He, She, or They

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cosmicdolphin
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Re: He, She, or They

Post by cosmicdolphin » Fri Mar 02, 2018 11:23 am

SteveBaruah wrote:
cosmicdolphin wrote:You could change it to be mutually inclusive and gender nuetral

Stars collide,
Our souls decide,
And we know there's nothing we can do,
Your smile tells me it true,

This is good! But I don't want to make it about 'us'. I want that tension-release between verse and chorus.
To do this I want the listener to think they don't have a chance with this person in the verse, but I don't want the singer to say 'YOU don't have a chance with ME'. You see?
I want the verse to be conversational about how the listener thinks he/she doesn't stand a chance, until the chorus - BAMM! She smiled at you!!
You mean a similar vibe to the lyrics of " You're Beautiful " by James Blunt ?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oofSnsGkops

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Re: He, She, or They

Post by SteveBaruah » Fri Mar 02, 2018 11:43 am

Kinda, but You're Beautiful is more of a constant downer.
I want the contrast in the chorus where the listener is then full of hope.

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Re: He, She, or They

Post by Len911 » Fri Mar 02, 2018 2:41 pm

SteveBaruah wrote: This is good! But I don't want to make it about 'us'. I want that tension-release between verse and chorus.
To do this I want the listener to think they don't have a chance with this person in the verse, but I don't want the singer to say 'YOU don't have a chance with ME'. You see?
I want the verse to be conversational about how the listener thinks he/she doesn't stand a chance, until the chorus - BAMM! She smiled at you!!
just my 2 cents again,lol. the listener doesn't want the person in the verse, the singer is conversationally telling the listener about their experience, and hopefully the listener can relate and is drawn in. A song doesn't happen in real time and not knowing
the outcome. You can set the listener up for a surprise ending or a twist in the plot, but it's not that the singer didn't already know the outcome, it must be plausible and facts shouldn't appear out of the blue or contradict what you said in the verse, unless it's a Perry Mason episode where court is interrupted by some newfound facts,lol!

One way to approach what you are trying to do is have the singer list reasons why she shouldn't like him, he's in a band, he's poor he's just not her type... sure it's probably the same plot or theme used in a thousand songs, but there is really only so many themes anyhow, unless you are doing something that is outside the norm or reality, but then you'd have to explain in a plausible manner how that is possible, like you are invisible and a scientist invented a potion to make you invisible.
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Re: He, She, or They

Post by SteveBaruah » Sat Mar 03, 2018 1:24 am

Hi Len,

Yes, that is what I'm going for:

V1: She doesn't even know who you are

i.e. she's too cool, you're too poor, you don't hang with the cool kids, etc..
Then BAMM she smiled at you
Maybe Teenage Dirtbag is kinda along those lines, although it take longer to get around to it.

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Re: He, She, or They

Post by SteveBaruah » Sat Mar 03, 2018 1:44 am

There is a Taxi TV episode which talks about 'You/I' and I think it was with Ralph Murphy (if not Robin Freddrick) but I can't find it....
They were saying you better mention 'You' within the first part of the song to engage the listener, etc..
It would be cool if anyone remembers where that was spoken about.

Ralph covers it a little here at 48.00:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYtRxm7FLlU

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Re: He, She, or They

Post by Len911 » Sat Mar 03, 2018 2:34 pm

Steve here is a link that discusses it;
https://www.billboard.com/biz/articles/ ... ongwriting
"You" is a trigger word that really pulls in the audience and makes the song relatable to them." Murphy cited Zac Brown Band's "Keep Me In Mind," for example. "The first line is: 'How come all the pretty girls like you are taken baby?'" Murphy highlighted the strategic use of 'you' and 'pretty.' uses the pronoun 'you' within the first 20 seconds of the intro;
I would probably disagree with the premise. the title, "keep me in mind" is the trigger that pulls in the audience. For example,
a girl that has a poor self image and doesn't think she is popular for her prettiness might have expected something else from the song, perhaps keep me in mind because I am a loyal friend and lover, and when the singer is speaking to a pretty popular girl, she knows the song is not going to be relatable to her, and is thinking "why is looks the only thing most guys are looking for?" You is the pronoun for the pretty girl, he's speaking to her, and that makes it more intimate, not that "you" is the listener. What other word are you going to use, you can't keep saying pretty girl over and over in having a conversation with her, maybe you call her by her name once in a while or you. so really "you" isn't what makes the song relatable. The use of "you" within the first 20 seconds means that the singer is speaking to the person and didn't just mention something about that person and move onto something else. I am not familiar with the song, it could be that the singer later decides a "pretty girl" is not what he wants and redefines "pretty" to mean loyal?
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Re: He, She, or They

Post by SteveBaruah » Sat Mar 03, 2018 2:57 pm

Thanks for finding that interview, Len. It touches on what I heard Ralph talk about.
That's also an interesting take you have on it. But I disagree, I think you are over-thinking it.
I think people just like others talking to/about them, and when someone starts a conversation with me with 'you', I pay more attention than when they start with 'she/he/they'.
When I hear 'you' it hooks me in personally.

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Re: He, She, or They

Post by VicMartinez » Sun Apr 08, 2018 8:06 pm

funsongs wrote:Seems that making the object/subject/emphasis of the song about "you" - brings your listener/audience into it.
So, even if your message is a broadcast to include 'all' - the trick is to make the "you" feel it.
If you make it too impersonal, you run the risk of no one feeling it... :? :shock: :) ...I don't think that's what you want to have happen.

Here's another reason writing 'universal' lyrics is an art and a craft - to take that big message and bring ME into it, and MAKE ME FEEL IT.

So - if your message to me is "someone smiled AT YOU" - it would be in the way you emphasis and sing the "YOU", to make it personal.
Hope that makes sense.


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Re: He, She, or They

Post by johnnyrowing » Sun Apr 08, 2018 10:51 pm

If the He/She/They isn't really important to the story/meaning in the song . . . could you avoid the issue entirely but spend more time on the story instead?

You've got:
Stars collide,
Your soul decides,
And you know there's nothing you can do,
Coz she/he/they smiled at you,

Tell us more about the smile or the result of the smile in the last line instead.

For instance,
Stars collide,
Your soul decides,
And you know there's nothing you can do,
Coz that heaven-lit smiled changed you,

Of course I don't know the rhythm of the words so that last line might have to have fewer syllables.
Like:
That smile changed you. (or somewhere in between).

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Re: He, She, or They

Post by Casey H » Mon Apr 09, 2018 5:24 am

Almost always, first person is the way to go (You and I).

Successful songs are rarely in third person and even if there are exceptions, it's not advisable to count on that. It's competitive enough out there!
Coz that heaven-lit smiled changed you
I would NOT write a lyric line in this sense. You want it to be about HER and how smile did something powerful, not how she was the object of something else. For example (not literal, just showing technique), "Your smile lights up the world".

When in doubt, think of what Ralph Murphy always says. What's in it for the 18-25 year old female listening in the car in the morning? What would she want to hear?

Even if it was not your original idea for the song, always be ready to scrap and re-write. I suggest writing as if you are telling the one you love how much you love her.

Best,
:D Casey

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