Subscribe Now!

To The Writers of Songs:

Hey. I’d just like to start off saying, congratulations. You do for a living what high school students everywhere fill whole notebooks with in hopes that their “deep” and “inspired” lyrics will one day make them rich, or at least cool. This, as you probably know, never works, but to be quite honest…your work isn’t much better these days. I’ve compiled a list of suggestions to help you up your game.

1. Rhymes. You should get some new ones.

Invest in one of these things maybe?

Here are a few rhymes that could use a few decade’s vacation:
“Friend” and “End.” Yeah, yeah, friends to the end. It’s bad. Stop now.
“Pain” and “Rain.” There is absolutely nothing you can add to this rhyme.
“Alone” and “My own.” It’s a rhyme that relies on redundancy. You’re better than that.
“Ever” and “Never.” Jeeeeez.
“Love” and “Above.”
“Right” and “Night.”
“Night” and “Sight.”
Let’s just leave night out of it.
“Air” and “Care” (thanks Freelanceguru for the reminder there)
“Joy” and “Boy”
“Said,” “Dead,” “Head.” Any “-ed” rhyme. They’re all washed up. Plus the English Language is pretty much cheating in your favor, what with the entire past tense ending that way.

I’m sure there are others, but I’m sure you can pick out the rest. That’s a good running start. Also, stop using assonances. You don’t do it well, you need practice. It just sounds reeeallly lazy and bad. “Girl” does not rhyme with “World” under any circumstances (thanks for that one, Kelly, can’t believe I forgot it).

Stop tacking extra words and filler phrases onto lines so that you can half-butt a rhyme. That “that’s right” or “oh yeah” or whatever…they’re all just fluff to fill up syllables and set up bad rhymes. Heck, I wouldn’t mind if you did the artsy thing and just gave up on rhyming altogether, it works for Coldplay. And please stop using the phrase “you know what I mean.” There’s no guaranteeing that. Stop stop stop. It’s cheap filler, we can tell.

2. Take a breath. You can always write another song later.

Your song should not be this crammed full of concepts.

Nowadays the fashionable song length is between three and five minutes. Any longer and the popular culture starts to get a little antsy and their minds start to wander off into green pastures and candy forests. And we understand that it’s a little hard for an artist to get the messages they need across in such a short time.

So don’t try. Pick one or two concepts. Pick one or two key phrases. Write them. The end. Nowadays songs are so wordy and full of themselves it’s hard to bear. Stay cool. Just pick a couple key messages and save the rest for other songs. I’m tired of having a thousand different cliche’s packed into one song. I mean, come on.

3. Grammar exists. Stop ignoring it.

I think this might be a pun.

Stop killing grammar. Stop it. I’m tired of those songs that uses the phrase “myself from me” just for the sake of a rhyme (in one of these songs, that rhyme is “me” and “street.” See number 1). Nothing “be” anything. I don’t be hungry. I am hungry. That lipstick does not be poppin’. It is poppin’. I don’t even know what that means. It pops? You could just say it pops, Lil’ Mama! My point is, “is” and “be” have the same number of syllables, come on!

Double negatives. Stop. Hanging prepositions. Stop them.

Hope these tips help, there are more where those came from if you ever need them (these three are free).

Sincerely Yours.

Karen at

6 Responses to “An Open Letter To Song Writers”

  1. on 13 Mar 2008 at 2:31 am Nadie

    Amen to that. Bloody teeny boppers. Give me some good ol’ pub rock any day.

  2. on 13 Mar 2008 at 3:39 am Freelanceguru

    What about ‘Hands in the air’ and ‘just don’t care’ That one never gets old.

  3. on 13 Mar 2008 at 9:39 am Kelly

    Also… Girl and world

  4. on 13 Mar 2008 at 7:08 pm GOD

    Aha smell that? yep another good post

  5. on 13 Mar 2008 at 8:43 pm Furchin

    I Has A Grammar -> The man in the photo is Donald Knuth, who wrote a four volume series called The Art of Computer Programming. He is an important figure in computer science, and the caption refers to the grammar of computer programming languages.

    See for more details.

  6. on 23 Mar 2008 at 10:07 pm Scott

    “Fire” and “desire” need to die also.

    Thanks for being a champion of proper English.

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply