Music Banter - View Single Post - Some of my sample lyrics/poems
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Old 01-05-2014, 04:38 PM   #6 (permalink)
xLizardx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RaSoul View Post
What do you mean by consistent structure? How does a song differ from this? I'm just really looking for the difference between song/rap lyrics and poem rhymes? I need a foundation that I can build on.
By "consistent structure", I mean the fact that most of your stanzas are the same length, with no obvious chorus or bridge etc. Obviously, this can often simply be a question of presentation - how you fit the words into the music can "make" the structure of the song, if you get me. The lyrics don't necessarily come across identically on the the page to how they are in your head. That said, when reading a poem, I would expect to see a series of verses, of a similar size and length, and no particular refrain [repetitive part]. Obviously there are plenty of exceptions to this rule, so don't take it as verbatim!

A standard, basic poem structure might be something like:

The cat sat on the mat
He was feeling rather sleepy
And so a daring rat
Snuck right by him, creeping

But this feline was fat
And so when sleeping, snored
He let loose as the rat
Was circling his paws

The rodent, startled, squeaked
The cat at once awakened
And in a single leap
Received his morning bacon.


With a song, however [and again, I'm generalising here, as different genres frequently have different conventions] then I would expect to see stanzas of lyrics that I can easily categorise into verses and choruses, and possibly pre-choruses and bridges, like so:

Verse 1.
Woke up this morning
Trying to write a song
But I'm brain-dead as a zombie
I don't know what went wrong

Pre-chorus
Ooooh, I feel so talentless
Like a 90s pop star who can't even lip sync...

Chorus:
And I know I need a good hook,
A good hook, a good hook
I know I need a good hook, to take this to the bank
But if my mind is an open book,
Open book, open book,
If my mind is an open book, then it's completely blank.

Verse 2.
Went out this afternoon
Tried to drink some coffee
Couldn't seem to swallow it
Maybe I'm really a rotting body

Pre-chorus 2.
And ooooh I try to sing but I keep failing
It's almost like I'm decomposing...

Chorus:
And I know I need a good hook,
A good hook, a good hook
I know I need a good hook, to take this to the bank
But if my mind is an open book,
Open book, open book,
If my mind is an open book, then it's completely blank.

Bridge [can be replaced by solo]

I know that I'm no Beethoven
But what I wouldn't give to be a dog right now
Because suddenly I'm not even joking
I think that I'm actually starting to rot somehow
And if I had lots of fur...
I could disguise it for longer...

Chorus:
And I know I need a good hook,
A good hook, a good hook
I know I need a good hook, to take this to the bank
But if my mind is an open book,
Open book, open book,
If my mind is an open book, then it's completely blank.

Final chorus:
And all I now crave is some brains
Some brains, some brains
And all I now crave is a brain to help me write
But everyone just keeps running screaming,
Screaming
Yelling about the dead coming alive,
Alive, tonight.


Obviously, that's just a bunch of nonsense off the top of my head, so I'm not suggesting you emulate my actual writing there - just the structure, as that's a very common structure for commercial songs. Obviously there are no set rules, and you can play around with it as much as you like, but it's worth noting when you look at lyrics of popular songs how they are laid out, and how this corresponds to the structure and pacing of the music, because good structuring can really enhance your writing, and the sense of progression within the song.
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