He, She, or They

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SteveBaruah
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He, She, or They

Post by SteveBaruah » Fri Mar 02, 2018 2:24 am

Hi All,

I've got to make a call on the lyrics of a song I'm working on. I've got to decide whether to make the song 'She smiled at you', 'He smiled at you', or 'They smiled at you', i.e. go for a male or female audience, or both.
It's the hook line of the chorus, but apart from that the rest of the song is about describing people in general (without referring to gender).
The song doesn't really lean either way itself, it's just more about having a crush on someone.
Statistically, 'they' would help the song relate to a larger audience, but is it as powerful?
Is that the reason you don't really hear songs like 'they are in love with you', because it's not as powerful...?
The market is twice as large!


Thanks,

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Re: He, She, or They

Post by lesmac » Fri Mar 02, 2018 2:49 am

Hey Steve, my 2 cents is "they" is a little impersonal. Using "he" in one chorus and "she" in another could cover both bases.

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Re: He, She, or They

Post by SteveBaruah » Fri Mar 02, 2018 2:55 am

Hi Les!

Yeah that might work.
Verse 1 + chorus 1 is about 'him'.
Verse 2 + chorus 2 is about 'her'.

Thanks for the input!

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Re: He, She, or They

Post by Len911 » Fri Mar 02, 2018 6:56 am

because it's the hook in the song it would seem very important. Why not "someone"?

they is plural, so unless it is a group of people, it doesn't really fit. switching between he and she might be effective if your point
is bisexual, or a duet, or if "you" is not the listener and the person in the narration has changed.

I don't think your use of pronouns has anything to do with broadening the appeal.
Last edited by Len911 on Fri Mar 02, 2018 7:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: He, She, or They

Post by SteveBaruah » Fri Mar 02, 2018 7:04 am

Hi Len,

Thanks for your ideas. 'Someone' wouldn't work as the whole song is about specific person the listener has a crush on.
I'm hoping the listener can adapt the lyrics to someone they actually do have a crush on in real life.
My point is saying 'she' eliminates half of my audience, and vice-versa.
That's a good point though about the title, as it is probably going to be called 'He/She smiled at you'.
Hmm...

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Re: He, She, or They

Post by SteveBaruah » Fri Mar 02, 2018 7:05 am

The chorus is:

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

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Re: He, She, or They

Post by funsongs » Fri Mar 02, 2018 7:40 am

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.
Last edited by funsongs on Fri Mar 02, 2018 7:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: He, She, or They

Post by SteveBaruah » Fri Mar 02, 2018 7:43 am

Very true. Either way the emphasis is going to be 'she smiled at YOU'.

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Re: He, She, or They

Post by funsongs » Fri Mar 02, 2018 7:45 am

SteveBaruah wrote:Very true. Either way the emphasis is going to be 'she smiled at YOU'.
HA! I was still typing AT YOU!! :lol:
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Re: He, She, or They

Post by Len911 » Fri Mar 02, 2018 7:52 am

SteveBaruah wrote:Hi Len,

Thanks for your ideas. 'Someone' wouldn't work as the whole song is about specific person the listener has a crush on.
I'm hoping the listener can adapt the lyrics to someone they actually do have a crush on in real life.
My point is saying 'she' eliminates half of my audience, and vice-versa.
That's a good point though about the title, as it is probably going to be called 'He/She smiled at you'.
Hmm...
You are defining "you" as the listener.
Stars collide,
Your soul decides,
And you know there's nothing you can do,
Coz she/he/they smiled at you,
The problem with defining "you" as the listener, is that you are telling the listener that you know what they're thinking or feeling,
and you don't. most people would define the "you" in that line as the narrator speaking of their self, and whether or not the singer was a man or woman. People relate and adapt, as you say, whether the singer is male or female. I think there are a few situations where you can command the listener, such as " get up, stand up, stand up for your rights", otherwise they relate more in either a sympathetic or empathetic way. If you had a song, "I love you", most people wouldn't think you are singing directly to them, but rather to someone else you love, and can relate. Whether you use he or she depends on the context of the song, but it doesn't eliminate or widen your audience.
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