The Poetry in Songwriting

It seems to be a pattern that lyrics are often disappointing without the emotional backdrop of the music they accompany. Likewise poems which stand perfectly on their own can be very difficult to fit to music without taking into account the natural rhythm in the writing itself. It is interesting and sometimes unsettling to listen to a piece of music transform mediocre writing into art which is precious to thousands of listeners.

The structure of the writing seems to be the key as to how it connects to the music. If the intention is to write a poem that relies on it’s own musicality, then it may be difficult to avoid a clash when it is fit to precomposed music. This is because a structured poem already has musicality, a structure, an aesthetic. Thus, the music will have to be tailored to work harmoniously with the musical structure that is already present in the poem.

Lyrics written for music however, often lack their own rhythm and read off the page more like a list of statements. This allows the phrases and words to be tailored, moved around, and laid nicely over the rhythms of the music.

Thus, in the writing of lyrics, the music becomes just as important to the beauty of the poetry as the meaning of the words themselves.

 

Let me know what you think.

 

Best,

Luke

 

One Response to The Poetry in Songwriting
  1. Judson

    Luke … Your points make perfect sense to me, because I’ve been told that I have a knack for poetic music. Most of my lyrics would stand alone as poetry, but I believe that they are enhanced by the melodies I’ve added. I’d love some constructive feedback. Please take a moment to check out my new compositions on my blog at http://judson2history.wordpress.com/ … thanks, Judson