Pages Navigation Menu

Start With Something That's True

Song Prompt: Start With The Chorus

Song Prompt: Start With The Chorus

It’s pretty easy to start a song with a Chorus.

But how do you do it well?

And . . . why even start with a chorus?

Usually, you start with the chorus to get the song focused on the vibe and the message right up front. But, you can’t start with the chorus if you need an explanation to make sure the chorus makes sense.

Tricky business.

Let’s look at a few examples of fantastic songs that start with the chorus.

 

Ain't No Sunshine
This classic written by Bill Withers uses the chorus to set the mood/tone for the entire course of the rest of the song.  And, the chorus only shows up one more time.

Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone.
It’s not warm when she’s away.
Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone,
And she’s always gone too long
Anytime she goes away.
All About That Bass
Meghan Trainor’s hit song is basically a giant, in-your-face anthem.  I do love that it starts with “Because,” as if there was already some discussion about what the song was about. The chorus tells you right up front that the speaker is in it to win it, and has something she wants to say. Great reason to start with the chorus!

Because you know I’m all about that bass,
‘Bout that bass, no treble
I’m all ’bout that bass, ’bout that bass, no treble

Can't Buy Me Love
This Beatles song starts with the very short, two-line chorus. It then uses two verses to give context and meaning to the chorus. In this case it acts like a teaser to set up the verses of the song and the relationship explanation.

Can’t buy me love, love.
Can’t buy me love.

I’ll buy you a diamond ring my friend
If it makes you feel alright.
I’ll get you anything my friend
If it makes you feel alright.
‘Cause I don’t care too much for money –
Money can’t buy me love

I’ll give you all I’ve got to give
If you say you love me too.
I may not have a lot to give
But what I’ve got I’ll give to you.
I don’t care too much for money –
Money can’t buy me love.

Can’t buy me love, everybody tells me so.
Can’t buy me love, no, no, no, no.

Cruise
Florida Georgia Line ran this one to the top of country charts. It uses the same short two-line chorus approach as “Can’t Buy Me Love” that then rolls into verses that fill out the story.

Baby you a song
You make me wanna roll my windows down and cruise

Edge Of Seventeen
Stevie Nicks wrote the best chorus of all time. She’s managed to actually bring the sounds of a dove into the chorus. And, she ties the first verse to the chorus with an “And” – pretty slick.

Just like the white winged dove
Sings a song sounds like she’s singin’
Whoo-whoo-whoo
Just like the white winged dove
Sings a song sounds like she’s singin’
Whoo, baby, whoo- said, whoo

And the days go by like a strand in the wind
In the web that is my own I begin again
Said to my friend, baby nothin’ else mattered

Jolene
Dolly Parton wrote a song that will no doubt be considered a country classic 200 years from now.  The repetition of the name is the power of the song: one woman beseeching another not to take something so precious when clearly, she could have any man she wanted.

You immediately feel the fear of the speaker, and then you hear the story.

Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene:
I’m begging of you please don’t take my man.
Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene:
Please don’t take him just because you can.
You Give Love A Bad Name
Bon Jovi’s hit song makes it clear that the speaker is talking directly to someone, and the chorus ensures you know it right up front. The first verse starts laying it out, but you already know how the speaker feels about her – he’s hurt and now you’re going to hear about it.

Shot through the heart,
And you’re to blame.
Darlin’, you give love a bad name.
An angel’s smile is what you sell.
You promise me heaven, then put me through hell.
Chains of love got a hold on me.
When passion’s a prison, you can’t break free.

Now it’s your turn!