't matter whether you "get it" or not - see the lyrics to "Geulah Papyrus" for a prime example.


i get it. he caught her fooling around on him. it's pretty clear

I am not a crook's head
Member
Since: Mar 14, 2003


Oct 13, 2003 04:17 pm

Actually I heard that song was about Trey playing playing with a boyhood friend when he was growing up.

Member
Since: Jan 18, 2003


Oct 13, 2003 04:23 pm

lyrics dont have to be deep, they just have to be true. there's a dearth of that these days. thats all i'm talking about.

Czar of Midi
Administrator
Since: Apr 04, 2002


Oct 13, 2003 04:40 pm

As dB said, I try to look at lyrics as just another instrument. Sometimes I might say something worhtwhile, other times I might just go for verbage that flows with the music and really doesnt mean anything. And truth be told, many bands create music that way. They might throw stuff in there that to most wont make any sense at all, but someone will feel the words working with the music and all of a sudden, BAM the words that might have been just jiberish to most gain meaning to that person. Who then inturn will try to inspire womeone else to feel that or something near it, and there you have it. A tune that really meant nothing all of a sudden has meaning. It happens all the time. I listen to some of the music I actually put lyrics to years ago, and get a chuckle becuase I may have just been doing as Flame does, throughing some things together that came from many pages of a notebook that at the time meant nothing all together. But after time goes by, all those thoughts told a bit of a story.

I must be honest, I prefer insturmental stuff for the very reason that some tunes would be better off without any vocals, but then again. There comes a tune that catches you with some of the words. So it really can go both ways I guess.

bace135 in the house tonight!
Member
Since: Jan 28, 2003


Oct 13, 2003 05:01 pm

I don't know. I think well thought out lyrics are pretty important. You can still have a good piece of music without lyrics, or even with nonsense lyrics. But in my opinion, you can't have a great song without great lyrics. They don't have to be incredibly deep, but like Forty (I think) said, they need to be real.

I like to write about my dreams for the future or things I see wrong with the world (usually in quasi abstract terms). Maybe those themes would work for you Presley? Maybe not?

Administrator
Since: Apr 03, 2002


Oct 13, 2003 05:39 pm

Why do they need to be true? That totally discounts "Stairway to Heaven" since you CAN'T buy your way to heaven...actually, come to think of it, that discounts a lot of music...

Contributor
Since: Sep 09, 2002


Oct 13, 2003 05:42 pm

but coolo, you make hip hop so your lyrics are the focal point of the music. the very word "rap" means to talk, and that's what rap is, talking to a rhythm. rap with bad lyrics is like rock with bad guitar playing :O)

Member
Since: Jan 18, 2003


Oct 13, 2003 05:56 pm

i dont know the lyrics to stairway. i dont even listen to zep. but i'm pretty sure all of thier songs and lyrics are thematically solid. besides, there's such a thing as irony. if you can't buy your way to heaven, maybe that's the point.

in fact, irony is perhaps one of the truest ways to reveal truth without being transparent and over-earnest and thus insincere through your own overentusuastic attempts at sincerity. again: the beatles, and nirvana.

Administrator
Since: Apr 03, 2002


Oct 13, 2003 06:12 pm

Perhaps, but it just bugs me that anyone says lyrics have to make sense or tell a story, are have to be real...music is art, and expression, it doesn't HAVE to be anything except musical.

It just bugs the hell out of me to have anyone place stupid "rules" like that on a form of art...that makes us no better than or different from any label or record exec...

bace135 in the house tonight!
Member
Since: Jan 28, 2003


Oct 13, 2003 06:22 pm

Well, I don't only make rap, but I do agree, that moreso in rap than other genres, the lyrics are of the utmost importance.

But what I meant by real, is not necessarily real in the sense of how the world is, but real in the sense of how the feeling affects the singer.

I didn't mean it as a 100% rule, as there are always exceptions, but basing this on what I tend to like, I find "real" lyrics can make an otherwise good song great. This just pertains to my sensibilities.

Administrator
Since: Apr 03, 2002


Oct 13, 2003 06:28 pm

True, what a person prefers is always a factor. My only beef was to totally discount any art form based on a "rule"...it's perfectly normal to not like something for one reaosn or another, but to say it simply has no merit if it doesn't follow some formula is what I am disagreeing with.

Contributor
Since: Sep 09, 2002


Oct 13, 2003 06:29 pm

yeah... i appreciate lyrics that come from the heart. that's how i want to be taken as an artist. as being "real"

at the same time i agee with dB that there should be no rules either.

Member
Since: Jan 18, 2003


Oct 14, 2003 01:08 am

db i agree with you. i have to watch it when i sound like i am making a rule. this is strictly preference, and my motivation for seeking out 'realness' in lyrics is that there's so much crap out there that is obviously false, marketed image, totally devoid of art. on the other hand, sometimes when you strive for meaning, you lose it. (what i was saying above). in those cases, nonsense is often the path to rescue. to creating something new with a soul of its own. often, as a byproduct, (but not always) 'truth' is discovered. the novelty of it re-frames the playing field and sweeps away the crap. and it all came from experimentation, dissing the rules, and just letting it flow.


sloppy dice, drinks twice
Member
Since: Aug 05, 2003


Oct 14, 2003 08:03 am

I personally don't care whether the lyrics make sense, tell a story, are true, or are the nonsensical gibberings of madmen. They are part of the music regardless of whether they appeal to you or not. There are all different kinds of music - just like there are different sets of standards for art, like the difference standards of style between pointellism, impressionism, and cubism, there are differences between what's standard for rock, blues, jazz, progressive, pop, or whatever other kind of music you listen to. That's not to say that they are rules, but more like accepted conventions that music listeners are comfortable with. If you prefer one type of lyrical style over another, so be it. Or don't limit yourself. It doesn't matter, it's all just a matter of individual tastes anyway.

Member
Since: Dec 16, 2002


Oct 14, 2003 09:37 am

Lyrics need to fit the 'feel' of the music more than they need to actualy make sense - I'm talking of most pop/rock music genres here. Obviously this is a genralisation and for some artists & fans the lyrics ARE very important.

Obvious examples are Come Together and I Am The Walrus by The Beatles, where the lyrics fit the music really well, but make no sense whatsoever.

More recent examples have been provided ib the UK by the band Oasis, whose lyrics are crap and nobody seems to care!

My adice to anyone stuck on lyrics would be just to write down anything that fits the music and rhymes and then start a process of revision over a time. If you get stuck don't bang your head, just set it aside for a while and come back to it.

But mainly use ALL of the techniques listed above, ALL of them and you may find some techniques work sometimes and other techniques at other times.

There are pratical things to help like rhynming dictionaries and thesaurus, but beware of putting words into songs you wouldn't use in real life conversation. Also beware of the sentence around changing the structure, just to fit the line in - saying know what I'm?

The more you do it the better you get, like anyhting alse in life, except spelling mabye ;-)

Member
Since: Jan 18, 2003


Oct 14, 2003 12:45 pm

i've found that a lot of people tend to use overly flowery language in lyrics...words that they wouldn't normally use in real life. they/we self-consciously strive to be poetic. they talk about 'the sea' and walking 'for miles,' etc. for me this would be an example of saying, not exactly by your words but by the stance you're inadvertently taking up here, "i'm trying to produce art." i myself have to fight this constantly. i reject so many of the lyrics i write. they're not me...they're me trying to be some kinda artistic person, and it isnt real.

anyway, if "i'm trying to produce art" is the underlying message, how real, or how relevant, is the art? is it about the world, or about the artist's ego and myopic vision? should anyone care? this is how adolescent notebooks get filled with crappy love or angst poetry. it's all just mimicking forms you've seen elewhere. "love poetry must be flowery." shoot for shakespeare. "rock lyrics must cast me as an outsider who no one understands." am i like trent enough? wrong approach, say i. this is exactly how to fail at making something alive. where are you in this? youre cutting yourself out of the creative process by subconsciously following a process.

i just hate cliches, and in modern rock, a lot of times the cliche is the attitude, as well as the BS-pain infused lexicon. i succumb to it so very often myself, it's a constant war. rock does have to be...edgy. its a limited pallette. but i try to notice the ways in which people avoid becoming fake, too. i've found that the lyrical lines that usually have the most impact--that can sometimes even give you that tingling sensation in your scalp and along your back--are simple declarative statements or questions. nothing lyrical about them whatsoever. taken out of context, they would be dry as a pile of tinder, but put them in the context of a song and they become the beating heart of it.

i can't think of any examples right at this moment. and i'm not saying this is or should be a rule, or even that i am any good at lyrics. i'm just saying that since we're so used to lyrics 'being poetic'--aren't you stepping outside the box and dropping comfortable habits by seeking out the boundary between manufactured/conditioned and spontaneous/original? the music industry selects the familiar for us. as a result, we tend to think we have a mold to fit into, but we don't. lyrics dont have to be lyrical.

Music Enthusiast
Member
Since: Jan 24, 2003


Oct 14, 2003 01:39 pm

I try to stay away from lyrics, I play intrumental stuff. ;-D Well, actually I'm coming around because I wrote my first song the other day, but that's because I felt really inspired to write words to it. I usually don't pay much attention to lyrics when I first listen to a song; more so to the musical character of the whole. Like this time I really liked a song and then a friend told me that the lyrics were crap, and then I found myself asking "Oh yeah? What is it they sing about?" However, I actually enjoy "well-written" lyrics. What I mean by that is a coherent theme with maybe a few good figures of speech and some ryhming, but it's not the first thing I notice. I know some people that place lyrics under careful scrutiny, and that's fine too. I guess it just depends on how we each perceive and enjoy the musical medium.

sloppy dice, drinks twice
Member
Since: Aug 05, 2003


Oct 14, 2003 01:47 pm

"for me this would be an example of saying, not exactly by your words but by the stance you're inadvertently taking up here, "i'm trying to produce art." i myself have to fight this constantly. i reject so many of the lyrics i write. they're not me...they're me trying to be some kinda artistic person, and it isnt real."

That really rings a bell with me... I have to consciously toss out the stuff I produce that sounds too mainstream, too DONE. I get so tired of coming up with a snappy, witty 4, 8, 16 line verse only to hear it a week later and think that I've totally failed to stretch the boundaries of the art.
That's why I can't stand to listen to my two posted songs "Melora My Love" and "Open Letter to Smokers". I hear them, and I know that I can do better. When I write, I'm constantly rejecting my ideas: "Is this something that I would RESPECT if I heard it come out of someone else?" is the harshest method of filtering out the crap that I can come up with. I have a pretty eclectic and discerning ear, I won't be modest about that because it's quite frankly true. If my stuff doesn't live up to my standards, I try hard to let it die, in whatever stage it's in when I come to that conclusion.
It's a painful realization, to suddenly know that you've spent a few hours kicking something around that you just realized sounds like a song off of the new cd you just bought. I get kind of upset with myself for jumping on the bandwagon, because I DON'T have to play to an audience, I only write for myself. Now that I have time to reflect on my past works, MOST of them I find I no longer respect at all. My old works, most of them, are the static attempts at building my creative process. That's humbling. But I find that attitude necessary, for me at least, if I'm ever going to create something entirely NEW, music that doesn't stand on the shoulders of my current favorite artists.
It's not about writing with a goal in mind - for me it's about shedding the idea of having musical goals and forging your own path. It's about writing what sounds good without resorting to including the runs you always practice or cramming in the disembodied riff you wrote 4 years ago that you always play whenever you pick up the guitar. It's about writing from the heart and chiseling out the crap and filler between related ideas.
I'm starting to feel like I'm being picky enough to actually write original music. I'm happy with the last song I posted, "Car Mojo", but not the other stuff. I try to approach writing with all this in mind now, and I think the attitude's starting to pay off in the music I'm working on now.
My 2 cents, take it or leave it...

sloppy dice, drinks twice
Member
Since: Aug 05, 2003


Oct 14, 2003 02:23 pm

ok, I just printed out that last comment and I'm going to tack it to the wall of my studio, to remind myself not to suck. hahahaha

bace135 in the house tonight!
Member
Since: Jan 28, 2003


Oct 14, 2003 02:46 pm

Tincan and Forty, I pretty much agree with you guys hand down. The hard part for me is the fact that I really have a hard time being an objective critic of myself, and I just end up liking most everything I write (lyric wise, not necessarily music wise). Normally, I try and be real humble like, but I can't help this for some reason.

Tincan, I really do like the Melora My Love song. It may be a little bit cheesy, but it's very specific which is way different from most songs I hear out there which are more abstract and vague. You have a real situation. Other stuff I hear is like I have pain or I have love. Basically, what I'm saying is I think you have created a very original piece even if you don't necessarily think so. I think it's better than completely trying to stretch the boundaries, and kinda like what Forty was saying, come off sounding contrite and unreal cuz you're trying to be too artistic and it comes off as someone trying too hard.

This is just my opinion.

Member
Since: Jan 18, 2003


Oct 14, 2003 05:09 pm

i wanna listen to melora my love and car mojo. where can i find em?

everyone is makin' good points. it's all true. haha, i need to do more actual writing tho, and less time on HRC.


sloppy dice, drinks twice
Member
Since: Aug 05, 2003


Oct 14, 2003 07:54 pm

40mi. - member's music, rock section

Member
Since: Jan 18, 2003


Oct 14, 2003 08:43 pm

i'm lazy. i downloaded them, i will listen to 'em within a few days.

i had no idea so much music was hosted here right on the site. i never really went to that section. one day soon i am gonna listen to everything here, by everyone.


The fat one always watches us.
Member
Since: Nov 08, 2002


Oct 16, 2003 08:00 am

Hey presley, just emailed to your hotmail account some lyrics ive had collectng dust for years. use em anyway you want, just for ideas, in whole or in part- change and rearrange or delete them. if you use em, throw me a "credit bone" and ill be pleased as punch.

sloppy dice, drinks twice
Member
Since: Aug 05, 2003


Oct 16, 2003 08:06 am

ok, so... I printed out the post with the intent of posting it on the wall of my studio. left it lying out last night. wife saw it.

(snip)
"That's why I can't stand to listen to my two posted songs "Melora My Love" and "Open Letter to Smokers". I hear them, and I know that I can do better."
(snip)

needless to say, that created a 'little stir' in my house. I tried to explain that I didn't think I'd written a bad song, just that I wrote it for a specific audience. I told her, 'It's not that it's a crappy song - it's just that if I was writing that for me, it would sound like some weird funky jazz fusion progressive thing with weird harmonies and syncopated rhythms and such, not like a Paul Simon tune that you'd hear on the radio' but I don't think she cared.... (sigh) I'm guess I'm officially a misunderstood artist... :)

The fat one always watches us.
Member
Since: Nov 08, 2002


Oct 16, 2003 08:15 am

(sigh) I'm guess I'm officially a misunderstood artist... :)


i write what i write- its mostly dark, mostly simple, and thats about it. Ive tried to write happy songs. it annoys me. so i go with the flow. i do have a "style" and thats good enough. my wife doesnt like it much- nor for that matter do many people really- but thats ok. i dont have to really impress anyone thats listening for free. (you get what you pay for) if it ever comes to me getting paid- then a diffrent tune may come to light. i just hope that if i do get paid its because my "style" is what folks want to hear. boom chicka boom

sloppy dice, drinks twice
Member
Since: Aug 05, 2003


Oct 16, 2003 08:36 am

"i dont have to really impress anyone thats listening for free. (you get what you pay for)"


hahahahahaha, yeah, that's the right attitude! F*** 'em if they don't like it, where's THEIR damn music??? :)

chicka boom

Bohemian
Member
Since: May 04, 2003


Oct 16, 2003 10:04 am

wow thx for all the replies everyone

tonyd thx for the mail...
That really helped me up a lot!
got inspiration the moment I saw it

it's like this..
a friend of mine said he made some songs
and wanted me to write down some lyrics
so we could fit it in or at least some of it
so i tried and really couldn't come up with ideas

you guys talk about stuff that happen in your life
well nothing much has happened actually

so can't go there:P

Thx guys:D
and tonyd;)

Presley

Member
Since: Dec 16, 2002


Oct 16, 2003 10:11 am

"i write what i write- its mostly dark, mostly simple, and thats about it. Ive tried to write happy songs. it annoys me. so i go with the flow. "
If you write mainly dark depressing stuff then you're in luck. That seems to be what's required these days - look at RadioHead, dark and moody and not a laugh in sight! I wouldn't complain!

I tend to write upbeat, 'happy'-ish stuff but I would like to be able to write something dark. It just doesn't come! Maybe because I'm a child of the 70s when music was on the whole 'happy' !!

sloppy dice, drinks twice
Member
Since: Aug 05, 2003


Oct 16, 2003 10:22 am

If you can't write about something that's happened in your life...

Write about nothing
write about your lack of things to write about
write about how you have no adventures or heros to inspire you
write about a general apathy you feel about something, anything, nothing, everything
make up some meaningless lyrics about something you care about or don't care about or should care about but don't
open a dictionary to 5 random words and force yourself to write a song using them
write a song about the best cheeseburger you ever had
write a song about how your dog scoots on the floor to scratch its ***
write a song about your earliest memory
write a song about the weirdest dream you ever had
write a completely pornographic song
write a song using every bit of foul language you can think of
write a song about the situation in Iraq
write a song that has mathematical equations in it
write a song about the impressions that strike you when you look at a piece of fine art
and lastly, if you can't think of lyrics - write an instrumental.

:)


Member
Since: May 23, 2003


Oct 16, 2003 11:51 am

Ahh, music of the 70's. Gotta miss those happy days. Very inspirational period as some of the greatest lyrical themes came form 70's artists.

grrrrrrr
Member
Since: Mar 29, 2004


Apr 01, 2004 09:35 am

My friend who made it pretty big just wrote about girls he tried to pick up. Specifically how they reacted and about their characters. Girls are always good things to write about because they are beautiful and artistic in themselves (and if you play them the song you stand a chance of getting her in the sack).

I prefer the open your mind approach. Just breath deeply and empty your head. Maybe have a few beers. Then just let the words flow out of your head onto the paper.

Like:
The devils danced and watched
Green lights unfold within
Damn what could she do?
Leave me to my games

Means nothing? Right. Absolutely nothing. Just twisted images in my head.

If I need to put words to a song I write about 4 pages of this junk. Then I lay all the pages infront of me and just sing along to the music fitting in the phrases that seem to make sense. In this wasy you get quality lyrics and decent phrasing. Often with more interesting rythm than words that are written to perfectly fit the music.

One can argue that this the words are meaningless, but I think not. If you really listen to your soul it will speak the truth. Then it is up to you to make sense of it. If you can extract 10-15 lines from 4 pages made in a single session of spontaneous prose then you are bound to get something remotely coherent.

Dont konw if this post is out of date, but this is one of my favorite aspects of the creative process so I could not resist! Really gotta get some songs up..

I am not a crook's head
Member
Since: Mar 14, 2003


Apr 01, 2004 10:47 am

Actually, that's pretty similar to what I've been doing lately when writing lyrics. I've been doing lots more editing lately, too. For instance, I have about 6 or 7 different pages of attempts to get my point across in my last song. I went through 4 or 5 different revisions before I got an acceptible version of the song before that. And they both were spawned from the same 2 pages of random stream-of-consciousness rantings that I'd written last summer.

Member
Since: Feb 03, 2004


Apr 01, 2004 11:24 am

i don't think one approach music then lyrics, or lyrics then music is inherently better. it all depends on who you are. look at bob dylan, the man is a poet, and there's no getting around it. but he also shines in putting his words to music. and db, what you said earlier about poetry including meter and rhyme, but not being the same thing as music, is valid, but undervalues poetry. i think most of us have a hard time writing lyrics first because as musicians we've spent much more time perfecting our instrumental capabilities than coming to a true understanding of what poetry is, and how to use it properly. i know i'm one of those people.

i think lyrics can be terribly important for one band, and completely useless for another, but you know if you can be good at both then why not? i don't think your words should just be an afterthought to fill space. if you have the opportunity of being able to say something, then why not take advantage of it?

i would point to a modern band like the decemberists for an example of a band whose lyrics are equally as important to the band as their music.

so instead of adopting an approach of one or the other, and always writing your songs with a particular order, why not try different things. some people mostly write around guitar riffs. why not start with the melody, or with the words, or the rhythm to try a change. you'll get unexpectedly good results by approaching something from multiple directions.

Administrator
Since: Apr 03, 2002


Apr 01, 2004 11:52 am

The following is strictly my own, very stubborn and opinionated input

I personally refuse to put any thought or effort into the "approach" of songwriting. What happens happens, and it happens when it happens. Making a conscious effort to do it in any order or to make a conscious effort to change the order of the norm is counter productive. Any real art, be it poetry, music, painting, sculpture or whatever else can't be forced and can't be rushed.

To say "OK, I am gonna shake this one up a bit by writing the words first" is silly, puting one little tiny bit of conscious thought into some that trivial is a waste of time. You effort would be better spent the time on just writing or dreaming. Ultimately not one single solitary person is going to give two craps about the order it was written in.

Member
Since: Jan 18, 2003


Apr 01, 2004 12:12 pm

i agree with some of what db says, but i can't agree with this: "Any real art, be it poetry, music, painting, sculpture or whatever else can't be forced and can't be rushed."

mauz, i'm glad to see you spell that process out. i used to wonder if i was weird for doing lyrics that way. i worried they weren't making enough sense, so i kind of got away from that method. but i think if i just recognize the process for what it is, and really build up, as you say, several pages of that stuff, then i'd be better set to pick and choose.

Member
Since: Dec 23, 2003


Apr 01, 2004 07:22 pm

Interesting discussion going on here. I'll throw my hat in the ring. For me lyrics come after the music to a song is complete. To me the music dicates to a great degree what the mood of the lyrics will be. The melody line of the lyrics is EXTREMELY critical. It all has to fit together with the song. I've spent months working on one or two lines. I know what it is that I want to say but it has to fit within the context of the music. I hate songs where people are rushing words and syllables to make it fit. If it doesn't fit, don't force it, find another way to say it. The first thing that I hear when I listen to a new song is the music and melody of the vocals. If I like them, then I will start listening to what the singing is saying. If I don't like one or the other, you don't stand much of a chance of me ever knowing what words you are singing. Sometimes I'll tweak the music while I'm working on lyrics.... but, most of the time the music is the way I wrote it before I started working on lyrics. I can't say if the way I do it is the right way or the wrong way. But, it's the right way for me. In my opinion it is the best way to do it, but what works for me may not work for you.

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