. ~

~ lyrics ~

~ 'hand me my o'le geetar', and pass ... ~

'Lyrics help shape the form of a song, and by its phrasing ensures that no two songs are ever the same, that no two of us phrase pure alike, is why all musics was once new ~

Been said for a long time ... 'the pen is mightier than the sword', yet can we be mightier even so by speaking our written words in song ... ?

~ 'energizing' the written word in time through song ~

~ in a nutshell and what we copyright ~

~ rhyming words into song ~

~ spoken word poets ~

~ singers and vocalists ~

~ lyrics of a love song or tell a story ? ~

~ writing top 40 hits ~

~ and some blues ~

~ parody / rhyme / emulate ~

~ rhyming words ~

~ singer / vocalist ~

~ .


Nutshell. Writing lyrics brings all of our natural skills and experiences together as a musical artist; combining intellect, wisdoms, time, musical time with thought of spoken words. Our natural, just excited about life verbosity pays off huge when rhyming words into songs. A wordsmith's fun of just solving the puzzles, to tell the tale as never done before. Just do it, start and keep going and good things, and lyrics will HAPPEN :)

What we copyright. Lyrics and words, along with melody, is what we can copyright to create a legal ownership of our creative ideas. And as we've some 100 years or so of history now in writing and copyright of Americana song, it's an easy thing to do and one that really creates a sense of closure to creating aural art.

wiki ~ copyright

“I, very thankfully, have a few songs that will not go away."

wiki ~ Allee Willis

Rhyming words. Remember the first words you rhymed together ? With family and friends, reciting rhymes that were age old, or making up parodies of lines we already knew. An early riff I learned goes like this;

... 'three six nine

the goose drank wine

the monkey chewed tobacco on the street car line

the line broke and the monkey choked

and they all went to heaven in a little row boat.'

Crazy huh ? Two four bar phrases too, well depending :) This riff got us started off. As kids roaming about the schoolyard, buddies and I would chant this lick together, over and over probably. And in the repetition we got the rhythms deep, surely syncopated them into rote. And the variations of the words, so new lyrics, and as we aged along the story changed.

Well there's a zillion of these out there and we each have our own to draw from. So this finding the rhythm of the words, finding a balance in phrasing, and creating a story are the beginning points we can use to start in our songwriting. The only real trick is to start, once started keep going, so that good things can begin to happen.

Start ~ composing lyrics. Already writing lyrics? Cool. Then just 'keep on keepin' on as the saying goes :) A cool think about lyrics is that they do not need anything else to be created. For in essence, words on paper mean a lot, and always have, for as long as we've been writing. Aim to rote up what's in writing, its yours, sing them aloud to prepare to share your songs.

A beginning. As all of Americana has some roots in the blues, find the groove of this line in a 12 bar blues form by simply singing the line.


The truth is ya, just don't love me no more,

The truth is ya, just don't love me no more,

There once was a time, now that time is gone.


Now, use the following 'starts' to write your own additional verses.

"There was a time ... "

"Remember when ... "

"You were blue ... "

"Tell me why ... "

"We gotta try ... "

Cool ? Make a few rhymes ? The original idea is mine, so I give it to you. Write a song, make a hit song, be a star and always remember that 'sharing is caring.

Spoken word poets. In today's music, developing more a spoken word' styling, of working the story line leaning more rhythm than pitches. A personal fave is to present the hook and then go to the Four chord; in major, minor, blues et al. While mostly hearing a loop of backing track in spoken word styles on the radio; a bass line, chord cycle, melodic riff and drums, to support the vocal, it's a perfect setting for the power of the words of the poet. And even in this modern, more melodically linear presentation, there's room for melody, and a good melody heard enough will always find its song.

Help finding the pocket. If challenged in any way while developing your art pieces, try working with the clicks of a metronome get get your mind moving through time, and a measured time at that, that you can literally count on, MOVE THRU TIME AND STAY IN RHYTHM. Gives Muse a chance to suggest something to say ... ?

Singers and vocalists. Usually the main feature when there's words and lyrics with music backing, the distinction between singer and vocalist is mostly about the pitches of a melody. Vocalists tend to riff more on the rhythms and root and blue notes of a key center. Singers are finding the melody notes and interpreting them as written, usually.

For example, Judy Garland and Elvis were singers with their band, where Jim Morrison, of The Doors, had a more vocalized styled delivery. Pop style music features a singer, with today's spoken word artists leaning vocalist.

In both styles, when preparing to sing with a band, always good to know the key that you will sing or vocalize the song in. Once empowered, by even just the one letter, such as 'Bb', the band will do the rest :)

wiki ~ Judy Garland
wiki ~ Elvis Presley
wiki ~ Jim Morrison
wiki ~ The Doors
"Learn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artist."
wiki ~ Pablo Picasso

In a nutshell; love song or tell a story? This first distinction about the song we want to write gets our thinking moving in two similar yet unique ways. Most songs are about love. And in their telling, carry all of the ways we speak of it. These we call its narrative.

In first person, such as 'call me crazy, but I love the way you ____.'

In second person, such as 'you once loved me, but now _______ .'

In third person, such as 'he / she loved me with a joy that ______ .

was filled with joy and ______ .'

started on a pathway to success. For once we decide this 'either or' question, things start to fall into place.

wiki ~ list of songs

"All music was once new."

wiki ~ Karl Haas

Lyrics and the voices that carry them, carry the weight like no other, commanding the attention of any room full of listeners. Wordsmith's have forever been the kings and queens through musical art history, in theatre and song, each alone or entwined together, thus giving new and even greater strengths to each.

wiki ~ women writers (wordsmiths)
wiki ~ writers (wordsmiths)

So do carry on now with a true intent, and to begin from scratch just emulate. And cast a wide wide net if you really can, to catch and sample with an open hand, and come to know and love the truth, that the spoken word that tells a truth, will ages long have that sense ring true, come rain or shine or even blue.

So make a fabric of story no longer rent, by thoughts on scraps of this or envelope that, puzzle a whole whether complete, or not, being fair to the story and song as best you can. Do share to be fair, to the tale it tells, for those who hear now too will have, have a new tale to tell ... :)

All the way back, then back, to today.

The first few ideas here are about our lyrics, the words, phrasing, the storylines and hooks. We then scoot right back to the metrics of music, numbers of pitches in various groups, and the common aural colors they provide. Along the way through the groups of pitches, we pair up our song ideas with another song we already know that has the same number of pitches.

We then emulate that tune, or not, to compose a new or just create a parody of it. As composing is about doing, once we complete a couple of songs, our juices kick right in and we begin to know our own process. Then we just do, we compose our songs and be curious about whatever else is about our own composing.

Once we walk in composer's shoes, and have written a couple of tunes, we know, and we know the how to begin and the feeling we get when a song is fini. And when we read about a composer and their life and times, and about their 'process' to compose music, we can better know their toils, and share in them too.

Do some research on the pieces of art you dig, find out about their creators. For ... 'every picture has a story don't it.' And every song too :)

wiki ~ lists of composers

"If the pen be mightier than the sword, then is the spoken word be mightier than the pen ... ?"

Parody, rhyme and emulate. As kid's we parodied everything that came along it seems. Rhymed anything beyond normal dimensions and conventions, and then beyond and beyond. Today, everyday kid's still 'one up' one another with their rhyming.

And in learning whatever tasking, we kid's emulated the folks who already had it going on. it's just the way we're 'animal wired' so it seems. Our CPU looks for the sequence, looks for the rhyme and balance in near everything we mosey into. And if none is there, no problem, we'll just make it up as we go along, even start from scratch if we have to :) Like Americana styled musical artists? Yep, exactly, we're improvisors.

So, find any tune you dig and parody its words into your own song. And if you think it's cool enough, you can legally copyright it and publish it as your own 'parody of the original song.' We can copyright a parody of a song and own it ? Yep, use to be able to. Best double check.

Rhymes are what creatives do. Practice by rhyming along with anything that comes along. And if necessary, become a reader of ANYTHING. For in the written word we can generate the spoken word. Seems that seeing is believing. In the old days we said ... 'time to nix the t.v.' Now, not so sure how to nix the social media phenom, but it sure can suck a lot of juice out of our creative, without putting a whole lot back. Reflect on your thing and become creative every day in some way and self strengthen your way forward. No limit really, for those that are disciplined to do the work.

Emulate. Examine the biography and work of any artist from any era in any genre of fine art to know that when they started out, the emulated the art that blew their minds, sparked a joy and made them think. Once engaged, our own natural curiosities take right on over. Stay at it long enough, and our own 'thing' will come along in time with practice, 'honing our craft' as the master once said.

Rhyming words. This is all part of the SuperHoot show, where Billy's doing his letters. Included here for the up and coming, yet super novice songwriter, lyricist, spoken word preacher, an 'A through Z', let's academic rhyme to get our thinking juice flowing. Your chromatic helmet should help in these daily workouts. Pretty self explanatory here, and big laughs encouraged. Pick a 'spark' word for each of the letters, sing it out loud, then rhyme four words for the 'spark' word.

And if ya get an idea for a line, hook, chorus, rhythm, symphony, yea stop and pursue this spark from Muse, Surely to ya a congratulations, a your hard work has at this moment today, won the day ... yet again :)

rhymes with 'And' _____ _____ _____ _____ .

rhymes with 'Because' _____ _____ _____ _____ .

rhymes with 'Clear' _____ _____ _____ _____ .

rhymes with 'Day' _____ _____ _____ _____ .

rhymes with 'Emily' _____ _____ _____ _____ .

rhymes with 'Fun' _____ _____ _____ _____ .

rhymes with 'Goin' _____ _____ _____ _____ .

rhymes with 'Howdy' _____ _____ _____ _____ .

rhymes with 'I'll' _____ _____ _____ _____ .

rhymes with 'Joy' _____ _____ _____ _____ .

rhymes with 'Knockin' _____ _____ _____ _____ .

rhymes with 'Love' _____ _____ _____ _____ .

rhymes with 'My' _____ _____ _____ _____ .

rhymes with 'Nowhere' _____ _____ _____ _____ .

rhymes with 'Over' _____ _____ _____ _____ .

rhymes with 'Please' _____ _____ _____ _____ .

rhymes with 'Q' q-cumber :) _____ _____ _____ .

rhymes with 'Rain' _____ _____ _____ _____ .

rhymes with 'Superhoot' _____ _____ _____ _____ .

rhymes with 'Time' _____ _____ _____ _____ .

rhymes with 'U / you' _____ _____ _____ _____ .

rhymes with 'Voom' _____ _____ _____ _____ .

rhymes with 'Will' _____ _____ _____ _____ .

rhymes with 'Xenon' _____ _____ _____ _____ .

rhymes with 'Your' _____ _____ _____ _____ .

rhymes with 'Zee' _____ _____ _____ _____ .

Cool ? Make a few rhymes ? The original idea is mine, so I give it to you. Write a song, make a hit song, be a star and always remember that 'sharing is caring.

Singer / vocalist. We all can bring immediate joy to our day by singing. There's just something about the whole deal that'll lift one's spirit pronto, right now, this moment ... and might even last for the day :) Ever whistle a bit while at work? Sing a riff or lick or make up a parody or two to some well established pitches you love ? Good chance that there was a smile at the end of the coda :)

So find some pitches and off ya go, for there's no greater 'heart mind' musical connect than our voices.

'With the lyrics, the artist shapes their form with pitches to phrase the song's story, and no two are ever really the same. That the pen is mightier than the sword, the spoken word must be mightier than the written word.

"Hey Jay Bell." The words to this song are for one of Alaska's favorite sound engineers, Jay Bell. And while the story is super exaggerated, according to social media, there's some truth to it too. In the day it was called a novelty song. The suggested harmony is tricky for a bluegrass tune;


G G# dim A - D / A- D A- D

G G# dim A - D / A- D G

verse: G C G G A7 D


chorus etc.

Still working on a recording of this one.

wiki ~ novelty song

chorus: Hey Jay Bell

Now what U gonna do

U spooked that old bear from the porch

with that handy rock you found

Now hey Jay Bell

what U gonna do

that old bear might come and back

to spook you too ...

verse: Just another fourth July in Girdwood

and the circus come to town

ol'Jay Bell was the real deal cat

twisting up the magic sounds

but this year was gonna top them all

as Jay had a big surprise

for he had him a brand new box

all sorts of wires sticking out ...

chorus: Hey Jay Bell

Now what U gonna do

U spooked that old bear from the porch

with that handy rock you found

Now hey Jay Bell

what U gonna do

that old bear might come and back

to spook you too ...

verse: Runnin late it seemed as Jay got out the door

Jumped in the Boo and all fired up

and headed off to town

but down the road the brakes came on

for Jay had forgot the magic box so had to turn around

So for the zillionth time or so it seemed

Jay pulled in the drive,

flipped the switch, killed the juice, so as just to glide

comin' to a stop as Jay looked up

and right before his eyes

was a frisky old bear right on his porch,

and standing up besides ...

chorus: Hey Jay Bell

Now what U gonna do

U spooked that old bear from the porch

with that handy rock you found

Now hey Jay Bell

what U gonna do

that old bear might come and back

and spook you too ...

"The Truth Is." This is just a beginning hook for a 12 bar blues chorus. Still needs a few verses. Very straight ahead yet a perfect iambic pentameter phrase. We gots to get lucky once in a while yes ?


The truth is, ya just don't love me no more,

The truth is, ya just don't love me no more,

There once was a time, now that's all long gone


There once was a time, I knew our love was true

There once was a time, I knew our love was true

You told me secrets in the mornin'

more in the afternoon


The truth is, ya just don't love me no more,

The truth is, ya just don't love me no more,

There once was a time, now that's all long gone


All combined, our lyrics in songs become poems of earful memories for their listeners, the one's they catch to keep forever, reminders of their souls joining with the song, and how we share experience in common, yet each unique as new story unfolds. Can ya dig it ? Do it ?

“When day comes we ask ourselves, where can we find light in this never ending shade."

wiki ~ Amanda Gorman

Review. Find some coolness ? Cool. Writing lyrics brings all of our experiences together manifested through our intellect, wisdom and ability to think. Verbosity pays off when rhyming into songs ... :) and wordsmiths fun to just solving the puzzles, to tell the tale.

Set to music and a rhythm that moves through time, our words now take on a new magic, one that makes listeners physically groove along too, opening their own perceptive windows to receive new stories, to discover a shared truth among all sentient beings. Nothing cooler really for a creative musical artist, unless you're a jazz guitar player :)

Bingo kaboom bingo bingo :) Composing is cool because we get to make it all up as we go along. Then there's those songs and ideas that'll only go a certain way. And they write themselves. And we as a composer shape it into life. Then there's those songs we write to tell a story of an event that transpired in our own lives. So now we're historian too. Collaborate with friends and write for the theatre? Movies? Your band? A friend's band? There's all sorts of reasons we compose music.

Other 'theory' considerations? Take apart your favorite song for some of its compositional elements. Such as; key center, major or minor, form, chord progression, style of basic rhythm pulse, bass line story, lyrics.

"Don't let schooling interfere with your education."
wiki ~ Mark Twain
"We learn wisdom from failure much more than from success. We often discover what will do, by finding out what will not do; and probably he who never made a mistake never made a discovery."
wiki ~ Samuel Smiles

“I have this hunch that minority folk bring a fresh angle on things and that is often a very productive thing,” she said. “In general, a lot of breakthroughs come from left field.”

wiki ~ Jocelyn Bell Burnell

“I don’t know what I’d be doing if I didn’t have my writing, I haven’t even had a vacation in a long time. It’s been 17 years since I’ve been out of Hawaii. Desert sheikh, romance, kidnapping, that’s about all I started with. I just sat down one day and wrote the middle scene, the love scene in the tent. I amazed myself, I couldn’t stop writing. Impossible until it's done."

From NYTimes 12.23.2019

wiki ~ Johanna Lindsey

“The desire to reach for the sky runs very deep in the human psyche."

wiki ~ Cesar Pelli

“It's better to change your opinion than to persist in a wrong one."

wiki ~ Socrates

“It's not what you become in life but what you overcome."

wiki ~ ?

"A writer's life and work are not a gift to mankind; they are its necessity."

wiki ~ Toni Morrison


References. References for this page's information comes from school, books and the bandstand and made way easier by the folks along the way.

References academia Alaska. And when you need university level answers to your questions and musings, and especially if you are considering a career in music and looking to continue your formal studies, begin to e-reach out to the Alaska University Music Campus communities and begin a dialogue with some of Alaska's own and finest resident maestros !