I thought it might be nice to write a series of blogs about my way of songwriting. You don’t need to play an instrument to join in with this, but it certainly helps.

As the title says, this first post is about the differences between songwriting and poetry writing. Why start here? Well, I think some people write poetry and then try to pumusic.jpegt music to their words and don’t understand why it won’t work. I guess I’ll say something controversial here – as a general rule poems are not songs. What!! No they’re not, they’re poems. Now that’s not saying that some song lyrics cannot read as poetry, or that some songwriters indeed have the hearts of poets. And I know that a few musicians have put famous poems to music (Loreena MacKennett comes to mind) – but there are always exceptions. On the whole they differ. As I said, this is a general rule.

The main things about a song lyric is that is must have a rhythm and meter – usually one that stays consistent – that can be sung emotionally as a tune. It can, indeed it must, vary between the various parts of the song (verse, bridge, climb, chorus etc – I’ll go into these on another post), but these individual parts should match in rhythm and meter. Also, its got to rhyme (again, I’ll go into different rhyming techniques on another post).

Now a poem can have a regular meter –

Dah-dah dah-dah dah-dah dah-dah

Dah-dah dah-dah dah-dah

Dah-dah dah-dah dah-dah dah-dah

Dah-dah dah-dah dah-dah etc.

And that is fine to speak out loud, but a bitch to sing with any kind of emotion. A lyric must also flow musically. How do we do that? I’ll start that bit next time…