Monday, 8 July 2013

Learning to write songs

There are some lyrics from songs which stay with you forever. Sometimes I think I'm haunted by lyrics. They follow me around all day until I finally give in and sing along. My favourite lyricists are the ones who make me feel the words. They're the ones you can imagine furiously scribbling away in their notepads as they go through the day. The ones woken in the middle of the night desperate to jot down lines they dreamt. One of my earliest memories of lyrics comes from being 10 years old, sitting in my bedroom with the cd cover to the spice girl's first album desperately learning the words to each and every song. Thankfully as I've gotten older , my music taste has improved.

Now when I listen to my favourite songs, to the Verve, the Smiths, Oasis, Stereophonics, Feeder, Florence and the machine, I tie all the beauty in their lines to moments in my life. So when I decided I wanted to write songs as part of my novel 'Echoes of Glory' I naturally assumed it would come fairly naturally to me. How wrong was I? Oliver needed to be a musical character. I knew this the moment the idea of him was thrown around in a conversation with a friend. Though I was only through writing Siren Call, I really felt the connection to him as a character. I'd managed a couple of lines for the chapter. So no big deal! 

But it is so much harder than that! It's a fine balance-lyricism. Not wanting to write something cliche, or something too odd. Wanting to convey emotion, without sentimentality. Then there's trying to sound simplistic/effortless, yet at the same time, sounding intelligent. 

I'm going to show you guys some lyrics. They are nothing like the qualities I listed above, but I'm still working on it.

So this was my first attempt at a more sinister song from Oliver. It would accompany part two of siren call i suppose. It needs work, but throwing it out there so you guys know I'm not slacking too much with writing. This is as yet untitled.

Creeping under your skin now,
My fingertips linger.
Your body's flushed and numb,
I'm your siren, your singer.

But if the night gets cold,
And my lies get old,
You'll sit in the dark heat
And feel it take over.

You say you want to be saved,
But you've built your own grave.
And as the waves roll in closer,
You lay there in silence.

There is more but still uncertain...

Need advice and feedback please! 

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