Create A New Song: Put A Twist On Cliche Phrases

Cliche phrases can be a great song prompt starter. Whether you’re using in a song, or as your hook line, they can help you create interesting new songs that challenge you to come up with new song ideas.

The trick is to give it a twist by changing a word, using it in a way in a line, or taking a new perspective on the cliche by framing it in a unique way.

We’ll give you a list of cliches so you can write a song today (or at least get an idea in your notebook), and give you examples of cliches done well.

According to Dictionary.com, a cliche is a trite, stereotyped expression; a sentence or phrase, usually expressing a popular common thought or idea, that has lost originality, ingenuity, and impact by long overuse. E.g., older but wiser, strong as an ox.

Let’s have a go at using a cliche phrase to develop a song!

I’ll start you off with some phrases to choose from, and then give you a couple of examples of cliche’s done well in songs.

It’s water under the bridgeIn the nick of time
Only time will tellNot a care in the world
Fall head over healsBrave as a lion
As old as the hillsA diamond in the rough
Fit as a fiddleWithout a care in the world
It’s only a matter of timeLaughter is the best medicine
At the speed of lightThe calm before the storm
I love you more than life itselfThey all lived happily ever after
Cat got your song?The time of my life
What goes around comes aroundThe writing’s on the wall
Sent a shiver down my spineTake it with a grain of salt
Opposites attractNo harm, no foul
Live and let dieAll’s fair in love and war
Time heals all woundsHaste makes waste
All’s well that ends wellTake it with a grain of salt
Every cloud has a silver liningI wasn’t born yesterday
Woke up on the wrong side of the bedThat and a quarter will get you a cup of coffee
When life gives you lemons, make lemonadeWe’re not laughing at you, we’re laughing with you

Charlie Puth “Look At Me Now”

If you just read the lyrics, it sounds a bit bitter, but the music completely offsets the tone! If you’re a country music fan, think Toby Keith’s “How Do You Like Me Now”. Keith’s song also uses takes an angry, bitter cliche phrase and turns it into a celebration song.

Adele “Water Under The Bridge”:

Uses a cliche as the central song idea and builds the verses around it.

Brad Paisley “Remind Me”

This cliche can be taken one of two ways, which is used to the fullest in this song.

Bonnie Raitt “Nick of Time”

Uses a cliche (also the title) only in the last version of the chorus to wrap up the story and message of the song.

Luke Combs “Houston, We Got A Problem”

The songwriters take an historic phrase used for the hook and turn it into a love song.

Now go out and find one to write!

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