The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #19577   Message #200034
Posted By: M. Ted (inactive)
23-Mar-00 - 02:19 PM
Thread Name: Song writing questions
Subject: RE: Song writing questions

If you had been paying attention at any time during the literary portion of you formal education, from the nursery rhymes in Kindergarden to the painful expeditions into Keats, Shelley, Yeats, Elliot, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Burns, Spencer, Dante, Homer, you would know the answer to this question;-)

Seriously--go back and read the poetry of writers that you like or have studied you can look it up on the internet--I have nearly always been able to find what I was looking for, from Keats and Thomas Campion to Longfellow) to see how they dealt with expressing ideas using meter and rhyme--

The English language is relatively cumbersome and awkward when it comes to writing verse, and so writers are compelled to use rather complicated sorts of gramatical tricks in order to put syllables when they scan properly--

Your ability to do this, to a great degree, will determine how "good" you are--and as sickening as it may be to consider, some people are "naturals" and some have to work really hard at it--

James Taylor (and family) has the gift, as did such characters as Meridith Willson, Cole Porter, and Larry Hart--

Hart in fact, often dashed off his songs, with of the most subtle and intricate rhymes ever devised, in just a few minutes--

Don't be afraid to take a poem or lyric that you like and imitate as much or as little as you want--remember that the greatest poets in history have often rewritten the works of the other greatest poets in history--

Bert's ideas are a good place to start--but poetry and song lyrics havve moved past that linear narrative style a long time ago(if they were ever there)--so don't feel bound to it--

One tip, the muse comes and goes--if you feel the lines and verses coming on, grab a pen and paper and write them down--don't put it off, because those precious lines can disappear as fast as they come into your head, and you will not be able to recreate them or greturn to the same frame of mind that started the verses flowing in the first place--