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Songwriters Tip No.2

The first 'finished' cut is rarely the final cut. Like an instrument a new song needs to be played in. How many times have you looked at the lyrics in the official sheet music only to realise that the performer is not actually singing those words?

I have frequently gone back to my original lyrics to find that over the course of a few months of playing the song, the lyrics have shifted, sometimes dramatically and generally for the better. A tweak here and there can smooth the scan of the lyrics, clarify the meaning and generally polish things up. Sometimes other people have made suggestions to change words or phrases and it is worth listening and not being precious about it. It might be a good idea.

In other cases I have completely shelved a song for a period as I am not happy with it only to come back to it and change the entire melody and feel because I liked the lyrics but not the rest.

If you are unsure about a melody or a lyric - leave it for a while and come back and try and look at it with fresh eyes and listen with fresh ears. Nothing has to be finished right away. The best wine is laid down for years and then is left to breath before it is drunk. A good song is similar.


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