Springsteen - Tunnel of Love

Creating Song Lyrics That Are Relatable

While browsing about on YouTube recently I listened to one of my favourite Bruce Springsteen songs, “Tunnel of Love” (1987) from the album of the same name. I loved reading through the comments on the page, because it was obvious that other people love the tune as much as I do. I want to talk […]

Joni Mitchell

Creating Beauty Within a Song

Beauty is one of those song characteristics that is incredibly hard to define, but we seem to know it when we hear it. Not every great song is beautiful. That’s because as long as a song makes an emotional connection to the listener, it’s usually going to work. Therefore, whatever we might define as beauty becomes […]

Genesis

Songwriting: Lyrical Hooks and Clichés

I’m a fan of Genesis, but enjoyed the older incarnation of that group more than the one in the mid-80s. That’s not a criticism at all because I think Genesis wrote brilliant pop music. I just happen to like their older prog rock style. Genesis wrote and recorded “Tonight, Tonight, Tonight” for their 1986 “Invisible […]

Bruce Springsteen

The Story Within the Song – It Needs to Be Compelling

If you find that the lyrics you write lack whatever it takes to grab and keep an audience, there are several possible reasons that you need to think about: The song lacks a good story. The words you choose don’t connect or resonate in any important way to your audience. The words (and/or the opinions […]

Songwriter - lyricist

The Conversational Nature of Good Song Lyrics

I’m really pleased to notice (or at least I think I notice) that the quality of lyrics has been becoming an important sought-after aspect of good mainstream songwriting. It seems only a few years back that everyone was talking about chord progressions. The term “killer chord progression” was one I’d hear in many musical conversations. Trying […]

Singer-Songwriter recording

Expressing and Generating Emotion In a Song

This is a tricky but very true concept: A good song generates emotion. It may also express emotion, but it’s possible to express emotion without generating it. So you can spend a lot of time in a lyric telling the world how you feel, and you may have wasted a lot of time… if you haven’t done […]