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Thread: Thoughts on my lyrics?

  1. #11
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    I think your lyrics are good. I really like the lyrics to 'I Am". The question is, how do the lyrics interact with the music? To me, that is what a song is, otherwise it is a poem. It's great if lyrics can stand alone and be read as a poem, but there are plenty of great songs with lyrics that look dumb if you just read them. There are also many songs that became hits that no one really understands except the songwriter. In terms of creating a song that other people like (I assume that is your goal), the actual lyrics aren't as important as the melody and the way the syllables flow IMO. I guess my opinion differs on that from Delmont who posted above that the lyrics are all important. A doo doo doo A da da da, is all I want to say to you ..nuff said

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by docmansound View Post
    I think your lyrics are good. I really like the lyrics to 'I Am". The question is, how do the lyrics interact with the music? To me, that is what a song is, otherwise it is a poem. It's great if lyrics can stand alone and be read as a poem, but there are plenty of great songs with lyrics that look dumb if you just read them.

    Like everything by George Harrison (whose songs I love).

    There are also many songs that became hits that no one really understands except the songwriter by one of the masters.

    Like the Dead's "China Cat Sunflower."


    In terms of creating a song that other people like (I assume that is your goal), the actual lyrics aren't as important as the melody and the way the syllables flow IMO.

    Exactly!

    I guess my opinion differs on that from Delmont who posted above that the lyrics are all important. A doo doo doo A da da da, is all I want to say to you ..nuff said
    Yikes! Not what I meant at all! All lyrics are important, but no lyrics are all-important.

    "A doo doo doo A da da da" isn't great poetry, but it is great song writing.

    Just as you say, a song isn't a tune and it isn't a poem. The sum should be more than the total of tune and words or it's not much of a song.

    Otherwise I'd've stuck to poetry. It's certainly a cheaper hobby!

    Now excuse me while I go back and see what I said before . . . .
    Last edited by Delmont; 02-08-2018 at 11:47.

  3. #13
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    Okay, just checked. Look again. I didn't say "Lyrics are all-important." I said: "Bad lyrics = bad song."

    They sure do! And I'll add: Bad music = bad song.

    And: Good lyrics + good music = good song.

    I was commenting on the lyrics because the original post was about lyrics.

    Good poems aren't necessarily good lyrics. Good lyrics aren't necessarily good poems. Poems are words that can stand alone. Words and music make a song. A songwriter strives to write a good song. That takes good words, and good music.

    Then it's in the performer's court. The performer's job is to bring it to life.

  4. #14
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    I know that this post is pretty old and that you may have moved on from this song, but your lyrics intrigued me and I'd thought I'd add my two cents (it can't hurt, right?)

    Oddly enough, I read both sets of lyrics as a single song before I recognized that you had posted two sets of lyrics for two different songs (i.e. I read Train of Thieves and I Am as a single song), and it actually worked out really well. First you have this sort of parable about a train robbery, somewhat obscure but tonally very 'sleazy' and outlawish; then you follow it up with a much more general, vague description about depraved and ugly human emotions, almost like the train robber from the first half becomes a figure representing all of the ugliness of humanity (what I really loved, on my mistaken reading, was the contrast that results between the first half being about a train robbery, and so presumably in the late 1800's or early 1900's, and then the line about being "the fear on your TV screen" in the second half; it makes it seem like the sort of evil emotions and motivations you're talking about in both songs transcend centuries and generations).

    Once I read it correctly, I really like the lyrics of both songs, but I have a few questions about the first song, and possibly some things to point out:

    i) at first the line "robbin' on a Train of Thieves" stuck out to me as odd; if the protagonist or figure the song refers to is intending to rob people, why would they pick a train full of thieves to rob? But I thought about it a little bit more; I'm guessing that it's a metaphor - someone setting out to do what they can to bolster themselves in an environment where everyone is doing the same thing (a thief on a train of thieves). When the figure is revealed to be called 'greed' it all comes together; 'greed' is what could rob a train full of thieves. I'm just wondering if my line of thought here is accurate, haha.

    ii) one thing that is confusing is your use of pronouns:
    From lines 1 to 10, the pronoun is 'he' or 'his', as well as for lines 13 and 14 ('he
    takes their souls and then he sings'
    For lines 11 and 12, and 15 onwards, the pronoun occurring is 'she' or 'her' (e.g.
    prays to a god she never knew and bleeds')

    The only criticism there is that the different use of pronouns indicating a male and a female character in the song implies that there are two people the song is about (even if they are abstract or metaphorical), which creates a confusion concerning the reference of certain lines; e.g. "They call me greed because they know me well" <-- is this referring to the female referred to by the line "prays to a god she never knew and bleeds", or the male introduced at the beginning of the song?

    In any case, that is just a nitpick. If it was intentional, to introduce ambiguity, then I could see that working really well. Just thought I'd point it out.

    Great lyrics, I'd love to hear the finished songs!

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