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Thread: Lyrics: How To Avoid Cliches

  1. #31
    Latin Wedding Band Los Boleros's Avatar
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    Food for thought

    What if you spent your whole life, stranded on an Island and never heard any music before. What if you made a guitar out of a sea-turtle shell and wrote down the following lyricks:

    Oh baby I am all alone
    and I am waiting by the phone
    and as I look to the heavens above
    I know that I have fallen deep in love.......


    Being that you never heard those God aweful lyricks before, would it still be cliche?
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  2. #32
    Modbod UKRuss's Avatar
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    Oh Christ yes....and how whould you know what a phone is?

    I think you'd know, even if you'd never heard music before.

    now about this turtle shell guitar...hollow body?

  3. #33
    Modally Challenged!!!! mattblack850's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UKRuss
    now about this turtle shell guitar...hollow body?
    Could get quite messy if it isn't!!!!
    I've heard of Cat-gut strings, but Turtle??????????

  4. #34
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    Chris chornell has some realy good lyrics, I can't really recall anything cliche, at least from soundgarden and his solo record.

  5. #35
    Registered User fortymile's Avatar
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    yah his stuff is sometimes good. his stuff is like in complete code, though, but it doesnt feel pretentious.
    "All bad poetry is sincere" -- Oscar Wilde

  6. #36
    ii-V-I skeletron's Avatar
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    I am pretty terrible at coming up with lyrics, as well. However, one method that has sort of worked with me is to just write down phrases that pop into your head. You'll find phrases that make you think, so write those down. Or phrases that really say something to you, write those down as well. Once you have alot of phrases compiled, go over them and see if you can compile afew into a verse or chorus, etc...


    As far as cliches go, its the same thing as playing cliches on the guitar. If you try your hardest to avoid using them, you will broaden your abilities, and soon enough you will not have to worry about relying on cliches.


    Oh yeah, and if you want to check out some pretty "poetic" lyrics, I would suggest checking out either Wilco or Against Me!.

    Wilco is a rocknroll/alt-country band. The singer, Jeff Tweedy, is pretty amazing when it comes to lyrics. They seem to melt so well with the music.

    Against Me! is a punk-rocknroll band from Florida. The singer is great at writing lyrics that hit you pretty hard, and make you think. Its all about ordinary day to day situations too.

  7. #37
    Modally Challenged!!!! mattblack850's Avatar
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    I sometimes like doing this, go for the cliche, but then turn it around somehow, and make it not so cliched................
    For example, 1st verse of something I'm working on,

    When I'm standing there at the Gates of Heaven,
    will I hear you calling my name?
    And if I'm standing at the counter of my 7-11,
    Is it me or will I feel the same?
    And when I hear your song, it's like Angels are calling,
    and all I want to do is fly
    But unlike Icarus, I got a strong fear of falling,
    I can't explain, I just don't know why.

    I personally like the fact that beginning is written as a cliche, but I thought the 'Icarus' lyric kind of sets it off so it doesn't actually seem too cliched, my own thoughts on my own work obviously, so I'm bound to be a bit biased, what do the rest of you guys think??

  8. #38
    Registered User fortymile's Avatar
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    i wrote these last night.

    before you slip into ... unconsciousness
    i'd like to have another kiss.
    another flashing chance at bliss.

    what do you think?
    "All bad poetry is sincere" -- Oscar Wilde

  9. #39
    Modbod UKRuss's Avatar
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    See, I like both of those sets of lyrics.

    I think it also has helped me to identify another problem I have though:

    If I had written those I would probably think they were cliched and throw them away, but because you guys wrote them I don't have the same concern, I like them and I don't see any cliche.

    So perhaps I suffer from too much worry that others will find my lyrics cliched and that in itself stops me from writing them in the first place.

  10. #40
    Registered User fortymile's Avatar
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    in case anyone doesnt know, my set of lyrics are the doors' 'the crystal ship.'
    "All bad poetry is sincere" -- Oscar Wilde

  11. #41
    Modbod UKRuss's Avatar
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    I do now!

    Funny though, the 70s again left allowance for all sorts of options which could simply be explained away by suggesting understanding only comes through class A pharmaceutical usage. Ironically, this also allows multipile interpretations depending on how ****ed you are at the time of listening.

  12. #42
    Modbod UKRuss's Avatar
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    Actually that reminds me of a story to illustrate my point:

    While listening to a plethora of great music while I was, let's just say in an elevated state of consciousness, but also at a pool party. I became lost in the lyrics and floated freely in the pool letting my mind construct the stories as it wished. Very enjoyable. I burst through the surface back down at the shallow end with a huge smile on my face and right next to me was a friend of mine, he said, "You know, we could be under the water right now and we wouldn't even know it".

    I decided it was time to get out of the pool.

  13. #43
    Modally Challenged!!!! mattblack850's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UKRuss
    So perhaps I suffer from too much worry that others will find my lyrics cliched and that in itself stops me from writing them in the first place.
    This can always be a big problem!!
    I have several songs that I wouldn't dare perform in front of people, due to their 'CLICHED-NESS', but people seem to like them!!! 'Spose there's no accounting for taste!! There is also the thing of being TOO self-critical, as well!!

  14. #44
    Modbod UKRuss's Avatar
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    That's how it is isn't it? I guess everyone feels that way.

    There is a fine line between inspirational art and buffoonery.

  15. #45
    Modally Challenged!!!! mattblack850's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UKRuss

    There is a fine line between inspirational art and buffoonery.
    Genius and Madness,
    Tone deaf and Musicality etc....

    But yeah, I think at the end of the day it comes down to the reason for writing the song.
    Is it for your ears only? In which case it will always struggle with the 'Too Analytical' side.
    For performance? In which case it's the 'I hope the audience don't think this is too cliched'!!!
    As you say Russ, a very fine line, but I'd say that you can afford to be more forgiving in a song for performance, not all your audience are going to be the sophisticated linguist that you are!!!! (Or should that be Cunning??)

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