The Emotional Nature of Bridge Lyrics

A well-written bridge lyric will boost the basic energy of your song in a very natural way.


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Imagine Dragons: It's TimeFor each section of your song, the lyric will take on a different characteristic. That’s because the changing nature of lyrics throughout a song is tied to song energy. Energy increases as a song progresses, but that increasing energy happens in an ebb-and-flow kind of way. When lyrics are more emotional, they contribute to the overall energy that the listener perceives. Chorus lyrics are where songwriters allow emotion to flow, so energy gets a boost. And bridge lyrics go one step further.

In a song’s bridge, the purpose of the lyric is to boost the emotional level even more. At times, that energy boost is obvious in every element of the song. You’ll hear instruments playing louder, higher and with more intensity. In other songs, there’s not an obvious increase of momentum. But even in songs when bridge energy almost seems to be lessening, lyrics are doing something important.

Verse lyrics set the stage or describe a scene, while chorus lyrics tend to communicate the singer’s emotional response to that scene. In the bridge, you typically get a very descriptive, emotional lyrics. Sometimes the writer does a quick back-and-forth of narrative to emotive text, while other times it’s the simple boosting of intensity by using words that stimulate imagery.

A good example of this occurs in the song “It’s Time“, by the group Imagine Dragons. The bridge is short, but the words are very provoking:

This road never looked so lonely
This house doesn’t burn down slowly
To ashes, to ashes

As you work on the bridge to your song, always ask yourself, “What is the purpose of this section? What am I trying to do here?” If you’re simply trying to gain mileage by making your song longer, you may simply bore your audience.

A well-written bridge can make songs more interesting and exciting by allowing the lyric to tell a bit more of the story. It puts a magnifying glass on your emotions, and the energy build that results will feel natural and compelling.


Written by Gary Ewer, from “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website.
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