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mspunk13
01-26-2010, 01:05 PM
Hey.
I don't know if anybody else here likes to compose / needs help with their lyrics. I know I do so I thought I'd post mine right here.

1. This is going to be on the BBS tape (I hope)... spoiler alert! lol
2. I'm not a native English speaker so I probably made a lot of mistakes
3. CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM VERY WELCOME - but please don't call my lyrics shit unless you give a reason. Also, trying to be nice - very not welcome :D If you don't like something about the lyrics, just tell me, I'm not that kind of guy who'd feel offended by that.

Alright this is a song called Turn away (no, I did not copy Come out swinging lol!). It's more of a NOFX-style song than an Offspring-style song so it doesn't really have verses, or a chorus.

I actually think I tried too hard with this one... way to many metaphors and shit going on right here. But yesterday I was very angry, I couldn't get stuff out of my head so I decided to spill it on paper.

Enough crap. Here come the lyrics (of course, not final):

Turn away

Once gotten in there it won’t get out
This one thing that’ll keep roaming around in your mind
Late at night yet clear as at day
You wish you could, wish you could just turn away

When there’s just water under the bridge
When the demons of the past are starting to itch
Shattered horizons, constant perplexities
Forgetting being the greatest amenity

Trapped in a vicious circle
I tied a knot I can’t undo
Reckless deeds in a battle
It’s all just doom and gloom

As deep as a lake full of calamities
Preserving all unwanted memories
I must’ve taken a dive into that water
Blissfully like a lamb to the slaughter

Pull the trigger full of change
With the hopes rearranged
Still with smile hiding pain
Still just wishing to turn away

I believe one day I’ll drop the chains
The day of efforts not going in vain
I believe that day, I believe that day
I... I will turn away!

jabble524
02-22-2010, 01:05 AM
Very nice. I like both the reflective and bitter emotions in these lyrics.

jabble524
02-22-2010, 01:06 AM
You are a good lyricist.

jabble524
02-22-2010, 01:07 AM
Nine Lives

Sullen eyes, stung by the sunrise
Crestfallen lovers, under ominous skies
We lost our immortality today
Nine lives withered, and faded away

Precious memories of passion and romance
Wrapped in beautifully decorated cocoons
Safe from the bitterness of regret
And from being devoured, by the cruelty of time

Leeches lurking in sultry eyes
They covet intensely, and rarely compromise
I want to hear it crackle, and smell the cinders
Incarnate illusions, behind benevolent smiles

Exiled connoisseur, of forbidden pleasures
Scarlet letters carved in flesh
Exploring ancient catacombs of the unconscious
Searching for past lives and forgotten lovers
Scattered throughout the sands of time

Piecing together fragmented memories
And mysterious dreams, veiled in shadows
Channeling abstract, and elusive sensations
To stimulate senses, no longer aroused
By the narrow spectrum of consciousness

Scavenging the obscure corners
Of the aficionadoís abandoned wasteland
Looking for the path to serenity
Tired legs and weary eyes wishing
To be home in your heart

mspunk13
02-22-2010, 01:53 PM
Thanks a lot! But now I'm thinking, my lyrics sound sorta emo. I don't like this fact :/ I will try to write more positive songs in the future.

Nine lives:
I have to say you did an impressive job. Seriously, you made me actually like lyrics about love and I'm a die-hard lovesong hater :) I really like the metaphores.

Llamas
02-22-2010, 03:12 PM
Turn away

Once it's in there it'll never leave
This one thing thatíll keep roaming around in your mind
Late at night yet clear as (should be "during the", but might be too long) day
You wish you could, wish you could just turn away

When thereís just water under the bridge
When the demons of the past are starting to itch
Shattered horizons, constant perplexities
Forgetting being the greatest amenity

Trapped in a vicious circle
I tied a knot I canít undo did you mean to switch from "you" to "I"?
Reckless deeds in a battle
Itís all just doom and gloom

As deep as a lake full of calamities
Preserving all unwanted memories
I mustíve taken a dive into that water
Blissfully like a lamb to the slaughter

Pull the trigger full of change
With the hopes rearranged
Still with smile hiding pain
Still just wishing to turn away

I believe one day Iíll drop the chains
The day of efforts not going in vain
I believe that day, I believe that day
I... I will turn away!

So my two cents... I changed some grammar in bold... but I think your English is overall really good. My only real comment is that most of the song sounds like you're trying to force bigger words to sound deeper, but it ends up coming across more vague and generic. I sense the overall theme, but it kind of just skids and slides all over the place, never making any real point.

My biggest suggestion would be to not try to make it rhyme. I often find that to be a huge hindrance when writing songs in a language that's not your native tongue. Try to be natural, and just write what flows instead of trying to make it sound poetic. I think you've got potential, and I'm interested to see what you write in the future :) Also, don't take my comments too seriously... just my own perspective.

mspunk13
02-22-2010, 04:09 PM
Thanks for writing that... because that's EXACTLY how I feel about my lyrics.

To cut it short: I try too hard and everyone can tell.

I try too hard with the rhymes, the metaphores and all those big words. And sometimes I know that my sentences are gramatically incorrect, but hey, they have to rhyme, right? Sometimes I want to write about something but it comes out too straightforward, so I have to make it sound deep and complicated, right?

Well, I'm done with ALL of that.

From now on, I will focus on just writing what flows instead of trying to make it sound poetic :D because that's really what I feel I should do.

Thanks for the tips, and thanks for saying that my English is good :)

T-6005
02-22-2010, 04:13 PM
I don't personally enjoy writing lyrics - generally they just work as a companion to a song idea more than driving the song itself, but I can't imagine trying to separate them from the song.

Cadence is everything in lyrics, and especially when I get frustrated with a line I like to change it up in ways that aren't immediately apparent when reading. Let's say I've started rhyming AABBAACC in lines - that gets old really fast and I start feeling like a rhyming dictionary is my only recourse. Often I prefer to just hold a pause on the end of the line so that I can avoid a rhyme altogether, like AABBA-CC or something, and these are things that don't really transfer well when they're only written.

EDIT - though it might be because my lyrics suck.

ad8
02-23-2010, 10:57 AM
Thanks for writing that... because that's EXACTLY how I feel about my lyrics.

To cut it short: I try too hard and everyone can tell.

I try too hard with the rhymes, the metaphores and all those big words. And sometimes I know that my sentences are gramatically incorrect, but hey, they have to rhyme, right? Sometimes I want to write about something but it comes out too straightforward, so I have to make it sound deep and complicated, right?

Well, I'm done with ALL of that.

From now on, I will focus on just writing what flows instead of trying to make it sound poetic :D because that's really what I feel I should do.

Thanks for the tips, and thanks for saying that my English is good :)
I also had this problem when I started writing lyrics. I always had a hard time choosing the right words in order make it sound deep and mostly it ended up sounding ridiculous cause it was either too simple or too poetic, but I learned to avoid this(I think;)). Anyway, keep writing lyrics and you'll learn by doing. It's perfectly normal to have some troubles with writing lyrics when english is not your mother tongue

Llamas
02-23-2010, 11:18 AM
I don't personally enjoy writing lyrics - generally they just work as a companion to a song idea more than driving the song itself
I more or less agree with this. I've really never been able to understand the concept of liking a band solely because of lyrics. I've known so many people who claimed that good lyrics can make up for shitty much, but good music can't make up for shitty lyrics. It boggles my mind, cause it seems so completely backwards to me... lyrics should accompany the overall music, in my mind. Especially cool is when musicians use a different instrument for the lead melody, and then the vocal/lyrical part is a harmony or accompaniment. Also, I can't believe it when people talk about "language barriers" in music. Why do you have to understand the lyrics to appreciate the music? Is it impossible to enjoy lyric-less music? And finally, people who bitch about singers who you can't understand. Same complaints and questions as above.


Cadence is everything in lyrics, and especially when I get frustrated with a line I like to change it up in ways that aren't immediately apparent when reading. Let's say I've started rhyming AABBAACC in lines - that gets old really fast and I start feeling like a rhyming dictionary is my only recourse. Often I prefer to just hold a pause on the end of the line so that I can avoid a rhyme altogether, like AABBA-CC or something, and these are things that don't really transfer well when they're only written.

EDIT - though it might be because my lyrics suck.

I can't say I've ever paid attention to your lyrics (most of your best songs, in my opinion, don't even have vocal parts), so I can't comment on whether or not your lyrics are any good... but this description seems too formulaic to me for lyrics :P My favorite lyrics tend to be free-verse (if that term can be used for music)... story-telling kinda stuff... a good example for me is Alanis. Her first major album used a lot more meter and such, but as she got/gets better, she used/uses much more natural and flowing lyrics... which I guess generally just strikes me as more interesting and emotional. Also, I feel like you can tell when someone tries to force a song to have meter and rhyme, and when it just comes naturally.

coke_a_holic
02-23-2010, 11:26 AM
I'm a huge fan of good lyricists. My favorite is probably John K. Samson (of The Weakerthans), who tends to use more of a poetic story-telling mode to explain a feeling or describe some set of emotions that follow along with the story than actual songwriting technique. This kind of creates a border surrounding the story, letting the listener infer what has happened to cause this outcome. He's just great at defining what makes us human, I guess, and pointing it out in song.

The trick, I think, to writing a good song, lyric-wise, is about the same to writing a good song, music-wise, it just uses a different side of your brain, so to speak. When writing music, you want to pick notes and chords that will evoke emotions, just like how when you write lyrics, you want to use strong word choice that will accurately define what you want to say.

Similarly, a good song will repeat sections to add power; like when you hear the intro of a song and then it comes back in halfway through to act as a bridge: a good amount of repetition in the style and syntax can add power to the original line and compound it on later lines that feel similar to the first.

Most importantly is to just write it out the way that people THINK; there's no need to go out of your way to make it ABOUT something, if you're writing and it means something to you, then it should mean something to other people. You've just got to let your guard down and bare your soul for a minute, and other people will be able to identify with it, as well.

At least, that's how I see things, and that's what I go for when I write lyrics.

T-6005
02-23-2010, 04:00 PM
I can't say I've ever paid attention to your lyrics (most of your best songs, in my opinion, don't even have vocal parts), so I can't comment on whether or not your lyrics are any good... but this description seems too formulaic to me for lyrics :P My favorite lyrics tend to be free-verse (if that term can be used for music)... story-telling kinda stuff... a good example for me is Alanis. Her first major album used a lot more meter and such, but as she got/gets better, she used/uses much more natural and flowing lyrics... which I guess generally just strikes me as more interesting and emotional. Also, I feel like you can tell when someone tries to force a song to have meter and rhyme, and when it just comes naturally.

I wasn't really looking for any sort of validation, because the truth is that I am a pretty crappy lyricist - the AABBAACC was just an example and is about as tedious as it gets. Rhymes in general should be approached less as a songwriting technique and more as a possible strategy to smooth over other ideas.

It was really just an extension of my criticism of lyrical ideas that get forced into something, partly because it isn't possible for lyrics to become disconnected from the music - reading them makes the experience completely different specifically because you're lacking that cadence and context that makes them important in the song. Lyrics have to work in counterpoint to music, otherwise they aren't lyrics. That's not to say that speaking can't be musical - rap remains a form of music based more on that cadence and placement. Disconnect some of that from its music and you might just have an angry essay (lolz rappers r h8rs).

Some lyricists - metal and heavy rock especially - also feel the need to throw big words around as if it makes what they're saying somehow more profound than if they said it without the dictionary weighing down their lyrical content. I don't feel it's necessary to throw in the word "caldera" to showcase a vaguely latin word and make yourself sound more profound, unless you're actually talking about the collapsing of a volcano.

That said, I'd like to mention as an aside that this isn't a criticism of mspunk13's lyrics - just an observation that I wouldn't truly be able to judge their worth without hearing them to music.

Llamas
02-23-2010, 04:05 PM
Oh I know you were seeking validation - don't worry. I only mentioned it to make sure you didn't think I was slagging your lyrics.

jabble524
02-24-2010, 12:26 AM
Thanks a lot! But now I'm thinking, my lyrics sound sorta emo. I don't like this fact :/ I will try to write more positive songs in the future.

Yeah, just keep trying to expand your horizons as a writer/lyricist: emo, positive, negative, angry, questioning, etc. My favorite writers and lyricists can explore all different types of ideas and emotions.

Nine lives:
I have to say you did an impressive job. Seriously, you made me actually like lyrics about love and I'm a die-hard lovesong hater :) I really like the metaphores.

Thanks, I have always been a big fan of metaphors myself. I think a lot of love songs get boring because they are one dimensional, it's either: I love you but I can't have you, heartbreak, I love you and I am so happy, or I lost you/the one that got away. I think most relationships are more complex, and that people are both victims and villains, in terms of love and relationships. For example, I have had my heartbroken, yet I have broken other people's hearts. I have been treated badly, yet I can be a bit of a bastard myself. I think it's interesting to lyrically explore where these things intersect. Anyways, thanks for the kind feedback.

- Jason

Llamas
02-24-2010, 04:52 PM
Thought I'd contribute to this thread for the hell of it... I "wrote" a song almost two months ago, using guitar pro (cause of my lack of instruments), and hope to record it at some point in the future. Like Thi, I don't spend much time on lyrics because they're not very important to me, but I thought it'd be interesting to have you guys give some feedback about them. I don't mind them, except I don't like the last verse. So here you go... please tell me what you think:

The Last of the Girl

Where'd you go?
The time I left home again and no one knows what I'm doing
The time I lost my mind

Time moved so slow
Until I went back and finished up what I began with
So many years ago

I could give so many reasons why
It's so hard to move forward and walk away
Feels like the termination of existence
But I only exist in the terminal

It's impossible
To lay down your cards and not care about all the others'
No matter how sure you are

But you have to show
Cause if you don't, all the anticipation you've built up is worthless
Eventually you'll explode

We hear all their happy cries tonight
Drunk and dancing in their celebrations
While we wonder why they'd celebrate a funeral
Cause we only exist in the terminal

Don't want to go back (but there's nothing pressing ahead)
Can't we pull away? (Both sides so strong)
We've realized a dream and now,
Though I'm starting to believe I can't,
Decide where to aim my gun

jabble524
04-07-2010, 09:26 AM
Phantoms

Saw myself reflected in you
Thought I could stop my pain
By being your tourniquet

Tried so hard, to keep our cravings
From carving their way into consciousness
But they severed our serenity
And divorced our love from trust

Denial taught me how to lie
Found clever places
To hide from my shadow
And slip into illusion

Enchanted by envy
And enamored with vanity
Hubris led us down the spiral

jabble524
04-27-2010, 08:19 AM
Shedding Schisms

Shedding skin at sunset
I succumb to my subconscious
And sell my soul to stimulate
Sullen and subdued senses

Savoring sensations, as I spiral
Into a sea of self-loathing
Where the severed serpent speaks of
The gold within my shadow

Starving for control, I slither into
The sanctuary of self-reproach
Safe from the sacrifice required
To heal the schisms

ad8
04-27-2010, 10:27 AM
All the ancient awarded alliterations!