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Okay, i know that this is something that isn't very important, but it's been kinda buggin' me for a while, so i'm going to get it out of the way.

Poems are very popular on this site. Lyrics, although not quite as popular, are also very well read on this site. I avereage about 3-4 comments on the songs i post on this site. Lyrics and poetry are very simlar. They have similar themes, set-ups, and writing styles. Because of this, it is very common for a poet to read and comment on lyrics on this site. I know this because most of my comments come from poets. It is also less common but still fairly common for a lyricist to comment on poetry. I know this because i do so very often and even post poems on my website. However, i have noticed that when on group comments on the other, we often forget that the other style of writing has different rules than or own.

My major example of this is for people to claim that there is one "stanza" that doesn't quite fit in a song. The reason i place the word stanza in quotations is because this is not an accurate word when placed in regard to lyrics. Lyrics don't have stanzas. They have verses, choruses, pre-choruses, and bridges. Many people often complain that a bridge doesn't fit in with the rest of the song because it's rhythm is very different. I would just like to say on behalf of the lyricists on this site by saying that that is the point.

Let me make it clear that i am not bashing the poets on this site. I am just saying that when reviewing lyrics, you can't read them as poems. If there is a part of the song that has a different rhythm, chances are it is there for a reason. If a song has the exact same rhythm from beginning to end, it tends to get a bit boring. Technical songwriters experiment with rhythms to keep the song interesting. Because it was fairly popular, i will use the song "Outside" by Staind as an example. Do we all remember that song. Well, the verses ("And bring me to my knees/ All the times that i couldn't beg you please") had one distint rhythm and chord progression. The chorus ("I'm on the outside/ i'm looking in/i can see through you/ see your true colours") had another rhythm. Then towards the end of the song, there was a section in which the rhythm was quite different. Remember the part where he starts creaming "All the times that i've cried/ All that's wasted/ it's all inside"? Had a very different rhythm, didn't it? This is a very common technique in virtually every style of music. Rock, pop, country, punk, metal, even rap often uses this technique.

The interlude was meant to be the new guitar solo. Remeber in all those classic rock songs how there would be that long guitar solo in the middle? Well, these interludes are supposed to take the place of that. How often did the notes of those solos follow the rhythm of the other verses and chorus. Listen to Van Halen to see how different a solo can be from the rest of a song. The interlude is merely a way of providing a brief break from the monotnous rhythm of the rest of a song.

Throughout a song, the style and rhythm can change several different times. Old school Metallica and almost all TOOL songs are a perfect example of this. Even System of a Down does this constantly.

So this is my tip for the day. If you go to review lyrics, please read them as just that: lyrics. Lyrics meant to be played over a song. A song that may change it's mood several times. And please don't view this as a personal attack. I am not trying to degrade or belittle you, i am only trying to educate you and help you to appreciate the lyrics on this site for all they are worth.If a song changes rhyme scheme of tempo, it may have very well been done on purpose to provide some variety in the song. Outside of punk, the 3-chord song kinda went out of fashion a few years ago.

Again, this is probably no big deal, and i hope i don't start a big war of arguement with this, but it's been on my chest for quite some time now.


The following comments are for "Poems vs. Lyrics"
by E.G. Evans

well vented
I just want to say that I have been a poet since I learnt how to read. Songwriting for me is a brand new thing, and I have piles of books sitting on my bookshelf helping me with song structure, chorus, pre-chorus and blah, blah, blah.

I love experimenting with words and patterns, but I find songwriting difficult because I don't really read or play music (something I'm planning to rectify in the near future). I think I listen to enough music to have enough of a concept on how it all works.

I haven't posted any songs on this site yet, because I'm still testing the waters so to speak. I won a merit award in a songwriting contest recently so that was a nice confidence boost. I still approach songwriting like poetry though and I know I do it. But in my defense I'm still learning. When I read song lyrics on this site (and elsewhere), I do allow for melody. The bridge is usually my favourite part of the song!!

Keep writing and I'll keep reading ok!! I might even learn something along the way.


( Posted by: appleblossom [Member] On: September 8, 2002 )

Duly noted.
A damned fine point, E. G.
Very informative.

( Posted by: Jasmine [Member] On: September 8, 2002 )

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