Dabbling In Songwriting


Don’t even go where you think I’m going.  I’m not actually writing song lyrics.  Thinking about it, yes, doing it, not so much.  As a write,r many things catch my fancy as far as wanting to dabble in writing them.  I’ve flirted with the idea of writing lyrics for a while.  As an amateur poet, it’s not a far step from writing poetry to writing lyrics.  For if you really read lyrics you can see the poetry in them.

Phillip Phillips in his ‘Home’ music video. He has to be writing.

Lyrics are pure poetry.  Most of the time. I do have criteria, rhyming is pretty much a must.  But beyond that, I’m pretty open.  I mean, there is such a thing as bad rhyming.  I’ve seen some things that you really can’t even call rhyme, and free verse is really a bad idea for songs.  Heck, sometimes it’s even bad for poetry.

Beth Rowley

However, I have not actually started songwriting.  I’ve had a slight buzz to try it out after watching Beth Rowley‘s ‘So Sublime’ music video, Phillip Phillips ‘Home’ music video, and falling in love with The Enemies song ‘Pretty Valentine.’  (For those of you just joining us, The Enemies is my new obsession and I fear I shall be mentioning them more often than not.  So you might as well just get used to them. Or better yet, check them out….)

‘Pretty Valentine’ has some absolutely perfect lyrics.  For instance, take these two stanzas:

Say you will be mine
Until the end of time
Until the Stars align
My Pretty Valentine

Where the warm wind blows
There grows honey-suckle rose
And the time just slows
Like still water froze

See, they rhyme beautifully.  And yes, by saying that, I’m complimenting the author

Johnny Crean, lyricist and guitar/saxophonist for The Enemies

of the lyrics, Johnny Crean.  And yes, that is sort of a shameless plug for the band.  Again.  Bear with me.

I’ve wondered though, what really is there that differentiates song lyrics from poetry?  I mean, that above was just a quatrain, though lines 1 and 3, and 2 and 4 rhyme, whereas a usual quatrain has only lines 2 and 4 rhyming.  It doesn’t really matter, all I’m getting at is how it is basic poetry.  So why is a lyricist that and not just a poet?  Does anyone know the answer to this?

Either way, I may or may not dabble in lyrics.  I’m not good enough at writing poetry, let alone really getting good lyrics.  But, one can dabble, and I think that’s good.  We can get too stagnant if we just stick with what we are comfortable with.  I like breaking out of the mold and trying something new.  Even if I’m not that good at it.  You never know where something might take you.

And hey, the journey is half the adventure anyways.

Writing on



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