What Writers Can Learn From Song Lyrics
I was chatting with an old friend via email this morning, and we were discussing song lyrics. It’s a favorite topic of mine, because I’ve always wanted to write them. After all, they’re just a hugely abbreviated form of writing. Mini Flash Fiction, with poetry thrown in. Extreme write tight!
If they can do this with less than a page, what should I be able to do with 365 of them?! No excuses. Lyrics inspire me to write better.
I love how songwriters can capture a mood or a situation with one stanza. As an author, I’m held captive by the words. Taking something old, and through brilliant writing, making it over in a new way. The lyrics to Carly Simon’s song, Jesse, inspired my July release, The Last True Cowboy.
Music styles change (a huge amount, in just my lifetime!), but for me, the lyrics are the magic. If the notes can hold a candle to the lyrics, you’ve got a hit. It’s funny; I don’t really care for country music for the most part, but I find the lyrics very strong.
Here are a few snippets that I’ve loved for years:
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