Lyric Writing – How exactly to Turn Cliche Phrases Into New Ideas, Part 2

In a prior article, I mentioned the overuse of the notion of heartbreak in songwriting. We saw that it started as an awesome metaphor, but it’s basically lost its coolness because of overuse. We then looked over how a band kanmani anbodu lyrics, the Script, managed to breathe some new life into that phrase once more, with the addition of new information to it.

In the event you missed it, that article is on this web site and is known as “Lyric Writing – How exactly to Turn Cliche Phrases into New Ideas.”

In that article, we saw how heartbreak became fresh again with the addition of new lyrics around the old phrase. In this short article I want to explain to you how heartbreak has been made fresh again by how a phrase is handled musically.

In art, prosody is when all your elements are achieving one thing. Regarding songwriting, plenty of times prosody describes the way you tie the meaning of your lyrics to your music, so they work together.

With this in mind, take a listen to the initial minute of the song, “Fidelity” by Regina Spektor. Do a search for it on YouTube, if you’re unfamiliar with the song.

Did you see anything interesting in regards to the chorus (which starts on the line “It breaks my heart” about 47 seconds in to the song)? Would you hear the way she sings the word “heart”? As if it was multiple syllables? She took that one-syllable word, heart, and chopped it down into a bunch of little fragments. It’s interesting that she “broke” the word “heart,” isn’t it? She “broke” her “heart” musically, while singing about her broken heart, lyrically. That is an example of prosody in songwriting. The notion of a damaged heart as a metaphor, became a damaged heart in her delivery of the word “heart” as well. I think it is useful here, because it’s not too in-your-face. You barely make the text unless you’re searching for treasure in the details.

Go back to that line in the chorus and listen to it again. Imagine what it’d sound like if she had sung the word “heart” as one single continuous note. Are you able to picture how much more complete that will sound? That would be cool, nonetheless it wouldn’t fit the notion of the lyric, wouldn’t it? In cases like this, the broken heart concept is not only literal in the broken-up nature of how it’s sung, but inaddition it makes the line feel a little unbalanced, that will be how our lead singer is feeling because moment, since she has a damaged heart and all. Therefore it is useful in this way too.

Singing it because choppy, broken-up way also ties in to the quirky feel of the song. Another score!

Initially when I hear what “it breaks my heart,” every one of the songs in the universe that have already used that phrase begin to flash before my eyes. But here I discovered myself being interested again, because it was presented in an interesting way. It should be noted that Regina Spektor also does this in the 2nd chorus on the phrase “it breaks my fall” and it is useful there too, in every one of the same ways we’ve mentioned up until now.

Mess around with having your lyrics tie into your music. Start small by trying it on a couple of phrases here and there. Maybe have an email slide down on a lyric that ends on the word “down.” Then get bolder and expand your techniques to have your current musical vibe tying into your entire lyrical concept.

Do not be too outrageous with it, or you’ll run the chance of being cheesy. Keep it fairly subtle and you will be in good shape. But as always, experiment with it and see what works best.

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