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Writing lyrics for a famous piano piece...

So I wanted to try my hand at writing lyrics to go along with my favorite piano piece, "Nuvole Bianche" by Ludovico Einaudi.



I was inspired to write a kind of story about some rough times I went through lately, mostly with my fiancee. I've written books and short stories, but never a song before. Looking for opinions on it, and I'm molding the words mostly by the melody so as not to take away from the piano. I apologise I they're bad, but they felt fitting:

Sunlight dies,
And you're not at home.
And I died alone, a telephone,without your touch, a breath alone, would leave me prone, broken and sewn, without a soul, a sunken ship, to keep afloat, the choicest words, this poet heard, the echo of, so self assured, the violence of, a face unseen, in a crowded room, what did you mean? When you said that I, I don't understand ,what you mean when you, you begin to cry, "well not this time, I don't need you",there's golden dew on a silver vine, this hallway through, the fault is mine, you're so divine, with your hand in mine, so warm by design and I...
Chorus: I know we'll be alright
I know the brightest song,will mend our broken hearts, and carry us along
And when the day is through, and I think of all you do, the light of love shines through
Your heart....in my hands and in the air, reflect refrain and pull back bare

That's what I have so far as a first draft.

Comments

  • Klaus_TKlaus_T 2.0 PRO Posts: 1,116
    i think this is a promising start. would be interesting to hear a version with vocals.
  • Goggalor1990Goggalor1990 Member Posts: 27
    edited June 16
    Finished with writing the lyrics and recorded a version:



    Sunlight dies,
    And you're not at home.
    And I died alone, a telephone,without your touch, a breath alone, would leave me prone, broken and sewn, without a soul, a sunken ship to keep afloat, the choicest words, this poet heard, the echo of, so self assured, the violence of, a face unseen, in a crowded room, what did you mean? When you said that I, I don't understand ,what you mean when you, you begin to cry, "well not this time, I don't need you",there's golden dew, on a silver vine, this hallway through, the fault is mine, you're so divine, with your hand in mine, so warm by design and I...
    Chorus: I know we'll be alright
    I know the brightest song,will mend our broken hearts, and carry us along
    And when the day is through, and I think of all you do, the light of love shines through
    Your heart...in my hands and in the air, reflect refrain and pull back bare
    A side of heaven seen...

    In everything you do, everything you are, there burns a shooting star
    Every look remains, within a golden frame, and I know what you are
    The greatest love of mine, between every line, it's myself that I find, the world held in your eyes, the overwhelming shine, could leave a mortal blind
  • Klaus_TKlaus_T 2.0 PRO Posts: 1,116
    your link does not work! i think you should post the link with the little chain icon in the editor...
  • Goggalor1990Goggalor1990 Member Posts: 27
    My apologies, I couldn't seem to get a proper link from the app on my phone. Should be working now :)
  • Klaus_TKlaus_T 2.0 PRO Posts: 1,116
    edited June 16
    ok thanks it works now. it's really good, i like it. i just say this cause you asked for opinions (and it will be based on my musical taste): it meanders a bit, not getting to the point for quite a bit in the beginning, which is obviously based on the underlying piece, but also partially due to the lyrics. if you were to make it into a "poppier" song (which is always the goal for me when i write), you might want to structure it a bit differently, and maybe even be less wordy. it might be an artistic choice to be poetic, and that's totally fine, i don't mean to criticize that. but if you wanted, you could try and make it more compact and snappy. what i found is that emotional, easily understandable catch phrases in the right places do wonders, especially when repeated. in your case, i would maybe repeat the first twho lines of the chorus a few times before progressing.

    there are lots of good phrases for this in your lyrics and you could probably get more memorable parts out of it if you wanted to do so. then you would also have a better contrast between meandering verses and snappier choruses. just an example, and just an idea
  • JayArghJayArgh 2.0 PRO Posts: 4
    edited June 20
    Hi there, and congrats on writing your first song! Remember that you don't owe anyone an apology for your lyrics being "bad" - and especially not when you're just starting out! Earnest effort demands no apology. :-)

    So, onto the opinion.

    There's a good bit of concrete imagery in here, balancing out the more abstract emotional lines. Just understanding the need for that balance can be a real hurdle for some songwriters, but you've got that generally covered, so off to a great start!

    The areas for improvement that I see generally fall into four categories, any one of which could up your game all on its own:

    ********************************************************
    1 - Melodic phrasing
    The lyrics sometimes conflict with the arc of the melody, leading to unnatural accenting of different syllables than the word or phrase would ordinarily have in conversation, i.e. "broKEN and sewn", "so warm BY design", and "in-my-hands-and-IN the air". Pay attention to the high notes of a melody and how the words are sung; look for opportunities to correct unnatural emphasis, as they reduce listener comprehension.

    2 - Narrative
    Where are you? What's actually happening? What are you saying about the telephone?

    I get that it's about a lover, and there's sadness and maybe optimism, but lacking action or a clear sense of setting, it reads like a string of disconnected moments and images. For your next song, you might try writing out (in prose) exactly what you want to say. You can pull lyrics right out of writing exercises like that, without falling into a trap of trying to make it sound like you think a "song" should. Try describing a single moment with a high level of detail; pick the details that seem most significant to put into the song.

    3 - Floridity
    Simpler is usually better; the further you are from a phrase you'd actually use in conversation, the harder the lyric is to understand. Ask yourself: Would you usually say "sunlight dies" if you were telling this story to a friend? If not, consider "sun goes down"; same emphasis pattern, less florid, less melodramatic.

    4 - Rhyme Driving Content
    By the time you reached "a breath alone, would leave me prone, broken and sewn" I became convinced (rightly or wrongly) that you were writing this one line after the next, looking for a word that rhymes and then finding a way to make that rhyme fit. A similar moment happened at "the fault is mine, you're so divine, with your hand in mine, so warm by design". Whose design? Someone designed a hand to be warm? What does that have to do with the "fault" - and how is their hand warm in yours if they're "not at home"? Are we talking about a different moment now? When did that transition happen?

    This is a common trap for beginning songwriters; while there's nothing wrong with pulling out the rhyming dictionary (even the one in your head) to help with a line or two, rhyme should generally be subservient to the message, not the other way around. Figuring out what you really want to say is more important than rhyming at all! Once you know what you want to get across to the listener on a particular line, making it rhyme becomes a lot easier.

    There's also a whole world of imperfect rhyme that opens up tons of options for connecting ideas together. As Eminem put it, "People say the word 'orange' doesn't rhyme with anything. I can think of at least five things that rhyme with 'orange'...I put my four-inch orange doorhinge in storage and ate porridge with George." How'd he do that?! Here's a great article that helps explain it: https://www.izotope.com/en/learn/5-types-of-rhymes-you-can-use-in-your-song.html

    ********************************************************

    Overall, my advice is to pat yourself on the back, call this song successfully finished and get started writing another one when you're ready, focusing on one or more of the above areas to hone your lyrical chops.

    Good job and good luck!

    - JR
  • Goggalor1990Goggalor1990 Member Posts: 27
    Thank you so much for the responses! I do agree that it is kind of vague in parts if you don't know the full story of what happened, and I suppose that's by default. I also ran into the same problem I used to when trying to write songs 13-15 years ago, which is making them too wordy and poetic. I used to write poetry in HS and I now write novels, so being less wordy and more direct is not my strong suit 😅

    Thank you so much for the advice on flow too! I never was very good at that either.

    I had my fiancee show some of her friends the song and told her not to tell them it was me so I could get an unbiased opinion. Most seemed to really like it! I must say, I never imagined myself writing a "pop" song, but I guess I sort of did haha.
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