• The Editor

Song Lyrics

For those of us who admit to spending more time listening to music than reading.

Photo by Elice Moore on Unsplash

I find this one particularly useful when I'm looking for interesting ways to write something, like a headline or title. No, it's not just about copying the lyrics verbatim. But taking inspiration from the choice of words, rhythm and phrasing in a song.


If you're someone whose ears focus more on the music than the lyrics, then I would suggest starting by taking your favourite album, and forcing yourself to listen to the lyrics of the first few songs for a change. It shouldn't be a hardship. It's your favourite album after all.


Concentrate on the flow and the rhythm of the words. The delivery, as much as the choice of words used.


Most songwriters or lyricists would make excellent copywriters. They have an understanding of how to use words in interesting ways - using all the available tools of language to say something that connects to the hearts and minds of people.


Spotify recently introduced a function where you can search for a song using any part of its lyrics (apparently you can do this on Apple Music too). If you're lacking inspiration for what to listen to, try starting with the Rolling Stone Top 500 songs of all time And if the lyrics sound like they're being slurred by a whisky-soaked frontperson (very possibly), you can look them up on a site like Lyrics.com or AZLyrics - Song Lyrics from A to Z, or Genius


Which reminds me of one of the great surprises/disappointments in life: You've been singing a set of lyrics to a song for decades. And then one day you read the actual lyrics and discover you've been singing them wrong the whole time!


After the embarrassment tails off, the upside is that the song can sometimes take on a whole new meaning. It probably won't overturn your world view. But it might offer a new way of thinking that you hadn't expected.