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Thread: Lyrics: How To Avoid Cliches

  1. #46
    Modbod UKRuss's Avatar
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    LOL.

    You've just added another fear! Now the audience are just gonna think I'm a wanker!

    Heather and Paul upon the bank
    They're feeling all a quiver
    He undid her suspender belt
    and her leg fell in the river

    oh, now that is poor taste man.

  2. #47
    Modally Challenged!!!! mattblack850's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UKRuss
    You've just added another fear! Now the audience are just gonna think I'm a wanker!
    And what makes you so sure they don't anyway???

  3. #48
    Well Iīd say lyrics donīt always have to have a deep meaning. Think Elvis: Alabbabelula, tutti frutti...

    Sometimes itīs just the music that carrys the words...

  4. #49
    Registered User tucker97325's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fortymile
    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?
    Wow, I think those could really open some DOORS.

    Edit: Oops, I didn't realize fortymile had "let the cat out of the bag"(cliche) before I posted this.

    It sounds like you've all decided "There is no accounting for taste, so don't worry too much about the lyrics." Hmmm, and someone said something like "Let the music carry the message.".

    Wow, I disagree so strongly, unfortunately I have the very same problem. I can't stand cliches, sappy crappy stuff, anything that's been used, reused, and overused. "Your eyes are like shining cesspools." What a bunch of tripe. Why can't you just say what you mean, maybe in a slightly poetic manner, without over indulging that sort of thing?
    Last edited by tucker97325; 08-01-2005 at 11:07 PM.
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  5. #50
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    For me ambiguity is the factor I most like in Lyrics and good story telling.Saw a programme on T.V recently about songwriters, one of them was a multi grammy winner ,forget her name ...she wrote "Unbreak my Heart" for Toni Braxton ,a big love lost ballad ,but the writer admitted freely that she'd never been in love ! I'm not a great admirer of love songs but theres no denying that they can have tremendous impact if done properly.The one sentence in this song" undo my heart" is the only thing that's different, most of the rest is pure cliche so this one sentence lends the whole lyric originality and Toni Braxton is a great singer and delivers an extraordinary performance .
    So to me, it's the marriage of the two that makes up the whole.
    I recently visited a friend and he played a song from a Norwiegen singer songwriter who goes under the name of Beady Belle ...comes out of the Bugge Hesseltoft stable,...the CD's called "Home" and the song "Drawback" . The song is well written great melody totally unexpected like a lot of her stuff. It's about the death of her/a dog!!! No sh*t ,not much Lyric and you get the gist of how the dog died but there's a part in there where she sings "That's the dark side of obiedence" which anyone would admit is a great line and conjures up images immediately.This is the line which stands out ,it makes the song what it is .This is what you need Russ.This element.
    So how to attain this sort of ability,I would say she is a literal person who's maybe had something to do with psychology and spent some time exploring herself .I'm not saying you need a degree in Psych. and you should go live in a log cabin in Guildford but meaningful lyrics come from somewhere,namely personal experience and this is what most people draw on ,how you tell it is of course another thing.
    There's no good in forcing it ,I did'nt write anything for years ,always wanted to but... ,lived a little and read a helluva lot and one day it just happened and it's been happening ever since also the altered state is sometimes not to be denied,but is not mandatory jaknaworroimean!

    There is'nt any point
    To step outside the door
    Pull the drapes
    No need to escape
    Lie spreadeagled on the floor

    Friends will come and go
    Build it up ,all falls down
    No security like insecurity
    Demeanour like a clown
    This change of mood is very slow

    Try to put myself
    Into your place, to understand
    But I'm caught in my own Loop
    We gotta break outta here
    This cycle of degeneration
    Get back to Civilisation
    If only to find out
    That all is not well

    Don't let them take it away
    Try and put it back
    You can play that song
    Won't take too long
    The changes will make you strong


    This is about a friend of mine ..singer in the band...he's suffering from clinical depression .I'll probably tweak it a bit but that's the way it came out.. 10 min .It won't mean a lot to anyone ,but it captures in a sort of obscure way the state of this guy at the moment .And it started with the fact that this guy does'nt want to go outside his door and he's totally confused has no self worth ,and also frustrated cuz he's trying to learn to play guitar .Imagery can be in your own head and it really doen't matter how people interpret it.It goes to show that all subjects are fair game for songs and getting the words down has a positivity about it.This will be in a Major key the Chorus in minor
    Maartens tip about Becker and Fagen is a good one .I 'm a big fan of their lyrics ,also obscure but laden with tangible references which hold your interest.Carry a notebook and pen.I gotta get outta here.Can't stay away from this site.I like to write hope this does'nt ramble too much! Peace and give it time!

  6. #51
    Modbod UKRuss's Avatar
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    A little Bee Gees influence their Friar?

    Yeah I hear you Spino, but to be fair, my point is I see everything as cliched at the moment. For example if i had written those lyrics you showd us i would look at them and think nah! I can't do that people will think its too dark or depressing etc.

    But for you they mean something and so thats enough to make them acceptable which they are, I read them knowing you wrote them and it's not a problem.

    But if I'd written them i dunno if I would use them you know?

    ...I'll have to seel the porsche and go slum it in Kent for inspiration. (only a joke re the porsche, shame but true, they're more Weybridge if you know what i mean)

  7. #52
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    Hey Tucker
    You don't get it do ya ? It's all too European for you .I was talking about the elements of songwriting not what you or anybody else should write.It's not about writing songs about depression it's about influences, observation,opinions,visions,social inadiqacy,social injustice,any one of a million things as well as walking on the beach down in Mexico.
    And the song about the dead dawg is a great combination of jazz-tinged music and slightly macabre unexpected lyrics ...the CD is not Titled "Dead Dawgs ,Depression and Gloom in Norway .Jaysus!!!We were talking about avoiding clichees like "Walking on the beach down in Guildford" Take your head outta da sand will ya!

  8. #53
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    Yeah Russ ,I'm still laughin'at Friar
    Thing is.... if I had 'nt given an explanation about the Lyric you would'nt have known what it was about so it could mean anything!!!You would interpret it in you're own way or you'd think ,what's that all about? and maybe want to look for meanings .It not contrived to be like that it just happens, gets written it's kinda selfish.I started writing it without thinkin ...Oh! I'm goin' to write a depressing song about a geezer I know.It was'nt premeditated it's just pen to paper ,one line leads to the next and you read it through when you think it's finished and it's Oh! ....can I use this and the answer is always ..yeah! Why not ?Look at Radiohead!!!It's not about what your mates think or the audience it's apart of the music just like whizzin' off a solo how many notes dya think they really get ? how many do You really get? A lot more when you hear the playback I bet! This is not meant to be defensive!I've given up using Smileys it's more ambigious.He! He!

  9. #54
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    Hey Friar
    Take a couple of Valium,might help ya ! You'd did say it was meaningful tho.And sorry bout da typo.

  10. #55
    Modbod UKRuss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spino
    Yeah Russ ,I'm still laughin'at Friar
    Thing is.... if I had 'nt given an explanation about the Lyric you would'nt have known what it was about so it could mean anything!!!You would interpret it in you're own way or you'd think ,what's that all about? and maybe want to look for meanings .It not contrived to be like that it just happens, gets written it's kinda selfish.I started writing it without thinkin ...Oh! I'm goin' to write a depressing song about a geezer I know.It was'nt premeditated it's just pen to paper ,one line leads to the next and you read it through when you think it's finished and it's Oh! ....can I use this and the answer is always ..yeah! Why not ?Look at Radiohead!!!It's not about what your mates think or the audience it's apart of the music just like whizzin' off a solo how many notes dya think they really get ? how many do You really get? A lot more when you hear the playback I bet! This is not meant to be defensive!I've given up using Smileys it's more ambigious.He! He!
    I wasn't laughing at Friar dude, he's a friend of mine. I just know he likes Cocomo so i made the reference.

    To be honest, you're getting a little obscure for me...but I think I hear what you're saying even if i dont fully understand it. Me i like the smileys, no need for ambiguity

  11. #56
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    Neither was I ,it was just word association Friar......Tuck and a warped sense of humour

  12. #57
    Modbod UKRuss's Avatar
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    Cool

    edit: in the cool of the morning after a good nights sleep I see exactly what you meant now. You meant you were laughing at the use of the word Friar in association with Tucker from a humour point of view rather than actually laughing at the man himself.

    i didn't twig that, duh

    Apologies...
    Last edited by UKRuss; 09-02-2005 at 08:30 AM.

  13. #58
    Registered User Madaxeman's Avatar
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    Using the collective conscience...

    (This is a 2nd try at posting this, so forgive me if it is already out there somewhere)
    This songwriting thread was great to stumble onto. It got me to think about what songs I like lyrically. Most of the time being a guitar player, I focus on the music-if I like it I don't care about the words too much. However, there are songs out there that seem to connect with everyone on some level. Some of them use a type of story telling, others use common themes or events that we all know of, and of course, there are many that use universal human emotions. Some that came to mind using the above were Iron Maiden-"Run to the Hills", Natalie Merchant-"San Andreas Fault" and "Carnival", Boston-"Piece of Mind", Tori Amos-"Crucify", Queensryche-"Empire", Rush-"The Manhatten Project".
    These songs seem to connect the music, and a theme that makes sense (and isn't just another broke my heart song), without being cliche, sappy, or pretentious. I also like many bands and songs that are just about the goofy, sappy, or cliche. The songs are just good! So, I guess what I am trying to say is to write what you like and know, and if it feels good, sounds good and you like it-who cares!? That's what musical expression is all about.
    "This is life, this is it, it's not everything you want, it's everything you get..."
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  14. #59
    Modally Challenged!!!! mattblack850's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UKRuss
    ...I'll have to seal the porsche and go slum it in Kent for inspiration. (only a joke re the porsche, shame but true, they're more Weybridge if you know what i mean)
    Yeah, you're more Range Rover territory!!!
    Yo, pimp up ya bitchin' ride, mofo!!!!!


    hahaha, I can talk, here in the dark wilds of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead!!!!

  15. #60
    Registered User tucker97325's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madaxeman
    ... However, there are songs out there that seem to connect with everyone on some level. Some of them use a type of story telling, others use common themes or events that we all know of, and of course, there are many that use universal human emotions.... songs should(sic) connect the music, and a theme that makes sense
    I agree with Madaxeman on these points. Storytelling is, I think, what songs are all about. Stories set to music. And because, when you are telling a story, you are attemping to communicate some thought, experience, or emotion to another, it is critical that the music create an ambiance which supports the feel of the story. So, if the music choosen to support the lyrics are saying something completely different, it can get very confusing for the listener (especially me.)

    That being said, I like lyrics I can understand, nothing too esoteric. The purpose of language is communication (Duh!). If no one understands what you're saying, you aren't communicating, and are therefore failing your task.

    Here are some lyrics I really like. The song tells a story in a pretty clear, concise, straight forward, and humorous manner. There are a few double entendres, but it isn't necessary for the listener to realize the secondary meanings to enjoying the song. I don't find anything cliche in these words.

    (Sorry, I just don't remember the name of the song, and I don't know who wrote it, but the recording I heard was done by Garth Brooks. I guess you could call the style Country Blues.) I can't imagine there would be a copyright problem posting these lyrics, since they can be found everywhere.

    Well, I don't know what my uncle did,
    but he must have done it right.
    They sure strung him up one Saturday night.
    He had spent his whole life fussin',
    would have spent his last breath cussin'
    'till he realized the deal was really done.
    He started screamin' "Hallehluia!",
    trying to make his piece with everyone.

    Yeah, he was kickin' and a screamin',
    just like he came in.
    Yeah, he was kickin' and a screamin',
    right to the bitter end.
    Ain't it funny how we come in screamin' giddyup,
    and go out hollerin' whoa.
    'Cause you never want to be here,
    and you sure don't ever want to go.

    ..take me for example...

    Well, them wedding bells were ringin'.
    To my best friend I was clingin',
    screaming "If you love me brother, don't let me go!"
    Two years later that scene repeated,
    again I begged and I pleaded,
    screamin' "If you love me Honey,
    you know you wouldn't want to let me go."
    "No, I didn't wanna do it,
    but I sure don't want to see it come undone."

    Yeah, I was kickin' and a screamin',
    just like I came in.
    Yeah, I was kickin' and a screamin',
    right to the bitter end.
    Ain't it funny how we come in screamin' giddyup,
    and go out hollerin' whoa.
    'Cause you never want to be here,
    and you sure don't ever want to go.
    Last edited by tucker97325; 09-02-2005 at 10:51 PM.
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