Hear the Rough Draft...
I Needed to See the Entire Picture
Looking at a song from a step back is important. That way you can see if everything is going to flow well and feel complete. This song didn't feel complete with the chorus lyrics I had originally intended, so I had to recycle the chorus and use it for a bridge and then add a new chorus.
In one of the songwriting books I read, it was suggested that you limit any use of existing cliches. This guards your lyrics from being predictable and meaningless. However, the author went on to explain that many songwriters are cliche creators. So, it's o.k. to have cliche sounding lines in your song, if these are original phrases. I wanted the chorus to sound cliche'ish without using any real cliches.
My client ask me to focus the song to say that the everyday love he gets from his wife is important in his life. The first two lines of the chorus are meant to reinforce the verses. Then the chorus ends with two lines that say that their time together is what these two cherish the most. I kept it in past tense to match the rest of the song, but it might be cool to change to present tense on the chorus.
Here are the new chorus lyrics:
Seeing you was enough for me to love
And I saw you every day in my mind
Being with you has always been my gift
You gave me love and you were kind
The next step is to get approval from my client to go ahead and develop this rough draft into a more polished and well arranged song and start recording.
This medium tempo rock ballad style could end up very expressive once everything is put together. Instrumentation should stay fairly simple, and the song should build up to the chorus from quieter verses.
In the previous post I included some verses written directly from words from a client. I looked over the remainder of what he had given me in order to write the chorus lyrics. He asked that the song's overall theme say that they are "meant to be."
That phrase has too much meaning to just throw "meant to be" in the song call it done. I wanted to give some visual imagery that would describe what "meant to be" feels and looks like. And the chorus needed to fit the verses. Since the couple enjoys being around the ocean, I used water/ocean imagery/metaphor once again for the chorus (already used in a verse).
Here's the chorus:
You know when you have what you want
When you’ve been filled to the brim
When the current tugs and you can’t resist
There’s only one way you can swim
These lyrics compare the tug of falling in love with the massive power of the ocean. This couple had years apart, but the current "brought him home" eventually. They are as "meant to be" as the direction of the currents in the ocean. The first two lines describe the full and content feeling you get when you are in a good loving relationship.
A possible name for the song might be, One Way You Can Swim. Now comes my favorite part, adding music.
Good descriptions = good lyrics
One of the awesome things about writing songs for other people is that I get to hear these awesome stories about how people met, fell in love, struggles they've faced, vulnerabilities, and inspirational events.
For each of the jaded people out there who think true love isn't possible, there seems to be a person out there living in a romance movie storyline. The real life movies play out over years and involve real life struggles such as being apart for long periods of time, mostly because of the realities of life.
Here's a little peek into one of my current projects. I am usually able to get some great stuff right from a person's own words. So, essentially, you are directly inspiring the song. What I usually do is read through what a person writes and highlight all the stuff I think is really important for the song. Then I organize it in little sections that evolve into verses and a chorus.
Here is an example of some of those little pieces and how the song writes itself when people have strong feelings. The parts in bold are word for word from my client:
1. Irresistible urge to talk to her/ out of character for me/I was very shy/Love at first sight for me
2. Always seemed to keep in touch/Long lost love wondering what she was doing and thinking/We never stopped thinking of each other/Time and distance conspired
3. I received a call one night while on patrol/It seemed like no time had passed/Count down the hours when we will be able to see each other again.
Something I saw made me love you
Pulled me out of my shell
I noticed that you were by yourself
And I felt my heart swell
You’ve always stayed in my thoughts
Even miles out in the sea
The stars sang a song about us
And granted a wish for me
We beat the time that stood between
The distance that took so long
You proved with a simple phone call
Fate was always strong