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A little help? (Suggest some lyrics for a new tune!)

Discussion in 'The Writers' Block' started by soulgeezer, Nov 30, 2020.

  1. soulgeezer

    soulgeezer Poster Extraordinaire

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    I posted this...



    ...in the "Midweek Backer" thread over in Twanger Central.

    I liked the melody I came up with so much that I've started thinking about lyrics that might fit and turn it into a whole song. The verse and possible refrain that I've come up with so far are:

    I don't know why you're crying
    If you talk to me, I just might understand
    I know you see I'm trying
    If you give me a chance, I'll take you by the hand

    I don't know why I love you
    I don't know why I love you
    I don't know why I...
    I just know that I do


    Repeat refrain.

    That's it. I think the verse works. The refrain works, but I'm not sure it can't be improved upon.

    What do you all think? Any ideas? Chime in and let's see if we can turn a throwaway track into something real!
     
  2. kbold

    kbold Tele-Afflicted

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    Love songs aren't really my thing, but if I think of something ..... later.

    I'm sure there's someone on TDPRI that's good with love songs.
    You can tell them: they're the ones with a fan base and royalty income.

    The rhyme is perhaps too much, like it's forced ..... crying > trying, and understand > hand
     
  3. kbold

    kbold Tele-Afflicted

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    The word 'you' (and you're) is used a lot.

    I covered this in a previous post: there seems no substitute for 'you' (barring using someones name), so it's hard to avoid in many instances.
    When I'm trying to crop/improve a song the overuse of 'you' sticks out.
    I can change the perspective (point of view) but this is often impractical or silly.
    Sometimes I rephrase to avoid using 'you'. (... 'to avoid using you' .. double entendre ... I feel a song idea coming on.)
     
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  4. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

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    Nothing wrong with lots of yous. It's lots of I's that get old.
     
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  5. kbold

    kbold Tele-Afflicted

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    You's and I's ... they are the same , just different perspectives.
    If I write from your point of view, I become a you. :lol:Baaaa
     
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  6. Rockhead

    Rockhead Tele-Meister

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    I thought simplifying it might help

    I don't know why you're crying
    (please) help me understand
    I know you see me trying
    Let me take you buy the hand

     
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  7. Toast

    Toast Tele-Afflicted

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    Good advice in this thread. I always find Hemingway's editing tips helpful because I'm an incredibly wordy writer. I need to make 4 or 5 passes at my text with an exacto knife if I really want to get it right.


    "If a writer of prose knows enough of what he is writing about he may omit things that he knows and the reader, if the writer is writing truly enough, will have a feeling of those things as strongly as though the writer had stated them. The dignity of movement of an ice-berg is due to only one-eighth of it being above water. A writer who omits things because he does not know them only makes hollow places in his writing." --Ernest Hemingway

    https://newyorkessays.com/essay-ernest-hemingways-writing-style/
     
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  8. Harry Styron

    Harry Styron Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    The music really sounds like a strong power ballad to me.

    Because the lyric for your chorus is an emotional expression (I don’t know why I love you, but I do), the verses need to give us a factual setting that logically leads to this, which could be a scenario that depicts something like “you begged me to take you back and then you cheated again” or “we have nothing in common and I don’t know what you see in me” or “I’m a fool for falling for someone who is unavailable.”

    It’s pretty easy to think of successful songs that retell these old stories. You can create one with your own stamp.
     
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  9. Toast

    Toast Tele-Afflicted

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    An alternative attempt at paring things down.


    Original:

    I don't know why you're crying
    If you talk to me, I just might understand
    I know you see I'm trying
    If you give me a chance, I'll take you by the hand

    Edited:
    You're crying
    Talk to me, I'll understand
    You know I'm trying
    Give me a chance, I'll take you by the hand
     
  10. soulgeezer

    soulgeezer Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'm not sure how this fits the melody. How are you hearing it?
     
  11. Toast

    Toast Tele-Afflicted

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    That's the tricky part of song writing for me. I can write the text, but fitting it into music is the hard part. This video might be helpful. It kind of helped me start thinking about how to work words into music.

    (cut to the chase 3:30)

    Start playing your music and humming your words. Work them into a structure you like. You might have to abandon the music you already wrote though. Lyrics have their own length and rhythm and they might not work with your music. You may have to file the music away for different lyrics you come up with at a later time. Trial and error I suspect is the key to writing songs. That's about the best advice I can give you. Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2020
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  12. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

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    To each your own!
     
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  13. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

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    Handy advice, although I find that in songs and prose, sometimes a few words do it and sometimes it takes a lot. Insisting on one way or the other limits you.

    I wouldn't want "Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again" to be any shorter, and I wouldn't want "Love Me Do" to be any longer. Both are brilliant, and both use as many words as they need.

    So I cut out the words I don't need and keep the ones I do. If it ends up short, fine. If it ends up long, fine.
     
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  14. Toast

    Toast Tele-Afflicted

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    I agree, for the most part. Musical lyrics are different because they are attached to musical phrases. Musicians have the option of editing text or changing the music to make something work. I don't believe in the notion that only one piece of text will work with one musical phrase in the same way I don't believe in soul mates. Nevertheless, the rule of thumb to keep language concise still applies. It doesn't matter if the text is stylistically long and complex or short and staccato.

    People notice when language becomes too verbose or erratic. Everybody knows someone who takes forever to get to the point. Language like that is often annoying. We've all heard songs where a line is artificially stuck into a lyric to maintain a rhyme scheme or some other structure. The best songs, in my opinion, don't have to do back bends to sound good or make sense. When I hear a lyrical back bend in music, I usually think the artist didn't want to spend the time to get it right or maybe decided that it didn't matter. Either way that variation draws attention to itself and, in my mind, artists usually want to avoid that.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2020
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  15. kbold

    kbold Tele-Afflicted

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    Reminds me of my ex.
     
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  16. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yup!

    (I got to the point.)
     
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  17. Toast

    Toast Tele-Afflicted

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    A masterpiece of concision! :)
     
  18. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

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    When I was in high school, one of my friends had a college application that asked him to describe himself in one word. He said, "Concise."

    Yep, he got in.
     
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