Every song you write will have some commonalities. Most people believe if you can write poetry you can write songs. You couldn’t be more wrong. Lyrics can have poetry but poetry alone does not make a song.
First you need a Concept/Idea or melody for your song. If you do not have a melody it will be an idea or feeling which will drive you to write the song.
The Title of your song
The Title of your song is an important part of it. It should be short, a single word or phrase but illustrate what your song is about, create an impact with the listener and will hopefully stay in the listener’s mind.
Structure of your Lyrics
This is where writing lyrics becomes different from writing poetry. Typical structures of a song can look like this:
Verse – Chorus – Verse – Chorus – Bridge - Chorus.
Verse / Chorus / Verse / Chorus / Verse) / Chorus
Verse / Verse / Bridge / Verse
A verse should provide the story and build up to the chorus....but do not generally repeat words or phrases in the verse. Words should not be repeated more than two times (or three max.) in a verse or chorus. The chorus itself is repeated, but no repetition within.
The Chorus should stay in the mind of the listener and be easy to remember and perhaps hummable. The song's theme or story should be reflected in the verse. The title of the song should be repeated in the chorus.
The bridge will give the song a different dimension or turn and then return to the verse, creating the crescendo at the end with the final chorus.
You are not writing a poem, therefore don’t get hung up on looking for beautiful rhyming words. You could destroy the flow of your lyrics. Many inexperienced Lyricist end up with scattered poetic lines without an overall scheme keeping the song together.
Some of the common rhyme schemes or pattern are shown below:
The first line rhymes with the third, while the second rhymes with the fourth.
The same rhyming sound throughout.
The first line rhymes with the second, while the third rhymes with the fourth.
There are many different rhyme schemes. If you are a beginner stick with the common schemes and once you are more experienced experiment with some others.
Some Essential Songwriting Tips.
Country Songs are story telling songs. Pop songs are more focused on a popular scheme reflecting existing trends with focus on dance oriented beats, catchy phrases rather than a story line. The length of a pop song is about 3 minutes and a consistent rhythmic tune. The structure is typically verse – chorus and the thirty – two bar form with a focus on the melody and not the lyrics. The lyrics of pop songs are often about love and romance.
You can also read the book Songwrting 101/ Plane And Simple!
One of my favorite movies about song writing is 'Music and Lyrics'.