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Old 01-01-2013, 03:32 AM   #1
THE Rhythm Guitarist
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How can I avoid sounding suicide-y?

So, I've been working on a rather pretty guitar song and, for the first time, a melody is actually coming along, however, I'm having an issue with the lyrics.

I've only got a couple lines so far and they're rather cliche, but I felt they best got the point across. The first few lines are:

"If I don't wake up,
Would anybody care?
Would anybody miss me?"

The point of the song is just wanting to make someone care about them.

These first lines were intended to questions with no intentions, but it seems very suicidal. I don't want to turn people off to the song right in the opening.

Any advice? Should I just rewrite it or do you think people would stick it out through this first part (4 bars and roughly 15 seconds)?

Thanks! C4C
"This nightmare's gonna break me.
Please, Daylight, save me..."

Last edited by DaysofGrace : 01-01-2013 at 03:34 AM.
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Old 01-01-2013, 05:32 AM   #2
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Write a song for yourself and not for others.

People generally like a song because it relates to them personally in some way or another. For instance, if you are using obscure lyrics (don't tell the entire story), it allows the listener to use their imagination. If you can do that, it doesn't matter whether it can be a "suicidal" sounding song. Each person has their own story in life, and this can make a song more personal to a wider range of people.

You could put emphasis on the question marks to make sure your listeners know it's a question, if that's what you're trying to achieve. I wouldn't worry about "turning people off" though.

(Disclaimer; i am not an expert!)
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Old 01-01-2013, 05:34 AM   #3
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The song would be very uplifting if you kept the suicidal(there ya go) lyrics and then had lyrics about someone caring in the next verse.

or perhaps have the 'no one caring' theme be the chorus. The verses discussing the point of life, depression, etc theme and then moving into lyrics that say someone cares, which would answer the question that the chorus is asking.

1. depressing verse

2. depressing chorus

3. middle verse

4. depressing chorus

5. 'someone cares' verse

6. same chorus that isn't depressing anymore because the question was answered
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Old 01-01-2013, 05:44 AM   #4
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Use metaphors.
The more you say 'epic' the less it means.
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Old 01-01-2013, 05:55 AM   #5
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Listen to 'well I wonder' by the smiths sounds like it could help you, although he does sound "suicidy"
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Old 01-01-2013, 06:57 AM   #6
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Use words that change the listeners frame of mind. Suicide is associated with a "permanent" feeling so when you use words like "never" "always" "done" "gone" "over" it'll reinforce that feeling.
If you use words that don't necessarily relate to things being permanent, and find words that indicate it's more of a phase you're going through like "almost" "journey" "path" "road" "travel" it gives the sense that you're dealing with a sad emotion but it's part of the human experience.

A good example is "Turn the Page" by Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band. Check out those lyrics, you can hear how sad and lonely he is but when he says "here i go, on the road again" the song switches from self-pity and sadness into resolution to keep going.
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Old 01-01-2013, 08:57 AM   #7
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Going from a depressing verse into an upbeat chorus in Major can make a song feel very happy, could always try that?
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:18 AM   #8
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If you are worried, just fiddle around with the first line.
not going viral

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Old 01-01-2013, 11:52 PM   #9
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That first line doesn't necessarily feel suicide y, but it is extremely boring. You might have luck consulting a thesaurus. Be a little more ambiguous and exciting in representing the uncared for feeling.
Can't believe how strange it is to be anything at all.
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Old 01-03-2013, 04:51 AM   #10
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i can see the "suicidy" impression you are getting from it.

I think this has to do with the reference to death (if I don't wake up) suggesting the speaker is thinking about his/her own death.

The next two lines suggest a lack of internal or external validation. The speaker feels that no one cares and is completely alone. The contemplation seems to infer that the speaker requires some kind of validation. - Altogether it suggests the speaker is suffering some kind of depression. (please note that the speaker is not necessarily the author)

It is very cliche and unimaginative. Definitely rewrite.

What else have you got?
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Old 01-16-2013, 05:45 PM   #11
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To tell the truth, I come across the same problem all the time. What I do is finish the song, then ask someone to read the lyrics, then tell me what they think, like does it sound like I am saying that I am suicidal from the lyrics, or something like that. So, just finish writing it, then have someone read it or listen to it, and ask them to tell you what they think. Then, go off of that!
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Old 01-18-2013, 05:13 PM   #12
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Who cares if it sounds that way???? as long as you don't actually do it. a song can mean one thing to you and 100 ways to someone else//

when all else fails Google rhyming dictionary thesaurus or synonyms
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:49 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by jcwisco
Who cares if it sounds that way???? as long as you don't actually do it. a song can mean one thing to you and 100 ways to someone else//

when all else fails Google rhyming dictionary thesaurus or synonyms

Well TS does... because he asked...
All I want is for everyone to go to hell...
...It's the last place I was seen before I lost myself

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