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Proper English Or Conversational English Lyrics.


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Hi,

I am having some serious songwriting issues. I bought these books.

Writing Better Lyrics - By Pat Pattison, Essential Guide to Lyric Form and Structure - By Pat Pattison, 88 Songwriting Wrongs, and How To Right Them - By Pete Luboff, 6 Steps to Songwriting Success - By Jason Blume, Shortcuts To Hit Songwriting - By Robin Frederick

I have been reading them and they tell me to write a song as a person would speak in a conversation. As I post my songs on different songwriting sites, everyone wants all of the English to be totally proper. I am from the country and we do not talk proper at all.

For example: On one of my last songs I had a line “Rolling through the windy dunes†A bunch of people said, “you can’t roll through the dunes unless you are an army tankâ€. What about walking through the woods? You don’t literally walk through a tree. “She walked through the door†- She didn’t literally walk through a glass door.

One of my other lines “ We jacked up the tunes†- People said that I need to write “Turned up the tunes†- Well, that’s is just totally boring! I thought the goal was to write something fresh and new.

Then my final line “We had nothing on but the moonâ€. Someone said that the moon never goes off, so how can it be on? I should use “moonlight instead. “Moonlight†does not sound good and it kills the flow of the hook. Are we supposed to take each line literally?

In normal conversation we don’t take half of the things that are said literally. Should I ignore these people, keep it conversational, and do what the books say to do or change the grammar to make it proper. It seems like when I make everything prim and proper, it really sucks the life out of the story teller and lyric. These proper english critics are getting on my nerves, but if that's what I need to do, I will do it. It just seems really strange. Nobody talks proper that I know.

Are publishing and management companies in country music looking for proper english or normal conversation lyrics these days? I don't have a clue!

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Should I ignore these people, keep it conversational...

Yes! Don't let proper grammar get in the way of expressive writing, it's not a term paper. I generally say write out words, even if they're intended to be pronounced phonetically, "going to" instead of "gonna" when posting on critique boards, for the benefit of reviewers, but the examples you give are ridiculous...

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I appreciate your comments. I totally agree with you, but I needed to find out for sure about this kind of stuff. I was trying to use words that haven't been used to death. For instance: Jacked up the tunes, I can crank up the tunes, or turn up the radio, but they have been used a lot. I have always said "Jack up the volume some more".

I really hate to say what sites that are bashing my lyrics. I had to pay to join them. Nashville songwriters forums, that's all I want to say right now.

Here is the song that they have been beating to death on some of the songwriting forums. I have only been writing lyrics for a short time and still need to learn a lot about everything. If anyone has any ideas to make it better please let me know.

Youtube work video from today:

Nothing On But The Moon

Michael E. Lynch / Copyright 2012

I turned the motor off,

And set the parkin' brake

That eager little smile

Was more than I could take

We jacked up the tunes

Rolled around the windy dunes

Running naked through the sand

To my old Trans-Am, --- It’s gonna be over soon

She flies away on Tuesday, to start a new school year

We had to make the best we've ever made -- right here

It’s never been a fling, simple roll in the hay

We had fireworks flashin’ in our eyes all day

Lovin' and chasing each other

Like a couple of loons

Covered in sand from head to toe

Playing air guitar to the radio

Laying on the hood, Staring at the sky all night

With nothing on but the moon

It has been a while

Since I saw that smile

It was waiting for me today

On the produce isle

She said "Here I am"

And if you want to go

There's a sweet spot by the lighthouse,

That ---- we both know

It’s never been a fling, simple roll in the hay

We had fireworks flashin’ in our eyes all day

Lovin' and chasing each other

Like a couple of loons

Covered in sand from head to toe

Playing air guitar to the radio

Laying on the hood, Staring at the sky all night

With nothing on but the moon

Bridge:

I guess we always knew, that we would say the vows

A boy and two girls later, it keeps getting better --- somehow

Bout' twice a year, we make Grandma watch the kids

Grab our birthday suit and blanket, so we can do it all again

It’s never been a fling, simple roll in the hay

We had fireworks flashin’ in our eyes all day

Lovin' and chasing each other

Like a couple of loons

Covered in sand from head to toe

Playing air guitar to the radio

Laying on the hood, Staring at the sky all night

With nothing on but the moon

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Thanks Guys!

I changed some things! I will not post anymore songs here. I will use the lyrics posting area. I was just using this as an example to show you what others are complaining about.

Nothing On But The Moon

Michael E. Lynch / Copyright 2012

I turned the motor off,

And set the parkin' brake

That eager little smile

Was more than I could take

We cranked up the tunes

Tossed and turned on a windy dune

Cookin' away, in the heat of the day

It’s gonna be all over soon

She flies away on Tuesday, to start the new school year

We had to make the best of what we have -- right here

A tidal wave, of love all day

Covered in sand, salt, and spray

Laughing' and chasing’ each other

Like a couple of loons

No tan lines from head to toe

Playing air guitar, to the radio

Laying on the hood --- Watchin' the sky all night

With nothing on but the moon

It’s been a while

Since I saw that funny smile

It was waiting for me today

Down on the produce isle

She said "Here I am"

If you want to go

There's a sweet spot by the old lighthouse,

That ---- we both know

A tidal wave, of love all day

Covered in sand, salt, and spray

Laughing' and chasing’ each other

Like a couple of loons

No tan lines from head to toe

Playing air guitar, to the radio

Laying on the hood --- Watchin' the sky all night

With nothing on but the moon

Bridge:

I guess we always knew, that we would say the vows

A boy and two girls later, it keeps getting better --- somehow

Bout' twice a year, we make Grandma watch the kids

Gas up the old Firebird and grill, so we can do it all over again

A tidal wave, of love all day

Covered in sand, salt, and spray

Laughing' and chasing’ each other

Like a couple of loons

No tan lines from head to toe

Playing air guitar, to the radio

Laying on the hood --- Watchin' the sky all night

With nothing on but the moon

Edited by Telewanger
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I liked cranked better also, I was just trying to sound different, but too many people hated it.

Something strange happened today. I received a giant one page review of my song from a hit songwriter from Nashville. I checked out their website. Wow! They have written songs for a lot of big artist. They told me that my song has some really nice lines in it, but is so all over the place that it does not hold a persons attention past the second verse.

Maybe I have attention deficit disorder? I was just trying to make the song interesting by jumping around from place to place, but they say that I am jumping too much to hold a persons attention. I was trying my best no to bore people to death, but something is not working. They said that I need to dig "way deep" because I am too shallow and confusing. Of course, I can't say who the person is because I ask them if their was a remote possibility if I could get them to look at more of my songs. I don't want to mess anything up. I also asked them if they would ever consider writing with me. It is a long shot, but doesn't hurt to ask.

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I think they are talking nonsense, you're an artist not a scientist! Art is about free expression.

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Considering their point of view, "I can't get no, satisfaction." The multimillion dollar hook of the century would never have made it out of their cutting room.

What they do works for them, in the assembly line. Everybody is on the same page. This is just my opinion, but perhaps 'yall aint proper english neither.

I know it's already been said, but since I regularly ask myself the same question, "which way should I say this?", I'll only add that I usually go with what Andrew suggested. I'll go ahead and write it out without trimmin' off the "G" leaving it trimming instead. I pretty much know how the artist will end up singing it in the end.

Some of the old songwriters would edit words into rhyme, intentionally mispronouncing words for tricky little ear catching rhymes that would make the listener smile in appreciation of the sly creative adjustment.

I do appreciate the opinions of those who steadfastly maintain perfect english as a rule, I just know I won't follow that rule. I choose not to, which is evidently the same as choosing to never have a lyric accepted in their circle. Fair enough trade. That sounded bitter, but I've never entered a lyric into a paid audience and never will. I ain't gonna' git rich from this 'yall.

Peace

M to the f*cking P

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Usually tho', when speeking in conversational english you wouldn't say "So off to the dunes, we did go" just as an example. You would say we went off to the dunes. That's the kind of thing that normally gets pointed out in reference to writing as you normally speak. And that, I'll have to say, I agree with.

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