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Pop Song Lyrics

Pop Song Lyrics

The below is taken from a chat board that is long since gone, and was part of a much larger post string.  I’ve aggregated the “good bits” to create an easier read and added a few embellishments here and there.  Thanks to Jason “The Millenial” for the great tips!




Good lyrics are an important part of any pop song – and good lyric writing is easier than it seems. Here are some tips:


Can You Sum It Up?


You should be able to sum up the entire message of your song in one short phrase. Try it with any pop song on the charts right now, and then try it with your own music. For example, “Someone Like You” by Adele could be summed up with this phrase: “You left me, but I still love you”.

If you can’t sum up your song with one simple phrase, you’re trying to incorporate too many ideas, or your idea isn’t clear enough. Keep it simple.


Paint A Picture


Instead of abstract lyrics, paint a picture with sensory details.

Great lyrics paint a picture for the listener by providing a wealth of sensory detail that describes a story (tell us the who, what, where, when, and why).

Your lyrics should be simple and unfold like a story – you’ll alienate your listeners if your lyrics are too abstract.


Make Every Line Count


A song is too short for filler – thus, every line in your song’s lyrics should serve a function (develop the story, drive your main idea, provide contrast, etc…). Take out phrases that are repetitive, and words like “just” and “really”.


Title – And Title Placement


When choosing a song title, pick something original and unique – not something that’s been overused a thousand times. Take a look at the song titles of this week’s top 10 country hits for some great examples:
1. Keep Me in Mind
2. Let It Rain
3. Drink In My Hand
4. Tattoos On This Town
5. Easy
6. I Don’t Want This Night To End
7. You
8. All Your Life
9. We Owned The Night
10. Reality


With the exception of #7 (and maybe #5), every title on that list makes me want to listen to the song.
The titles of most pop songs almost always appear in their lyrics – usually at the beginning or end of their choruses.

The title is often the song’s “hook” – which is usually the first or last line in the chorus. Listeners expect to hear the song’s title in these places – if your song’s title isn’t clearly evident after listening to it, how will they find it and buy it?


More Articles:


Pop Songs: Song Structure

Pop Songs: Music & Melody

Melody Writing For Pop Songs


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