How do you tell what to keep and what to toss from a lyrics perspective?

mjr

ADD -- blessing and curse
This is an issue that I've run into. I have a five-subject notebook that I keep a lot of lyrics and lyric ideas in.

The first several pages of this notebook have various parts of songs. Generally one or two lines. Maybe something that might work as a title, or occasionally something that might be a verse or a chorus.

The problem is, I'm stuck with most of them. I don't necessarily want to throw them out, but I don't know how good they are, or if they could be turned into something good.

As an example, something I wrote down that I think would not only make a good title, but also a good "hook" is "The Same As It Never Was".

The basic premise of the song is that the singer still doesn't have the woman he wanted. So I would have to have things like, "i'm still not holding you..." and finish it off with "so it's the same as it never was"...

But I don't know if it's GOOD or not. I guess I wouldn't really know until I actually wrote something under that premise.

So how can you tell if a line, few lines, verse, or chorus are worth keeping (and revising) or tossing?
 

VomitHatSteve

Hat STYLE. Not contents.
Why do you need to throw anything out?

They're in a notebook; they can fester there as long as they need to until you find a song to put them in.

If you think a line has potential; write it into a song. If the song doesn't turn out, let it go and move on to the next one. Maybe adapt the parts from the song that did seem to work into another song later.

As the saying goes: Writing is rewriting
 

mjbphotos

What?!?
Concentrate on writing a WHOLE song with one or more of those lines you have jotted down. Until you have a whole lyric/song, its just a fragment so is not necessarily 'good' or 'bad'.
 

TalismanRich

Well-known member
You never know how your brain will trigger. Take this gem....

Scrambled eggs, Oh you've got such lovely legs,
Scrambled eggs. Oh, my baby, how I love your legs.

It became a classic, played millions of time around the world.
 

grimtraveller

If only for a moment.....
So how can you tell if a line, few lines, verse, or chorus are worth keeping (and revising) or tossing?
How can you not tell ?
The way I look at it is like this ~ if you toss it, you don't remember it so you lose nothing because if, perchance, you do remember it again, then you've got it and you've lost nothing.
Moral of the story ~ keep everything, but don't cry if you toss something because you won't remember if but if you do then you still have and it's like you never tossed it in the first place !
Why do you need to throw anything out?

They're in a notebook; they can fester there as long as they need to until you find a song to put them in.
If you think a line has potential; write it into a song. If the song doesn't turn out, let it go and move on to the next one. Maybe adapt the parts from the song that did seem to work into another song later.
What he said !
You never know how your brain will trigger. Take this gem....

Scrambled eggs, Oh you've got such lovely legs,
Scrambled eggs. Oh, my baby, how I love your legs.

It became a classic, played millions of time around the world.
And helped make John Lennon a millionaire, even though his only contribution to the song was to not contribute anything or even play on it !
 
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