I have tried countless times to write a song, and countless times I have failed. See, it’s easy to come up with two or three catchy phrases and a melody, but the real challenge is getting those few phrases to make sense within one song. Most songs, in fact I think every song, has a topic or theme around which the lyrics revolve. The song tells a story or explains a feeling, and all the words tie in with that story or feeling. I get a couple phrases related to my chosen theme, and then my mind starts running off in the opposite direction, throwing around words that sound good together but don’t make sense if I put them in the same song. Eventually I end up with several songs with a single verse or chorus each and nothing else!
Another problem I have is getting the words to rhyme. It’s harder than you’d think! What pattern do I go with and am I allowed to change it after verse one? What if my verse consists of five lines, and messes with an equal rhyme scheme? I guess I’ve decided that writing in free verse is my style because sheesh, rhyming and making sense is a little advanced for me still.
More issues with lyrics:
Rhythm, oh rhythm! The first two lines are in the bag and feel good, now you gotta move on and create the second and third lines. Not so easy to keep the rythm the same, huh? Not for me, at least. Thus I have resorted to writing the music and melody first, eliminating the need for intense concentration on rhythm when words are the issue at hand. I found that if I already have a melody line and the accompaniment, then lyrics that won’t fit are identified faster and better ones come to mind a bit easier.
Language barriers. When you are a bilingual individual attempting to compose a piece of poetry for song, it is problematic when you can only think of that one expression (that would so perfectly depict whatever you’re trying to get across to your audience) in your home language when you are writing in any language but your home language. Why?! The only reason you know that expression is probably because your mom used it the past week. This is incredibly frustrating to me. It’s about the only time I feel that speaking two languages is a disadvantage, that I would rather speak only English and be stuck with it!
Writing a song, at least a good one, is proving more difficult than I first anticipated. How do bands like Relient K and Mutemath come up with all those hundreds of songs?! It is frustrating and inspiring at the same time. They’ve had years of practice and experience and I not, I tell myself.
I will keep hacking away at my brain until it delivers something I can use. And then I will repeat the process until I have enough lyrics for an entire album! The idea fascinates me, that my messages and stories set free into the world in the form of songs. Surreal, isn’t it? What’s more is that I could possibly be the same inspiration to someone out there as an artist like Lianne La Havas is to me right now. Crazy!!
If the idea of playing your music to the masses gets you as excited as a little kid gets about riding the merry-go-round at Disney World, and if that same idea scares you half to death at the same time, then you gotta go for it!! Don’t ever let a little writer’s block stop you from sharing what’s in your heart. If lyrics get you stuck in the mud, play your way outta there and into some inspiration! And if music gets you good and lost, stretch some words into walking sticks and a compass!
Plectrumgirl signing off. 🐒
P.s. Please comment your favorite genre and bands or artists!! I’d love to go explore new territory in music land. And, if you’d like (but I’m gonna do it anyways😜), I can compile a list of a bunch of songs and artists that have inspired me as my next post? And you can even send me a message (via the comments section) with things that inspire you to write or compose, howbow dah?