I have a couple of theories about why my lyrics are not universal.

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wendylanders
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I have a couple of theories about why my lyrics are not universal.

Post by wendylanders » Thu Jul 02, 2020 6:09 pm

Hi everyone! :)

My lyrics are not universal. I know this because a screener told me so.

But I'm not sure if it's because I used the word "Halloween" in the lyrics, or if it's because I told a story in the lyrics, which may have been too distracting.

Or both.

Or it could be something else I'm not aware of.


Here it is:
---------------------------------------------

Cocktail Party, Halloween

Space Aliens crash that scene

A cowboy ghost sang and strummed

While a scarecrow beat a drum



Black Cat pounced before he was seen

Perched on top of their flying machine



The witch doesn’t know where the Black Cat is

The Black Cat can’t be found

Last time she knew where he was

He was chasing that ghost around



What kind of world is that,

Where a witch can’t catch her cat?


Flying through the night

With her black cat out of sight.
----------------------------------------


Thank you for your help. :)

Best!

Wendy Landers

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Re: I have a couple of theories about why my lyrics are not universal.

Post by hummingbird » Thu Jul 02, 2020 8:27 pm

It's a very cool lyric that would fit Hallowe'en listings.

Universal is defined as being somewhat non-specific, in your lyric you've identified a witch, cowboy ghost, scarecrow, space aliens, black cat. That limits the potential of its use, thus it has a narrow commercial niche.

Doesn't mean it isn't fun.
"As we are creative beings, our lives become our works of art." (Julia Cameron)

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Re: I have a couple of theories about why my lyrics are not universal.

Post by cosmicdolphin » Fri Jul 03, 2020 2:43 am

Well yeah those are specific in the extreme.

So you just need someone to make a TV show or Movie that includes as Hummingbird mentions " a witch, cowboy ghost, scarecrow, space aliens and black cat" all within the same scene.

And then you need them to discover your song among the thousands and thousands of songs in the Library..Probably got more chance of winning the lottery than all those stars aligning. A less specific song for Halloween might be about Things That Go Bump In The Night for example. Then it can be used in many many different scenes.

Mark

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Re: I have a couple of theories about why my lyrics are not universal.

Post by wendylanders » Fri Jul 03, 2020 11:23 am

Thanks, Mark and Vikki, I will take your advice. :)

If I ever start playing locally again, which I should since it's good practice, this would be a good gig song. One day...

Best!

Wendy

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Re: I have a couple of theories about why my lyrics are not universal.

Post by Kolstad » Fri Jul 03, 2020 2:30 pm

A good pointer could be that everything that happens outside a person is not universal, because that is tied to a specific place, and descriptors of things, people ect.
Universal lyrics are mostly about the inside of a person, feelings, sensations ect. This is tied to a human being, of which we all have experience with. Therefore it is more "universal".

Of course, you can be clever about it, but basically inside = universal, outside = not. When I want to write universal lyrics, I tend to plan that for the very start, eliminating physical descriptors if they pop up as ideas, and try to come up with the "inside" stuff instead. When writing, I can even think "what keywords would be good in a commercial?" and then make a list, and use that to aid my ideas when writing. This tv/film work is quite specific, so you need to rein it in a little more than when you want to woe an audience.

So, of course your lyric is not universal, but a fine one still. As your idea is for a Halloween song, you should still be able to work with Halloween words ect. A Halloween song don't have to be universal, but ofc it is depending on the project. but I think it works well for that. The opening with the cocktail party may cause some dealbreakers, because that is a specific place (scene). But you know, if a project like that comes around, yours is perfect. For some pitches you could maybe start with the second verse first?

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Re: I have a couple of theories about why my lyrics are not universal.

Post by wendylanders » Sat Jul 04, 2020 7:55 am

Hi Kolstad,

Thanks for the suggestion of starting with the second verse, and making sure not to write about anything outside a person, only writing about what's going on in their head.

Of the "who, what, when, where, why, how" list, it seems like we can use "what" and "why," but definitely not "who," "when," "where," or "how." So pretty much, I can eliminate the idea of a story song for film/t.v. pitches.

But do I really have a clue about universal lyrics yet? Who knows? To check, I'm going to go ahead and post another short lyric here in Lyric Lovers to see if I"m getting the idea yet. I'm not going to add it to this thread because it's a different song.

Best! :)

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