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SarcasticVirtue
12-26-2004, 07:10 PM
This is not a song - It is a lesson.

Disclaimer: I am hereby writing this article on the basis of Death, Black, and Goth metal bands (among other metal genres) such as Static-X, Evanescence, Dimmu Borgir, Disturbed, and others with similar lyrical structure. By reading this, you agree to act mature and not argue about the creativity or talent of said bands without a logical, mature argument. To comprehend this fully, you should be able to read between the lines, and be able to perceive meanings and ideas either immediately, or with revision. This article is not meant to offend anyone, and if you find it so that's your problem. I am not perfect, I do not write this as your better, but as your equal. This information is something I myself should strive to use, and I have done the following things. These ideas are relative, you need to interpret the words, meanings, and ideas yourself.

(Don't worry, I'm just messing with you. ^_^ But you still need to be able to do said operations.)

First off, I would like to say that Musician Forums is obviously full of amateurs. This is something that not everyone might notice. I believe that when we use these forums, it should be to further our musical abilities and become professionals. That being said, let's move on to the details.

If you look at a professional artist's lyrics, you will notice that they are short, simple, and detailed in their own way. I'm quite sure every song writer on here as probably written lyrics with TOO MUCH detail. There have been songs on here that seem more like Homer's Illiad than songs, being that they have long phrases and a verse can be the same thing repeated five times.

Professional example:

You got something to say
Better off stay away
My head's a loaded gun
Waiting to go off
-Static-X

Musician Forums example:

You got something to say
Go ahead and say it
I'm getting tired of hearing them
And I'm not going to take them anymore
-MF writer

Now, of course I just wrote that second example, but it is how an amateur song writer probably would have written it. Notice in the first example, each line has a different meaning, they aren't as intertwined as the second example.

Exceptions are always present. Punk rock for instance can have long lines that are semi-intertwined, but if you sing it right and don't repeat yourself over and over, then you've made a good song.

Cliche, I hate that word. I hate people who use that word in an annoying fashion. Originality, I hate that word. I hate people who use that word in an annoying fashion. Cliche and Originality are the two most worthless words used on Musician Forums. Know why? Because no one can use them correctly in an argument. If you write a song, you need to be creative, not original. If you're going to write a song about a lover, then you need to use different ideas. For example, I was recently writing a song about a relationship I had a really, really long time ago, and I was trying to find a word to replace Forgive. I started brainstorming, and I got about as far as Forget, the second word I wrote down. I couldn't find anything different, and these were just like the usual thing you see in Musician Forums songs. So I inversed it, instead of using this forgiving tone, I used the word screaming. My meaning still gets across, but in a very unexpected way.

How to use the word Cliche and Originality is a difficult question. Cliche would be used if a person wrote a song off of another song. For instance, if you listen to a Good Charlotte song, and then write a song about your dad using a lot of the same ideas, that would be cliche. Originality is simpler. If you write about something that no one else writes about, or no one writes about that you've heard, you've got originality. This is something that no Musician Forums member should really critique, since they have no way of knowing (unless the author states it) if the person has heard a song about the same idea. True originality is hard, since there are so many songs about a lot of different things. The best example of Creativity I can give off the top of my head is Highway to Hell by AC/DC and The Wall by Pink Floyd, I would never have dreamed that these were about drugs since they didn't say anything about drugs or getting stoned, but their meanings came from drug usage and hard times. Once you realize what the songs are truly about, it falls into place, but if you're ignorant of the meaning then it can have a completely different effect.

Wording philosophy -

Ignorance is not an insult, it is not bad, and it is not good. Ignorance should not be embraced, ignorance is simply the lack of knowledge and anyone who does not try to further themselves by learning knowledge is stupid.

While ignorance is not bad, but not good, stupidity is bad. Stupid people should be killed. Stupidity should hurt. If you're going to be stupid, please just commit suicide. Stupid people don't know they're stupid though, so we should tell them.

Kindness should be given to those who deserve it, not those who are lowly, and stupid with no thoughts but self-envy.

Death is the greatest thing in life. Death is the end, and to some the beginning. I get tired of hearing people complain about darkness on Musician Forums, I could write the most good-natured song in history and use pesimistic words.



Finally, the main rule to remember about professional music...

Keep it simple.

Write your words simply, but with meaning. Make your music with simple riffs. The most complicated thing in the world can be simple to someone. The student, not the lesson decides the difficulty of something.


And seriously, will you people learn to spell? Better at least? If you're sitting here putting a song on the boards, the least you could do is spell the word you correctly. I can understand misspelling larger words, but simple things like you, two, too, to, and are are non-negotiable.


Edit:

I am not saying that when sang, words should be short and said just like that. Short lyrics can be drawn out, and long lyrics can be shortened. You need to feel the words to see what is right for your song.

confusion will be my epitaph
12-27-2004, 11:20 AM
I still fail to see what is wrong with using the words 'cliche' and 'originality'. You seem to have contradicted yourself by first saying that you need creativity and not originality to write a song then you have gone on to say that to write about a lover you need different ideas. What can else can you be implying here using the word 'different' other than an idea which is new and not in common use, something ORIGINAL? I don't see how you can blacklist using 'originality' and not 'creativity' when they are overlapping terms in many ways. One of the dictionary definitions of 'originality' is being creative or inventive.

I understand your point about lyrics being short and to the point and amateur songwriters often do use words as a kind of filling agent while actually adding very little to the meaning of a song but I still feel there is a case to be made for more detailed lyrics. Detailed description can capture a landscape, a situation in a listener's mind very accurately. I often find that short, to the point, lyrics give bad songwriters an excuse to showcase their ability to throw random words together and claim it has some semblance of meaning. Each approach needs to be equally emphasised. 'Keeping it simple' is not necessarily the route to great songwriting.

On a highly personal level, I also disagree with your view that 'death is the greatest thing in life'. While it is true that death can be beautiful, it can be life-changing, it is not the best thing to come out of life. I also think that many critters on this board do not so much dislike the subject of death in songs but dislike the repetitive and mind-numbingly similar way it and its effects are described. If someone can present death in a new way, use their creativity and originality to twist it so that this overused topis is interesting then that is great but if it is the same 'I hate my life, nothing's the way it used to be, i'm going to kill myself...' line I think I may start wanting to kill myself from the sheer lack of imagination.

I completely agree about the spelling :p

pixiesfanyo
12-27-2004, 12:09 PM
You got something to say
Better off stay away
My head's a loaded gun
Waiting to go off
-Static-X

That looks like something somebody here would post.

SarcasticVirtue
12-27-2004, 12:15 PM
Valid arguments.

First off, I was using the definition of Originality as in a brand new idea. For instance, writing about a gopher sitting on a golf ball. That's probably never been done in a song. However, you are correct, originality and creativity are very much alike. Also, however, most of the times I've seen the word originality on the forums, it has to do with the idea of the song, not the creativity of the wordings. On the topic of writing about the lover, the word different was meant to indicate you should use creative words and phrases (ideas). If you for instance wrote "I'll never see you again," that would not be creative, it's basic and really undescriptive. It doesn't get the audience to think about it, or catch their attention. If you wrote "Meet again near the End" it sounds more like you'll never see them again until you die, which therefore doesn't mean you'll really see them if you're dead, eh?

You're correct about your second argument as well. I'd first like you to read a quote from this article

The most complicated thing in the world can be simple to someone. The student, not the lesson decides the difficulty of something.

One of the things I implied in my disclaimer, is the fact that this is relative. (I guess I didn't really say it very well, I'll go back and add it.) Not all your music has to be simple to the brink of desparation to write lyrics. You can use more detailed words if you need to, but if you start using so many words that you've written an Iliad, it's just not so great for a song. You can add detail with less words! Using detailed words as substitutes for three words to describe on thing would ideally be the way to write. What you need to remember about this is that it isn't set. You have to comprehend this yourself, the terms are relative.

The death thing was more of an example than anything, the last thing I expected was for people to agree with my opinion.

Just don't fake what you write. Don't jot down worthless words. Become professional song writers everyone.

Did I answer your arguments to your satisfaction epitaph? If not, I'll do it again. ^_^

SarcasticVirtue
12-27-2004, 12:16 PM
Quote:
You got something to say
Better off stay away
My head's a loaded gun
Waiting to go off
-Static-X



That looks like something somebody here would post.

Why? Because it's your idea of 'cliche?'

confusion will be my epitaph
12-28-2004, 11:52 AM
Yep: all previous points now answered. Thanks :)

MakeJobsNotWar
12-28-2004, 12:05 PM
interesting read, thanks.

Guitar Symphony
12-28-2004, 12:08 PM
I'm really glad someone took a step and said what a lot of people are missing. As to being short, yea I agree..it's hard to stay short I'll admit. But what about bands like TOOL? Modest Mouse? Bright Eyes? All of those dudes are amazing and have a lot of detail but stay short in their own way. I'd quote something I said to this gothic dude or w/e on the boards but i'd have to find it in all the stupid darkness/suicide songs. Hmm...brb...i'll find it! lol

EDIT: Found it! woo! Well, ok this goth guy wrote this song and I gave this answer critting the song.

Out of all these great crits your getting dude. I have to disagree. Every lyrics reminds me of every stupid metal song about how much "hate" they have in themselves, or how they feel so down all the time and wanna kill themselves etc. . It makes no sense to sing these lyrics when your rich and famous and everyone loves you. If you think that these original lyrics then your just as guilty as the emo kids writing about their girlfriends as the music's gimmick. I think you need to cheer up, write about something else other then yourself, and be happier. Life isn't that f.ucked up all the time.

jurialmunkey
12-28-2004, 02:59 PM
A cliche is an idea that has been overused in common society to an extent that it no longer maintains the strength of its original meaning and loses it's originality.

"As pale as a ghost" is not a very strong image because it is a cliche.
"As quiet as a mouse" is not a very strong image because it is a cliche.

Song lyrics about mental anguish/suicide/lost love/being in love/drugs are often cliche because these are the most written about themes in music and often the same images and ideas are used to express them. Therefore they lose their strength and emotive intensity because it becomes obvious and therefore boring. For example the knife in the back image to show betrayl has been reiterated in a thousand forms just like the 'thorn in my side' image of something that constantly causes pain such as a bad memory or scar. Scars are yet another example of this cliche.

SarcasticVirtue
12-28-2004, 03:00 PM
Uh... Thanks for your input Guitar Symphony, but I think you to consider the fact that even if you are rich and famous and all that, you can still have it hard. And do you know he's goth? Yeah... you make judgement without the facts. You get to know the writer, then tell him if he needs to cheer up.

jurialmunkey
12-28-2004, 03:09 PM
Oh yeah... a dictionary definition.

goth
n.
1. A style of rock music that often evokes bleak, lugubrious imagery.
2. A performer or follower of this style of music.

Guitar Symphony
12-28-2004, 07:25 PM
Uh... Thanks for your input Guitar Symphony, but I think you to consider the fact that even if you are rich and famous and all that, you can still have it hard. And do you know he's goth? Yeah... you make judgement without the facts. You get to know the writer, then tell him if he needs to cheer up.

well his name was gothdewd666 and the song was some stupid black metal thing about how much he wanted to kill himself. Yea, talk about passing judgement :rolleyes:

He even agreed with me. So there.

And yea, i understand u can have it petty hard. But even then the lyrics where ridiculous for even a rich person.

thirdeyeblindislit
12-28-2004, 07:29 PM
Very intrusting article here. Nice job. I like it. :thumb:

SarcasticVirtue
12-28-2004, 08:42 PM
Thanks.

Ok, so maybe your definition of cliche is better... but then I'd have to say that MF members saying the word cliche is cliche. ^_^

Edit: And Guitar Symphony, I stand corrected. Just don't start calling everyone that likes Black Metal goth?

jurialmunkey
12-28-2004, 08:55 PM
MF members using the word cliche is cliche... just like you saying you hate people saying cliche.

I'm going to start using the word 'trite' instead.

trite
adj.
1. Lacking power to evoke interest through overuse or repetition; hackneyed.

SarcasticVirtue
12-28-2004, 09:05 PM
Haha, let's make a cliche out of trite. ^_^

And I'm sorry, rather I say I destest the ignorance of some people? Remember the comprehension disclaimer?

Devilinferno2
12-28-2004, 09:27 PM
ok. "On the basis of death and black and goth metal"

You KNOW that these genres don't have short and sweet lyrics don't you.

Lets take a look at one of the top black metal bands, Immortal

Immortal - Pure Holocaust - The Sun No Longer Rises

Surrounded By Black And Mourning Moonfog
And The Eyes Of The Dark Ones
Sempiternal Woods Wait Only For Me
A Path Opens Clearly
The Sun No Longer Rises
Over Cold And Forgotten Valleys
The Sun No Longer Rises
Where I Walk And Where I Come
I Believe In Tragedies
I Believe In Desecration
To The North And Into Eternal Winters
To The North In The Grip Of Eternal Frost

Many adjectives use, much description done. Short and sweet? no. Long and majestic? yes.

Lets take a look at another black metal band, Emperor.

Emperor - IX Equilibrium - The Warriors Of Modern Death

All raised, To be men
Given image and path
Supreme. Idolised warriors
Bright steel, Burning rage
Never too late to try, Stand tall
Never plead, Live and let die

Not that short either.

Another example, the melodic death metal band, Amon Amarth

http://www.darklyrics.com/lyrics/amonamarth/versustheworld.html#2

not too long, not too short.

And of course how can we forget the masters of lyrics, Bal Sagoth.

http://www.darklyrics.com/b/balsagoth.html

seriously, read ANY of their lyrics, and tell me its short

Ok. Anyway. in my opinion. talking about professional lyrics..Opeth, Agalloch, In Flames comes to mind.

Go read them, those are professional.

Anyway, professional doesn't mean to be short and sweet, or long or majestic, its your choice.

The difference between Professional and amatuers are Effort and Detail.

SarcasticVirtue
12-28-2004, 09:43 PM
First up, I'm ONCE AGAIN going to bring attention to the words...

The most complicated thing in the world can be simple to someone. The student, not the lesson decides the difficulty of something.

Those lyrics were actually rather short in my opinion. And also, I don't buy many CDs for lack of money, so I was going off of the artists I have at my avilability, who are for the most part, short and sweet in my opinion.

All raised, To be men
Given image and path
Supreme. Idolised warriors
Bright steel, Burning rage
Never too late to try, Stand tall
Never plead, Live and let die

That is even shorter.

When I say short and sweet, and keep it simple, I'm not talking about two line phrases. That's just stupid, and if you thought that I was talking about every line have four or less words, you're sadly mistaken.

Devilinferno2
12-28-2004, 09:56 PM
First up, I'm ONCE AGAIN going to bring attention to the words...



Those lyrics were actually rather short in my opinion. And also, I don't buy many CDs for lack of money, so I was going off of the artists I have at my avilability, who are for the most part, short and sweet in my opinion.



That is even shorter.

When I say short and sweet, and keep it simple, I'm not talking about two line phrases. That's just stupid, and if you thought that I was talking about every line have four or less words, you're sadly mistaken.


No problem. But just a reminder, not all professional lyrics are short and sweet.

SarcasticVirtue
12-28-2004, 09:58 PM
I never said they were. I'm pretty sure, in fact, that I said there are exceptions to everything.

limemachine
12-28-2004, 10:40 PM
why are you so pro, that you can decide what's good and what's not. No offense, but I hate metal

SarcasticVirtue
12-28-2004, 10:44 PM
If that's directed at me, then I'm just going to say you're being an idiot and need to read the first post again. If not, then... kudos?

CSD & the Soul Machines
12-28-2004, 10:44 PM
Good stuff...now make a pill to make people better writers. It would be so much easier that way.

Guitar Symphony
12-28-2004, 10:57 PM
Edit: And Guitar Symphony, I stand corrected. Just don't start calling everyone that likes Black Metal goth?

Nah, i never would. I listen to a bunch of emo music lately. And then some metal and the alternative then punk. w/e....i don't label people unless they label themselves.

Burningwater
12-29-2004, 12:06 PM
No problem. But just a reminder, not all professional lyrics are short and sweet.

True. But to me, the lyrics that you posted were quite short. I believe the definition of short and sweet here was not repeating what was just said. All those lines that I read were short but at the same time they all amounted something larger. Each line built upon what was just said and didnt really repeat it.

naomisarah
12-29-2004, 04:54 PM
While indeed, amateurs post here and the spelling is not always correct, and the lyrics are often repetitive, and the rhymes are unoriginal, who says that the person cannot become a great musician from them? If becoming great is not their goal, at least the lyrics should give the author a sense of self-gratitude or consolation for something. Music speaks from the soul, regardless of spelling and grammar.

However, using the word "cry" and "die" is a very cliche rhyme to be avoided, but using "light" and "fight" is a cliche as well, and it is a rhyme repeated in many many famous songs today.

www.geocities.com/naomi_sarah_davis

SarcasticVirtue
12-29-2004, 05:40 PM
If the lyrics are good enough for the musician to get signed and start raking in money, then they're obviously professional quality. Who says we're professionals that we can judge lyrics correctly? And we never said anything about cliches not being in professional work; if someone did, then this is my opinion only.

... people need to learn to spell. If music comes from the soul, then someone that can't spell a simple word has a stupid soul. ^_^ I can't remember the word, but the guy spelled it with some weird letter that wasn't even close to the letters on the keyboard needed to spell the word.

jurialmunkey
12-29-2004, 06:35 PM
Why is getting signed always used as a measure of quality. Getting signed has very little bearing on quality. Think about all the countless Major Label Pop songs that are churned out... their lyrics are terrible.

Ohhh Baby, baby, baby, yeah, why did you leave me, oh why?, Ohh Baby, Your so hot, I want you body, Move your body. Why did you leave me, oh why?

On the note of spelling and grammar:
Spelling and grammar are important because it shows that you take pride in your lyrics. If you can't be bothered to spell something correctly or look it up, what does that say about your pride in your work? If you can't even put this much effort into it, then why should anyone put the effort into reading it. Later on you may also get confused about what you originally wrote or someone else you give it too may get confused because the spelling is wrong.

Disco Dragon
12-30-2004, 12:31 AM
Quality is a word that I see many people use and equally abuse. When someone talks about the "quality" of a song, there is not always (as a matter of fact, rarely) a simple way of judging that. Who can possibly decide what goes into judging the quality, originality, or creativity of someone else's song? Are there certain rules that are to be used when judging? If so, then we are truly fucked. If songwriters (even amateurs such as us) are to follow these rules, or dare I say "structure", then the entire purpose of writing is lost.

The fact is, many people see things in a different light. That's very obvious, and everybody should know that, but I feel that it needed to be said. Songs can be as abstract or as detailed or as poignant or as simple as the writer wants them to be, which is why it makes it so beautiful to read. I can't think of a single song where every person who has heard it likes it. With, of course, the exception of the theme to "Shaft". Its for this reason that we have such varied songs. Songs with long, drawn-out, borderline excessive choruses, and other songs that lack any sort of structure at all. Its all in the eyes and ears of the reader/listener. So basically, what may be trite or contrived to one person may be the most ingenious thing to happen since the penis-flavored lollipop or vagina-scented tuna.

And since spelling and grammar seem to be such a popular discussion topic, I'll pitch my loins-worth into this bucket of body parts. People who cannot spell need to use a spell-checker! Or how about a dictionary? Perhaps a friend who is a level ahead of you on the Reading Rainbow Summer Fun Chart? It doesn't matter how, but please...make your songs readable. This is why many people's songs do not get the proper critiquing. I often stop reading some songs on these forums because I can't understand it. All I'm saying is that if it's intelligible, it's more likely that people will take the time to read it.

Livin'Sic
12-30-2004, 02:11 AM
true most of the people even me dsnt work on their song afterwards to think about better ways to express themself thanx for the thread

Livin'Sic
12-30-2004, 02:20 AM
And seriously, will you people learn to spell? there is peeps like me tough tht enlgish isnt theeir main language

Dingbats
12-30-2004, 05:04 AM
That English is not your mother tongue does not make you unable to use a dictionary.

SarcasticVirtue
12-30-2004, 11:26 AM
Why is getting signed always used as a measure of quality. Getting signed has very little bearing on quality. Think about all the countless Major Label Pop songs that are churned out... their lyrics are terrible.

Yes, sorry... I feel like an idiot with that one.

Quality is a word that I see many people use and equally abuse. When someone talks about the "quality" of a song, there is not always (as a matter of fact, rarely) a simple way of judging that. Who can possibly decide what goes into judging the quality, originality, or creativity of someone else's song? Are there certain rules that are to be used when judging? If so, then we are truly ****ed. If songwriters (even amateurs such as us) are to follow these rules, or dare I say "structure", then the entire purpose of writing is lost.

The fact is, many people see things in a different light. That's very obvious, and everybody should know that, but I feel that it needed to be said. Songs can be as abstract or as detailed or as poignant or as simple as the writer wants them to be, which is why it makes it so beautiful to read. I can't think of a single song where every person who has heard it likes it. With, of course, the exception of the theme to "Shaft". Its for this reason that we have such varied songs. Songs with long, drawn-out, borderline excessive choruses, and other songs that lack any sort of structure at all. Its all in the eyes and ears of the reader/listener. So basically, what may be trite or contrived to one person may be the most ingenious thing to happen since the *****-flavored lollipop or vagina-scented tuna.

And since spelling and grammar seem to be such a popular discussion topic, I'll pitch my loins-worth into this bucket of body parts. People who cannot spell need to use a spell-checker! Or how about a dictionary? Perhaps a friend who is a level ahead of you on the Reading Rainbow Summer Fun Chart? It doesn't matter how, but please...make your songs readable. This is why many people's songs do not get the proper critiquing. I often stop reading some songs on these forums because I can't understand it. All I'm saying is that if it's intelligible, it's more likely that people will take the time to read it.

Very true.

And I also agree with Dingbats, use a dictionary, or microsoft word, or something. This is an English based website, while dilects are fine, if you can't speak English then don't talk to us.

Edit: I have a quick off-topic question with the comment about the professional lyrics from major, signed bands. I was listening to the radio last night, they had an Interview with Tony Iommi and Ozzy Osbourne from Black Sabbath and they were playing Sabbath music. One of the artists made a comment about how they had to play what the company that signed them wanted to before they could play their own material. My question is, do all bands still have to do this, and does every signing company enforce this?

theredwonder
12-30-2004, 11:31 AM
i not be engleesh. i know few word only. my two favourite is Pompous and Arrogant. You like my sleevies? :smoke:

A_Perfect_Sonnet
01-03-2005, 03:17 PM
bumped to create more arguements :evil:

SarcasticVirtue
01-03-2005, 03:19 PM
Lmfao. I just saw this, so I figured what the hell? I'm going to use all of your comments and right a new article on song writing. ^_^

jurialmunkey
01-03-2005, 03:55 PM
Please.... Please....

No more articles on songwriting. I'm sick of people trying to tell me how to write lyrics. And then at the end saying... "Oh, there are no real boundaries, just do what works from you."