There’s no right or wrong way to write a song.
Most of us writers randomly cease the moment when an unpredicted surge of creativity strikes and completely consumes us. With words rattling in our brains, melodies on our lips, chords in our every move, we become oblivious to the outside world while we shape our cluster of emotions, sometimes it takes no time at all, hours, a day, 2/3 days, other times it takes what feels like a life time. We tweak, we finesse, we re write and then eventually and a new song is born.
The listener cares very little about the actual birth of the song, they know nothing of all those sleepless nights staring at the ceiling with snippets of a million different tunes running through your mind, the tears, the pain or even the laughter for that matter that were all part of the process are the exclusive property of you. They know nothing of all the chord progressions and arrangement formulas that you scrapped during the writing process to arrive at the chosen chords and structure that just felt right for some reason.
When we’re happy we remember the melody generally and when we’re sad we tend to remember the lyrics, those lyrics that you’ve lived and experienced, cried for, mourned for, had your heart broken for, broken someone else heart for, been rejected for, walked away from, felt the joy or pain for, loved and been loved for. You’ve endured all of these things, but will it translate? Will the listener relate and understand where you’re coming from? The answer is Yes, but only if you’ve done your job properly. Your song needs to move people. Being able to move someone with a song is the highest accolade any songwriter could ask for. Feelings are for feeling so make them feel.
Standing in a sold out venue, listening to your song being sung by tons of people in the audience and on the stage, all of them in their own world, singing out loud, hanging on to every word with so much conviction and passion, you can see and feel that it truly means something real to them and you then realise, it’s not my song anymore, it’s not about me, it’s about them. That feeling is golden!
The listener may not feel the same thing as you, but that’s the beauty of music, it effects us all in different ways. Lyrics from your perspective can mean something completely different to the next person depending on their own life experiences.
If you’re trying to write that real emotive song that’s going to move people, it’s first got to move you, be honest with your audience and most importantly be honest to yourself.
Is it believable? Do I really mean it? Taste everything, listen when people are talking to you about how they feel, be present, read, learn, feel, touch. Let your music be your therapist, don’t hold back when you’re in that creative zone, write that song, let it all out and be truthful. It’s those songs that really make a difference so make a difference.