#1
So I've been writing songs lately, and I've been showing people and they sorta go "wtf?" "that makes no sense". I think it might be a problem with focus but here's a few samples. Are nonsensical lyrics a bad thing?

"life becomes redundant
when friends are obsolete
boredom reigns abundant
and fun's another feat"

"i'm waiting on nothing
fill my lack of something
i'm awake and snoring
should life be this boring?
internet and tv
pop from aisle 3
nothing to do
nowhere to be

here we go get up at noon
go throw on my dirty clothes
sit around be another goon
watch tv and away she goes

find sandwhiches turned green
no care for reality
stare some more at the screen
wonder about legality

i'm waiting on nothing
fill my lack of something
i'm awake and snoring
should life be this boring?
internet and tv
pop from aisle 3
nothing to do
nowhere to be"
#2
If they work with the melody & music, it doesn't matter if they don't make sense to some people.

The best situation is when you write lyrics which means something to you but some others think WTF and the rest take their own meaning from it. When you allow people to find their own meaning in a song it can promote a lot of interesting discussion and also make people want to listen again.

Listen to some of the songs on my profile & see if you can figure them out - Inside Eternity & Dressed Up are probably the best examples, but quite a few of them use that sort of theory for the lyrics.
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Last edited by GaryBillington at Oct 10, 2011,
#3
Those lyrics make perfect sense to me.

But regardless, if your lyrics make sense to you, who cares if they make sense to anyone else. If everything people wrote made perfect sense, everybody who analyzes literature would be unemployed.
#4
i think its to do with some of the big words in there, like the first verse for a start. use kinda simple words, but there is no "simple set of words" list so use words maybe a retarded alien would kinda understand
#5
I think they are actually not, they can also be as good as sensical lyrics and there are many songs which doesn´t make sense for example I am the Walrus by The Beatles, a great song but the lyrics doesn´t make any sense I think ... so don´t really care about that, there always some people who doesn´t like your songs or lyrics but also some who really like them ... just keep on going and try it
#6
Whether it makes sense to anyone else or not doesnt really matter. You'll always get someone saying wtf if it's a bit of a random song. I get those lyrics they sound legit to me. A bit maybe you know cliche and a bit emoish, but I wouldnt say they where wtf or that they dont make sense, cos I get some sense out of it. You'll always get some people who don't like it and hopefully you'll get as many (hopefully more) who do like it. Just keep working at your craft and refining your tools. Oh and keep writing .
#7
those lyrics actually aren't that out there at all. in my opinion they are so easy to relate to that they seem cheesy. ex: "pop from isle three" "tv" "internet" "sandwiches" "dirty clothes" now i don't really know if that's what you are going for but if you are trying to be surreal it's not really coming out that way. i would suggest spicing things up by "showing" what you are singing about and not just "telling"
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#8
What matters is if the lyrics work for you as a vehicle for emotion. Most people won't be parsing the lyrics for precise meaning, they'll be looking to feel something.

So if you can imbue those words with melody and emotion, don't worry about it. For example, see early REM. The words themselves don't make much sense, but the emotional context gives them meaning.
#9
Quote by Snotfish
those lyrics actually aren't that out there at all. in my opinion they are so easy to relate to that they seem cheesy. ex: "pop from isle three" "tv" "internet" "sandwiches" "dirty clothes" now i don't really know if that's what you are going for but if you are trying to be surreal it's not really coming out that way. i would suggest spicing things up by "showing" what you are singing about and not just "telling"


Is being cheesy necessarily a bad thing? Cause I find it very hard not to fall into cliche or be cheesy


I wasn't going for surrealism but I plan to in the future, it's just a song about my super boring days. And how do you suggest I go about 'showing' and not 'telling'?
#10
Quote by ccannon1
Is being cheesy necessarily a bad thing? Cause I find it very hard not to fall into cliche or be cheesy


I found myself put off by the consistent obviousness of your rhymes.

First of all, you don't need to rhyme every pair or lines, or every other pair of rhymes. Mixing up your rhyme scheme will really help you.

Second, and perhaps more important, is that you don't actually have to rhyme your ending words. What matters more is that the final stressed vowel sound is the same. For example, I have a song where I "rhyme" the words "hide," "eyes," and "alive" - basically because I'm dragging out the long "i" sound a little.

You see this all the time, in all genres of music: "Hello darkness my old friend/it's good to be with you again," "I'm worse at what I do best/And for this gift I feel blessed" "It's no secret that the stars are falling from the sky/ It's no secret that our world is in darkness tonight " "She's got a smile that it seems to me/Reminds me of childhood memories "

I could go on.

Also look to break up your meter. You don't have to put your rhymes at the end of every line, and every line doesn't need the same number of syllables.

Obviously, you can do things that line up that perfectly, but often when you do it's better to make a point of it, eg:

"There's a little black spot on the sun today
It's the same old thing as yesterday
There's a black hat caught in a high tree top
There's a flag-pole rag and the wind won't stop"

Clearly that song is using not just the rhymes at the end, but other intentional repetition, to make a point.

Pick some of your favorite songs and write down the lyrics. (Don't just look them up - write them down from listening - you'll internalize them more). Note where the rhymes are. Note WHAT the rhymes are. Be pedantic about it, and it'll help you break out of the "obvious rhyming couplets" box you're in.

I wasn't going for surrealism but I plan to in the future, it's just a song about my super boring days. And how do you suggest I go about 'showing' and not 'telling'?


I would suggest that, since songs often connect to us emotionally rather than logically, it might make sense to start from strong emotional places. Being really really bored is a weak emotional state, which is setting the bar a lot higher for your lyrics, since they don't have the emotions to carry them along.
#11
it makes sense me to me i think
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#13
perfectly sensible to me
not going viral


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#14
Quote by HotspurJr
I found myself put off by the consistent obviousness of your rhymes.

First of all, you don't need to rhyme every pair or lines, or every other pair of rhymes.

+infinity.

Nothing more annoying than constant/obvious rhyming.
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#15
Quote by Sleaze Disease
+infinity.

Nothing more annoying than constant/obvious rhyming.


so i should focus on less rhyme and more meter?
#16
Made sense to me man. Sounded like you're bored as all shit with life and are wanting, but the rhyming was a bit much. It's not a limerick and it's not Dream Police so don't rhyme so much.
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#17
Quote by ccannon1
So I've been writing songs lately, and I've been showing people and they sorta go "wtf?" "that makes no sense". I think it might be a problem with focus but here's a few samples. Are nonsensical lyrics a bad thing?

"life becomes redundant
when friends are obsolete
boredom reigns abundant
and fun's another feat"

"i'm waiting on nothing
fill my lack of something
i'm awake and snoring
should life be this boring?
internet and tv
pop from aisle 3
nothing to do
nowhere to be

here we go get up at noon
go throw on my dirty clothes
sit around be another goon
watch tv and away she goes

find sandwhiches turned green
no care for reality
stare some more at the screen
wonder about legality

i'm waiting on nothing
fill my lack of something
i'm awake and snoring
should life be this boring?
internet and tv
pop from aisle 3
nothing to do
nowhere to be"



I think that, at least this example, is pretty fine. But, if you really wanna work on something...
1. Enlgish teachers- they encourage creativity, but want clarity. Readers/listeners, for the most part, are prioritized as such. Start simple and solid.
2. If it isn't exuding a genuine feeling (the reader doesn't always need to know which), deeply abstract things come off either sullied or phony.
3. Be smart with your language: leave dramatic sentence fragments for the parts you want to emphasize, for example.


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Last edited by river.wild at Dec 2, 2011,
#18
Quote by LZRocker
Made sense to me man. Sounded like you're bored as all shit with life and are wanting, but the rhyming was a bit much. It's not a limerick and it's not Dream Police so don't rhyme so much.





He's right, though. Rhyming isn't a bad thing, but it becomes a problem when you use it as a crutch for your work.
#19
aaah, i made a really similar thread more than four years ago: https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=654101 [give it a read if you want]


boy, does time pass! (clueless me)

take into account that at that time i *was* writing stuff like

Quote by me
Bugs on bread, it makes my day
when fiber ropes slip from my hands
into the pool of paper folds
who try to scare us all away
across the room full of failed clones
and cords hiding from telephones



i think that might come across as non-sensical.


i honestly think your song 'makes sense' (whatever that means), seems pretty straight forward actually. but since i took the time to go through my threads i might aswell try to add something.

i don't think much has changed between my writing process back then and right now. the results are different, but the *process* is probably the same. i sort of started writing in that style at the beginning of my 'literature life'. i don't know why. that's just how it came out, it's just the way my brain sees things, it all makes sense and ties well in my brain, with time you'll brain will learn to interpret/understand your way of interpreting things, and writing will become second nature. you'll develop your own ideas and your little stylistic twists. my advice is to keep writing, read A LOT, not just the newspaper, not just the stuff in your english class, but actually venture into reading the world, there's a **** lot of stuff out there.

take into consideration other's people advices. but don't feel bad when someone doesn't understand what you're trying to get at, moreso if you feel confident with it. familiarize yourself with art, there's honestly a lot of crazy ****ers out there.

write what you be feelin', dawg.
#20
That's what people said about Jon Anderson's lyrics, but it worked out. People generally care more about the music than lyrics. Very few people actually analyze lyrics.
#21
I like it Seems like you enjoy using oxymorons. If it makes sence to you, why should it make sence to anyone else?? You're an artist. Paintings make sence to few, lyrics should be the same
#22
Quote by tman267
Those lyrics make perfect sense to me.

But regardless, if your lyrics make sense to you, who cares if they make sense to anyone else. If everything people wrote made perfect sense, everybody who analyzes literature would be unemployed.

yea... me too.
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