What Is Point of View?

Point of view, or POV, gives your song a starting point for it’s perspective.

Perspective is a nuance of point of view. An example of POV + perspective is: first person song where the speaker is talking to themselves.

In order to utilize perspective you have to pick your point of view first.

At the end of the day, you have three to choose from:

  1. First Person
  2. Second Person (aka Direct Address)
  3. Third person (aka Omniscient)

In this article, we’ll cover the definition of each type of point of view, and when to use it. And, the great news is: you can choose one to start your song and then try the others once you’re down the page. This process can also help you uncover a stronger song.

Point of view is the perspective from which a story is told. It falls into one of the three options mentioned above. It’s a writing tool that allows you, as the songwriter, to control the relationship between the singer and the audience.

The three options have very distinctive perspectives, and give your song characteristics unique to that particular perspective.

Tends to be autobiographical and makes the speaker the primary character in the song.

First person is comprised of eight pronouns:

Also known as direct address because you’re speaking directly to someone.

Why us it? It’s a way for the speaker to remain the primary character in the song while pulling in a second character. Usually the one who scorned the speaker or whom the speaker loves. And, it allows you to impart a direct message from the speaker to an individual.

This is a great point of view to create a non-gender specific song. It also eliminates chronological story telling a bit because you are speaking to someone. Hence, a highly emotional message vs. telling a story you’re in (first person) or about someone else (third person).

Second person has the following three pronouns:

2nd PersonSubjective CaseObjective CasePossessive Case
singular – pluralyouyouyour – yours

This is the “all knowing” and “all seeing” point of view.

Why use it? It gives the speaker license to tell a story without being in it. However, they know the thoughts and emotions of all of it’s characters! This point of view allows the storyteller to remove themselves from the characters. It creates a distance between what’s being told and the singer.

As a result, third person doesn’t attach any bad character traits to the singer, making it a great POV to use when pitching songs to others.

Third person has ten pronoun options broken into gender/neutral categories:

3rd PersonSubjective CaseObjective CasePossessive Case
singular – pluralhe/she/it/theyhim/her/it/themhis – his/her – hers/its – its/their – theirs

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