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#602942 - 06/21/20 03:34 AM [Songwriting] Seeking Feedback on Lyrics
Registered: 06/07/20
Posts: 4
JohnMAFS Offline
Newbie

Registered: 06/07/20
Posts: 4
Hello everyone! This is my 2nd draft of this song and I feel the structure has improved a lot. I feel there's a few little word changes that could be made though, so I'd really appreciate any recommendations!

Love, Rinse, Repeat
©2020 JohnMAFS

V1

It’s so sad
You hold your hand
Close your eyes
And pretend it’s your man

And it’s so bad
Your life’s so bland
Without his touch
Without his plan

Pre-Chorus

People say, “girl don’t you cry
Find another, and you’ll be just fine”
Surprise, surprise
Your hearts’ out to dry
And you’re back on the horse
For another ride

C

Come on girl, I can’t believe
Love to you’s just rinse and repeat
Please be with me
I’m all you need
Stop playin’ these games of
love, rinse, repeat

V2

It’s so sad
When one love ends
You barely stand
‘Til a new one begins

And it’s so bad
After all these tears
You’ve forgotten the boys
From the early years

(Pre-Chorus)
(Chorus)

Bridge

I’m such a fool
For loving you
Cuz love to you’s
Just filling shoes

Yet every time
I see you cry
I wish that I
Could make you mine

(Chorus)

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#603420 - 06/23/20 01:09 PM [Songwriting] Re: Seeking Feedback on Lyrics [Re: JohnMAFS]
Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 7792
Guitarhacker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 7792
I really dislike giving feedback on lyrics because that is my weaker point when it comes to writing songs. So you can appreciate my hesitation to give lyric based advice on specific lyrics.

Writing is a skill that one generally has to learn. You can learn and advance by several different paths. One is to analyze the songs you really like. Study the structure of the lyrics and how the verses are put together as well as the choruses. Notice how they tell a story and how the parts fit together and most importantly, that you can understand pretty much everything that the writer is trying to say on a first reading of the lyrics.

I think the secret to good writing is to be able to coherently tell the story or convey the images in your mind to the listener so that the listener has a thorough understanding of what you're trying to tell them. There are numerous exceptions to this concept, but generally, that;s how I approach writing. I am asking myself constantly, will the listeners understand this without further and more detailed explanation? If not, I have to rewrite it until they do.

I believe I mentioned this previously. Find a co-writer to work with who you think is better than you and is where you want to be as a writer. Lots of songwriter's forums online.

I also, highly recommend all writers read books and study the art and craft of writing to improve their skill level and then... write, write, write and then write some more. There are online and in person classes and local songwriting groups you can join to learn the skills you need. If you look up the Nashville Songwriter's Association International website, there;s a good chance you can find a local chapter near you and join them. Ordinarily, membership is not required at the local chapter level.

In regards to the lyrics you posted, I recall the previous version and think this is still lacking a cohesive story line. Of course, I'm looking at it from a country writer's POV and if it's a different genre, that may not be the case at all. Rock and pop lyrics are a bit different from country. You have a good idea, but IMHO it needs to be a bit more descriptive. Put the listener into the song. Make us feel that what you're talking about is real.

That's probably the hardest part of writing. Putting the listener into the shoes of the song so to speak. But that's what separates the good writers from the rest of the pack. Take the time to learn, and express your thoughts in unique and interesting ways.

Not sure if that was helpful or not.... but.... whatever advice you get and decide to listen to.... keep writing. Each writer has a style and you need to find yours. It will happen as you progress along the path of writing and to get there..... yep... you gotta keep writing.


Edit.... another thing I just remembered. the website at TAXI.com is a great place to hang out. Membership there is expensive. However, you can join their forum and participate there for free. So... here's a couple of reasons to hang out there.

1. It's all about writing better songs. That's what they do.
2. There's a large number of really good writers in that place.
3. They will tailor the advice to the level you ask for if you post something for critique. Beginner, Intermediate, or Professional.
4. You can see the industry listings and try your hand at writing to the listings. This is good because it gives you a topic, and a deadline. **
5. You can find co-writers there.
6. It doesn't cost you anything but your time.

** I have a tune or two on my page that was written under those very conditions. If you are curious, I will provide details and links.


Edited by Guitarhacker (06/23/20 01:19 PM)
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As the sword chooses the warrior, so too, the song chooses the writer.

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#604419 - 06/29/20 06:25 PM [Songwriting] Re: Seeking Feedback on Lyrics [Re: JohnMAFS]
Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 4327
Loc: Sacramento, California
dcuny Online   content
Veteran

Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 4327
Loc: Sacramento, California
Haven't you posted this before under a different name? frown
_________________________
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My virtual singer development blog

Vocal control, you say. Never heard of it. Is that some kind of ProTools thing?

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#604772 - 07/02/20 06:09 AM [Songwriting] Re: Seeking Feedback on Lyrics [Re: dcuny]
Registered: 08/21/18
Posts: 1365
Tangmo Offline
Expert

Registered: 08/21/18
Posts: 1365
Originally Posted By: dcuny
Haven't you posted this before under a different name? frown


No, David. Same name, different part of the forum. And an earlier draft.

I feel a little heartened that you took suggestions to heart. As text on screen, it feels more "powerful" to me this go around. I still maintain that I'd need to hear this sung before I could offer any more "advice". Up to you.
_________________________
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#604891 - 07/02/20 08:32 PM [Songwriting] Re: Seeking Feedback on Lyrics [Re: JohnMAFS]
Registered: 06/05/12
Posts: 848
jptjptjpt Offline
Expert

Registered: 06/05/12
Posts: 848
The force of powerful lyrics usually don't hit me until after I've heard the song. Song lyrics can be poetic but they aren't poetry. It is the music that brings them to fruition, it seems to me. Then, after a song really has moved me, am I able to read the lyrics as something separate.

Obviously the Pulitzer Prize people think different since they gave Bob Dylan a prize for his lyrics. smile

In any event, your lyrics read good. Writing for me is like opening a can of worms. I am never 100% happy with my lyrics, no matter how much I work on them.


Edited by jptjptjpt (07/02/20 08:33 PM)
_________________________
My latest video upload is a tongue-in-cheek country song called "I Won't Be Home Tonight":

https://youtu.be/JwblUfdbsEk

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#608878 - 07/31/20 01:43 PM [Songwriting] Re: Seeking Feedback on Lyrics [Re: JohnMAFS]
Registered: 05/19/16
Posts: 190
Loc: Denmark
Peters Garage Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 05/19/16
Posts: 190
Loc: Denmark
After reading the lyrics through without hearing the song one question pop up - do you feel sorry for the girl or yourself, that is a little hard for me to figure out.

Just my 5 cents - you need to decide who's feelings as a listener I should pay attention to, and I sit with mixed emotions.

As others' has pointed out - it would be nice to listen to a simple version of the song in order to get in the right mood for the lyrics.

I know that writing lyrics can be very painful - so keep up the good work, and please reach out if you found the above helpful.

Cheers
Peter
_________________________
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#608962 - 07/31/20 09:27 PM [Songwriting] Re: Seeking Feedback on Lyrics [Re: JohnMAFS]
Registered: 04/26/20
Posts: 177
Henry Clarke Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 04/26/20
Posts: 177
I think I write pretty good lyrics so I'd like to chime in if I may.

1. First of all respectfully Lyrics without music are poetry. The reason why I say that is because as a singer cadence and tempo are critical in delivering the song. A lot of times when just lyrics are given to singers they tend to change/shorten a lot of words and phrases so they can deliver while at the same time breathe so it's a bit difficult to say whether this is a good song to sing without hearing what you have in mind for music. Is the music fast, slow, mid tempo? Is the style Country, Soul, BlueGrass, etc... See what I mean?

2. I'm not sure where your hook is and if it's memorable. You want to create a vision with your lyrics so the listener can visualize in their own mind what you're trying to say. Try a few more colorful adjectives to create this type of illusion.

3. GuitarHacker is correct. Try to get into a few workshops. They help a lot in honing this difficult craft (and believe me it is difficult (writer's block is a bear) but gets easier with experience and effort).

4, I find my lyric writing easiest when I have a hook first but there's no strict way of doing this. Keep at it. It will get better. I really can't evaluate this one without any music. I will say though that you have a great structure of Verse/Pre-Chorus/Hook and a Bridge. I'm sure if you did this you have some melody in mind.

Here's a couple of examples of Lyrics that I have written and published to hopefully demonstrate what I'm saying:

This one is a Dance Song for Stepping in the club. There's no doubt what I'm after and the hook is simple. Listen to the track along with the words so you can see how they fit:

https://youtu.be/4nbWDvMeT7M

(Extract) Step With You
Henry Clarke

1st Verse:
Everybody in the joint is jumping
Everybody's having fun tonight
Nobody's acting foolish
Just wanna feel alright

2nd Verse:
the DJ's got us going
young and old getting in the groove
But ya know that I've been watching
Just wanna get with you

Change:
Step step side to side
C'mon let's electric slide
let's show them what we can do

in out up and back
shake your head and throw it back
cause they cant match the way we groove

HOOK:
ooooh .. I like to step with you
I like the way you move
oooh ... I like to step with you ... with you

"THOSE WERE THE TIMES" - easy singalong hook and instantly brings back memories for people who were around at that time. Listen to this one and see how the song also uses the type of instrumentation you would find in the era it's referencing

https://youtu.be/YJgp6ytSBX4

Those Were The Times
By: Henry Clarke

1st Verse:
I remember those days when the music was loud and clear
We were moving to the Motown sound Berry filling our ears
and the DJ telling us all the places we ought to be
hanging out on the corner looking cool was the way to be

Change:
You're telling your girl on the phone
that Marvin says "Let's Get It On"
Your momma says lord help me please
Cause I ain't home yet and it's quarter to three

Hook:
Those were the times I remember
Soul Music, blasting out the windows
Those times I'll never forget
good times I have no regrets


2nd Verse:
I remember those days when a dollar was all that we had
But a dollar in the Chevy was enough to take you anywhere etc...

Get my drift? If you were around at that time you can definitely relate :-0

I didn't do a ballad because they are easier to sing I do have some of those that I've written and the Lyrics are pretty good. I suggest you put a melody against your lyrics and see how it works out. You may find yourself doing some simple edits to make the lyrics fit a bit better with the music. Also once you put that melody to lyrics you may just find yourself think about the song at different times of the day and a "cool phrase" will pop in your mind. DON'T LET THE GO BY. DON'T SAY I'LL WRTIE IT DOWN LATER. Whip out that cell phone and sing that phrase into the phone. Lyrics can be fleeing so you want to catch them when the inspiration hits.

Hope this helps.

Cheers,

Henry

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#609151 - 08/02/20 03:28 PM [Songwriting] Re: Seeking Feedback on Lyrics [Re: Henry Clarke]
Registered: 06/25/12
Posts: 3153
JohnJohnJohn Offline
Veteran

Registered: 06/25/12
Posts: 3153
Originally Posted By: Henry Clarke
I think I write pretty good lyrics so I'd like to chime in if I may.

1. First of all respectfully Lyrics without music are poetry. The reason why I say that is because as a singer cadence and tempo are critical in delivering the song. A lot of times when just lyrics are given to singers they tend to change/shorten a lot of words and phrases so they can deliver while at the same time breathe so it's a bit difficult to say whether this is a good song to sing without hearing what you have in mind for music. Is the music fast, slow, mid tempo? Is the style Country, Soul, BlueGrass, etc... See what I mean?

2. I'm not sure where your hook is and if it's memorable. You want to create a vision with your lyrics so the listener can visualize in their own mind what you're trying to say. Try a few more colorful adjectives to create this type of illusion.

3. GuitarHacker is correct. Try to get into a few workshops. They help a lot in honing this difficult craft (and believe me it is difficult (writer's block is a bear) but gets easier with experience and effort).

4, I find my lyric writing easiest when I have a hook first but there's no strict way of doing this. Keep at it. It will get better. I really can't evaluate this one without any music. I will say though that you have a great structure of Verse/Pre-Chorus/Hook and a Bridge. I'm sure if you did this you have some melody in mind.

Here's a couple of examples of Lyrics that I have written and published to hopefully demonstrate what I'm saying:

This one is a Dance Song for Stepping in the club. There's no doubt what I'm after and the hook is simple. Listen to the track along with the words so you can see how they fit:

https://youtu.be/4nbWDvMeT7M

(Extract) Step With You
Henry Clarke

1st Verse:
Everybody in the joint is jumping
Everybody's having fun tonight
Nobody's acting foolish
Just wanna feel alright

2nd Verse:
the DJ's got us going
young and old getting in the groove
But ya know that I've been watching
Just wanna get with you

Change:
Step step side to side
C'mon let's electric slide
let's show them what we can do

in out up and back
shake your head and throw it back
cause they cant match the way we groove

HOOK:
ooooh .. I like to step with you
I like the way you move
oooh ... I like to step with you ... with you

"THOSE WERE THE TIMES" - easy singalong hook and instantly brings back memories for people who were around at that time. Listen to this one and see how the song also uses the type of instrumentation you would find in the era it's referencing

https://youtu.be/YJgp6ytSBX4

Those Were The Times
By: Henry Clarke

1st Verse:
I remember those days when the music was loud and clear
We were moving to the Motown sound Berry filling our ears
and the DJ telling us all the places we ought to be
hanging out on the corner looking cool was the way to be

Change:
You're telling your girl on the phone
that Marvin says "Let's Get It On"
Your momma says lord help me please
Cause I ain't home yet and it's quarter to three

Hook:
Those were the times I remember
Soul Music, blasting out the windows
Those times I'll never forget
good times I have no regrets


2nd Verse:
I remember those days when a dollar was all that we had
But a dollar in the Chevy was enough to take you anywhere etc...

Get my drift? If you were around at that time you can definitely relate :-0

I didn't do a ballad because they are easier to sing I do have some of those that I've written and the Lyrics are pretty good. I suggest you put a melody against your lyrics and see how it works out. You may find yourself doing some simple edits to make the lyrics fit a bit better with the music. Also once you put that melody to lyrics you may just find yourself think about the song at different times of the day and a "cool phrase" will pop in your mind. DON'T LET THE GO BY. DON'T SAY I'LL WRTIE IT DOWN LATER. Whip out that cell phone and sing that phrase into the phone. Lyrics can be fleeing so you want to catch them when the inspiration hits.

Hope this helps.

Cheers,

Henry


Henry, this is great advice and you backed it up with really strong examples (which are so much better than opinions!) Really great songs remind me of my youth!

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#609182 - 08/02/20 05:43 PM [Songwriting] Re: Seeking Feedback on Lyrics [Re: JohnJohnJohn]
Registered: 04/26/20
Posts: 177
Henry Clarke Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 04/26/20
Posts: 177
Thanks JohnJohnJohn,

I always try to back up my suggestions with examples (whether good or bad) LOL If you've ever seen one of my Tutorials you will see that I also use real examples to show how things come together so folks can hear the results and adapt my techniques to their own style if they fit.

Cheers,

Henry

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#609233 - 08/03/20 03:43 AM [Songwriting] Re: Seeking Feedback on Lyrics [Re: JohnMAFS]
Registered: 04/13/16
Posts: 3304
Loc: Cooran Queensland Australia
rayc Offline
Veteran

Registered: 04/13/16
Posts: 3304
Loc: Cooran Queensland Australia
The 1st verse set up a very odd protagonist/subject perspective.
That isn't clarified as the lyric progresses .. in fact it becomes less clear.
The chorus seems at odds with V1.
Writing a song as with a short story from multiple perspectives isn't uncommon but a story allows time to establish a structure and rhythm to the changes where as a song lyrics, unless an heroic ballad perhaps, is less accommodating.
If it were my lyric I'd be inclined to colour code the perspectives and then try to balance them.
If I failed at that I'd highlight the lines I really like and file it for future cannibalism.
_________________________
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rayc
"What's so funny about peace, love & understanding?" - N.Lowe
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#611222 - 08/18/20 10:28 PM [Songwriting] Re: Seeking Feedback on Lyrics [Re: JohnMAFS]
Registered: 08/16/20
Posts: 36
Ardent Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 08/16/20
Posts: 36
I believe your lyrics tell a painfully vivid and hurtfully familiar story of a boy who is consumed with loving feelings for a girl who too easily opens her needful heart to guys who can see her coming from a mile away, who 'love' her for a while, and then hit the pavement. Meanwhile, the boy's aching, agonized heart breaks like a bone over the suffering he so helplessly witnesses her endure, and on top of all that, he is tortured by her inability to realize/recognize/reciprocate the burning love he has for her.

Your powerful, imaginative, story-telling lyrics ruthlessly seize on the intense feelings gripping the hearts of both of the subjects of your song.

All I can say is, "Been there, felt that."

Powerful writing, sir.


Edited by Ardent (08/18/20 10:36 PM)

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#611331 - 08/19/20 05:47 PM [Songwriting] Re: Seeking Feedback on Lyrics [Re: JohnMAFS]
Registered: 12/29/10
Posts: 1520
Loc: Charlotte, NC
Tano Music Offline
Expert

Registered: 12/29/10
Posts: 1520
Loc: Charlotte, NC
I don't think you can evaluate "lyrics" without hearing the music. As Henry said, having just the words is a kind of poetry. You'll find that, many times, if you look at lyrics without ever hearing the music, they aren't necessarily that innovative, interesting, or special. Similarly, if you heard a nice melody without the lyric, then later hear the lyric, it will dramatically change your impression of both. My 2 cents.

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